Porch lighting ideas to make your house pop

March 01, 2024

Porch lighting isn't just for function — it can add much-needed aesthetic appeal to your home. If you're looking to pump up your curb appeal or add a little bit of drama to your doorstep, the right outdoor lighting can turn a ho-hum house into the envy of the neighborhood. 

Make the perfect first impression to guests, passers-by, and the neighborhood alike by incorporating some of these smart outdoor lighting tips.

Front porch lighting ideas

There are countless front porch lighting ideas, and all you need is some inspiration and smart outdoor lighting.

Add a motion sensor for smart outdoor lights

Don't let your guests grace your doorstep in the dark — welcome them in with light! By adding a motion sensor for your outdoor lighting, you and your guests won't fumble for keys or the doorbell. You can set an outdoor sensor to trigger whatever lights you like, but wall-mounted outdoor lights placed on either side of the door offer a grander, more welcoming feeling to the home.

Bright idea: For a more dramatic lighting effect, place one motion sensor at the beginning of your driveway or pathway and set them to trigger path lights. Once they reach the door, another motion sensor will trigger the porch lights.

Install railing lights for porches

The railings are usually ignored when it comes to outdoor lighting — they'll get a garland and some string lights during the holidays, but not much else. Instead of path lights (or, if you love a well-lit home, in addition to path lights), you can install strip lighting under the railing around your porch. An outdoor lightstrip can also be paired to a motion sensor, lighting up bright — or even with some color — when someone approaches.

In the winter, you'll get a lovely effect of diffused, illuminated snow on your railing.

Philips Hue LED strip light installed under railing

Add color to smart outdoor lights

Most porch lighting is the same shade of soft white. While that works well for most homes, sometimes you want to add a little something extra to your porch decor. With smart outdoor lights, you can bring color to your outdoors — and with Philips Hue smart lights, that's 16 million colors.

Bright idea: Use your smart outdoor lights for the holidays! Instead of stringing up colorful lights, you can simply set your outdoor lights to the color of your choice: bright red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, and spooky orange lights for Halloween.

Friends chatting and laughing on the front porch

Back porch lighting ideas

The front porch is ready to greet guests in style — so now it’s time to light up back porch! Use these tips to make your back porch just as beautiful as the front.

Combine smart outdoor lights with DIY  

When you browse for porch decor ideas, you're often bombarded with tons of crafts and other DIY decorations. Combining these elements with smart outdoor lighting can bring the coziness your porch may be missing. Mason jars filled with candles, homemade windchimes, wreaths, paper lanterns, and more can complement your subtle porch lighting without overwhelming your porch decor.

Bright idea: If you've hung a wreath on your front door for the season, direct a spotlight at it to make sure it's always on display.

Spotlight your greenery

If your porch is surrounded by greenery, put it in the spotlight — literally! With outdoor spotlights, you can add a dramatic effect to the bushes, trees, or other greenery around your porch. Place your spotlight aimed at a plant in front of a wall to cast interesting shadows and help create depth.

Bright idea: Low-voltage weatherproof spotlights, such as Lily spotlights, are much easier to install, allowing you to set up and move your spotlights in a cinch — and all without hiring an electrician.

Greenery colored purple with smart outdoor spotlight

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness