The Best Exterior Garage Lights for Your Home

Curb appeal is critical for a home.  Even for homeowners not putting their homes on the market just yet, maintaining their home’s curb appeal is something that is always remembered by future potential buyers, and it will increase the overall value of your home.

garage exterior lights

It’s why front doors, landscaping, a well-maintained garage and outdoor aesthetics are the first aspects on the list of what it takes to have a valued home and one with a high resale value.

Even the small accessories of a home matters to its overall appearance, from lampposts to lights and everything in between.  One of the most challenging outdoor features to decide on are the exterior garage lights, but that’s why we’ve complied this list of trendy ideas for you.

Carriage Lights

garage lights

Among the several hundreds of options for exterior lighting, there’s one style that holds the spot for most popular—carriage lights.  Exterior carriage lights bring back the tradition of hanging lanterns to illuminate stables, but it’s their timeless design that makes their style so consistently appealing throughout the ages.

Bronze, cast iron, steel and antiqued are some of the endless choices of carriage lights. The best part is, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Cylindrical Sconces

garage sconce lights

Sconces come in all different shapes and sizes, but with their fixture mounted on a sturdy bracket, there’s something about a sconce that gives off an organized look.

Take this sentiment and turn it modular with a cylindrical sconce, a perfect style to compliment a home with a modern exterior appeal.  For even more of an edge, add the clean element of stainless steel.

Motion-Sensing

When you think of motion-sensing lights, you probably think of a light fixture that looks basic, almost industrial and most decidedly unfashionable.  Today’s motion-sensing exterior lights will change your mind.

You can get almost any kind of light fixture for your garage’s exterior with a motion-sensing capability.  Whether you’re going for a rustic, chic, barn design or if your garage is modular or symmetrical, there’s a motion-sensing light fixture that fits whatever desired style you want. With the vast world of exterior lighting, homeowners don’t have to sacrifice style for the sake of security.

Bold Bulkhead

Have you ever seen a bulkhead light fixture?  Chances are you have and just didn’t realize that this unique look belongs to a classification of the bulkhead style.  This particular type of lighting is becoming immensely popular, cropping up on the exterior of garages and homes all over the place.

The face of the light has a bold grid laid overtop and available in a plethora of different finishes.  The bulkhead light can look steam-punk with a distressed, bronze finish, or it can look slate-clean with stainless steel.

There’s so much you can do with a bold bulkhead lighting and each finish can transform the theme of your garage’s exterior.

Supremely Square

lights on a garage

Do you have a house with a complex design and need exterior lighting that’s not only simple and unfussy but also modern enough to flesh out its overall theme?  Try wall-mounted square lamps.

Square lamps that flank either side of your garage can add a level of symmetry and geometrical sophistication.  Try an all-black look that pops, or an oil-rubbed bronze that hints at traditional lighting.  The best among this style have an Energy Star certification with LED lighting.

Fancy Flush-Mount

You want lighting for your garage’s exterior, but it seems as if there’s no good place to mount carriage lights, geometric fixtures or any style of sconces.  Have you considered a flush-mounted fixture?

Mounted neatly and flush against the wall or ceiling, this style of fixture is great for fitting in spaces that can’t accommodate for any type of large, hanging exterior light.

There are so many kinds of flush-mount lights available that will fit any type of space—rectangular, globe, tight light, octagonal and all of these shapes can be found in an array of finishes, too.

Bubble or Bust

It’s hard to keep up with the new trends in lighting, so we do it for you!  Have you heard of the bubble sconce?  It’s the latest and greatest exterior lighting trend to hit the house market.

The light is embraced by a globed exterior, either in bronze, nickel, stainless steel, brushed brass or combined with two types of these metals.

The effect is a beautiful metal bubble with a glowing light inside—it’s modernity meets hygge.  If you aren’t familiar with hygge, it’s essentially the Scandinavian word for the feeling of being cozy, and who wouldn’t want that kind of style for their home?

Intriguingly Industrial

Speaking of trends, there’s nothing hotter right now than the repurposed industrial look, so why not add a little bit of this touch to your exterior garage lights?

Dome shaped lighting with black finishes, or oversized lamps that hang boldly and beautifully, or taking an antique fixture and transforming it with a fresh coat of paint spray is the way to go to achieve this look.

If you have an older home with unique characteristics, going industrial could be an excellent way to bring out its features, complimenting it with the addition of exterior garage lights in the same vein.

Before Choosing Your Exterior Garage Lights…

When choosing outdoor lighting, look to see how the fixtures are rated.  Underwriter Laboratories (UL) regulates products to ensure they meet specific industry standards, approving them for safe use in certain environments.  For exterior lighting, UL has two different categories that determine how capable the fixture is in withstanding outdoor elements like rain, snow, and heavy downpours.

A UL Wet Rating means that the fixture can handle ice, snow and heavy periods of intense rain.  It can also handle being near the ocean and exposure to the ocean’s occasional splashes of salt water.  You would use this type of fixture on an open deck, veranda, gazebo or garage.

A tier down is the UL Damp Rating, where as its name suggests, include fixtures that are certified for covered outdoor locations that may introduce some precipitation exposure on the fixture.  A Damp Rated fixture is regulated for some moisture, damp areas, but not direct exposure to water.  You would use this type of fixture on a covered patio, a bathroom, kitchen, carport or a screened-in porch.

Of course, there’s also a UL Dry Rating, and although this won’t concern you when you are searching for lights to hang on the exterior of your garage door, it’s still essential to know because many lights are just listed as “UL Listed”—and this means that they are only rated for dry environments.  Dry locations mean hallways, bedrooms, foyers and in some bathrooms.

When selecting your exterior garage lights, be sure to take the appropriate measurements to decipher what kind of light the location can accommodate.  Also take note as to how many exterior garage lights you will need to properly illuminate or balance our your space.

Exterior garage lights can transform a garage from being so-so to an eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing feature.  If your garage is without exterior lights, consider one of these many styles to bring it to life.  Your curb appeal will thank you.



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We offer an unbeatable combination of products, service and value for homeowners across Chicagoland.

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