What Size Outdoor Lanterns Should Be Used at an Entry?
Our expert resolves a domestic dispute about whether the larger lanterns should flank the front door or the garage door.
outdoor lighting
The garage should not be the main highlight of your home at night.
I just bought two sets of outdoor wall sconces; two larger and two smaller. My boyfriend insists that the larger ones be on either side of the garage door and that the smaller be in either side of the front door. I disagree as the garage area is smaller and the front door area is massive in a Spanish Colonial-like courtyard within the house’s very tall and wide turret.
I’m hoping that your boyfriend is not close enough to come over and beat me up, but I'm going to have to side with you. Light fixtures on the façade of a home help provide direction and visual cues. You want to use the larger sconces at the front door with a slightly higher wattage to help direct family and friends to the point of entry. The smaller, lower wattage fixtures flanking the garage door will help add some visual width to your home, but not draw attention to the garage door itself, which would be normally the least attractive feature of the façade. If you're using incandescent bulbs, I would recommend 45W off the front door and 25W at the garage door. If you're using LED bulbs, look for 40W and 60W equivalents. I recommend that the color temperature of the LED bulbs is around 2200K to to 2400K, which has the look of dimmed incandescent. And when you pass the news onto your boyfriend remember: I'm a lighter, not a fighter.
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.

Latest from ask randall

I would go with the 3W version and install it with a dimmable driver/transformer so that you can raise or lower the light level. I don’t think the 1.... read full story
Dang, I keep getting UL questions. I wish I could give you a more “don’t shoot the messenger” answer. The only way to get UL listing is to have the... read full story
I’m so glad that you’re installing side lighting at the mirrors in the fitting rooms. Overhead downlighting casts harsh shadows on people’s faces,... read full story
I would find a nice large pendant to go over the dining room table that complements the fixtures in the kitchen, but doesn’t match them. If you have... read full story


Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Sponsored by Legrand, Lightovation and Rev-A-Shelf. Register for this webinar here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1118655... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can register and watch in on demand here. Sponsored by Legrand. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story

RL Tweets!

E-mail Subscriptions