OUTDOOR LANTERNS - Rules of Thumb to Get the Right Size

Hinkley Lighting - Harbor Lights

Light illuminates our lives.  It helps us to notice the details and, by highlighting, it tells us silently what is important. Outdoor light leads us on.

So with that said,  let me share with you an informative piece from a Great Lighting Company - HINKLEY LIGHTING (click here).... I do this because people invariably choose lanterns that are too small for a chosen outdoor site. This article from the Hinkley site may help you.


The height of an outdoor lantern should be based on the height of the door:

FOR 1 LANTERN: If you place a lantern on only one side of the door, it should measure one-third the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.


FOR 2 LANTERNS: When two lanterns are used, they should each measure approximately one-fourth the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.

•TIP: In either case, if you choose a fixture with a long tail or top scroll, pay attention to the overall bulk of the fixture.

DON'T UNDERSIZE YOUR LANTERNS:  As a rule of thumb, your lantern should appear to be about half the size of your door from 50' away.

•TIP: When in doubt, always go larger.

If it makes you feel any better, the lanterns on either side fo my door are too small. (installed 20 years ago) Live and learn.......Jan


  1. how many lanterns should there be on the outside of a house?

  2. Well, there is no 'right' answer...it depends on the effect you want and the approach to the door and even if there is overhanging vegetation.

    One big one or two smaller ones by a door is standard...but notice the photo above where there are two in a diagonal line. Unusual but great.

    Also some people (like me) use a post light and others don't. Depends on preference there. Light is a welcoming beacon so use more than one if you want to invite people in.

  3. I have never seen any guidelines before. Thanks, I have always agonized over which size to buy. I think I may have gone too small also.


  4. Very nice post..........
    thanks for sharing these awesome pictures and ideas.it is such a wonderful and useful post.it properly guides us how to use outdoor light so that our home fully decorated.

  5. I love to share info..thanks for the nice commment!

  6. I was actually told this by a Hinkley Employee a few years ago...when my current one's go, I am definitely going larger and definitely going Hinkley!!! No, I don't work there!

  7. Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information.

    Garden Design Norfolk & Patios Norwich


Post a Comment

Hi there! I would love to hear from you....

Popular Posts of all Time

Angelface Blue and Dark Violet Angelonia - a Flower that Keeps Giving

'Purple Smoke' - The best Baptisia

Getting in the 'Flow' by Gardening

No-Fail Tips for Turning Hydrangeas Blue!

Repurposed and Recycled - Creative Ideas for Garden Design

My one day Class Wednesday April 16 in NY - Jan Johnsen