The front entrance of your home is one of the first things your guests see when they come to visit you. It serves as the focal point for your house, connecting your entryway—which often includes your porch or patio, front hallway, and foyer—to the rest of your home and is an important space for making a great first impression. One way to really define the look of your home is by adding lighting to your entryway. Drive through any residential neighborhood and we guarantee your attention will be drawn to the house on the street with a well-lit front door. Entry lighting does more than just enhance the look and feel of your home. It also serves a variety of other important functions by illuminating your entrance for your guests and creating a safe passage to your doorstep. It can also help you identify visitors when it’s too dark out to see. When done correctly, the right combination of outdoor and indoor lighting can complement your home’s style and architecture, increase security and help your guests navigate their way to your door.
Pictured: Sea Gull Medford Lakes Wall Lantern
Choosing the best lighting for your entryway involves selecting the right size, style, finish and more. There are so many different options to choose from and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the countless options. We’ll walk you through finding entry lighting that suits you best.
HOW TO CHOOSE ENTRY LIGHTING
The first step in choosing light fixtures for your entryway is to evaluate your space. Decide which light fixtures will work best for your doorway and front entrance, and then determine the correct size, placement and style of your entry lighting.
TYPES OF ENTRY LIGHTING
There are three types of light fixtures that work best for entryways:
Wall mounted lights—As the name suggests, wall mounted lights are light fixtures that are mounted onto a wall. There are a variety of wall lights available on the market. Three of the most popular types of wall lights you can install are lanterns, sconces, and spotlights. Wall lights are best used for lighting front porches and patios to give your guests better visibility.
- Wall lanterns—Wall lanterns are a type of wall mounted fixture that can complement virtually any home’s architecture. They come in many different finishes and most lanterns come in glass, metal or plastic shades.
- Wall sconces—Wall sconces are another wall light that works well with many different aesthetics. One thing to keep in mind about wall sconces is that they distribute light differently. Some sconces cast light downward while others diffuse light downward and upward.
- Spotlights—A spotlight is a type of mounted wall light that is most often used for security purposes. They are often placed near entryways, garages and driveways, but can also be used to highlight the landscaped areas around your home.
Hanging lights—Also known as pendant lights, hanging lights often serve a more decorative purpose in your entryway. They are commonly used in hallways and foyers, but can also be used as task lighting in kitchens and over dining areas. They work best on normal to higher-than-average ceilings. Chandeliers are a type of hanging light that can add a touch of elegance to your foyer.
Flush mounts—Flush mount light fixtures attach to the ceilings of your space and are great for illuminating your porch or front hallway. They differ from pendant lighting in that they are connected to the ceiling without any gaps. They typically come in a round drum or dome shape and can be used anywhere in the home, even in spaces with low ceilings.
CHOOSING YOUR FIXTURES
There are a few critical things you need to know before making a final decision on the type of light fixtures you want for your entryway.
Size—First, you should know what size fixture to look for. If you select a fixture that’s too small, there’s a good chance it may not provide sufficient lighting for your space. If you buy one that’s too large, you risk over-illuminating your entryway. Make sure to take measurements of your home’s doorway and front entrance to ensure you choose the correct size light fixture for your space.
Height and placement—There isn’t much flexibility when it comes to the height at which your entry lighting hangs. Pendant lights and chandeliers should always hang at least seven feet away from the ground. If your ceilings are too low, then flush mounted lights are your best option.
Style—When shopping for entry lighting, it’s important to choose fixtures that will work best with the aesthetic of your entire home. There are so many different options available–from traditional to contemporary styles and finishes that include pewter, silver, bronze tones and more.
Function—Choosing the right lighting for any room should always be about more than just aesthetic. It’s important that the fixtures you choose make sense for their desired purpose. What do you want your lighting to do? How much lighting do you need for the size of your space? For example, if you want to illuminate a large front entranceway, one small flush mount light is probably not going to do the trick. Know how you want to use your lighting for your space before you buy.
Indoor or outdoor—Remember that you can’t use indoor light fixtures and outdoor light fixtures interchangeably. All outdoor lights should be UL Rated for outdoor use. If you want to add a couple of wall lights to your front porch, choose wall lights made for the outdoors.
Energy saving—Consider looking for light fixtures that are equipped with motion sensors or timers. These features offer a ton of benefits, including increased security and lower energy consumption.
Bulb output—Finally, make sure to review the bulb requirements for your new light fixture and make sure you understand lumens (the amount of light the bulb produces) and how many you’ll need.
SIX ENTRY LIGHT IDEAS FOR YOUR PORCH, FOYER, AND HALLWAY
Entry lighting is extremely versatile and plays an essential part in the design and appearance of your home. They light up your entryway, highlight your home’s architecture and can even make your guests feel welcome as soon as they walk through your doorstep. Here, we provide you with recommendations for which light fixtures work best for each area of your entryway and a few design ideas to inspire you.
Porch or patio—Illuminating your porch or patio with lighting can make all the difference if you want your front entrance to feel safer and more welcoming. Wall mount and flush mount lights work best for this purpose. Not only can they lighten up dark walkways, but they can also draw in the attention of your guests by accentuating your home’s outdoor architecture. Pendant lights and chandeliers will work in a covered patio or porch as long as your ceiling is high enough.
This beautiful concrete entryway features Calistoga Wall Lights by Maxim Lighting. Two fixtures mounted to the wall on both sides of the doorway provide abundant lighting for this entrance. The dark metal finish of the wall lights contrasts well with the architecture of this home.
Large lantern-style Childress Wall Sconces by Sea Gull lighting border both sides of this beautiful brick entrance for a classic, elegant look.
Hallways—When shopping for light fixtures for your home, hallways are probably the last area you think about. Hallways are the gateway to the rest of your house and a well-lit hallway is guaranteed to make a great first impression. Believe it or not, they are also often one of the more challenging areas of the home to light. Before choosing light fixtures, you will want to decide whether you need lighting for the wall or on the ceiling (or both). Then, you’ll need to choose a size that will work best. Remember to take measurements of the space beforehand to help you make the best decision. Wall mounts and sconces are a great place to start when looking for hallway lighting. In fact, these fixtures are often the most popular ways to illuminate your hallway.
If your ceiling is low, flush mount fixtures are another perfect option. Flush mount lights have a reputation for being boring and ugly, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are literally endless options available, from fixtures with frosted glass domes to gorgeous metal finishes. Plus, they are relatively easy to install and don’t take up a lot of ceiling space. To really maximize the look of your hallway, try combining flush mounts with pendant lights and accent lighting. By incorporating an assortment of light fixtures into this space, you can transform your hallway to a stylish area in your home.
A duo of Livingston Flush Mount Lights by Murray Feiss—one in a high-gloss white and the other in gray—line this sleek and chic hallway entrance. These fixtures pair well with the white walls and sliding barn door.
Brighten up a hallway or staircase in your home with a Grandover Flush Mount Light by Sea Gull Lighting. This fixture offers significant overhead space while also illuminating the area and making it feel more inviting.
Foyers—A foyer is another name for the main entryway of your home after you pass through the front door. It connects your entrance to the rest of the interior of your home. You likely won’t use the lights in your foyer as often as you would the lights in your living room, bedroom or kitchen, but a properly lit foyer is still very important. Take into consideration that your foyer is literally the first thing your guests will see upon entering your home. Because of this, it’s critical to choose a fixture that will impress your guests and set the tone for the rest of your home.
A chandelier is probably the best option for your foyer if you really want to make a statement and “wow” your visitors. If your ceiling is high enough, choose a chandelier to enhance both the style and substance of your foyer. There are countless options available, so make sure to choose a chandelier that is the appropriate size and matches the overall feel of your home. Keep in mind that because your foyer is a smaller space, you will need to find a chandelier that is much smaller than those you may be used to seeing hanging over a dining table.
This big, bright and beautiful foyer boast high ceilings, white wainscoting panels, gorgeous tile flooring, and a sweeping staircase. Maxim Lighting’s 15-light Basix Chandelier adds a touch of elegance and grandeur to this traditional space.
Never underestimate the power of great pendant lighting. The space in this foyer may only have a tiny amount of space, but it has a ton of style. The stunning Conant pendant light in gilded brass by Murray Feiss is all this space needs to go from simple and small to sophisticated and larger than life.
There you have it! This is just a concise look at how to choose the right lighting for your porch, hallway entrances, foyers, and other entryways. There are limitless options available, so shopping for entry lighting can feel like quite the impossible task. If you have any questions about our entry light fixtures or other lighting options, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the experts at Hansen Wholesale. Our team of lighting specialists have decades of experience and know everything there is to know about lighting–from functionality to designs that work best for your home.