What’s better than a home full of great lighting? A home with beautiful and effective outdoor lighting as well! It may seem like a no-brainer, but there are actually some things to be aware of when it comes to illuminating the outside of your house. For instance, not every light is suitable for outdoors, even if you’ve seen it get damp before (your bathroom sconces may steam up when the shower is running, but that doesn’t mean they could withstand a downpour!)

Here are a few tips and tricks for making the most of your outdoor living space.

  1. Always select lighting that is “Wet Area” rated if it will be exposed to the elements Remember that bathrooms sconce above? That’s likely a “Damp Area” rated lighting fixture, meaning it’s okay to get a little moist, but isn’t prepared to take on rain and snow. If your lighting is going to be outdoors, it needs to be “Wet Area” rated, or you could be looking at time and money wasted. There is an exception to this rule – areas like underneath your porch, which won’t be totally exposed to the elements are a-ok to be installed with a Damp Area rating.

  2. Read up on the Rules and Regulations of where you reside Many places have specific requirements for outdoor lighting because of things like light pollution and energy efficiency. California, for instance, is one state that requires your outdoor illumination be Dark Sky Certified. Look for this symbol to know if your light choice meets the requirements:

  3. Consider your home’s exterior If you’ve crafted a beautiful contemporary living space, but your home exterior screams “Victorian-Era Manor,” you may want to look to the latter for exterior lighting inspiration. Try to meld the the external beauty of your house with a similarly styled outdoor lighting scheme.

  4. Don’t forget to have fun! Nothing says “whimsical backyard oasis” like beautiful string lights, or “stately family home” like a pair of traditional sconces flanking the formal front door. Take the time to create your unique vision, and explore all the creative possibilities you can! Exterior lighting can be every bit as vibrant and exciting as your interior illumination.

Ready to look for your own exterior lights? Here are some of our favorites from Kay Lighting!


Maxim Portside



Maxim Portside-Outdoor Wall Mount




Hinkley Outdoor Light



Hinkley 2 Light Sienna Wall Mount




ELK Lighting Nautiful Outdoor Wall Light



ELK Lighting Maritime 1 Light Outdoor Wall Sconce In Hazlenut Bronze