A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

August 31, 2016

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

Well, we haven’t painted the brick yet, but this week, we did make a tiny (both in price and in size) update that made the front of our home a little more visually appealing.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

The light that’s just about over my head in the photo above used to be an outdated brass number (see below) that is not uncommon on homes, but not attractive either. What made the situation worse, was the location of the light. I’m not sure why they opted to install the fixture 6 feet away from the front door to start with, but it has made finding something that will work there a little challenging.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

It needed to be something that didn’t protrude too far, didn’t hang too low, and didn’t draw too much attention to itself. We also hoped for something a little more modern since the front of our home looks pretty traditional and we love to mix modern and traditional inside.

We came across this matte black wall lantern while shopping at Lowe’s and it was a whopping $19. We couldn’t put it in our cart fast enough.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

It reminds me a lot of this one from Rejuvenation that I’ve been eyeing for this spot, but there are some distinct differences like the size, the quality, and this $19 version is only opened at the bottom.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

I was impressed that the Lowe’s version came with a bulb, however, it was pretty small and a very cold color (if you’ve listened to Ep. 13 of our Podcast, you know I am kind of particular about my light bulbs), so we picked up a different one for about $8–which we also found at Lowes.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

A few things I look for in a lightbulb are:

1. The Kelvin Color. Around 2000K will give you a really orangey glow light. And closer to 5000K will give you a bluish tint–“daylight bulbs” are kind of known for that. My favorite Kelvin color is right around 2700-3500K. It seems to be a bright white without being too cold or too warm. You’ll find a scale on every bulb box.

2. Wattage. Most fixtures tell you a maximum wattage that the light can handle. In this light’s case, it was 65W or a 13W equivalent. Since it was an outdoor light, I wanted to get as much power as it could handle, but this was as close as I could get. Have you ever gone over the recommended wattage? What even happens if you’re dealing with LEDs like this? How could a light handle 65W but not over a 13W equivalent? (Should have sprung for the 75W)

3. The last thing I look for is the lumens which tells us how bright the light is going to be. 800 is my favorite Lumens. But if it is a bare bulb indoors, you might want to go down on the lumens.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

I would say the install was relatively easy with one hiccup–the holes in the junction box didn’t line up with the holes on the mounting plate, so Chris had to drill an extra hole. Worth it.

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

A Really Good, Modern Exterior Fixture for under $20

This light plays a really good supporting role to our main fixtures on either side of the garage (these) and does a good job lighting the stairs. But, in the future, we’d love to add a ceiling fixture right above the front door for additional light. For now, and for $19, I can’t express how excited I am to not see that little brass guy when walking up to the front door.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Megan says:

    Hi there! Would you be able/willing to show a photo of the light at night? Im wondering how bright it actually is?

    Thank you :)

  2. THANK YOU FOR THIS!! We are going to put these on side patio! Do you have some favorite exterior paint colors? I’m having the hardest time deciding.

  3. Leslie Angell says:

    Love it!

  4. Lynn says:

    You also want to check the bulb to make sure it’s rated for a wet location when installing outdoors.

  5. Rosie says:

    Something else to look at when buying LEDs for outside fixtures – some of them have a minimum starting temp – if you look carefully it should be listed on the box. I’ve seen -3 degrees F and -13 degrees F when looking recently. Others just say indoor only.

  6. What a stunning change it make ! Subtle yet once there it’s like it was meant to be this all along !

    Also thanks for the tips for choosing lightbulb. We’re moving in our first home in less than a month, and I know nothing about all this stuff ! So it’s very helpful for me to gather these infos so I’ll not be crumbling under incertitude when buying all the stuff !

    Plus, as usual, nice photo !

  7. Tari says:

    Don’t worry about the LEDfor watts. If I’m not mistaken, watts describe the bulb/fixtures energy use. If you have a fixture that says 60 watts, thats the maximum watt bulb it is wired to handle. A 13 watt LED would be more than safe!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

A reader recently asked me if I’m starting to fully embrace traditional style and whether we still consider our house to be a “modern Colonial” and why. It was a really great question and so timely — I had really just been thinking about my approach to this home and how my style has changed […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations