Best Contemporary Outdoor Lighting (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  May 20, 2016  |  3 Min. Read

Outdoor Lighting  |  Contemporary

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When talking about contemporary outdoor lighting you have much to consider. Architecture, effect, scale, appearance both nighttime and daytime, and also quality of the product.

Magnusson Residence

Everyone has a different perspective of this type of lighting. Contemporary outdoor lighting can easily be confused with other type of lighting such as industrial or craftsman or even mid-century modern. Contemporary is a mix of modern with more traditional elements, so it is interpretive.

If you are in the Boston area, brownstones and other more traditional houses can use contemporary style. Often contemporary is more striking than the usual traditional lanterns.

How To Use Outdoor Lighting

You have to consider showing off the entire scale of the house. These contemporary fixtures provide dramatic lighting and compliment the architecture also putting depth to the property and curb appeal.

One common approach to contemporary outdoor lighting is to use recessed lighting. This effect works great for covered porches and patio spaces, especially when there is not a place for wall lighting.

Reservoir Exterior

Once again this highlights the architecture while providing light for entertaining or relaxing. Do not forget to have a dimmer installed on the exterior fixtures as well. 

So look at the architecture and style of your house, then choose fixtures accordingly. There are plenty of new sophisticated lights to update the look of your house. I will show you a few very different styles to consider.

Best Contemporary Outdoor Lighting

Troy 'Boundary' Wall Lantern - $196

Troy 'Boundary' Wall Lantern

Troy 'Boundary' Wall Lantern

The Troy Boundary Series combines structural design and great LED lighting. Contemporary lights do not have to be all about a high tech look. The geometric shape over a simple glass cylinder offers a beautiful fixture of interest and soft comfortable lighting.

Boundary series is available in three wall sizes. The price ranges from $196 - $298.

Feiss 'Bluffton' Wall Sconce - $204

Feiss 'Bluffton' Wall Sconce

Feiss 'Bluffton' Wall Sconce

The perforated screen diffuses the light source and using a antique vintage style lamp gives a contemporary fixture a warm look. You can make it more contemporary styled with an LED lamp. Available in two sizes.

Feiss 'Salinger' Outdoor Lantern - $225

Feiss 'Salinger' Outdoor Lantern

Feiss 'Salinger' Outdoor Lantern

If you like a clean line and sophisticated look in brushed steel finish, Feiss also offers this Salinger series. In the traditional home pictured above, the Salinger adds a modern touch.

It has an open bottom for easy cleaning and re-lamping. It can hold a LED lamp and very nice light output.

Modern Forms 'Vessel' Outdoor Light - $279

Modern Forms 'Vessel' Outdoor Light

Modern Forms 'Vessel' Outdoor Light

The Vessel is available in 2 sizes and is available in brushed aluminum, white, black, bronze, graphite finishes. It is LED and so very little maintenance and energy efficient.

Hubbardton Forge Series 'Forged Vertical Bar' - $671


Hubbardton Forge Series 'Forged Vertical Bar'

Hubbardton Forge Series 'Forged Vertical Bar'

Hubbardton Forge is manufactured in an actual forge in Vermont. Its more traditional wrought iron bases combine with modern glass and geometric shapes for a classic contemporary light.

This fixture is offered in 3 sizes and available in all the Hubbardton Forge finish options. The vertical bar compliments the trim around the door and windows as well as the handrail.

Final Thoughts

When using contemporary outdoor light fixtures you just have to think a little outside the box. Maybe go for a bigger scale than you might think or maybe go for a unique finish. Try to remember how the lights will look at night as well as during the daytime.

Lastly, consider that all the fixtures on the house do not have to be the same. You can combine compliment styles that offer different lighting effects around the house based on the need and use of the space.

Additional Resources

Want to learn how to properly light your kitchen? Get the Yale Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide with explanations of the different types of light and how to layer your light for the perfect kitchen environment. Over 150,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Read our Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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