Today's busy lifestyles have us coming and going from our homes at all times throughout the day and night. Because of this, outdoor lighting has become an important feature for almost every house. Illuminating the outside of our homes helps us to deter burglaries, prevent common accidents such as tripping, and provide ways for emergency vehicles to easily find our home so they can provide assistance as quickly as possible. It is important to install these lights at the right height.
As a standard, wall lights are generally mounted at three quarters of the height of the door. For example, if your front door is eight feet tall, the light should be mounted about 6 feet from the ground. In the case of outside lights, which are usually on for a long period of time, it is better to use compact fluorescent light bulbs as they are more economical and longer lasting.
Landscape lights are used to accent plants, paths, or driveways. When using low lights, the suggested height is one to two feet off the ground. In some cases you may want to light a driveway or path with larger column lights. If this is your goal, the ideal height is 6 to 6-and-a-half feet from the ground. Driveways can also be made with recessed lighting set into the surface, which allows cars to drive over the lights if necessary.
Some houses have patios or balconies with an overhang. In these areas, outdoor ceiling fixtures can be used. These lights are mounted directly into the ceiling. Spotlights and floodlights are also common in homes where security is an issue. Mounting for these lights should be beneath the roof ridge. You should install a motion detector and/or dimming switch as well.