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 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.

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