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Best options for outdoor lighting at home

Having the outside of your home lit up is pretty important for many reasons. You want to be able to make it to your front door without tripping on steps, ensure there’s visibility on people sneaking into your back yard, and be able to see friends arrive when the dinner party runs late. Let’s go through some of the best outdoor lights available. All of the lights here are rated as waterproof and can stand the test of the outdoors. Don’t be shy about leaving them out year-round.

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Best patio lights

Outdoor lights on the ceiling.

A good set of string lights can add whimsical ambiance to an outdoor dinner party. The Enbrighten Color Changing Cafe Lights are well-suited to that task. These LEDs are available in either 24- or 48-foot strings, which can cover most residential areas. If your space is bigger, you can link them up to 750 feet. A hardware controller gives you the ability to change colors and animations, or you can get a bundle that includes a smart plug for Wi-Fi connectivity and access via Alexa or Google Assistant.

Best outdoor path lights

Outdoor path lights.

Solar lights are handy for pathways that are far from plugs at your home. Even if they are in range, placing wiring across  lawn can be unsightly or dangerous. The Gigalume Solar Pathway Lights provide a nice mix of class and utility.  These glass and metal lights come in a pack of six, and can provide ten hours of warm white illumination on a single charge. They’ll automatically turn on when it gets dark and turn off when there’s enough sun to start charging them again. It helps that the pattern these lights cast is quite striking, and likely to catch the eye of neighbors.

Best outdoor security light

Outdoor security light.

For those seeking a little bit of connectivity and security, Eufy offers an impressive flood light that includes a motion-sensing camera. In addition to providing 3000 lumens in a 140-degree span, there’s also a 360-degree 2K livestream camera that can send mobile notifications of trespassers. When spotted, the Eufy Floodlight Camera 2 Pro can fire off a siren to spook those ne’er-do-wells. You can record video clips without having to pay subscription costs, which is a big leg-up over other home security lights. Both Alexa and Google Assistant support is available so you can activate the lights with your voice.

Best outdoor decorative lights

Philips Hue Lily outdoor spotlight shining pink.
Philips

Philips Hue remains the go-to brand for smart lighting indoors, and they’re asserting that dominance on outdoor lights, too. The Philips Hue Lily Outdoor Spot Light lets you light up the front of your home with whatever splashes of seasonal color you’re looking for. You’ll need a Bridge hub already set up inside, but it will let you group all of your lights together, and control them via Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. Paired with a Hue Motion Sensor, you can have those lights automatically turn on as you pull into the driveway.

Best outdoor step lighting

JSOT solar step lighting installed on stairs.
JSOT

Steps are a real hazard when navigating the outside of your house at night. Picking up an 8-pack of these JSOT Solar Step Lights should provide all you need to make it up and down safely in the dark. They turn off and on automatically as lighting conditions change. With between four and six hours of solar charging, you can get between six and eight hours of light from each fixture. Since they’re powered by the sun, you don’t have to run any wires to them — just screw them right into your steps. They each emit about 30 lumens, which should be plenty to illuminate nearby stairs.

Best outdoor wall lighting

Globe Electric Sebastien wall sconce light installed by front door.
Globe Electric

Sometimes you need a full-blown fixture replacement, and the Globe Electric Sebastien Wall Sconce is a great fit. A classic style with neutral coloring make it a versatile choice. It’s fully dimmable, and supports the standard E26 bulb socket, so you’re free to pop in whatever outdoor-rated LED bulbs you like in there.

Those are our recommendations for the best outdoor lights available. Between them, you should be able to keep every little nook and cranny of your yard visible all hours of the night if necessary. Take advantage of the few smart options and you’ll be able to control the important stuff from your phone, while allowing lower-tech solar options to turn on and off just when they’re needed.

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