Sign In to join the community | Help
Install & Replace

Seeing in the Dark with Exterior Lighting

Here in Georgia we “turned back” the clock and “gained” an extra hour of daylight.  But Daylight Saving Time also means that I come home in the dark.  With the winter fast approaching and the daylight diminishing, I needed to add to and enhance my exterior lighting.  I came across several great ideas during my research that may help you add safety, security, and decorative lighting to the outside of your home. 


Security and safety are my top priorities.  I place flood lights in key areas so I can see where I am going (and discourage others from going there).  The timer allows me to have extra light come on when I return home.  Some lights have seasonally programmable controllers so the timer automatically adjusts with the seasons.  Most importantly, the motion sensor gives me an advantage when things go bump (or move) in the night.


timer.jpg       motion.jpg


Landscape lighting is my next priority.  I love to highlight the walkway so I (and my guests) can see the path to the front door.  There are some great low-voltage and solar lighting options that are easy to install and are very low maintenance.   This link will show you how to install low-voltage lighting.  As soon as the maple tree gets a little larger, it may get its own personal flood light.  There are solar lights for steps, post caps, and fences.  Newer fixtures have LED lights. 


low voltage.jpg       malibu solar.jpg

Decoration is important during the holidays.  I love the candy cane solar lights (available at the store) and want to “flood” my holiday inflatables.  Even though my house will not be lit up like the Griswolds, this link can you started!


  spot lfood.jpg  griswold.jpg


For more information about the types of exterior lighting available, I recommend our Exterior Lighting Buying Guide.    


Please tell us about your exterior lighting projects – we are here to help – and always LOVE seeing your photos!

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2010-11-16T14:58:07+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL Eileen_HD_ATL


Posted 2010-11-16T16:27:35+0000  by pattcy76

Hi pattcy76, and welcome to The Home Depot Community!

Ask away.  We will help you any way we can.



Posted 2010-11-16T16:35:27+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

The house I recently bought has a single outdoor light for my sideyard patio where I keep my grill. The light is connected to the side of the house right next to the side door. The holds a single bulb and doesn't throw nearly enough light to grill at night. It looks like the one below. I want to replace it with something brighter so I can actually see what I'm cooking. I'm skeptical of a flood light because I think it will show very hard shadows.


Any recommendations?


Posted 2010-11-16T17:24:48+0000  by Odjur

Hello odjur and congratulations on the new house.  We have barbecue lights that attached to the grill that should help you see what you are cooking. 


grill light.jpg


The Brinkmann Deluxe 6 LED Barbecue Grill Light is available in the store (SKU 445-125)and has a 24 in. flexible neck.   It attaches to your grill with magnetic base or adjustable clamp and comes with 3 AAA batteries.  We may have other grill lights in your local store and there are more available on line.  I hope this helps and happy grilling!

Posted 2010-11-16T17:34:42+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

Hey odjur, welcome to The Home Depot Community!

Whether you replace the fixture with floodlights or not, light from a single source will tend to create strong shadows.  The grill light Designingwoman mentioned will put light where you want it.  Another inexpensive fix would be to make the light fixture you have brighter.


All fixtures have a wattage limit, and are usually clearly labeled on the outside of the light socket.


Compact fluorescent bulbs allow you to get far more light output without exceeding the wattage limit of the fixture.  Here is an example of a bulb that uses only 30 watts but has the equivalent output (measured in lumens) of a 125 watt conventional bulb:


You can find this bulb online ( or at your local Home Depot.  Your fixture may be able to use an even brighter bulb if you want, as long as the bulb does not actually use more watts than the fixture allows and it will physically fit inside.  Check the package to see that it’s OK to use in an enclosed outdoor fixture and you’re good to go.


Thanks for the question.  We are here to help.



Posted 2010-11-16T20:33:49+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

It just happens that good lighting is a key component in the list of Top 10 Home Security Tips that is making the rounds. Intuders don't like to be seen, so good lighting (inside and outside) make sense if you are trying to deter burglars. Here is a link to the article with the list:

Posted 2011-01-04T14:54:20+0000  by peterrogers

Thanks for sharing this great article, Peter!  As I mentioned – security and safety are my top priorities.  I had to reprogram the timers several times over the holidays and I can honestly say that walking into a well-lit home definitely makes me feel safer. 

Posted 2011-01-04T15:06:18+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question