Top Lighting Mistakes Series:
Front Door or Entryway

Loma wrought iron exterior lanterns on a craftsman style Santa Barbara Bungalow
Despite the style, size or location, all houses generally have a main front door; the focal point that welcomes us to enter. Extra emphasis should always be put on this space as it is seen both from a distance as well as up close. We’ve compiled the top mistakes we’ve seen people make.
 
wrought iron exterior light fixtures on a Spanish Residence

1 - More is More

 
The number one mistake people make when choosing a front door fixture is size, namely going too small. As a rule of thumb, a single fixture should be approximately 1/3 the total height of the door. If there are two fixtures, one on each side, they should be slightly smaller, around ¼ of the height. Of course the style and specifics of the fixture may dictate some variance.
 
Mediterranean Villa Front Entry

2 - Shine (not too) Bright

 
Choose a glass or bulb wattage that gives the just the right amount of light. If there is an overhead pendant as well as two lanterns flanking the front door, opt for dimmer bulbs. To soften the light, go for an opaque glass, like our Etched or Iced glasses. Ensuring security while at the same time creating an inviting entryway is a balancing act.
 
wrought iron exterior fixture by DLG Lightingwrought iron miramar lantern hand crafted by DLG Lighting

3 - Style

 
Eclectic can be good, but maybe not at the front door. Keep a cohesive exterior look and save your experimenting for inside.   At the same time, don’t feel the need to over do it. A Spanish style home doesn’t require a typical Spanish Lantern. Sometimes laying it on too thick can make your home look like a play set. Try using a classic lantern, like our Biltmore or Miramar Clara (as seen above), to tone down an over-the-top style.
 
De La Guerra light fixture by DLG Lighting Co.De La Guerra wrought iron light fixture by DLG Lighting Co.

4 - Energy Loss

 
Install automatic timers that are set to turn the lights on and off at a certain time every day, or photovoltaic sensors that turn the lights on and off when it gets dark or light out. Use warm Edison style LED bulbs instead of harsh fluorescents or inefficient incandescents.
 
Loma Lantern by DLG Lighting Co. on a Santa Barbara Craftsman
Fair Oaks flush mount wrought iron light by DLG Lighting Co.

5 - Cramped Quarters

 
If your front entry lacks space or requires the fixtures be placed close to the door, opt for a low profile flush mount instead of an arm mount. If the entryway is covered, but too low to comfortably hang a pendant, a flush mounted ceiling fixture can be substituted.

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