Porch Lighting for
Safety, Security, and Warmth

The infamous porch lighting...it gets little attention but has been a well-known parent's tool if turned on at the right moment to interrupt that first kiss!




Left on, lights signify that "we're home!" which became Motel 6's branding: "We'll leave the light on for you." Of course, my parents left the porch light on until each and every one of us kids were home, snug in our beds.


Beautiful porch lighting
Photo courtesy of somegeekintn
And what parent has never left the porch light on for their son or daughter out on a date? On Halloween, the symbol for "don't bother" is to leave the light off!

Light fixtures, light placement, controls, and bulbs are all part of your porch's anatomy.


Beautiful porch lighting above bistro table The appropriate light fixture can make all the difference; see the many styles available to find one to complement your porch!


Porch Light Placement

Locating porch lights in strategic places will maximize their effect.
  • Use wall sconce lights beside the front door. This will ensure you have lighting even if one bulb burns out
  • Placing exterior porch lights to shine directly down the wall will enhance the texture and color of your porch - (Photo is courtesy of juhansonin)
  • Canned lights on porch
  • Use "down" lights at the top of the steps
  • Use step lights to illuminate each or every-other step. These are easy to install and will help you, your family, and guests negotiate the steps a lot easier (think of it as an insurance policy!)
  • Place down lights or wall lights to illuminate your sitting area or privacy nook
  • Exterior chandeliers are great for creating an intimate look on your porch
  • Solar porch lights are also a great option
  • Install mood lighting. Nothing makes a porch more inviting than soft low lights placed strategically on your porch. These are great for conversation areas, for dining, or just enjoying a fine glass of wine
  • Use party lights to set the tone for your event


Party lights on the porch
Photo is courtesy of theogeo












Porch Lighting Controls

Planning for or remodeling to include light controls will make your porch stay much more enjoyable.

Have at least one motioned, timed, or photo-cell activated light. It's not much fun fumbling up the steps, trying to find the keys, and unlocking the door in the dark. Add some packages and the need to use the bathroom - well, you get the picture.

A photo-cell activated light automatically comes on at dusk and off at dawn. Attach your bulb to the device and screw it into the socket.


Timer You can purchase time-activated lights in kits or by the individual component. You will then have the option of setting the actual times the lights are turned on or off.


A note about timers. Ensure you locate them in an easily accessible place. They aren't the most attractive devices to have on or near your porch so we tend to hide them.

Just make sure you can get to it easily. Take a lesson from us. Mary or I had to crawl under a bush to get to ours to make periodic adjustments. When we had to purchase a new transformer, we bought one with a photo-electric cell. Now it turns off and on automatically.
  • Plan for additional on/off switches on your porch to operate ceiling lights, down lights, etc. It's a very good idea to have a switch at each end of the porch so you can operate them from both locations.
  • If you only put the switch near the light you'll have to turn it off and walk in the dark to the door. Having another switch by the door solves that issue.
  • Also consider having a switch on your porch to control any external lighting in your yard.
  • Here's something most don't consider. Children and those in wheelchairs. Make sure your switches (or least one) are located at a height convenient for children and those in wheelchairs.
  • If building a new home, add this into your planning. You'll be very glad you did!



Porch with Christmas lights
Put your holiday lights on a timer!
Photo courtesy of Sister 72




Light Bulbs

Don't try to overpower the light fixture. A too-large bulb or high-wattage bulb in a fixture creates too much glare and appears harsh.

If you need more light use more than one fixture. Additionally, place clear bulbs in clear glass globes and frosted bulbs in frosted globes.

Many are opting for CFL bulbs (as incandescent's will be replaced altogether in the future). These bulbs now come in many varieties to include holiday decorative bulbs. What will they think of next.

A note about CFL safety especially if you have children and pets: If one breaks make sure you dispose of it correctly; CFL's contain a small amount of mercury and have the potential to be harmful).

LED lighting is also becoming very popular. It's safer for the environment than CFLs and the bulbs last a very long time.

Lighting adjacent areas: See our Porch Landscape Lighting Installation for more great lighting ideas.

Want to learn more about your porch's electrical systems? We have all the info you'll need.












The Amazon ads are our affiliate links. Thank you.

Comments

Our site is a labor of love. We appreciate your comments very much.


~~~ Signup for free porch tips in your in box. ~~~


Helpful Links

Shop Amazon for Porch /Garden
Aff link

Popular Pages




Please Join Us Here Also

Join us on Facebook for porch talk Join us on Pinterest Subscribe to get our updates. Thank you!



Our Sponsors

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products



Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts



Screened porch windows at diyEzeBreeze.com
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows



Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!


End sponsor section






Copyright© 2009-2017
Front-Porch-Ideas-and-More.com.
All rights reserved.

Content and photos may not be reproduced
in any way without our written permission.

small rocking chair



Get up to 4 free local contractor estimates for work you need done
FIND A LOCAL CONTRACTOR
Search Our Site





Our Sponsors
The Porch Store
Porch Store - Custom Porch Products


Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks for Your Porch Parts


Screened porch windows from DIY Eze Breeze
DIY Eze Breeze - Screen Porch Windows


Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products Complement any Home




House Plans
See wonderful house plans that include porches.
Home Plans with Porches








Get Our Online Newsletter,
Front Porch Appeal

Learn more.

1-Enter Your Name


2-Enter Your Email


3-Click Button Below


You'll also receive
our free eBook.
Enjoy our back issues.





What's New
What is new or updated on our site
See Our Latest Updates




Porch Market
Enjoy browsing our Porch Market
Browse Our Porch Market




Get Our Porch Ideas Generator eBook
Front Porch Ideas Generator eBook
Ten Before & After Case Studies
Showing the Difference a Porch Makes!
Only $9.97




See Our Porch Illustrator eBook
Porch Illustrator Vol 1 & Vol 2 eBook
Over 300 Pages of Porch Illustrations
From Various Angles
Just $6.97




Porch Ideas Network
Porch Ideas Network
Listen to Our Podcasts
Plus Featured Builders and Landscapers
small rocking chair


We may earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy. Thank you.

Front Porch Designs Home | Return to Top
Contact Us | About Us | Advertise with Us | Search | Site Map
Media | Privacy Policy | Disclosure | Legal Notice | What's New


XML RSS   Add to My Yahoo!   Add to My MSN   Subscribe with Bloglines
By Mary and Dave Morris, Copyright © 2009-2017 Front-Porch-Ideas-and-More.com. All rights reserved.
Content and photos may not be reproduced or copied in any way without our express written permission.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape