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Updating the Exterior Lighting

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I have been showing you a lot of what I have been doing inside and on the lake side of my house lately, but this week I did some updating on the front of the house. The exterior lighting was a bit dated…

…I am 100% sure that the exterior light fixtures are original to the house when it was built in 1974.

Updating exterior lighting

This plastic beauty x 2 were what you were greeted with when you came to my front door.

Before and after Outdoor Lighting makeover

and if you arrived by the side door… this yellow fixture of loveliness would shine its light upon you. :-)

I have tried to clean them of dirt, bugs, and mud wasp nests, but since the only way to clean them is to put your hand up through the opening on the bottom, it is very hard to do.

With summer upon us, it was time to replace them. I went in search of fixtures that were not only more to my liking, but that would be easy to clean as well.

I looked at many light fixtures… big, small, all colors and types of metal.

Outdoor lighting update

See the plastic light fixtures?

When choosing what type of light fixtures to get, I also had to think of the styling of my house. It has a split personality.

front view of house

The front of the house looks like a one-story contemporary home, especially with the design on the double front doors. Many that arrive via the front door think the house is a small ranch style house.

exterior house color scheme

It is not until you go inside or see the house from the lake side that you see the house is a bigger two-story house that has a totally different appeal.

To find just the right lights to blend with both personalities of the house, I went to Del Mar Fans and Lighting and looked at literally hundreds of outdoor lighting options. I edited my choice down to this…


… I chose 3 Belden Place Outdoor Wall Sconces from Hinkley.  Two for the front entry and one for the side door.

Hinkley outdoor lights

They arrived on my doorstep a few days later.

Four door house entrance

One of the bigger home improvement projects I would like to do sooner, than later to the front of the house, is to replace the entire front door and two glass panels on either side with 4 – 3/4 light – 6 pane doors.  Something that will look like this illustration.

Exterior door idea

I kept this future vision of the entry with the 4 doors in mind when I was making my choice for new lighting. Please forgive my novice Photoshopping skills. :-)


I could not go with big lights since there is a low ceiling above the doors. The Belden Place lights are the perfect size and color and so well made.  The glass is easy to take on and off so cleaning bugs and other nasties that I know are going to like the lights as much as I do will be easy to do.

My trusty electrician was around after the lights were delivered so I asked him if he could switch out the old lights for the new ones.


He took on the task and in about an hour, he had all 3 lights changed out.


So pretty…:-)

Another reason I chose this fixture is that it can take a 100-watt light bulb.  Many others that I looked at only could handle a 60 watt bulb. With 200 watts of light there is plenty of light now at the entrance when needed.


Another reason I want to replace the front door…the glass sections on either side are double-paned and are cloudy on the inside. I can’t clean it. I kept the wood blinds in place to hide the cloudiness of the glass. It is very noticeable from inside the house.


These shiny new lights do make up for the cloudy glass panels by the door.

I wish they were as easy to update as the light fixtures were.


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  1. Great details on your fan painting tutorial! I wonder if the former owners of your new home read your blog and look to see how you are updating their previous home?!

  2. I love the lights! I enjoy all of your posts! You have very practical and common sense ideas, which I very much appreciate!

  3. Those are lovely! I love you idea for the doors as well. We really love our Ashworth Door – the sidelights open and let in wonderful breezes. We are looking at our 1940’s outdoor fixtures and thinking about how to change them out!

  4. Would love to see the entire front of the house Diane. Those 4 doors will look awesome. Love the lights you chose.

  5. I love the simple look of the lights
    I also have lights that have an open bottom and that is where the wasp built a nest each summer. After getting attacked by the bees they won and on the long list of updated to do in the fiture.