The Complete Outdoor Light Sizing Guide

There are lots of different ways to illuminate your great outdoors! You can use outdoor wall lights by a door, hang outdoor pendants or chandeliers, light the way home with path lights, announce your home with post lights—or do some or even all of those things.

You need to measure different things based on what kind of outdoor lights you’re looking for, so this helpful guide to outdoor light sizing will assist you in getting just what you need. That way, you won’t need to return outdoor fixtures that just won’t work!

Sizing lights at a door - The Complete Outdoor Light Sizing Guide - LightsOnline Blog

Sizing outdoor lights at a door

Measure the height of the door in inches. If you want to use one light, look for one that is 1/3 the door’s height. If you want to use two lights, look for ones that are 1/4 the door’s height.

Install the lights slightly above eye level, which is usually about 66 inches above the threshold.

Sizing lights for garage doors is very similar. Use wall lights that are between 1/4 and 1/3 the height of the garage door.

Sizing outdoor ceiling lights

First, measure the length and width in feet of the area you want to light. Then, add the two numbers together. That will give you the ideal width of a ceiling mount for an outdoor space.

For example, if you have an outdoor area that is 6 feet wide and 6 feet long, a 12-inch wide outdoor ceiling light will work well there.

Sizing outdoor pendants - The Complete Outdoor Light Sizing Guide - LightsOnline Blog

Sizing outdoor pendants or chandeliers

If you’re hanging an outdoor pendant over a door, the pendant should be about 1/5 the door’s height and centered about 6 inches above the door.

If you’re using an outdoor chandelier to light a space such as a covered porch, it’s a two-step process: first, measure the length and width in feet of the area you want to light. Then, add the two numbers together. That gives you an ideal width for an outdoor chandelier.

Then, take the room’s height, in feet, and multiply it by both 2.5 and 3. You’ll get two numbers that equal a good range for outdoor chandelier heights in inches.

Let’s say you have a porch that is 10×10. A chandelier that is 20 inches wide and between 25 and 30 inches tall is a great choice for that porch. Just make sure it is rated for outdoor use!

Sizing outdoor path lights - The Complete Outdoor Light Sizing Guide - LightsOnline Blog

Sizing outdoor path lights

To give your pathway a good, even glow, path lights should be about 14 inches tall and within 1 foot from the edges of the pathway. That way, the light actually shines on the path, not in the grass!

Sizing outdoor post lights

For outdoor post lights, larger is better—this is because the lights will look small from far away.

Sizing outdoor ceiling fans

For information on outdoor ceiling fan sizing, read our Ceiling Fan Sizing Guide.

Need more advice on outdoor light sizing? Comment here, call us at 1-866-688-3562 or email [email protected]!

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