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

The short answer is yes. The fixtures need to be UL-listed. UL tests fixtures so that they are safe. If the fixtures are UL-listed then UL will take... read full story
The bottom line is that lighting fixtures in the United States need to be UL/ETL listed. Lighting manufacturers invest a lot of money in getting... read full story
I like the direction that you’re going in. You can create little box beams to house recessed adjustable fixtures. You can use a remodel housing for... read full story
Yes, four recessed downlights are a terrible way to light the two-story space. Just changing out the light bulbs will not do much to improve the... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2-3 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/ASID/IDC/... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... 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

RL Tweets!