If you’re looking for a great way to update your home, a new garage door can make a lasting impression. Not only will improve your curb appeal and home value, but it can breathe new life into that tired old garage. If you really want to put your new door in the spotlight, consider investing in some new fixtures while you’re at it.
Think for a second about the impact that lighting can have on the exterior of your home. Whether it’s your own or others you’ve seen, the right lighting can make a huge impression. It’s also functional and can provide a safer environment after the sun goes down. This is especially helpful in the winter months. No one wants to have to quit in the middle of a project at 6 PM, after all. Just remember with outdoor lighting that less is more. The last thing you want is to light up the neighborhood or blind yourselves with your new lights.
Start with a sketch…
The best way to plan exterior lighting is to make a rough sketch of your garage door. It doesn’t have to be perfect or drawn to scale, but it will give you an idea of how much space, visually, you’ll have to work with. Measure the space around the doors and mark it clearly on your drawing so that you know exactly what dimensions you need when shopping for lights. This includes the eaves, or above the door, where you might want to consider some downlighting.
Having this information ready is going to make it much easier to get the right lighting to accent your new garage door perfectly. Designers usually suggest choosing lights that only take up about half of the available space; otherwise, it tends to look overcrowded or just poorly planned. If you’re limited on space, you can even find fixtures that are small enough to go right on the side of the door itself.
Now to choose the right style…
What’s the architectural style of your home? There are a few different styles, and not all light fixtures will go with each one. Do you have a country or carriage house? Perhaps your home is more modern and contemporary, or even a traditional colonial style. Whatever it is, make sure that it goes with the light fixtures that you buy so that you make an improvement, and not an eyesore.
Speaking of eyesores, be mindful of the distance of your new garage lights from the street, as well as from your home and any other driveway lights you may have. Again, you’re not trying to light up the neighborhood. Plus, you don’t need to duplicate lights that you already have.
Sites like Pinterest are great for getting inspiration for your new garage lights. There are so many styles that it can seem a bit overwhelming to just go shopping for lights, but when you look at what other people have done you can visualize your own space better. Remember to consider what the lights will look like during the day and at night because the appearance could be quite drastic.
Here are some choices for modern lighting:
If you prefer something a little more rustic, try these:
Choose the right bulbs, too
The first thing that people think of with lightbulbs is saving energy. While LED bulbs will deliver that, and seem to be the most popular right now, you really need to consider what the manufacturer recommends for each fixture.
Make sure, primarily, that you choose durable bulbs that are designed for outdoor use. Also, ensure that they are the correct wattage or lower so that you don’t burn out the fixture. Most of the outdoor light fixtures that you find are going to be rated somewhere between 60 and 100 watts, although 100‑watt fixtures seem to be more common.
The best outdoor bulbs really are LED bulbs, so if they are suggested by your manufacturer, you’re in luck. These bulbs are energy efficient and weather resistant, with as many as 100,000 hours of operating power in each bulb. Of course, there are still some fixtures, merely because of their design or size, that take standard incandescent or miniature bulbs of some kind. Be sure to check the type of bulb required for your fixture before you buy it. After all, no one wants to buy the light with impossible‑to‑find bulbs.
Warning: The spiral CFL bulbs that became popular within the past decade are not ideal for outdoor use. These contain a small amount of mercury and even though they are going to be protected, they are really just not appropriate for outdoor conditions. For one thing, the cold weather causes these bulbs to lose intensity. They can also burn out or break more frequently as a result.
Now that you’ve done the hard work, install your new lighting, screw in the right bulbs, and fall in love with your garage all over again.
Ready to talk about that new door?
Contact us now at 1-800-780-3883 to discuss your garage door needs. We’ll be happy to show you our image gallery of past projects to help with inspiration and show off our skills. We can even send you a complimentary email quotation. You can create your own inspiration by using our virtual Design Centre to find the style that perfectly fits your home.