Tips For Choosing The Right Size Outdoor Lanterns

Most people love to place some lights outside the house as a means of decoration. Outdoor lanterns are lights that have won the hearts of many with their elegant looks and flamboyant style. They boost the elegance surrounding the house and are often the primary priority as outdoor lights.

There is a wide range of outdoor lanterns that are available in the market of various sizes. Outdoor solar lanterns are trending nowadays and have caught the eye of many.

For purchasing outdoor lanterns, the size is one of the most intriguing factors as often people find them big enough in stores, but when they return to their houses, they seem to be very small.

The lantern lights are considered the eyes of the home and should be visible properly from a fair way out. Thus it is essential to remember a few tips before purchasing an outdoor lantern.

Lights Beside The Door

The size of the lantern should be between ⅓ and ¼ of the size of the door. If the ceiling is higher, one can opt for a bigger size.

The lights should be mounted at least six inches from the door’s frame and around 66 inches from the bottom.

Lights Beside The Garage

If one chooses to buy a lantern for the garage area, that should also be also ⅓ – ¼ of the garage’s height. They should not be better than the lights at the door but have an elegance of its own.

Lights Above The Garage

Many prefer lights above the garage as it lights up the entire garage area and is quite trending nowadays. They should ideally be placed about 6 inches above the garage door and about ¼-⅕ of the size of the door.

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The area that the lights need to cover should also be taken into consideration.

Lights On The Garden Lamp Post

These should ideally be ¼ of the size of the post. They are at their best when they are placed about 6 feet above the ground.

Lights At The Entrance

A bright lantern at the entry path to the house looks extremely elegant if placed correctly. But they need to be of the perfect size to give the best lighting and too short or too big would not look good.

It should be about 1/5th the door’s size and be placed at least about 6 inches from the door.

Lights At The Garden Table

Many enjoy a cup of coffee in the evening or even dinner at night at the garden table. Hence the table requires proper lights so that one can see the food properly.

Hence choosing the adequate amount of light can prove to be tricky.

The height of the lantern may vary from 7 feet above the ground to about 30 inches above the table depending upon the size of the shelter.

If the table is long, two lanterns should be used to provide adequate light.

Before purchasing an outdoor lantern, one should keep a few things in mind:

  1. The size of the lantern would reduce to about half of its length from the street. Hence it is essential to purchase a lantern based on how big the house-owner wants his lantern to be seen by his guests.
  2. The lanterns at the garage should not be bigger than the lantern at the doorway because the focal point of attraction must be at the entrance path.
  3. One can test the length by hanging cardboard to know precisely the size that would satisfy the house-owner’s demands. He can then go to the store and look for that size of lantern.
  4. It is better to purchase various varieties of lanterns as they would look better. One can go for a hanging lantern for the main entrance while outdoor solar lanterns for the garage.
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Although size should be the primary priority behind buying an outdoor lantern for decoration, one should also keep in mind that it is not the only factor. The colour and style should also be kept in consideration.

The colour of the lantern should match with the colour of the exterior walls and earth or black tones are the most frequent. The style of the lantern must abide by the architecture of the house. To add variety, one could opt for a few bright and a few dim ones.


Decorating the outdoors with lights is enjoyed by most, and all have their own preferences. But it is important to understand the perfect size of the lights so that the elegance can meet its true potential.

One must opt for energy-saving lamps like LED or CFL in order to not harm our environment, and outdoor solar lanterns are also a decent alternative.


Victoria Shepard
My name is Victoria, i studied Architecture at university and that is where my passion for interior design started. I love to share my tips and tricks with my readers and help educate people on home renovations and more!