Proper Size and Placement of Outdoor Lanterns
When it comes to outdoor wall lanterns, size does matter, says our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD.
 
What are your recommendations for sizing and placement of outdoor wall-mounted lanterns around the front entrance of a house?
This is a great question because people frequently get size and placement wrong. Homeowners often select an under-scale fixture so that it looks dinky on the house. When you look in a catalog or see a fixture in a lighting showroom, it is very difficult to tell what size is right. My recommendation is to borrow a fixture and try it out on-site. Don’t worry if it is the right finish; just the right scale. Have someone hold it up (as I’m doing with the Hans Duus lantern in this picture) and then go out to the street to look at it (remember to watch for traffic). This will help with selecting the correct scale and the appropriate mounting height in relationship to doors and windows. Make sure to hold the fixture at the level of where the backplate connects to the junction box, if you are replacing one fixture with another. The power feed isn’t always in the middle of the fixture. If your showroom doesn’t have an actual fixture to borrow, then make a template out of cardboard with the right dimensions. Believe me: It is worth it. And if you don’t feel like doing it, make your kids do it. Child labor laws do not extend to the home.
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

A man cave/wine cellar? Are you planning to a lot of drinking alone? If so, then I'm in! You want to add four types of lighting here, just as you... read full story
Thank you for your very detailed question. I'm glad that you're using LED linear lighting above and below the cabinets. As I mention in many... read full story
The rule of thumb is to have the shade part (luminous section) of the fixture even with your eye level. If you stand when at the vanity, then I would... read full story
Before LEDs came along, we were all using halogen. I used to add a color-correcting filter to make the light even whiter when trying to bring out the... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar by... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story
Sponsored by Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and Spotlite-USA.   This live webinar has already taken place, but you can still view the presentation on demand by clicking... read full story

RL Tweets!