Want to Get in Touch?

We're here to help both Trade Professionals & Homeowners!
Trade ProgramSelection Assistance

Ask Jan- A Collection of Expert Advice from the “Lantern Lady” of Charleston.


Choosing the Right Outdoor Lantern


Choosing the right outdoor lighting fixtures is a critical final touch to a new home or a newly refreshed home. Copper lanterns can be the jewels that make a modest home appear to be a mansion, and conversely the appearance of a luxury home can be dampened by choosing the wrong outdoor lanterns.

In selecting the best outdoor light fixtures for your home there are three factors to consider:

  • size
  • style
  • placement

The size of the lantern is important! Often, people choose copper lanterns that are too small for the home and thus miss their desired effect. Sometimes lanterns that are inappropriately large for the porch and door area are chosen. Size and proportion really come into play when matching post lanterns along a walkway or driveway with gas light sets on the porch or a lantern with large scrolls above the front entrance. Contact our Lantern Specialists at Carolina Lanterns. They are knowledgeable professionals who can advise you about size and proportion in choosing copper outdoor lighting fixtures.

Additional Expert Lantern Advice:

The style of your outdoor lighting fixtures should be complementary to the style of your home. Here at Carolina Lanterns and Accessories, we know that we offer a group of copper gas lights or copper electric lights that will enhance the style of your home. Considering all the models and options, we offer literally thousands of possibilities, but not every lantern is a good match for every home and application. It is our purpose to help you to find the perfect match in both outdoor lighting fixtures and indoor copper lanterns, taking in to consideration the size, style, exterior features, and lines of your home.

Placement is also very critical in attaining your desired look and effect of outdoor lighting fixtures. When lantern placement is beside a door, they must not be mounted too high on the wall, loosing the value of the light and beauty of the copper gas lantern. Placement of a single copper gas lantern over the door can set the mood for entering guests, however depth from the wall and style of gas lantern are critical. A look of luxury and fine taste is created by placing electric copper lanterns that exactly match the style of outdoor gas lights used in the front of the home in other applications; on the garage or carriage house, at the side door or back porch, around the pool, patio, or garden.

Contact our Lantern Specialists at Carolina Lanterns to have them guide you through the process.

Click here to fill out a request form, or call: 1-843-881-4170

Jan’s Story:

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. Necessity inspired Jan Clouse to become the founder of one of the country’s most successful lighting businesses – Carolina Lanterns & Lighting.

“In 1999, we were building our own home in Park West. We wanted gas lanterns. At the time, no one was using natural gas – they were using propane,” she explained.

After an exhaustive search, she eventually located a business that sold gas lanterns and purchased much of its inventory. Clouse then decided to reach out to local contractors and designers with her new-found collection.

“I operated out of the trunk of my car,” she said, adding that she eventually opened a small office on Coleman Boulevard.

“At that time, we only sold copper lighting,” she said. “But by 2005, we found that many customers wanted one-stop shopping for all types of lighting and fans.”

So Clouse converted a former auto supply store to a 6,000-square-foot showroom. It took jumping through a few hoops regarding building codes and even involved hanging sturdy airplane wire to display the heavier lights. The result was an expansive collection of chandeliers, fans and lanterns.

Carolina Lanterns & Lighting has often been voted the best local lighting retailer and has received accolades from Southern LivingVerandaCoastal Living and Dallas Style & Design. Its pieces have been featured on multiple television programs, including “Extreme Makeover.” And Clouse’s lanterns have been part of more than a dozen prestigious “idea houses,” projects sponsored by leaders in the home décor field, including this summer’s Coastal Living idea house in Newport, Rhode Island.

But Clouse will not allow the business to rest on its laurels.

“My employees receive extensive training and continuing education. I even send them to Chicago for ALA certification,” she said.

Their expertise has clearly paid off. Because of the company’s nationally renowned reputation, “We sell to people all over the country,” said Clouse. “Barbara Streisand is a customer, with our lanterns at her house in Malibu.”

Clouse’s first career in the shipping industry had her traveling more than she liked, but she knows that there is more excitement for her closer to home.

“I really have four businesses – our contracting clients, our 12,500-square-foot warehouse on Clements Ferry Road, a clearance showroom located at the warehouse, and, of course, the retail showroom which we will expand this summer. I look forward to my next adventure in lighting right here in Charleston,” she commented.

by Mary Coy, Mount Pleasant Magazine