Lights for Front Entrance, Over Garage, Post (Pics)

oldbat2beMarch 13, 2012

We bumped out the front of our house 5' last year and ended up with a new front door and front steps, among other things. I am turning now to outside lighting, would appreciate input on choices.

Here's a closeup:

The room to the left of the front door is DS's bedroom. My thoughts are to place sconces to the left and right of the door. There is 13'' of space on both sides. Lights would be on a dimmer and I'd prefer not to have too much light (so DS doesn't feel like he lives next to a runway).

Farther back:

I also need to add lighting between the garage doors, and on a post, farther down the driveway. I have struggled finding lights which match, which I like, for all three places.

(Landscaping is next... ignore large rhododendron, that will be moved this Spring). From Drop Box

Here's the post in a shot from the end of the driveway; how house used to look. Wow, seeing the pictures next to eachother for the first time, I feel like we've gone from Charming to Cold. Hopefully, it's just because the exterior is so bare looking. Other thoughts?

I'm also thinking that I don't need to match the front entrance fixtures to the others (because they are fairly far away), but will match the one mounted between the garage doors, and the post light.

At entranceway, should I match the door hardware with the fixture color?

Here are lights I like; your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

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What a nice addition to your home - you must be very happy to have all that extra space!

The only lights I like are the first ones. Two and four feel too modern. Three and six feel beach cottage to me. Five is craftsman.

Have you considered having lighting (like recessed lights of some kind) put in the overhang by the door, instead of trying to squeeze in lights on either side? I think it will do a better job of lighting the whole recessed entry, washing it in warm light.

Also wondered if you had considered adding shutters to the two lower windows on the left side, and perhaps a window box under the window on the right by the garage?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:01AM
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Thanks les917. With respect to light#1, should I go with the antique nickel (and try to match hardware of the door) or the warmer, oil rubbed finish?

Recessed, or overhead lighting is a possibility but I was concerned about too much light shining into the bedroom to the left. Did you really mean recessed (i.e., flush with ceiling)?

The windows on the left wing used to have shutters; these were removed during the renovation. I love the new trim work detail and am not sure we'll be adding shutters back. (Then again, they would be white, which would be a different look than before).

Window box - yes, in the plans!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Yes, recessed. I think it adds a warm glow to the space without seeing a specific light source - kind of makes the whole entry area glow at night.

Given the house colors and the hardware on the door, I would be more inclined to go with the antique nickel.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:43AM
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We have a good number of recessed crees, inside, so I am familiar with the concept and how they're installed.

However, for some reason, I am having a hard time finding pictures of outside recessed lights. les917 / anyone -- please recommend models/brands.

Also -- any other comments/suggestions regarding the outside lights? Should I be posting in the lighting forum?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:19AM
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We have the exterior recessed soffit lights on the front of our house and I love them. I once heard a contractor refer to them as moon lights...which is a good name since they give off a soft glow yet produce more than enough light to see the area. The max wattage on ours is 40W. Our entry is 20'+ wide and we have 3 lights there, and I believe there are 8-10 lights over the double garage doors.

There are many types/styles of soffit lights available so you may want to go into a lighting store and discuss the options. I know that LED lights are now available and we're considering switching over to those but I haven't researched how that light looks compared to the incandescent we now have. It would definitely be less wattage! If you put in the soffit lights, be sure to install timer switches.

For DS's window you may have to get some blackout lining.

Gotta ask.......why didn't they put in outlets for the lights when they built the addition?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Thanks annz - I need to take the blame for that one, we acted as our own GC's. A lighting store sounds like a good idea, for choices.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:42PM
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I hit the summit button too soon! Wanted to add that I have to agree with Les that lights on each side of the door may look squeezed into place. I would bring home one light, have someone hold it up and see what you think before you start cutting into the walls.
Another option would be to add a lamp post close to the entrance when you do your landscaping. If you decide on an additional landscape lighting, I suggest you talk thru this with your electrician so he can wire 'for the future' when he's out there. It'll save you $$ in the long run.

Also, I would place the garage lights to the right and left of the garage light between the doors.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Good idea about holding a light up in place. I like the idea of lights as 'eye candy', but I agree it doesn't make sense if they are too big. Electrician (and carpenter and plumber...) is DH ... part of the reason why we're doing things in stages.

I like your idea of lights to the right and left of the garage doors - hadn't thought of that.

Any feedback on lighting choices/colors? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:04PM
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For the sake of fun...I added your light.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:17PM
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It depends on your taste, but since you have a traditional home, I'd use more traditional/transitional light fixtures. Personally, I wouldn't use the pewter since I think its color will disappear against your gray siding. Either a dark bronze or black would show up nicely.

Check out LampsPlus for ideas on the entrance. If you have the height, consider a hanging light. If not, look at their 'close to ceiling' lights.
There should be no problem mixing the darker metals with your door hardware.

The link below shows just one style I'd look at, or their Salisbury collection.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ext. lights

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Here is one of Annz suggestions

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 3:41PM
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I don't have any suggestions for lights except I like the first one in the darker finish.

I mainly wanted to say WOW, what a great transformation of your house.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Your door is beautiful, so a light would just detract from that IMO. We have 4 recessed lights in our porch area. It's a clean look and good light. Also agree to have 2 lights on the garage. Great job on the addition. Landscaping w/color will warm your house right up.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:07PM
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All - thanks so much for all the input, it is greatly appreciated.

atkillery -- thanks for the lights, check off at least one thing I don't need to return :) V. useful to have the visuals. But where is DH holding them up?

In the front entrance area, we will do either sconces (or far more probably, thanks to input from les917, annz and jab65) recessed lights.

I think no to the hanging light -- not a lot of height there.

marti8a and jab65 -- many thanks for the kind words. It's been a long process. I especially appreciate the reminder that landscaping will warm the house up, but know there are many other things we can do. (I love GW!)

I honestly cannot define what a traditional/transitional light fixture is. But I can say I LOVE this fixture for the garage (both sides) as well as for the post in the driveway.

Am I too far off base on this one? Presenting... lucky number 7...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:34PM
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There are two glass options available with number 7, natural bronze with an amber glass -shown in the picture of the lights mounted on the wall, and also natural bronze with a clear glass (shown lower). I prefer the amber glass, but would like input from the forum - which do you think would look better? Thanks, oldbat2be.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:34AM
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    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 11:47AM
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oldbat2b, I love those lights and they are on my "top 5" list!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Although No. 7 is lovely, it might be a little European rustic for your home.

However, if you go with it and if it takes incandescent bulbs, the clear glass would be a better match for your home, which is really more of an American style than European. The incandescent bulbs will give the light a nice warm glow at night. Clear bulbs rather than frosted will show off the texture of glass better.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Thanks tinker_2006 and Chibimimi. I really do want that nice warm glow at night, which is why I was leaning towards the amber glass, which is what I thought was pictured on the walls. Now that I look more closely, most pictures of the amber glass look like this, unlit, which is not what I would prefer:

Now that I look more closely, I see that only the clear glass is offered with the candle bulbs (as displayed in the picture).

I think I'd better call Troy-Lighting for clarification. Chibimimi, you may have saved me from a costly mistake (i.e, 20% restocking fee).

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Your beautiful house is just asking for Hubbardton Forge lights - They have a couple models which should solve your light issues - warning - they do come with a price tag!!
I picked out 2 possible ideas - but can't import from the catalog, so will have to send the link

Both lights are dark sky complaint - so less light pollution.
I like the first style for your house - for the porch, you could one on each side of the door (medium or large and allow the light to go up and down as light pollution not as much of a problem on the porch.

Then at the garage - go for the matching version but put on the top cover to prevent light from going up. I think the dark smoke would look stunning on your house.

Here is another dark sky compliant - I don't like it as much for your house

Just a caution on LED outside - if you have snow - the reflection off the snow lights up the world!!! The city put in LED street lights and the first night I looked out and thought it was just dusk - but was 9:00 at night in the winter!!

HF also has traditional lights but based on your concern about the bedroom next to the porch - I thought these would work.

If you already have ORB finish, I would match with the HF.

I would not worry about "matching" the post light - This is where you could bring out the house style.

Good luck!

PS - We put in the first one and they look great on our house and lots of compliments. I don't have any pictures yet but soon.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Thanks a2gemini. I definitely see that the first product you linked, could work, but I'm still waffling.

Here is latest moodboard. Can anyone suggest lights which I have not considered, but which would work well over the garage doors (one each over each bush, on both sides of the garage).

Last -- size? What guidelines do you have for size? This is space available, here.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Oldbat - How did you get the HF to copy - I finally did a print out and scanned it in.

I used the large one on the front porch and the medium by the garage. I could have used 2 large ones by the garage but cost was a factor (we also have 2 on the deck and one by the side garage door)

We put the house number under the one light by the garage so people could find us - when on the front porch under the vestibule - no one could find us.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:07PM
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I did an alt+print screen, then pasted into paintbrush, then added to my mooodboard. These lights are definitely growing on me....

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:20PM
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oldbat - thanks for the tip. I am pretty good on the computer but it just wouldn't copy - it might be a mac thing but will try again (recent switch to mac)

Yes, the lights grow on you. I wasn't sure when I ordered them but everyone loves them.

Here is a photo of the garage with 2 medium lights

Close up of the garage light

Vestibule light - I turned it on to show the up/down lighting of this one - but it was still light outside. This one is the large light

Good luck on your decision

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Thanks a2gemini, those lights really are perfect for your house. I like how you trimmed them out in white. This seems such a major decision... I am wondering whether I've spent more time over these or on a kitchen countertop surface.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:25PM
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You have a beautiful home and I love your woodsy setting. You are getting great recommendations on lighting, but I would like to make one other suggestion. When you do your window box and perhaps shutters (I like the idea of white), seriously consider removing the two shrubs flanking the garage. They just appear too rigid/boring for such a pretty setting. Replace them with planters with colorful annuals to add some color - potted mums would be yummy in the fall. Your new garage lights can shine on them!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:25PM
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oldbat - I know the feeling - I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel and struggling on the backsplash and then GC wants kitchen color to paint - I am going to tell him Whoa Nelly and wait until the cabinets and backsplash are in first!
Good luck on your lighting!
I do like Tuesday's suggestion. We used to have the same shrubs and we pulled them out. I am putting new items in this spring but not quite there yet - so it looks a little bare.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Not sure if these ones have been considered -- but I like this collection in both finishes ....

Here is a link that might be useful: -- another suggestion

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:21PM
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This is probably going to be no help, but I just have to say I love what you did with the front door.

This will be of even less help, but what if you did the same thing over your garage door as annkathryn has over hers.

Here is a link that might be useful: annkathryn's garage

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Thanks Daisychain01 - you just made my evening with your compliment about the front door! Annkathyrn's garage looks beautiful; I'll have to study it more closely.

Teacats -- thanks so much for the link! I hadn't seen that one and will add it to the list. I love getting ideas from other GWers.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:10PM
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I love your front door! I like number 1 in the darkest finish and number 5. :) Your door is kinda craftsman looking to me so I think 5 would look good. I wouldn't do silver with the grey cause i think they would blend in too much :) Your transformation looks awesome!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:36PM
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