Farmhouse Renovation

Choosing Exterior Lighting

beautiful brass lanterns for exterior lighting with seeded glass

*The exterior brass lanterns for our barn were provided by Riverbend Home. This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

When it comes to building or remodeling a home, one of the most important aspects to consider is the exterior and exterior lighting. Exterior lighting does so much more than serve the function of brightening up a space, but it evokes a mood and an aesthetic that sets the tone for the home from the outside in!

side view of our exterior lighting which are brass lanterns from Riverbend Home

When considering exterior lighting choices it is very easy to become overwhelmed! There are quite literally thousands of styles, finishes and price ranges!! For us, choosing the exterior lighting was a design choice that needed to be made very early on.

Being that we are initially remodeling the barn and then continuing on to the main house, we made the decision to have all of the exterior lights across the front of both homes be matching and cohesive. Thus, whatever we choose for the barn, will already be predetermined and applied to our main home as well.

front photo of the exterior lighting and green barn doors with wheat wreaths

Tips to Consider When Choosing Exterior Lighting

When picking your exterior lighting, take these tips into consideration before purchasing. Using these simple tips will give your home a more cohesive and beautiful look.

• If you are replacing an existing exterior light, make sure to take into consideration the other exterior fixtures around your home. For example, if your home has black handles and door hardware, you may want to consider black light fixtures as well. Now of course you can always mix metals, and often times this looks amazing, however, the point is to make sure that your new fixture plays well with the other existing features around your home. Take in the big picture for a cohesive end result!

• Consider the facade of your home and choose an exterior light fixture that is in keeping with your home. Is your home an ornate victorian? Then perhaps a sleek lined, modern light fixture might be better suited for a different home. Taking to Pinterest to search your homes architectural style will help guide you in the right direction if you need help.

What purpose is your exterior lighting fixture serving?

When choosing exterior lighting, it is important to consider the purpose of your they will serve before making a selection. For example, are you looking for your light fixture to warmly brighten up your porch and provide a welcoming atmosphere, or are you looking for a light that will provide high visibility and security?

For outdoor lighting you’ll need at least 50 lumens, all the way up to 2400 lumens for driveway and security lights. Make sure to check the product details of your specific light to ensure it can meet your exterior lumen needs.

How We Chose Our Exterior Lighting for the Barn

Being that our barn and home remodel projects have been a few years in the making, I already had a fairly good sense of what I was looking for in regard to our exterior lighting. I have long admired the look of classic brass lanterns, similar to ones that you might find in the colonial northeast. Brass lanterns are timeless and stunning, and when chosen in the right finish will never go out of style!

Take this beautiful example from Chris Loves Julia. Even though their home is brand new, the gas lanterns conjures up a sense of historical charm! The finish is a beautiful aged brass and it’s contrast against their home is perfection!

gas lantern from Chris loves Julia blog
Photo Credit:

Ideally, we would have loved to see gas fueled lanterns flickering across our front porch, however budget restrictions (and incredibly high winds in our area) ultimately limit us to electrical fixtures. Lucky for us, there are many beautiful lantern choices that are electrically wired and look practically identical to the coveted gas lanterns we love.

Exterior Lighting French Market Gas Lantern
Photo Credit:

The Perfect Exterior Lighting For Our Barn

After a bit of research I finally landed on the perfect antique brass lantern from Riverbend Home. The lanterns we chose to adorn our front entrance are the Concord Two-Light Outdoor Pagoda Wall Lantern and we couldn’t be happier with them!

shot of the exterior lighting on our barn with the green French doors and two fall wreaths on the doors

Not only does the electric Concord Pagoda lantern look like the coveted gas lanterns we love, but it’s super well made and fit well within our budget as well!

The Concord Two-Light Outdoor Pagoda Wall Lantern comes with two options for glass – smooth and seeded. To be honest, I thought I ordered the clear glass, but it turns out I ordered the seeded and I couldn’t be more pleased with my happy mistake!

close up of the beautiful seeded glass on our exterior lighting from Riverbend Home

The seeded glass gives these lanterns the added charm and aesthetic of hand blown glass and I adore how the light dances off of its dimples and imperfections at night! If you have an option for seeded glass, I highly recommend it!

Future Lighting for the Barn and Home

As we look forward, eventually, we plan on burying our electrical lines and installing exterior driveway lights. It will be a little while until we can get to that project, but when we do these gorgeous lanterns also come in a lamp post style (remember when I spoke to coordinating your new fixtures with your existing fixtures?) These will be the perfect compliment to our front porch lanterns!

Brass lamp post from Riverbend Home

Additionally, we also put this beautiful barn sconce outside the back door of the barn. It is the perfect compliment (and same beautiful antique brass finish) as the front lanterns.

brass barn light from Riverbend Home
Brass barb light from Riverbend Home

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with our exterior lighting selection and look forward to seeing these same electric brass lanterns from Riverbend Home grace the front of our main home as well!

PIN These Tips for Choosing Exterior Lighting for Later!

Pinterest PIN for choosing exterior lighting

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