Outdoor lighting is an easy way to make a dramatic change in your home’s curb appeal. The same goes for your garage, and even if you don’t think about it that often, it does deserve a little extra TLC every now and then. If you’ve decided to treat it to a brand new garage door, consider adding new light fixtures so it really shines.
Keep in mind that outdoor lighting can be a little tricky. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the variance in how your lighting will look during the day and when it is dark outside. You have to choose a fixture that puts off enough light to be safe, but that isn’t lighting up the entire neighborhood. At the same time, you’ll need to find a light that suits the architecture of your home and matches the new garage door.
Here are some more tips to help you find the best garage door lighting.
Plan it out and put it on paper
The best way to find the right lighting is to plan ahead. Make a sketch of your garage and the door itself. Be sure to include dimensions for reference, but don’t worry about the drawing being to scale. This is just a sketch to give you an idea of what will work. The type of lighting you select, as well as how you go about selecting it, will vary depending on whether you have a single (8‑9 foot) door or a double (16 foot) door.
Make a note on your sketch as to how much room you have around the garage door(s). This includes any space in the middle of two doors or above the doors, if you might want to install some downlighting for driveway safety. Are you just looking for accent lights or will these lights provide functional use, as well?
These considerations will help you think about the space you have to work with and how best to incorporate the right lighting into that space. Keep in mind that most designers recommend leaving at least a little "white space" around the new fixtures, which shouldn’t take up more than half of the wall space that is available. If you’re short on space, consider putting smaller fixtures right on the side of the doors.
Different styles of fixtures are plentiful
Your primary concern is going to be the architecture of your home. After all, you wouldn’t want to install a contemporary fixture on your carriage house‑style building because it wouldn’t fit well. Usually, houses fall into one of a few categories:
Remember, again, to consider how the light looks at night, as well as how it looks during the day to maximize your curb appeal. Make sure that you choose lights with the right range – you don’t want to duplicate a nearby streetlight or your own existing driveway lights, after all.
The Internet makes it easy for anyone to find inspiration for garage door lighting. You can use websites like Pinterest to see what others are doing and find inspiration for your own lighting designs.
Here are some modern lighting options:
If you like a more rustic design:
Don’t forget the right lightbulbs
You might think that lightbulbs are one and the same, but that isn’t the case. Especially with outdoor lighting, you need to make sure that you choose bulbs that meet the manufacturer’s recommendations first and foremost. LED bulbs are ideal for saving energy, but only if they’re approved for use in your fixtures.
Look for indoor/outdoor bulbs that are designed to withstand the elements. If you need a bulb of a certain size or a specialty shape, consider how difficult it may be to find replacement bulbs before deciding on a light fixture. Don’t choose a bulb that is over the maximum wattage rating of the fixture, either. The majority of outdoor lights allow for 100 watts, but some smaller fixtures may only allow 60 watts.
LED bulbs are energy‑efficient, as well as weather‑resistant. This makes them ideal for outdoor lighting. They can also offer up to 100,000 hours of use, which is far more than the average bulb. Some fixtures do still require the use of incandescent bulbs or other non‑LED styles, of course, so check that as well.
Important: Spiral CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs are not designed for use outdoors. These contain a small amount of mercury and they can lose their intensity and become more fragile with outdoor exposure.
Now that you’ve got the right bulbs, you just need to install the new fixtures, put the bulbs in place, and enjoy the new look of your garage.
Back to that new garage door…
Contact us at the numbers below to learn more about how we can help. If you want, we’ve got an image gallery of previous projects you can check out. Plus, we offer everyone a complimentary email quote that explains everything in detail.