4 Expert Tips To Choose A Post Lamp

Post lamps, or lampposts, are gorgeous ways to illuminate your outdoor property with a classic yet magical feel. Evoking rainy streets in London and children's storybooks through the years, post lamps are timeless and classy as well as quite useful. In this handy guide, we'll go through the different options you have to choose a post lamp that fits your home's unique aesthetic.

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1. What type and style of post lamp is best for my home?

Even though post lamps are classic, that doesn't mean that every style is best for every home. You'll want to choose something that works with the architecture of your property, as well as the specific aesthetic that you're going for with your home.

Let's start by discussing the different types of post lamps on the market, and which might be best for different aspects of your location.

Full Post Light

These types of lamps come with everything you need to install a lamp post in your yard - a head, a base, and a post. They usually have the traditional cage head and do not require any extra accessories for installation. This is a good choice if you have the grounds to place a post light, and you're looking for a prefabricated version that you don't have to accessorize or specify in any way. These are also the most common types of post lights, so yours will certainly be in good company.

Decorative Hardwired Full Post Lamp
Short Full Post Lamp Set
Solar Powered LED Post Lamp
4-Light Full Post Lamp in White
3-Light Full Post Lamp in Brown
Traditional Full Post Lamp

Pier Mount Light

A pier mount light is a shorter post lamp that only comes with the very top part of the lantern - the lantern head - mounted on a petite post that's meant to be affixed to stone, wood, or brick pillar. These are very commonly seen on gate posts and old-fashioned fences, and they're a good choice if you're looking for a way to add light to your property, but you don't have clear ground to install one.

1-Light LED Pier Mount Light
Traditional Pier Mount Light in Black
3-Light Pier Mount Light
Solar Powered 1-Light LED Pier Mount Light
Modern Pier Mount Light

Lantern Head

If you're thinking about attaching just the lantern part of a lantern to a more DIY or unconventional base for a more eclectic look, you're in luck - you can purchase just the lantern head. However, do know that this is not a post lamp that you can purchase and install as it is; you will need additional accessories. These may include the following items:

  • Post: You can choose a post of your choice in the color and finish you desire to achieve a truly custom look for your home. The post will not come with a base or a lantern head; it will just be the middle part that determines how high the lantern is from the ground or post.

  • Pier Mount Base: If you're looking to purchase just the part of a lantern kit that connects the post of a post lamp to a stone base, use one of these. You can also find pier mount bases that are vertically mounted, so you can affix a lantern head to a wall instead of a post.

2. What finish or color should I get on my post lamp?

Post lamps come in lots of varying colors, which you can use to match the exterior accessories of your home for your own unique aesthetic.

The overwhelming majority of lampposts are finished with a weather-resistant iron or metallic coating. This means that they're going to be - in most cases - brown, black, or gray. However, you might be interested in knowing that that doesn't have to be the case!

If you're going for a natural, classic look on the exterior of your home, getting a true neutral such as brown or black is likely a good idea. However, if you like modern pops of color, deciding to purchase a lamp with a bright blue or red finish will ensure that you'll have a focal point in your yard!

One color choice that you should likely avoid is anything light in color - white, beige, yellow, or cream. As chic as an all-white post lamp might seem, they're likely to get discolored and dingy-looking because of natural elements. It's in your best interest to choose either a dark or bright color for lasting good looks.

Modern Post Lamp in Deep Brown
Rectangular Post Lamp in Black
Modern LED Light Post Lamp in Silver
Traditional Post Lamp in Brown
Antique Black Dog Styled Post Lamp
Traditional Round Post Lamp in Black

3. Is there a specific power source that I should use for my post lamp?

There are three common power sources that you should use for your post lamp: gas, electricity, and solar. 

  • Gas power source: If you're looking for a reason to install a gas lamp, here's one potential perk: Mosquitoes and other bugs like moths don't flock to buzz around gas lamps like they do electric. On the other hand, you'll definitely be limited in your location when it comes to gas power sources, and you will need to work with a professional to get it safely installed.

  • Electrical power source: An electric power source is a good idea if you have an outlet or ground wire near where you'd like to put your light. You can also put some of the newer ones on timers easily, which can be a great security advantage for when you're out of town. As with gas lamps, however, you might be limited in the specific location of your electric lamp to where a wire is available, and you'll likely have to work with a professional to get the lamp installed safely.

  • Solar power source: One incredible benefit of solar power sources for post lamps is that you can put them anywhere so long as they're able to experience sun for most of the time. You can also install them by yourself, as they won't need to be connected to any ground wires or other sources that might require professional expertise to hook up. Finally, a solar-powered lamp is a sustainable and free way to light your yard - definitely a benefit that should be considered when you're looking at power sources! This is a good choice if you have constant sunlight and if you're interested in the eco-friendly benefits of solar power.

Solar-Powered Mini LED Post Lamp
Solar Powered 1-Light LED Pier Mount Light
Hardwired 3-Light Post Light
Hardwired Outdoor 3-Light Lantern Head
Old Fashioned Bulb Plug-in Post Lamp
Traditional Black Plug-in Post Lamp

4. What features should I look for in the perfect post lamp?

Finally, when you're installing a post lamp in your yard, you should make sure that it has all of the features you're looking for in an accessory for your outdoor property. Features can be simple, such as lamp posts that have included trellises or hangers for hanging plants or birdhouses.

However, there are significantly more high-tech features that you might wish to keep an eye out for! These include dusk-to-dawn timed lighting, in which the post lamp is able to sense the ambient lighting and power itself on to respond. This is fantastic for safety at your home, as well as a way to make sure that your yard is lit for your convenience - not all the time. This also helps you save power, making it a good choice if you want your home to be particularly eco-friendly.

Finally, another common feature that people often enjoy seeing in post lamps is motion-activated lighting. This means that you'll have a post lamp that automatically turns on when it senses that someone or something is moving nearby. This can also be a good safety precaution at your home, as it will enable you to have light when you're nearby - and alarm you when any strangers are nearby. Worried about trespassers? Get this light to help give you some peace of mind.

Post lamps are decorative and functional yard treatments which can make your home look good and keep it safe. Make sure to think about what you need in terms of safety and decor features before you make your purchase!

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.