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Lighting Large Two Story Homes

Posted by Cody K. on

Everything you need to know about lighting two-story homes


Illuminate striking architectural angles and curves with warm, modern lighting. Strong or subtle lights create distinctive curb appeal, attracting the attention of neighbors and passersby. At night, roofs tower over the street, displaying dramatic shadow lines under and across peaks and individual shingles. Add additional lights to emphasize driveways, walkways, and surrounding landscapes. Every enhancement shows personality while improving the resale value of client homes.


Consider a few home lighting elements before choosing the appropriate lamps. Important lighting factors include:

Dark Home Exteriors

Dark exterior surfaces absorb a significant amount of light. In fact, light from low-output lamps causes homes to look ominous and under-lit. For this reason, landscape and lighting designers are encouraged to install high-output lamps to make walls appear bright and welcoming.

Two-Story Home Lamp Placement

Light trespass remains an irritating issue to homes with light sleepers and poor lamp placement. Avoid unwelcome flooding through bedroom windows by picking the perfect potential lamp locations. Although second-story windows limit ground light transmittance with distance, you should always test light levels with homeowners and ensure fixtures are between 12–14 inches from exterior walls. Expect minimal light reflection from window casements.

Trees and Garden Plants

Trees and large plant material commonly obstruct home lighting, which can be a security risk as well as an esthetic misstep. When necessary, trim leaves and branches to eliminate awkward shadows and allow for adequate illumination. Alternatively, use an extension riser to elevate lamps above vegetation. Additional home lighting considerations include eliminating architectural hot spots and sufficiently illuminating upper gables.

Fixture Placement & Lamp Specifications – Dark Exteriors

Placement: Install lamp fixtures approximately 6’–9’ apart on either side of the windows.

Lamp Specifications: 6-watt/60° MR16 LED and 10-watt/60° PAR36 LED lamps remain ideal for dark home exteriors. Tall and narrow walls may require fixtures with 30° LED lamps placed closer together.

Fixture Placement & Lamp Specifications – Light Exteriors

Lamp Specifications: 5-watt/60° MR16 lamps adequately illuminate light home exteriors. Choose a 6-watt/60° PAR36 LED for additional power. Tall and narrow walls may require 30° lamps and moving fixtures closer together.

Placement: Install lamp fixtures approximately 6’–9’ apart on either side of the windows.

*Note: Every home differs architecturally, requiring unique lighting solutions that vary in power and placement. Use the above home lighting considerations, lamp specifications, and placement suggestions only as general guidelines. Always refer to client exterior design goals and requests when selecting and installing lamp fixtures.

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