Curb Appeal Step Two: Exterior Lighting

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips

Exterior Lighting

Today we will focus on exterior lighting as our second step to better curb appeal.  Last week we looked at an easy step, which was painting your front door.  We explored the most popular colors in Curb Appeal Step One: Paint Your Front Door.  This week we want to address exterior lighting not only for safety and security purposes, but as a way to make your home look inviting and beautiful even at night.  Often we don’t consider how our home looks for half of each day in the dark.

The front door stands not only as an entry point to your house, but draws attention to it as a focal point.  Typically a door has lighting either above on the ceiling, on both sides of the door, or all of the above.  Think of the lighting fixtures as accessories to your beautiful door.  Consider what fits with the style of your home when selecting fixtures.  Oftentimes in the store, we choose ones that are too small.  So don’t be afraid to go bigger than you think.  The purpose of these lights is to illuminate your entryway, to showcase your front door at night, and to provide safety from falls, trips, and even burglars.

As we move away from the front door and step back into your yard, you have several options with lighting.  Today we will discuss three different kinds and purposes of exterior lighting: uplighting, moonlighting, and pathway lighting.


Are there any architectural elements of your home or yard that you want to highlight?  These could be dormers, pillars, or arches on your front facade.  In your yard, a beautiful tree, pergola, or even landscape art could be illuminated with uplighting to be enjoyed by guests or passersby in the dark.  Uplighting can be hard wired or solar-powered.  Many experts prefer the LED options.  There are so many kinds of lights from which to choose, but remember your goal is to highlight what you are wanting to be visible at night.  This lighting when applied well will showcase the best of your front facade and yard.


This style of lighting takes a more natural approach by utilizing an effect like the soft glow from a full moon.  It is almost the opposite of uplighting.  Instead of having focused light shining up from the ground, you place lights up in trees or high on architectural elements that shine softly down.  This style of lighting tends to be softer and less bright than uplighting; however, the effect is still an illuminated front yard.

Pathway Lighting:

This type of lighting serves dual purposes.  First, it illuminates the pathway to the front door for safety reasons.  It is harder to trip and fall when you can see any crack, crevice, step, or uneven ground.  Secondly, it helps lead our eyes to the focal point of our curb appeal, which is our front entryway.  Both purposes play an important role in creating better curb appeal.

So tonight when the sun goes down, walk out to your curb.  Take a good look at your home at night, including the front yard, walkways, etc.  Turn off the flash and snap a photo so you can plan areas to highlight and see what others see when they drive by your home each night.  Focus on the positive aspects of your home and yard.  In doing so, you will improve your curb appeal with beautiful fixtures and well-placed illumination at night.  Your home will be beautiful 24 hours a day.

To see many different types of fixtures of all kinds of styles, check out 10 Lights to Amp Up Night Time Curb Appeal.