Antonio Pacheco interior designer EXTERIOR DESIGN How to design exterior lighting on house

How to design exterior lighting on house

How to design exterior lighting on house

To organize the exterior lighting of the house create architectural lighting, which, depending on the design, performs certain tasks. It is important to understand that the facade lighting – it is a full-fledged element of the exterior of the country house, which can both improve its appearance and harm the overall impression. 

In this article, we will tell you what to consider when choosing the type of lighting and fixtures for its organization.

What is architectural home lighting?

Architectural lighting of the house – this is any facade lighting, created from the whole system of lighting fixtures to solve certain problems:

  • Accentuate the architecture of the structure;
  • To sufficiently illuminate the adjoining territory;
  • Make the appearance of the building attractive and integral.

Properly built a system of facade lighting can transform even an outstanding wooden house, let alone a good-quality stone cottages. What’s more, a lit home is less attractive to thieves (for fear of being seen), and you won’t have to step up and down the steps in the dark or look for a keyhole.

Outdoor lighting for the country house – a must for the safety of its occupants.

Types of architectural home lighting

At the mention of house lighting, many people have an association with American New Year movies, when the cottage characters are flooded with bright lights of garlands, illuminating the entire street. But home street lighting isn’t always an overabundance of bulbs and bright shimmers. It all depends on the task for which you organize the lighting.

So, depending on the purpose, there are two types of architectural lighting of the facade:


The purpose – to make the building brighter, more aesthetic, more beautiful, to outline the architectural boundaries.

Decorative illumination of a private house gives it a wonderful, fairy-tale look


The main task is to illuminate the structure to make it safer and more comfortable to use at night.

Functional lighting of the country house is organized for safety and convenience

A side note! Between functional and decorative lighting is a very thin line, so with the proper approach they can be combined.

By the way of the organization of architectural lighting of a private house can be of 4 types: flooding, accentuating, dynamic and contour. Which of them to choose – depends on your goals and the features of the building.


Flood lighting involves the creation of lighting around the perimeter of the building, often with the direction of light from top to bottom. For its organization, most often set ground floodlights. Suitable and powerful fixtures, but with plafonds and reflectors, so that the bright light does not deliver discomfort.

Flood lighting fully illuminates the house, but is suitable only for buildings with the original architecture

Flood lighting for a country house is used very rarely, it is more suitable for buildings with the original architecture, shopping centers, cultural facilities.

Important: This kind of lighting great help if, together with the facade you need to light the surrounding area and provide good light for CCTV cameras.

Accent (local)

Accentuating, or local lighting at home highlights details, fragments of the facade, key features of the building. With its help illuminate:

  • Window openings and wrought iron window grilles;
  • Balconies;
  • Columns;
  • Cornices;
  • Stucco and other decorative elements.

Local lighting of a country house allows to accentuate separate elements of architecture

To create local lighting will require fixtures with soft diffused light. For example, LED spotlights, wall or linear fixtures of medium power.

Important! Fixtures should be chosen in neutral colors, better – in the tone of the wall. During the day they should not be conspicuous, so as not to spoil the impression and draw attention to themselves from the decorative elements of the facade.

How to design exterior lighting on house


Dynamic illumination of a private home is created when it is necessary to organize bright, memorable lighting. It always looks festive and unusual due to the changing shades and brightness of the light. To organize such illumination is better to attract professionals. All the same, it is one of the most unusual, but at the same time expensive and difficult to implement types of lighting.

Among lighting devices are projectors, spotlights, diode tapes, etc.

Dynamic illumination of a private house can change color and brightness, shimmer depending on the conditions


With the help of contour house illumination outside it is possible to emphasize the facade outline, roof line, arches, corners and other architectural elements. In the dark, the building acquires a new look, often even more attractive than in daylight. Implemented with LED strips or garlands.

Contour lighting of the facade of a private house with LED lights

On a side note! Contour lighting facade is especially relevant to create a festive atmosphere, such as on New Year’s Eve.

Architectural lighting plan

The organization of street lighting of private homes always begins with the project. And it does not matter – it is planned to illuminate the cottage or a small cottage. So you can clearly imagine the result before the installation, and be able to make timely adjustments, if necessary.

Modern computer programs allow you to visualize any idea, you should only turn to a designer for creating a 3D-composition. If you have no desire to go to contractors, you can independently draw up a plan by hand or on a computer.

3D visualization will help to see the result of the project lighting facade of a private home before his installation

There are a number of features you will need to take into account to create a lighting project for your home:

  • The architecture of the structure. Too pretentious, bright lighting of a wooden house with classic architecture will look inappropriate. And the lighting of a modern stone house, consisting only of a couple of spotlights – boring and uninteresting.
  • The remoteness from the neighbors. There are times when you want bright light, but a couple of meters away is the neighbor’s house. Then it is still worth to make the light muted, so it does not shine into the windows of the neighbors, bringing discomfort.
  • Technical possibilities of installation. Are you ready to hire a professional team or do you want to do it yourself? Is there a possibility of hidden wiring or is the facade already finished?
  • Lighting solutions in other buildings on the site (if any). Try to keep the overall concept if the site is already lit. Or think about lighting gazebo, porch and other areas of the yard, considering the style of facade lighting.

Budget and timing

Decide for yourself how much money and how much time you are willing to spend to create a full street lighting at home. From these parameters will directly depend on the choice of fixtures for facade lighting.

A note! It is good if the plan of architectural lighting is made by a specialist. Then he will develop a scheme of electrical installation, think through the power grid, choose control methods and the scheme of laying cables to the lighting fixtures.

To create a scheme yourself will also need:

  1. Mark on the scheme those parts of the structure that are important to illuminate.
  2. Select light sources.
  3. Schematically depict the location of lighting fixtures and accessories on the plan.

Plan-scheme of architectural illumination of the facade will help create a competent lighting system, calculate the number of lamps and the cost of their purchase.

Fixtures for facade lighting

For illumination of houses using only those lighting fixtures that are designed for street use. They should have a high level of protection, especially if located not under the roof. Reliability of lighting fixtures is in the first place, otherwise the finished lighting system will have to remake after the first season.

Facade lights for lighting houses and should not harm aesthetically: color, shape and size does not spoil the architectural look of the building. Good if the lights are almost invisible to the eye during the day, without unnecessary details, the color – to match the facade or neutral.

Fixtures in the tone of the facade looks appropriate and not attract attention during the day

The recommended characteristics of the correct lighting fixtures for the organization of facade lighting of a country house:

  • Color temperature 2000-3000K
  • Lamp power 15-20 watts
  • Degree of protection IP54
  • Angle of light scattering 10-60 ° 

To create a comfortable street lighting of the country house, use some of the recommendations of experts on lighting design:

  • To illuminate the facade of a private home with metal elements, do not direct the spotlights to the wall. The light will be reflected and create glare spots. Choose wall-mounted models so the light falls toward the site.
  • For exterior house lighting with metal elements, choose wall-mounted spotlights, with the light directed toward the property
  • For exterior lighting of a wooden house with dark, rough walls, do not use lights with a soft, muted light. They will not be useful, because all the light will be absorbed by the walls.
  • For uniform lighting, especially for low houses, a good option would be two-way facade lights. They give even light to the top and bottom of the facade at the same time.
  • Spotlights over 150 watts should only be placed on the ground and be sure to direct the light onto the façade. If the light will fall on the roadway and cause inconvenience to motorists, you may be asked to remove such lights.
  • The cooler the shade of the walls, the brighter the fixtures can be.
  • Give preference to fixtures with LED bulbs. They give maximum brightness with minimum power.
  • On projecting elements (beams, eaves), spotlights look advantageous.
  • House lighting outside should match the overall concept of street lighting on the site. Try to stick to the same idea, brightness and color temperature in the lighting of the facade, gazebo, walkways, recreation area and other elements of the site.

Exterior lighting of private homes will delight you, your guests and all others, if apply a little knowledge and imagination. Installation of lighting carry out their own hands, only if fully confident in their abilities. Otherwise, it is better to remove all responsibility and trust professionals.

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