better outdoor living at home spring

Just the Right Light Fixture and the Idea Board That Helped

One day walking to my front door, I looked up to see that my front porch pendant light fixture needed replacing. It was around 18 years old and the finish had faded. It just looked worn out as were our other outdoor lights.

So began the search for new light fixtures. Little did I know it would take me several months to find the one that both my husband and I liked.

The Outdoor Lights

We needed:

  • One wall light for the side door,
  • One pendant light for the front porch,
  • One post light for the front yard.

Since this was a house project I took on myself, I did the leg work and got feed back from my husband on what he liked as I went along.

Things I Considered

Things I considered in selecting the new light fixtures were:

  • Style – Our house is traditional so we wanted to select a light that complimented the architectural style.
  • Finding a light that was available in a wall, pendant, and post light fixture – I found out that not all light fixtures have all applications. I picked out a couple lights I really liked that ended up having only 2 of the 3 we needed. So, I had to eliminate those.
  • Finish – Our current fixtures are brass so we wanted to go with a different finish. We thought maybe a bronze or black finish.
  • Cost – Both of us were ok spending a little more on light fixtures. How much more we weren’t sure.

Where I Searched

  • Online
  • Local lighting companies
  • Hardware stores
  • My neighborhood to get ideas

I found several I liked right away. To make my search easier I copied pictures of the light fixtures I found online and photos I took on my trips to the lighting and hardware stores to a word doc and noted the name of the light, cost, and where I found the light. I ended up with an idea board.


My Outdoor Lighting Idea Board


So we looked at it for a couple weeks and I continued searching, adding to the board and eliminating ones that we decided we didn’t like.

I also drove around my neighborhood looking for inspiration. I took photos, printed them and added them to the idea board. I found new ones I liked that I had not yet seen online or in stores and I also found ones I had found online and in stores. It was so great seeing the lights at neighborhood homes. It actually helped to narrow down our search.

Here are a few I liked:


Kichler pendant light fixture in olde bronze finish with seeded panels


Vaxcel pendant light fixture in oil rubbed bronze finish with frosted seeded glass


Murray Feiss pendant light fixture in oil rubbed bronze finish with seeded glass


And as my search continued,  my husbands’ and my preferences become more defined.

We decided we wanted:

  • Seeded Glass – I love the look!
  • Black Finish – To compliment our black shutters. Also, it really would standout against the white siding.
  • Grid Pattern over Glass – We both just like that detailing.
  • Square Shape – My husbands’ preference but looking back on all the lights I picked out the majority had a square shape that was tapered on the bottom. So, square was fine with me.
  • Scroll Arm – I loved the look of the scroll arm on a wall light.


I Found THE Light Fixture

When I found the outdoor light at Home Depot, I knew it was the one and I knew my husband would love it. It is made by Hampton Bay. I found the pendant light and wall light in the store and had to order the post light online.  I also got to see it at a home in my neighborhood and in my Mom’s neighborhood. Each light fixture was around $60. Great Find!!!


Hampton Bay Olde Age Iron pendant light fixture


Side door wall light


Post lantern light



The front porch pendant light looks great! We already had a neighbor say how much she loves it.



Lantern Post

We also decided to change the lantern post. The light post we have now was here when we bought our house. At the time it was very faded and worn out. To save money, we spray painted the post black and replaced the light fixture which improved the overall appearance. But now, after 18 years it again is looking worn out.

We selected a traditional 5 ½” square cedar post from Walpole Woodworking. It is going to look great with the new light fixture.


I photoshopped the lantern light on the Walpole lantern post.


Now I just can’t wait to get the side door wall light and the post and post lantern installed.


Photo Credits: Kichler, Murray Feiss, Vaxel, and Hampton Bay Companies, Walpole Woodworkers


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