Illuminate front doors and embellish architecture

Porch lights are outdoor light fixtures that serve dual purposes of functional lighting and architectural accenting. A porch is an exterior appendage to a building. It forms a covered entrance to a doorway at ground level and generally spans more than one bay on a façade. When we talk about a porch light, it can be a light fixture intended not only for porch lighting, but also for use in a structure similar to a porch. Such structures include stoop, galleries, balconies, and verandas. A stoop is a small entrance porch that includes steps and a landing area in proportion to the door. A gallery is an attached, cantilevered shed or a lightweight colonnaded space that projects from the facade of a building and extends over the sidewalk. A balcony projects from the face of the building and generally does not include a roof structure above. A veranda is a long, roofed, open gallery that is built along the length of the building frontage and supported by pillars.

Design considerations

A porch, stoop, gallery, or a similar structure is one of the most important character-defining elements of a facade. It provides visual interest to a building and influences a facade’s perceived scale. Porch lights, therefore, should be designed to carry an aesthetic that seamlessly blends into the building exterior while providing illumination for provide safety, security, and functionality. A fixture that improperly stands out from its surroundings will create visual distractions from ornamental qualities the porch was designed for. The design of a porch light should contribute to the visual continuity between the indoors and outdoors. Porch lights should provide an illuminated environment that develops a comfortable transition between the indoors and outdoors. Porch lighting should be delivered in a conservative way that it does not create harsh glare and light pollution.

Types of porch lights

At residential buildings, exterior lighting is typically located at decks, porches, galleries, balconies, verandas and patios. Porch lights are often called front door lights as the porch is typically located at the front of the house, although many houses have both front and back porches. Porch lighting is usually accomplished using wall lights, ceiling lights, and hanging fixtures. Placed midway on the wall, sconces and other wall-mounted fixtures can create a wonderful glow to illuminate your outdoor space to furnish ambient, task and accent lighting.

Wall lights delivering an easy, comfortable style in proportions that won’t overwhelm can add a thoughtful dimension to your decor and balance overhead light fixtures. Wall lights in a lantern design are most popular in building frontage lighting as they will complement many home styles and existing fixtures. Flush mount sconces having a clean, architectural design remain the popular option for a contemporary setting. Flush mount or “surface mount” ceiling lights that fit snugly against the ceiling can be used to create a clean, inconspicuous look. The upscale styling of hanging light fixtures can make a boring space into a commanding focal point.

Security lighting

Adding a layer of security is a critical function for exterior lighting. Porches are the common places to install outdoor security lights. Security lighting serves as a deterrent to intruders by creating a feeling of uncertainty. Security lighting facilitates the detection of intruders approaching or attempting to gain entry into protected areas through a video surveillance system. A porch light may be equipped with an integrated camera, intercom, motion sensor as well as processing and communication capabilities to perform sophisticated tasks. These lights are typically designed as wall mounted systems and produce directional beams.

LED lighting

Today’s porch lights are LED-based systems that features a high energy efficiency and long operational life. These systems can be either lamp-based light fixtures or integrated LED luminaires. A lamp-based light fixture uses a LED light bulb as the light source. The light fixture itself is essentially a lamp holder. An integrated LED luminaire has LEDs built into the luminaire. Lamp-based light fixtures are usually bulky as they need to accommodate LED light bulbs. Typically, LED light bulbs have a shorter life span than integrated LED systems because thermal management tends to be compromised in space-limited, low-priced LED bulbs.

Integrated LED porch lights come in a variety of distinctive designs. The compact form factor of LEDs allows luminaire designers to create stunning pieces that will accent your home perfectly. In addition to an exclusive expression of style, integrated systems may incorporate various control features for a high level of lighting automation.