When picking lighting for the exterior of your home there are a number of factors you need to consider. These include style and how the lighting will fit in with the overall design of your yard and doors and the type of illumination you can get from them. This is a time to be both practical and to let your inner Martha Stewart get to work. The lights near your garage impact upon the overall look of your home and the safety of the space.
Here are a number of things to keep in mind when selecting the lighting for your garage door area.
Plan and come up with a general aesthetic vision
Your garage door, trim, and the lights next to it will all be a part of the overall plan you have for the front or back of your home. Make sure they fit with the yard, your steps, front door, and windows. Think about a holistic vision for what you want the exterior of your house to look like and work from there.
You should also consider the style of your neighbourhood and how it will fit in with the houses around you. Perhaps there are a wide array of styles on your street and it will go unnoticed if you make a bold choice. Otherwise keep in mind the general look of your neighbourhood and how your home will mesh with it. You may want to be a rebel and stand out or you may want to respect the design traditions of your neighbourhood and community.
Decide how many lights to get
You want to get a decent amount of illumination from your lights especially as this can improve visibility for people walking past and increase the odds that your neighbours would notice something unusual going on. You also want to make sure that the lights don’t take up too much space and that you don’t have too many of them.
Factors to consider in this depend on the size of your garage door and what exactly you want the lights for. With a one-car garage you can often use one light or lantern and get enough brightness from it. This can either be above the garage or between your house and the garage. A floodlight will work for this too. You can also go with a light on either size of the door. If you have a two-car you will want to have a light on either side of the door with one in the middle. If there is a break between the two sides you can install a light on the middle section. If it is a connected garage door you can install a lantern above the middle or use a floodlight.
Look at your garage from the end of your driveway and across the street to get an idea of exactly how much light you will need and how the lights might look on your garage. You can also take a photo to a professional and ask for their expert opinion on the best options.
Picking the size of the lights
You need to think about how bright your light needs to be and how the size of it will fit in with the outside of your home. You don’t want it to be too small when viewed from the street or to be disproportionately large. Ask about the estimated range of the lighting. These should be available based on bulb size.
You can use the height of your front door and garage door(s) as a guide for the size of the lights. They should be between a third and a quarter of the size of the door depending on brightness, position and how many you are using.
While you are out there picking out lights you also want to think about other things than just style and brightness. You may want lights with a small solar panel in the top. This will reduce electricity needs and make your lights greener. You may want lights with motion detectors that are triggered when you walk by to take out the trash, return home, if a guest walks up your driveway, or to shine light on potential vandals and intruders.
Timers are another option to keep in mind. These allow you to have your home lit when you need it to be and not when you don’t. If the light you like doesn’t come with a timer or motion sensor you might be able to add one on after the fact.