A little love goes a long way for the outside of your home. Curb appeal can be bolstered by a tidy yard and a lovely flower bed - but it's the flourish of a handsome mailbox, snazzy address numbers, and the perfect porch light that makes your house your home.
You may not know that the most important thing to consider when picking a porch light isn't related to aesthetics — it's related to safety.
Every light fixture has a designated UL Location Rating. That means it's been tested by the independent Underwriter's Laboratory and approved for use in one of three locations — dry locations, damp locations, and wet locations.
Dry locations are those with no exposure to moisture of any type — like the interior of your home.
Damp locations are exposed to moisture, but no direct water. Think a steamy bathroom, or above your boiling oven in a kitchen — and on a covered porch. Damp rated fixtures make fantastic porch lights, as long as they are not exposed directly to the elements.
Wet locations are exposed to snow, rain, sleet, and whatever else mother nature has in store. If your light fixture will be out in the elements, you need a wet rated fixture. They're specially designed with features like weep holes and gaskets to ensure that water stays away from the electrical elements of the fixture.
If you're uncertain about what sort of fixture you need, ask your electrician.
Picking the right type of fixture for your porch means that as the years go by, come rain or shine, you'll have the perfect light to welcome you home.