Here’s How Much It Costs To Light Up Your Porch
If you’re a homeowner looking to add outdoor lighting, there are many benefits to taking on this endeavor. First and foremost, there’s the security it provides. Having a brightly lit porch is a good deterrent for keeping criminals and those with bad intent away from your home. It also shows pride in your property, and helps new visitors find your house easier. If you have kids or enjoy spending time outdoors at night, having the area brightly lit makes it more comfortable and inviting. It also boosts your curb appeal when you’re ready to sell, and makes your home stand out to potential buyers.
The average cost of installing porch lighting is anywhere between $225 to $1,000+. But of course, many different things can influence this number. Below we break down some of these factors and the price ranges for each. Here’s how much it costs to light up your porch and outdoor space.
Total costs of installation
Depending on what you want to add, the cost of this project changes. The price range for installation can be anywhere from $225 to $1,000+. The main determination of price will be how much lighting you want. Lighting up a central porch lamp is one thing, with the estimated installation cost ranging from $225 to $410. The average cost for an electrician to wire a light is $160, and the average price for fixtures is between $65 to $250.
But if you want to get more tech-savvy or design-focused with your design, the price can creep up. For example, solar-powered lighting, motion-sensor security, and smart lighting synched with your phone will cost more. So will designer features, such as sleek lanterns by the door, LED wall strips, trendy pendant lights, and outdoor ceiling fans with lights. It also depends on how many of these lights you want to install. A more elaborate porch lighting plan will likely cost you $1,000+.
Security lights / motion sensor lights
Installing security lights, typically motion-sensor lights, have an estimated range of between $350 to $500. A surprising number of factors influence this, but overall it is one of the least expensive security measures you can take. Motion-sensor lights should be installed by a professional since they’re hardwired. One fact worth considering is that motion-sensor lights are extremely energy-efficient, using only half the wattage of LED lights. However, these lights don’t stay on all the time. Other costs that will influence the price range will be the type of bulb and sensor you choose, and the power source you choose. Here are a few more cost breakdowns.
There are different motion sensor lights, and different cost ranges for each. For instance, a floodlight might cost $30 to $400, but add installation and the total price range rises to $250 to $600. Floodlights are the option that puts out the most bright light, illuminating the broadest area at a time. Another common type is the spotlight, ranging in price from $15 to $60 with an average cost of $40 per light. The range for installation of motion sensor spotlights is $50 to $250 per light.
Two more options are smart and decorative motion-sensor lights. Smart motion-sensor lights typically have a camera built-in that will send your phone alerts when the light goes off, when the camera captures something, or both. These lights will cost $100 to $300 each, and with installation, the total price ranges from $200 to $500 each. However, decorative motion-sensor lights are subtle but effective, and cost from $40 to $110 per light. Add installation, and the range will be from $250 to $350 in total per light.
Types of fixtures
The cost of installing outdoor lights by fixture ranges from $50 to $1,000. But there are many types of outdoor light fixtures, so let’s get to it. Flush-mount fixtures typically attach to the ceiling and cost between $50 and $250. A wall-mounted outdoor fixture can cost from $50 to $250. A floodlight fixture runs from $75 to $250. while recessed light fixtures run from $305 to $550. And an outdoor fan light can cost between $100 to $600.
It’s important to choose the style of fixtures that matches your outdoor lighting plan. There are traditional, contemporary, Craftsman style, transitional, farmhouse style, or industrial lamps. You can find budget versions of each style, or splurge on trending designs that will give the exterior of your home a facelift. For example, there is a huge difference between walking onto a porch with a $50 boob lamp and stepping onto a porch with a black, French-inspired lantern pendant. One is significantly more expansive than the other.
Types of light bulbs or sources
Another cost consideration will involve the type of light bulb or output you choose. LED bulbs are the most common and efficient choice for many fixture types we’ve discussed. But for others, solar-powered lights might be the best choice. Solar-powered lights work great for landscape lighting, costing anywhere between $50 to $200 per light, allowing you to skip hiring an electrician. If you’re hardwiring the outdoor lights, they will cost between $100 and $200 per light to install. Battery-operated is another choice, costing between $50 and $100 per light.
If you’re using traditional hardwired lights, you can use other types of bulbs, such as compact fluorescent or halogen bulbs. Incandescent bulbs aren’t used much anymore, as they shouldn’t be exposed to the elements. If you have a large porch, HID (high-intensity discharge) bulbs are an option. Additionally, string lights give a free-spirit kind of vibe, and can be used on porch posts or rails. They cost anywhere from $50 to $200 for a 50-foot strand. But LED bulbs are the most commonly used today, costing $300 or more per light.
Cost to replace fixtures
Sometimes severe weather can damage an outdoor fixture, in which case you might want to have it repaired or replaced. Other people might be renovating and decide it’s time to update their outdoor fixtures. Sometimes people preparing to sell their homes choose to update their fixtures, which can extend to outside the home. Small touches like that can go a long way toward your home’s curb appeal. Whatever your situation, the figures listed below should give you a ballpark.
The average cost to replace or repair an outdoor light fixture averages $75 to $286 total, including labor and installation. The average price is $196. If you have a small and simple fixture — like a wall-mounted lantern by your door — this will likely cost you $75 for labor. But if you have something more complex — like a porch ceiling fan — it will take more time to fix, which means it will cost more. The work involved will likely take an hour or two, charged anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. When you’re ready, get more than one estimate before proceeding.
Do you want to light up the bushes or flowers in front of your porch? A small, simple design can often be accomplished with $500 — the bottom line depends on the light fixtures and bulbs you choose, as well as how many will be installed. Again, the more intricate the plan is, the more you can expect to pay. Solar-powered lamps average $50 each, while stylish LED lights in modern silhouettes can cost around $300.
Enhancing the beauty of your property with landscape lighting adds another element of safety and warmth for guests, while at the same time providing another layer of security against deterring unwanted ones. Another plus is that you can use low-voltage wiring with LED bulbs, which only need to be buried in trenches 3 to 6 inches below ground level. This makes the installation process easier. LED bulbs additionally have a longer lifespan and are much more energy efficient. Sitting on your porch at night will be enjoyable and safe when the gardens below are well-lit.
DIY lights vs. hire an electrician
As aforementioned, this is really a job best left to the professionals. However, if you want to install solar or battery-powered outdoor lights, this kind of DIY project can save you money. For example, installing 10 solar-powered outdoor lights can be done for $100 to $1,500. The same amount of battery-powered landscape lights will cost $200 to $350. You can DIY string lights yourself if you have an outlet, or if you have them installed, it could cost $80 to $300 for a set.
If you want to extend your porch lighting down your steps and to the front of the rail, a 10-fixture landscape lighting system that’s professionally installed will cost you between $1,000 and $2,000. Keep in mind you will likely need to have outdoor outlets installed, which will cost $250 to $400 for labor and materials, per outlet. You also need to consider the cost of the wiring itself. This is estimated to cost $3 to $5 per foot, and digging the trenches costs about $5 to $13 per linear foot.
Choosing between DIYing or hiring a professional will largely depend on your budget and personal preference. Opting for a professional will give you a quality job that ultimately lasts longer than a DIY option. Whichever you decide, go out there and get your porch lit!