4 Expert Tips To Choose An Outdoor Flush Mount

Updating or replacing an outdoor flush mounted light fixture can be an exciting chance to make your home more comfortable, functional, attractive, or whatever you choose to make it more "you"! The outdoor lighting helps set the tone for anyone approaching your home, and whether they notice it or not, the luminaires will give your home an aura of its own. But how do you choose between styles, finishes, and features to fit your needs and style and to blend well with the look of your home?

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1. What type of outdoor flush mount should I choose?

If you are looking at outdoor flush mount fixtures, either because you like the style or need it for your particular installation, you still need to choose between flush or semi flush.

  • A flush mount will generally be closer to the mounting surface, whether ceiling or wall. This might be a better choice if the ceiling is low or if it is being mounted vertically on a wall.

  • A semi flush mount will have a small stem that holds the light a short distance away from the ceiling. These styles look a little more like a hanging fixture but are more stable and would be safer for places where there might be high winds.

Both styles feature a lower profile than a hanging light but be sure to consider the ceiling height in your situation to assure there is adequate clearance for doors and heads.

2. How does the location affect the choice of a flush mount?

Outdoor fixtures will be indicated for dry, damp, or wet locations. This is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a luminaire.

  • If the light will be in the open and exposed to the elements, choose a fixture that is indicated safe for wet locations.

  • If the porch is very deep or enclosed, a dry location fixture might be suitable.

  • Damp would work fine in an area that is not directly exposed to water but is still subject to a moist environment.

3. How to select the style of an outdoor flush mount?

Style is always subjective and comes down to personal choice. Some people may choose something very traditional that blends in perfectly with their home's style and neighborhood's feel, while others will want to make a bold statement with a fixture that stands out dramatically.

Narrow down your style

Choosing a style that matches or blends well with your home style will give a more cohesive look to your home. A more modern home might look odd with an old-fashioned stained-glass style fixture and a nautical themed light would seem out of place on a southwestern styled stucco house. If you are not sure what style your home is, take a walk around your neighborhood to see what you like (or don't) about similar homes.

Add your personal style

If you are the homeowner, you will be seeing and using this light fixture more than anyone else, so the style must be something you are at least comfortable with, and hopefully love. As you browse options, imagine how each of these fixtures would feel greeting you each day as you return home. Pick something that will give you a feeling you enjoy!

If resale value is a consideration for you, selecting a more timeless design is a safer choice. Look for an outdoor flush mounted fixture that would look appropriate on almost any house on your street.

Selecting a finish

Although they can come in any color, most outdoor fixtures have a metallic finish:

  • Silver colors, like brushed steel, platinum, or nickel, tend to look more modern.

  • Gold and brass colors are more traditional, while plain white or black are usually the most unnoticeable, for when you want something to just blend in and not stand out.

  • Dark finishes, like rubbed bronze, are often the most versatile, blending well with many styles and colors.

  • Consider the color scheme of your home as well. You may want to choose a cooler color like silver or white if your home exterior is in the blue/green family, or a warmer color like brass or oil rubbed bronze if the exterior is in the orange/red/brown family. Of course, contrasting colors can make the fixture stand out and be more visually interesting.

4. What features do outdoor flush mounts come with?

Some features might be just fun, but some can add considerable value with increased functionality. Think about your lifestyle and how important convenience, security, or energy efficiency are to you.

  • Dimmable: Whether for varying light levels at different times of the year, or for setting a mood for outdoor activities, having a dimmable feature can make your outdoor lighting more adaptable and versatile.

  • Motion sensors: Many fixtures have motion sensors and so can do double duty as security lights while still being attractive. This feature on a porch light is helpful whether you are returning home after dark or want an alert for unexpected visitors.

  • Dark Sky Friendly: Many luminaires carry the Fixture Seal of Approval from The International Dark-Sky Association for lighting that minimizes glare and reduces light pollution. This is a valuable project that impacts both environmental and human health and safety. There are Dark Sky Places all over the world, so this might be an especially important feature if you are near one.

  • Dusk to Dawn: These fixtures feature a light level sensor that turns the light on at dusk and off at dawn, so you never even have to touch the switch! This is a real convenience feature that can reduce worry. Look for this feature if your outdoor lighting is something you don't want to have to think about.

  • Integrated LED: These fixtures have LED lights built into the fixture, making them more energy efficient and eliminating the need for additional bulbs. Integrated LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours!

  • Title 24 compliance: California has building efficiency standards that outline requirements for energy consumption. Many luminaires list Title 24 Compliance under the specifications to take out the guesswork.

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.