Your Guide to Exterior Garage Door Lighting

Exterior lighting, especially around your garage doors, provides not only excellent curb appeal but safety as well. You want your guests and family members to be safe when they come home at night, and the right exterior garage door lighting will guide them safely.

Choosing the right exterior lighting for your garage doesn’t have to be daunting. Check out our guide on exterior garage door lighting.

Benefits of Exterior Garage Door Lighting

There are several advantages to installing exterior garage lights on your home and your garage in particular. Garage door lighting will:

  • Enhance your curb appeal
  • Deter burglars from casing your home and breaking in
  • Increase visibility of your driveway and surrounding landscape
  • Improve safety for your family members and guests

Most exterior lighting options fall into one of two categories:damp-rated fixtures and wet-rated fixtures.

Damp-rated fixtures: These are meant for outdoor areas that don’t get direct exposure to snow or rain, but they can handle some moisture and dampness. You’ll need this type of lighting for bathrooms, carports, covered patios, exterior kitchens and screened porches.

Wet-rated fixtures: These canwithstand ice, snow, rain, and salty air (for homes along the coast). You will find these on garages, exposed decks, lanais, verandas, gazebos, and pergolas.

For the purposes of your exterior garage door lights, they will have to be wet-rated.

Amount of Lights You’ll Need

Now it’s time to consider how many lights you want or need depending on your garage size, how many doors you have, and personal preference. There’s a simple way to figure this out. Go to the end of your driveway at dusk with a sketch pad. Think about how many lights would look good and how many you will need for adequate coverage.

Here are some more tips:

  • With a one-car garage, consider installing one light on the side that is closest to your front walkway, with two more lights on either side of the garage door. For double doors, you may want to install lights in the center, and on the left and right sides. Want even more light? Try adding a medium floodlight.
  • Two- and three-car garages should feature one light on each side of every door, with lights at breaks between the doors.

Choosing the Size

If you go too small on the actual size of the lights, they can be dwarfed by the size of your garage and home, defeating the purpose of adding lights in the first place. On the other hand, if they are too large, they will overwhelm the space and provide too much glare rather than a pleasant glow.


Placement of the lights is imperative when trying to create an elegant aesthetic appeal.  For side lighting, the bottom should be one foot from the garage door’s top. If you want to center the light above the garage door, divide the door’s width in half.


There are many styles of garage door lighting to choose from, such as:

  • Coastal or nautical (bulkhead lights, lanterns)
  • Cottage (lanterns, barn lights)
  • Industrial (bulkhead lights, barn lights)
  • French country (wall-mounted lanterns)
  • Modern or contemporary (barn lights, flush or semi-flush sconces)
  • Rustic or lodge (wall-mounted lanterns)
  • Traditional (wall-mounted lanterns, barn lights)

If the sole purpose of adding lighting to your exteriors is for enhanced security, you may want to go a step further and choose floodlights, spotlights or a combination of the two.

Contact M&M Garage Doors

Now that you have the lighting system down pat, it’s time to choose a garage door to complement it. We make it easy. Just call us at (586) 610-5434 for a free quote or browse our website collections.