Outdoor wall lighting can be one of the most important ways to keep your home safe at night and improve how you feel about it. With this guide, we hope that choosing outdoor wall lights will become easier for you. We’ll cover a few different types of outdoor fixtures and offer helpful tips on the key factors that influence your purchasing decisions.
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Outdoor wall lights are usually mounted on the outside of your home in locations where you actually need additional light and not just for decoration. Popular areas include:
These outdoor wall lights can be used to illuminate both the porch and walkway leading up to your house, making it easier for visitors or delivery people to see their way around at night.
If you need light for a walkway or side-entrance, you can install these outdoor wall lights to help you and your visitors see their way.
If your yard has an area that needs lighting, such as gardens or walking paths, then outdoor wall lighting can be the ideal choice to throw light across the wider area from the house. These will also keep the area well lit after dark by using the back of your house to brighten up an area that is typically in darkness and uninviting.
If you have a patio, deck or outdoor dining area that needs lighting then these outdoor wall lights can create the perfect atmosphere. An outdoor light will not only help make it feel more welcoming but they also add to your home’s curb appeal. If you want an evening barbecue where everyone is gathered together, then exterior wall lighting will also ensure you have light when using a grill, and it will help keep mosquitoes away as well!
When you are in your driveway, it is important to have a light next to the garage door. It will not only make visitors feel more welcome but it adds some security and safety for parking. With outdoor wall lights providing illumination, this can help prevent accidents from occurring in an otherwise dark area of your property.
Another style is a wall bracket that holds the bulb down from a canopy and away from the wall. As with most barn lights, this type comes in retro or modern versions, depending on your preference.
Your choices of wall luminaire will be led by where you are choosing for and the style of your building. That said, just what are the types available:
Outdoor lighting has improved in recent years with better materials and so many more designs to find a statement of design you are proud of. Exterior wall sconces are attractive on the outside of your house while still being secure, making them a popular choice for both decoration and safety.
Up and down outdoor wall lights are commonly used as their design statement is demure yet at night they create a real impact as light grazes up the wall and down to the ground. As the light bounces off of the floor it illuminates the immediate area around it with a glare free diffused light that is subtle and easy on the eye.
The wall lantern has been a source of light for humans over centuries if not millennia, so it inherently has a familiar welcoming aesthetic. Themodern classic lantern version simplifies this age old design to become an intelligent design statement that nods the past yet steps into the future with a contemporary shape.
It is now so popular that it is available in many different designs, shapes and sizes.
The shape of the lantern does not have to be minimalistic but beautifully ornate too, it just depends on what you are looking for. The traditional lantern is a common fixture in most homes and gardens, they are usually made out of iron with glass panes for the light to shine through. Interestingly, even a modern home can accommodate the use of a more traditional style when used purposefully to associate what can sometimes be too clean a lined style, with a design that indulges in intricacy.
If you are looking for outdoor security wall lights there is a wide range of options to choose from. Depending on what your needs and requirements are, the various types can be divided into different categories in order to make it easier for you to find what suits your specific need.
Solar lights powered with the renewable solar source of energy can create locations to have lighting that would sometimes be too costly or inconvenient to power electrically. This useful and reliable source of energy for exterior lighting does need access to good daylight/sunlight, so if your location suits that you will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of styles on offer today.
The actual size of your light fixture matters particularly when the design choice is a primary reason for choosing. If it’s just the illumination you are worried about then the physical presence of the fitting is less important and more utilitarian, so the smaller they are the better!
You journey of choosing a more decorative product will be mainly led by what it looks like but keep the size as an important consideration. A key factor when choosing the size of a light is actually the space left around it. If the wall light will be on it’s own and not near an accompanying pair, it may need to compensate with a size that looks like it means to be there rather than look a little lost on a large wall.
The best way to find out what is appropriate for you is by measuring up!
The most common fitting is a single-sided or ‘half’ lantern, so called because it only has one light. Single-sides are available in many sizes and styles, but the most popular size for outdoor use is that which provides about 15 watts of power (about as much energy as an old fashioned 60 watt light bulb).
Trying to find the right exterior lights can be a little overwhelming with so much choice, so a good way to narrow down your search is by relevancy of style in comparison to your house. Here are some techniques on how to choose an appropriate style:
Outdoor lighting typically comes in three main types: cast aluminum, brass, or iron. When looking for wrought iron lighting, consider the material that is used in your fixture. Many are styled to look like metal, but may not actually be made of it.
Quality plastics are very durable but can bleach their colors in direct sunlight over time. The finish and color of your choice can affect the durability of your product as they weather differently.
Stainless steel and chrome are popular choices, but be aware that lower cost more budget designs will use a low grade stainless steel that despite it’s non corrosive label can still tarnish over time. Only high quality 316 grade solid stainless steel will really stand the test of time.
Powder coated metals are also very durable.
Locations near the sea are prone to an increased rate of corrosion due to the saline conditions. Even products that are made from non corrosive metals like aluminium can still use steel grub screws and fittings that will eventually corrode and leave rust marks down the product.
Be sure to choose wall luminaires that are made specifically for coastal exterior locations that will be purely galvanised steel or solid brass. These fixtures often have a rating like IP65 or other indication of resistance against water and moisture too.
Any electrical product that is prone to being exposed to water and moisture should be rated for a wet location to various degrees, especially when located outside. This includes any exterior box to house electrical connections.
Here is an explanation of what each rating means:
So you need outdoor wall lights that are rated for wet locations because they have been tested to make sure the electrical components do not become damaged by moisture or liquids wherever they are placed around the outside of your home and garden.
The choice of LED within a product will have a specific color of white light categorised in degrees of kelvin.
It’s a valid assumption that all modern lighting fixtures will include LED, but some still contain halogen or fluorescent bulbs that are not as efficient. So look for LED wherever you can as it remains the leader as the most efficient source of light we know of.
Consider adding a dusk to dawn sensor on your exterior lighting circuits, which is some countries is a regulation that needs to be met to ensure night time lights are not accidently left on in the day.
You can also find some products that contain their own lux sensor that senses when it is dark enough to allow the power to turn on and light enough to switch it off.
Convert 800 lumens to watts with this calculation according to efficacy, with example watts for popular 800 lmLED products & the benchmark tungsten equivalent
Looking at a common photometric comparison of lumens with footcandles, light output vs illuminance, see the difference and relationship between the two.
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