Exterior lighting is both functional and a way to add to the curb appeal of your home. It can be tempting to go for purely practical lighting when it comes to your garage. But choosing fixtures that fit your needs and the style of the rest of your home and exterior lighting is ideal. Look around, take some time to plan, and remember that the lighting fixture you choose will have just as much of an impact on your home’s aesthetics during the day as it does at night.
Decide How Many You Need
The number of lights you need typically depends on what purpose you are looking to serve and the size of your garage. For a single-car garage, you can often get away with installing one larger lantern style light between the house and the garage or over the garage door, or two smaller lights on either side of the door. Additionally, one medium flood light will typically work for a single-car garage. With a two-car or larger garage, it is best to have at least one light on each side of the door and one in the middle if possible. If there is a clear break between doors, installing lanterns on both sides of the entire garage and between each door can also be a good look, and help to break up the space. Spend time at the end of your driveway and across the street to determine exactly how much lighting will suite the space, both in design and function. If you don’t trust your eye, have a friend or family member take a look, or take a photo of your garage from the end of your driveway and from across the street. Take the photo to your local lighting or home improvement store for an opinion. Most lighting experts are more than willing to help.
Choose the Right Size
Oftentimes, when people choose exterior lighting, they don’t factor in how the fixture looks from far away. After all, they’re making a decision while standing directly in front of the proposed installation point. For this reason, too-small lighting is a common mistake made by homeowners, although one of the easiest to avoid. As a rule, the size of the fixture should be one-quarter to one-third the size of the height of the garage door opening when installed on either side. Fixtures installed in the center should be large enough to light the entire width of your driveway. Measure both the height of the garage door and the width of the driveway and go from there. For lighting in the center of the garage, most fixtures provide an estimated range depending on the bulb size.
Explore All of the Possible Features
Once you know how many lights you need and the sizes that will best suit your home, factor in other options beyond just lighting the space. Solar lights, fixtures with timers and motion detectors are all possible options when choosing exterior lighting for your garage. Motion detectors are important for home security. Timers can easily assure the outside of your home is lit up during certain periods, and avoid having lights on when not needed. Today, even certain lamp styles or decorative exterior lights come with many of these options. In some cases, you might be able to add a timer or motion detector to a unit that doesn’t initially come with one. Decide what features are important to you, and go from there.
Match the Rest of Your Exterior Lighting
Lighting has a dramatic impact on your home. While the way exterior lights illuminate your property at night is important, how they look during the day can have a dramatic impact on your property’s curb appeal. If you already have exterior lighting near your door or along a fence, choose fixtures for your garage that will match or complement these in style or color. This can be as simple as choosing a black flood light to go with black, wrought iron lamp fixtures at your front door, or locate the manufacturer of your existing fixtures to see what they offer in the way of garage exterior lighting.
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