Choosing the appropriate lighting for a home not only increases its curb appeal and makes it look more inviting, it also can increase safety. Outdoor hanging lights can be used in a number of ways, but it's important to choose the right type for the right place.
Beside the Doors
The outdoor hanging lights chosen to go on either side of the door should be about one-fourth as tall as the door. Many people choose lights that are too small, but it's important to keep in mind that the lights will only look about half as big from the street as they do when standing next to the door. Making a paper cutout the size of the lights under consideration can help a homeowner get a better idea of how the lights will look and if the size is right. These lights can help make it easier to find the keys to unlock the door when people come home late at night. The lights by the front door should be the fanciest lights outside the house, but other lights should coordinate well with these lights. Don't forget lights by the garage doors, as having lights on either side of these doors will help people parking near the garage see where they are going and make it easier for nighttime visitors to come and go safely.
Deck and Porch Lighting
Sometimes lights next to the front door aren't enough, in which case some outdoor ceiling lights can make a big difference. This is especially important for homeowners who like to entertain outside at night or in the evenings. When choosing outdoor lighting, the color of the fixtures should coordinate well with the house. White can look good with a house that has white trim or white doors, and black can look nice with black trim or black doors. Bronze lights go well with homes that are painted in earth tones.
Outdoor hanging lights don't need to be restricted to just the house. In fact, they can be good options for landscape lighting. Companies like Progress lighting even sell posts to help people set up their outdoor pendant lights along paths, driveways or sidewalks. Pendant lighting can be an especially attractive option. Some of the pendants available look like lanterns of various shapes and sizes, which looks very appealing lining a walkway. Save money by having the outdoor lighting be on motion detectors, as this will allow it to come on only when needed. This is also handy for people who forget to turn on these lights.
In some areas, there are ordinances that limit the amount of light pollution allowed. Choosing lights that point downward can help make it easier to get the necessary lighting while still obeying the local laws. Using CFL bulbs in the fixtures will help save on energy costs, as can installing at least some lights that are solar-powered. If using CFL bulbs, it often looks nicer to choose a fixture that has translucent glass instead of clear glass, as this hides the shape of the bulb a bit more while still letting plenty of light through.