Believe it or not, making a great first impression has a lot to do with the outdoor lighting that adorns your driveway and front entrance. In Long Island, nighttime can fall quite swiftly, which means you want to greet visitors with a spectacular beacon of light, providing both safety and visual appeal. Achieve the ideal balance between form and function with the right outdoor lighting for your driveway and front entrance.
Driveway Lighting Basics
Whether navigating your driveway is a daily occurrence or a new experience for first-time visitors, it’s important to properly light hazardous obstacles without creating a blinding effect. Survey your driveway in the daytime, noticing where trees, fences, boulders, walls, and other obstructions pose a threat. If your LI driveway is long and winding or includes directional changes, be extra aware of how visual cues will prevent accidents. Keep in mind that vehicle headlights tend to be quite bright, so installing more than a few lighting fixtures might be too extreme, depending on the size and shape of your driveway. Of course, figuring out the details of where to place lights, which kinds, and so forth can be challenging; fortunately, you can ask for help!
Front Entrance Lighting Basics
Outdoor lighting should cast an inviting, warm glow across your home’s front entrance. Choose light fixtures which are damp- or wet-rated, depending on their level of exposure to the elements. Choose styles which match your home’s architectural style, making sure to measure, shape, and hang mock cardboard cutouts on your front entranceway to determine correct size and placement. Plan for a wide, even distribution of light to avoid dark spaces and upward- or downward-angled lighting, which can transform even the friendliest face into a ghostly outline.
Ideas for front entrance lighting
Decorative post lanterns. One or two exterior post lanterns stationed at either side of your driveway entrance is generally enough to light up the area.
Lantern-topped entry piers. A popular option is to build entry piers using natural materials such as stone or brick, capping them with generously-sized lanterns.
Task lights. Use task outdoor lighting for curvy or long driveways. Alternate task lights on either side of your driveway, placing them ten to fifteen feet apart.
For porches, ceiling-mounts and hanging fixtures. Flush-mounts are ideal for low-ceilinged front entrances, dispersing light evenly without taking up too much vertical space. A hanging glass pendant is another option for entrances with high ceilings; for the best curb appeal, these outdoor lighting fixtures should span about 1/5th of the door’s casing in height.
Tree uplighting. A lit up tree at night is pretty much the most beautiful statement you can make. As with all other lighting, balance and correct angles are key to highlight just enough areas of the tree.
Hardscape lighting. Fixtures built into the driveway flooring or steps can help guide people on the right path - so these are mostly for safety (although they're still beautiful).