Photo of Randall Whitehead

Randall Whitehead

Professional Lighting Expert

Best Outdoor Light & Best Outdoor Lighting Sconce

Featured On:

  • CNN
  • HGTV
  • MarthaStewart
As a home owner, you may not feel a need to incorporate exterior lighting as a part of the overall lighting design for your residence. In reality, the illumination of exterior spaces can directly relate to how the interior areas are perceived. One of the great benefits of exterior lighting is that it can visually expand the interior rooms. When there is no illumination outside, windows become highly reflective at night. This is known as the “black mirror” effect. The windows end up reflecting the lights in the room, so that all guests can see at night is their own reflection instead of the view beyond. People can often feel boxed-in at night when they are surrounded by these black mirrors. The rooms can seem smaller than they actually are. The rule of thumb is to try to balance the amount of light inside and outside the house. This allows the windows to become more transparent, as they are during the day. Psychologically, people also feel safer when they can see the yard area around them. They feel more vulnerable inside the house when there is no lighting outside.

Landscape Lighting Defined:

Landscape lighting needs to be subtle. Attention should be drawn to the plantings, sculpture, and outbuildings, not the light sources themselves. Decorative exterior fixtures, such as lanterns, can’t do the job alone. They can easily overpower the facade of the house and the yard area if they are the only source of illumination. Typically, you will see two lanterns flanking the front door and maybe a post light at the end of the driveway. These just become disturbing hot spots that leave everything else in silhouette. Still, they play an important role in the overall lighting design. Their job is to create the illusion that they are providing all of the exterior lighting, when in reality they should have no more than 25 to 40-watts worth of illumination. They serve the same purpose as interior decorative fixtures. Think of them as architecturally jewelry. But visually, they should be more along the lines of a subtle pair of pearl earrings rather than a diamond-encrusted tiara.

(Article continues in the Best of the Rest section...)

Choose the best outdoor light system that fits into the style of your home and gives plenty of light around your home. Choose an outdoor lighting sconce set or other outdoor light fixtures in a variety of enchanting designs.

Best Exterior Lights by Randall Whitehead

The Best You Can Get

  • Attraction Lights - Swirls Path Light

    Randall says: Dump the pagoda lights and treat yourself to a whole new concept in path lights. These sculptural fixtures project a pleasing pattern of light to guide people along without glare. These lights come in a series of patterns, finishes, and sizes.

    • Model PA-17SL6-06X
  • Han Duus - Mission Lantern

    Randall says: This may look like a hanging lantern with a candle in it, but what you are really seeing is a compact fluorescent hidden inside a hollow pillar candle; making this lantern both beautiful and energy efficient. This series comes in numerous sizes, finishes, and glass options.

    • Model HDB-115-C-FL
  • Kichler - LED Accent Light

    Randall says: Now is the time to embrace the latest in light sources the LED. Kichler has created a bright and compact accent light with an average rated bulb life of 30,000 hours. These versatile fixtures come in three sizes and numerous finishes.

    • Model 15752 AZT
    • Bronze
  • Kalco - Enchantment Hanging Lantern

    Randall says: Kalco has embraced the new GU-24 compact fluorescent technology to offer traditionally styled exterior (and interior) fixtures that are also available with energy efficient bulb options. The Enchantment lantern is available in a wall mount and post mount versions as well.

    • Model 9295AC-PL
  • Eleek Inc. - Takashima Wall Sconce

    Randall says: Eleek has created this Japanese inspired fixture from 100% recycled cast aluminum. It comes in numerous finishes and is available with an incandescent, LED, or fluorescent option.

    • Model ELK-L-4095

You will be happy with any of these

  • Focus Industries - Bar-B-Que Light

    Randall says: Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to get enough light at the outdoor grill when you are cooking? Well now, Focus Industries has the answer. Their flexible Bar-B-Que light puts the illumination right where you need it. This fixture comes with various mounting options and finishes.

    • Model BQ-07-FC-120V-SS
    • Stainless steel
  • BK Lighting - Well Star

    Randall says: BK Lighting is known for making rugged exterior lighting. The Well Star is a hardy fixture that sits flush with the surface of the ground. It has a 35 degree vertical rotation and a 358 degree horizontal rotation. It uses a 20-watt to 50-watt low voltage reflector bulb (MR16) and comes in many finish options.

    • Model AW-2-NAT-9
  • Arroyo Craftsman - Evergreen Wall Mount Lantern

    Randall says: Of all the manufacturers of Arts & Crafts out there, Arroyo Craftsman is one of the leaders. The have many styles available that come in seven metal finishes, seven glass options and optional filigree templates such as the ‘pine needle’ seen in this Evergreen lantern.

    • Model EW-7
  • Access Lighting - Caso

    Randall says: Those with a more modern home should take a look at the ‘Caso’ by Access Lighting. It has a contemporary look that relate to the clean lines of 1960’s moderne to the present. It also projects light downward so that it is ‘Dark Sky’ compliant which is a code requirement in many communities across the United States. It uses a 40-watt T4G9 halogen bulb.

    • Model 20345
  • Focus Industries - Umbrella Light

    Randall says: Who says you can’t get ambient lighting outside? The Umbrella Light by Focus Industries projects light upward onto the fabric of the outdoor umbrella which creates a flattering glow of light for those sitting down to eat and converse. It uses three 10-watt low voltage reflector bulbs.

    • Model UL-03

Related Articles

Having the best outdoor light design means that your house is shown off properly. Choose an outdoor lighting sconce set or other beautifully designed outdoor light fixtures that fit in with your decor. The best outdoor lights should bring attention to your home's best features, from plantings, sculptures and outbuildings, not the lights themselves.