Porch lighting ideas - pretty ways to cast a warming glow over your entranceway

Light up your home with these stylish porch lighting ideas

Wooden porch with dog
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Often with lighting, we focus more on how to light the interiors of our homes to give them a cosy and welcoming feel, but outdoor porch lighting is just as important. 

Considering some key porch ideas and using lighting cleverly, not only adds to the aesthetic appeal, but it is also key for making your home more secure and on a practical level, it's easier to find the keyhole when it's not pitch black!

'A well-lit porch becomes a beacon in the evening, but it has to be inviting and secure. It helps to deter unwelcome visitors and guides people safely to your door,' explains Sam Marlow, interior designer and purchasing manager at Lime Lace. 'The choice of lighting in your porch also sets the tone for your home.' 

Porch lighting ideas

When deciding on the type of lighting to choose for your porch, there are a few things to think about, like which style to choose and the type of lighting you will need. Read on below for our top tips on the best porch lighting ideas.

1. Think about symmetry

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

If space in your porch allows, hanging matching wall lights either side of your front door will help to light the area evenly. 'When it comes to porch lighting, symmetry and balance are essential,' explains Sam. 

'If your porch has a symmetrical design, hanging two small wall sconces on either side of the door is a natural choice. The arrangement creates a sense of balance and elegance, while providing ample illumination for the space.' 

2. Focus light on key areas

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC)

On the other hand, if you are working with small front porch ideas, using a single light is just as effective. 'For smaller porches with limited space, consider hanging just one light,' advises Sam. 'Place a sconce on one side of the door as this can create a charming, asymmetrical look that still provides adequate lighting.' 

Although, when positioning your lighting, think carefully about which area it's needed most. 'If you opt for a single wall light, it's crucial to position it strategically. The ideal placement is near the doorbell, so it's visible to anyone approaching your home.' 

3. Try recessed spotlights

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Där Lighting)

When it comes to smaller, enclosed porches recessed lighting can be a big space saver. 'The best option for an enclosed porch is to install recessed lights into the area, ideally fitted to a dimmer switch to change the illumination level you need depending on the season,' advises Peter Legg, lead designer, Där Lighting.

'This will be the utilitarian light stream, useful for when it comes to putting on coats and shoes, but it needs to be supported by accent lighting on the outer side of the structure.' Even if your porch is small, it still means you can incorporate stylish lighting, but using it on the outside will help to give your home more kerb appeal.

4. Choose a complimentary style

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Pooky)

One of the first things to consider when thinking about porch lighting ideas is the style, choose wrongly and your lighting can easily jar with the look of your home. 'Keeping a theme with your home's exterior style helps set the scene nicely when selecting your porch light fittings,' explains Jo Plant, head of design at Pooky

'As a rule, your options should complement your overall design aesthetic and make your entrance a style statement. A period home would suit an antique inspired pendant whereas a modern building would suit a more contemporary look with chrome wall lights.'

5. Go for a pendant

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Industville)

For larger porches and those with a pitched roof, you can be a bit more adventurous with your outdoor lighting ideas. 'Pendant lights serve as a statement piece, adding a focal point to your porch's design,' explains Mara Rypacek Miller, managing director and founder Industville

'Whether it's a single large pendant or a group of smaller ones clustered together, these lights can elevate the aesthetic of your outdoor space, adding a touch of elegance and personality. They're particularly well suited for porches with higher ceilings, where they can hang without disrupting the flow of the space.'

6. Choose a motion sensor

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Another factor to think about is how your porch lighting will be activated. Do you want to switch them on manually, set them on a timer or be activated by motion?

'No matter your style of porch, always consider motion sensor designs. This will not only help you save money on your electricity bill but it will give you the added security throughout the night,' explains Peter. 

If you live in an area with no streetlights, a timer or motion-activated design is key. Fortunately motion sensor technology doesn't mean you are stuck with a modern look, Lights4Funs Ebony Lantern Wall Light for £67 has a lovely period look.

7. Match it to your interior style

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

When thinking about the type of porch lighting to choose, take some inspiration from your home's interior. 'Matching your exterior styling to your interior creates a streamlined and seamless look to your home, ensuring a smooth aesthetic throughout,' explains Danielle Le Vaillant, head of photography and film at Cox & Cox. 'Considered lighting will give guests a sense of your style from the moment they set foot on your front porch.'

8. Try a lantern style

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

For a more relaxed, informal porch lighting idea, grouping together lanterns in varying sizes creates a cosy atmosphere. 'Metal lanterns are a great addition for brightening your porch area and giving your entrance a little refresh for the summer season, advises Amy Mason, director of product at Lights4fun

'The minimalistic silhouette and contemporary matte finish of black metal lanterns will instantly uplift and gently illuminate your porch. Simply style either side of your front door, mixing and matching different heights and sizes, and select the optional six-hour timer function to bring a simple yet timeless glow to your front porch.' 

It's also a cost-effective way of adding lighting without having to get an electrician to do any wiring.

9. Make it inviting

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Choose porch lighting that sets the tone of your home. 'It’s important for the porch area of your home to feel inviting, and this is especially true for covered porches,' explains Marlena Kaminska, designer at ValueLights

'Alongside your functional wall lights, think about options which can add charm and character to your home’s exterior. String lights are the ultimate addition for adding a warm welcoming touch to the entryway.'

10. Think about energy efficiency

Porch lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/Photoword)

Aside from deciding on what style of lighting to choose, think about the type of bulbs too. 'Don't forget to factor in energy efficiency when selecting lighting options,' explains Jamie Moxey, lighting specialist at Dusk Lighting. 'LED lights are an excellent choice for their low energy consumption and long lifespan.' 

From a practical perspective, longer lasting bulbs mean they will need to be changed less regularly which is handy, especially if your lights are hard to reach.


  Which light is best for a porch?

'It's essential to consider the IP rating (Ingress Protection) of the lighting fixtures, which indicates their resistance to dust and moisture,' explains Mara. 

'For a covered porch, fixtures with an IP rating of at least IP44 provides protection against water splashes from all directions, making them suitable for covered outdoor areas. For an exposed porch, opt for fixtures with an IP rating of IP65, which will offer a higher protection.' 

What is the best lighting for a covered porch?

'With covered porches, you have a bit more choice over your lighting as you can usually fit ceiling lights as well as wall lights, explains Thomas Goodman, property and construction expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk.

 'If head height is an issue, you could go for recessed spotlights or a slim LED ceiling light. For covered porches with a gable roof, you could either go with wall lights or a central light where the ceiling is highest. This gives you the option to choose a pendant or lantern style light without it getting in the way – creating a nice focal point in your porch.' 

Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.