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25 of the best Outdoor Wall Lighting Ideas

The exterior of the home presents unique opportunities for beautiful design. Through the architecture of the building, nearby furniture, and landscaping, there are plenty of elements to impact the overall style. However, outdoor lights are another key component to consider in decorating these areas and providing essential lighting. To guide you in using outdoor lighting, we've compiled 25 examples of outdoor wall lights and analyzed them to give you outdoor wall lighting ideas for your home.

Exploring Possibilities

Some wall lights can be used as pendant lights or post lights depending on their design. In these cases, you can use the wall lights to highlight doorways and architecture while using the same lights elsewhere as pendants or post lights. This diverse presentation of the same light is a great way to add dimension to the overarching design.


The materials and craftsmanship behind the light is just as important as the lighting fixture itself. Some brands like Hammerton Forge, who created the light shown on this modern porch, forge their own metals and craft their lights by hand. This may come with a larger price tag, but the style and quality is well with it as the fixtures dramatically impacts the design of your home's exterior.


Wall sconces and wall lights that fit into vintage aesthetics frequently feature traditional structures like lanterns and candles. Along with that, these lights will use brushed finishes or materials that look worn in order to convey a passage of time. If the light uses glass, then the glass can also feature imperfections and treatment to fit a vintage style. If the style is too worn for your tastes, traditional and transitional lights often feature similar shapes and imagery, but they do so with more polished finishes.

Softening The Scheme

Wall sconces with rounded edges and designs convey softer tones because they lack rigid edges and corners. Although the wall sconce shown here fits a traditional or coastal style, there are other cylindrical wall sconces that create modern and contemporary aesthetics with their finishes, shapes, and overall design. Carefully consider your space and how the lights' shapes can impact the overall tone.

From Every Perspective

Any exterior wall lights that you use should look great in their immediate area and from different perspectives. With this mindset, you will be able to choose outdoor wall lights that work near doorways, driveways, and garages in tandem to create a cohesive design that is consistent from every perspective.

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Task Lighting

Although deck and porch wall lights are often used for aesthetic purposes and general lighting, they can also create task lighting for nearby areas. In this case, the lights highlight a small gardening table for plants. If you want your lights to serve a practical function, consider the lighting temperature, lighting direction, and brightness of your outdoor wall lights.

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Let It Shine

Sometimes, the home's architecture and texture is enough of a focal point. In these cases, allow that natural texture to shine on its own without overly complex or detailed elements nearby. Simple lanterns or lighting fixtures are ideal for stone homes like this, since they fit into the same overall aesthetic and do not detract from the home's natural details.

Mixed Metals

Metallic outdoor wall lights and sconces often match nearby metal furniture and fixtures, but that is not necessary to create a cohesive style. The black iron lights shown here are the only iron fixtures in the area, and yet they further the general aesthetic through their simple design and geometric shapes. Consider various methods for tying your lights into the nearby areas, not just the finish or color of the lights.

Advanced Design

The lighting fixtures themselves make a big statement based on their overall style, but their placement also has a great impact. This wall sconce from Flos is placed at a lower position to complement the half-wall. Perhaps a greater area of impact is the light's use nearby reflective surfaces. These surfaces reflect the light further than matte surfaces would and create a glamorous style for the light and the surrounding area. When you place a light, consider the materials nearby and how the light will interact with those surfaces and textures.

A Step in the Right Direction

Wall lights are typically placed at medium to high elevations to cast light over a wider social area. However, these lights can also be placed near staircases and pathways to provide essential illumination and style. When using the lights for these areas, be sure the light is directed downward to highlight those areas for safety purposes.

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Transitional Style

Transitional style is a blending of traditional and modern aesthetics. Lights that fit into a transitional style often feature traditional structures like lanterns or candles, but the detailing is more minimal and finishes showcase modern materials. This style is the best of both worlds and is great for creating modern classy entryways and exteriors.

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Cozy Cottage

Black iron lantern lights are prominently used in homey, countryside styles. They are especially effective when they are placed on a bright white or cream wall where the black stands out against the light color and presents a clean-cut classic style. These lights can accent the wall itself, but they can also create soft lighting for nearby seating or dining spaces.

Consistent Radiance

In this entryway, the door and sconces are very intentionally paired with similar metals and linear structures. However, another common facet is their frosted light dispersal and how the panels next to the door emit a similar light. Minimal details like this may go unnoticed when done correctly, but if the lights are not intentionally paired, then you will quickly notice the imbalance and lack of consistency.

Unified Style

Oftentimes, wall sconces will not be the only lighting fixtures in a specific area. When you use chandeliers, pendant lights, post lights, and other outdoor fixtures near wall lights, be sure that all the lights convey a cohesive style, even if the fixtures are not identical to one another.

Transitional Style

Transitional style is a blending of traditional and modern aesthetics. Lights that fit into a transitional style often feature traditional structures like lanterns or candles, but the detailing is more minimal and finishes showcase modern materials. This style is the best of both worlds and is great for creating modern classy entryways and exteriors.

Established Entryways

If you have a detailed front door and windows right next to one another, you do not need to add a wall light into the mix to detract from those features. Instead, consider placing a sconce on an adjacent wall to add that style and create essential lighting. Recessed ceiling lights or flush mount outdoor lights are also idea for situations where you want to highlight the doorway and not lighting fixtures.

Dark Sky Compliant Lights

Dark sky compliant lights direct light downwards and/or horizontally, but never vertically. This label is designated for lights that do not pollute the sky with additional light. Cone lights and other outdoor fixtures with downward lighting are other dark sky compliant lights that are ideal for brightening your home and not the sky above it.

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Linear Design

Modern homes frequently use clean-cut lines in their design and architecture. With that in mind, including a wall light that uses straight lines is a great way to reinforce that aesthetic. The light can be simple and straightforward with the lines that it uses, or it can add more artistic details like this George Kovacs Bars Outdoor Wall Light.

Brick and Iron

In multiple styles, brick and iron are ideal pairings. These two can work together to create an industrial vibe or harken back to classic traditional styles. While this home uses Hinkley Lighting's Atwell Outdoor Wall Sconces, there are many more metal wall sconces that can pair well with warm brick and round out your specific style.

Singular Design

Wall sconces and wall lights are typically hung in pairs, but this isn't always the case. This beautiful stone home has one lantern wall sconce aside the window to highlight that specific area while the ivy adorns the corner of the building. When using wall sconces and wall lights, use them to decorate your unique space and work with nearby landscaping and architecture.

Simple Symmetry

Symmetry is frequently used in more traditional homes to create neat, tidy appearances. If the architecture of the home already leans heavily into that symmetry, you can further that scheme by intentionally placing lights within that layout. Alternatively, you can change the lighting placement to intentionally break the mold and add unexpected style for stunning results.


Ambient lighting is necessary for establishing the tone of the space and providing general lighting. This enclosed seating area is rounded out with two pillars and two lights outside the alcove to create dim lighting for the seating area. If you are creating a moody aesthetic, then you can consider placing your lights further away from the seating area and point them in a direction that furthers the entire space's ambience and functionality.

Dazzling Doorways

Using two sconces or two wall lights is especially common by front doors to frame the area. Not only can the lights establish a beautiful area right as guests enter the home, but the style of those lights can also foreshadow the style of the entire home.

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Color Coordination

The finishes and colors within your outdoor wall sconces can easily pair with the building itself, nearby furniture, and decorative accents. In this case, the black metal band ties back to the architecture and seat, while the warm metal ties into the warm woods behind it. Color is a key part of design, so look for opportunities to further the space's color scheme through your lighting fixtures.

Perfect Placement

Depending on the style of your wall sconce or wall light, you may hang it at different heights. If the light falls directly in people's line of sight, then it is vital that the fixture directs light upward, downward, or side to side to avoid blinding those who walk towards it. In cases with lights like the Boxie Outdoor Wall/Ceiling Light Fixture, placing it at a higher elevation or near the top of the wall is a great way to illuminate those areas and prevent people from being blinded by the light.

Outdoor wall lights come in many designs to complement traditional, contemporary, and other architectural styles. With the ideas presented above, you now have plenty of inspiration and guidance for using outdoor wall lighting ideas to accent your home's exterior.


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