To ensure that you have the proper amount of light for your patio, deck, or outdoor space, it is crucial to make sure they are placed in the right spot and are the right type.  For outdoor lighting placement ideas

  • Next to Entryway Doors or Garage Doors
  • Above a Doorway, on an Entryway, or on a Porch
  • Hanging Porch Lights
  • Driveway Posts
  • Pathway Lights
  • Covered Porch or Patio
  • Security Lights


Next to Entryway Doors or Garage Doors

If you have one light next to your entryway or garage door, then it should be 1/3 of the height of the door.  If you are placing one light on each side of the door, then the lights should be 1/4 of the height of the door.  The lights should also be placed 66″ from the floor or ground to properly illuminate the lock and handle.  Lights should also be placed 6″ from the edge of the door.


Above a Doorway, on an Entryway, or on a Porch

Flush or Semi-Flush Lights are effective for doorways.   If a fixture is placed above your doorway, it should be at least 1/4 of the width of the doorway.  To figure this out, measure the width of your doorway and divide it by 4.  For example, if your doorway is 36″ wide, divide that number (in inches) by 4, and buy a light that is 9″ wide.  The fixture should also be 1/4 of the height of the doorway.  Measure the height of the doorway and divide that number (in inches) by 4 to determine your fixture height.


Hanging Porch Lights

If you are hanging a pendant light from an entryway porch or ceiling, we recommend having a fixture that is 1/5 of the door’s height.  Measure the height of the door in inches and divide it by 5. For example, if your door is 80″ tall, divide it by 5, and buy a light that is 16″ tall.

Make sure the bottom of the light hangs at least 7′ off the ground.  If you have low ceilings, choose a flush mount or semi-flush mount to ensure you have enough clearance underneath.  Either way, make sure there is at least 6″ of space between the top of the door and the light fixture.

If you are hanging a chandelier or pendant from a covered patio or porch, make sure the base of the light hangs at least 7′ above the ground and is centered above the seating area.  If the light is hanging above a dining table, measure the width of your dining table and subtract 6″ on either side to find the right size light.  The light should also hang at least 34″ above the surface of the table.  This will ensure no one bumps their head!


Driveway Posts

The post should be secured about 1 1/2- 2′ below the ground, the light fixture should be ¼ the height of the exposed pole, and the exposed pole should be 5 1/2-6 1/2′ tall. When placing a post light, make sure it is at least a foot away from your driveway or sidewalk to allow for easy plowing and shoveling.


Pathway Lights

Lights should be placed every few feet and should be 6″ away from the path. Try alternating or staggering the lights on each side of the path to make it more visually appealing and illuminate the path more effectively.


Covered Porch or Patio

Ceiling Fans: Make sure your fan is installed at least 7′ above the floor and there are at least 8″ – 10″ between the ceiling and the top of the fan’s blades.  The fan blade tips should also be at least 30″ from surrounding walls or other obstructions.


Security Lights

There is no hard and fast rule to find the right size flood or spotlight.  However, we recommend installing them at least 6′ – 8′ from the ground, whether they are on your garage, back porch, or other areas of your yard – both to get more coverage and to keep burglars from tampering with the lights.  While you may want to light up the front and back of your home, don’t forget the sides and corners of your home!  Just make sure the light won’t annoy neighbors.  For areas where you want added protection, make sure to buy enough lights so the beams overlap – this provides full coverage and eliminates dark spots.


Contact us

Mikulka Electricians are always professional and efficient.   Insured and trained to do the job right the first time.  Experts in the field of electrics with over 25 years’ experience.  Prepared with up-front pricing and a lifetime guarantee.  We observe all personal protective equipment and COVID 19 requirements to keep our staff and your family safe.  Our team of experts will respond immediately to your call for help.  Call Mikulka Electric, Inc. for a wide range of electrical services, including indoor and outdoor lighting, electrical heating, electrical repairs, and back-up generators.  We service the Central New Jersey area.  Address 275 RT. 79 Morganville, NJ 07751

Phone 855-645-8552 or 855-MIKULKA

Landscape Lighting