"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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GOLDEN TIP
The most frequent mistake is to buy fixtures that are too small. A light fixture will look about half as big on your home as they do on the store display. Once you have chosen the "right" fixture, measure its length and width and go home. Now cut from a piece of cardboard roughly the shape of the light and tape it to the house. Stand back and see if it looks right on the house. Without this exercise you most likely will end up with a light fixture that is too small.la
REAL ESTATE TIP
A well lit property provides safety and security. Your home is one of the largest, if not the largest, investment for many. Professionally installed outdoor lighting will add value to your property that is still evident after the sun has set. Some professional real estate agents claim that outdoors lighting can add up to 20% of the perceived value of a property. Many home shoppers will also look at homes after dark.


Flood light with infrared motion sensor for back door. Single door - light on door handle side


 



Front Entrance, Side and Back Door Lights

 





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Outdoor lighting for front entrances, side doors and back doors.
Without a doubt one of the more important outdoor light fixtures are the ones that light up the front entrance to your home. If there are any steps leading to the front door they should also be clearly lit.
Not only do the lights guide your guests and visitors after the sun has set but it also provides you with the opportunity to see who is calling before opening the door. Best results are obtained by installing clear incandescent lamps within clear glass fixtures. If possible, driveway entrance lights and light fixtures at the garage and front entrance should match in style for a more harmonized impression. Lantern style light fixtures mounted on the wall beside the front door are very popular but it should not be your only consideration. Adequate light can also be provided by spotlights, post lights or pendent light fixtures hanging from the porch ceiling.
Care should be taken that any lights trained on the front entrance should not blind visitors nor those opening the door. They should not be too dim either as guests may stumble.
One or two light fixtures?
It is recommended to install two light fixtures for double entrance door systems and one light for a single door. For single doors the light should always be mounted on the door knob or keyhole side.
Light fixtures for side and rear entrance doors are often less ornamental in design but still should be up to the task of providing security by providing adequate lighting for the area. You want to make sure that there are no dark areas where unwanted "visitors" can hide.
Flood lights with a built-in motion detector are ideal for these entrances. You don't have to worry about blinding your guests as they will use the front entrance. Just make sure that spot or flood lights do not shine into your neighbour's windows.


Your typical suburban front entrance light







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