How to Install Outdoor Wall Lighting and Light Fixtures for Beauty and Function

Installing new outdoor wall lighting can be a great way to enhance your exterior spaces. Consider these outdoor lighting recommendations for your patio or deck.

Knowing where and how to install outdoor wall lighting can make a huge difference in your home's appearance, safety, and value. Updating your outdoor lighting will enhance your outdoor living spaces and add a little curb appeal to your house. Mr. Electric® is here to help you find and install the perfect lighting for each of your outdoor spaces.

In this article, we'll tell you about several different types of outdoor wall lighting and give a brief explanation of how to install it:

Types of Outdoor Wall Lighting

A light fixture you attach to a wall is called a sconce. Sconces provide reliable illumination, beauty, and ambience for your home's exterior.

One aspect to consider when adding outdoor lighting to your home is whether to choose electric, solar, or battery-powered sconces:

  • Electric sconces are hardwired into your house's electrical system and controlled by a light switch. For reliable, permanent outdoor lighting, choose electric lighting to provide beautiful ambience in your backyard.
  • Solar sconces are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and easy to install! You just hang them where you want them without having to drill holes or run wires through the walls. Most models use a light sensor to automatically turn the lights on at sunset, which can be a nice feature for hands-free ambient lighting on your deck.
  • Battery-powered sconces are the solution when you need exterior lighting but don't want to drill holes into your siding and can't rely on solar panels to charge every day.

A close-up of a black Victorian light fixture on an outdoor beige wall

Styles of Outdoor Wall Lighting

Choosing the right style of sconce for your outdoor space can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, and selecting the right outdoor wall fixtures will make all the difference in your exterior spaces. Consider your home's exterior materials and colors, your landscaping, and your personal style.

General outdoor wall sconce styles include:

  • Flush wall sconces allow you to shine light sideways or vertically, illuminating the surrounding area while adding a little drama and visual interest to the space.
  • Hanging lanterns come in countless styles and finishes, making them a versatile but classic choice that can enhance all architectural styles. Make sure you place these types of lights carefully, as they can jut out from the wall quite a bit, causing a head-bump hazard if installed in the wrong spot.
  • Torch lights are a unique, attention-grabbing sconce style growing in popularity. Torch sconces are made to resemble old-fashioned torches you might see in a castle, and are a superb choice if you want your exterior lights to double as conversation pieces. Pair with flickering bulbs to get the full torch effect.
  • Pendant lights are attractive, classic, and stylish. But just like hanging lanterns, pendants must also be carefully placed to prevent bumping your head on them.

How to Install Electric Outdoor Wall Sconce Lighting

Mr. Electric electrician installing an outdoor light

Time required: 1 to 3 hours (depending on whether or not it is a fresh installation or replacement)

Materials needed: Gloves, wire cutters, junction box, screwdriver, and power drill

Once you have selected the light fixtures you like and have chosen the right location for them, it's time for installation. Solar and battery-powered lights require very little setup, so we will focus on how to install outdoor wall lights that will be wired into your home's electrical system.

Installing sconces where there's no existing wiring is always a job for a certified electrician. An electrician can install wiring for new outdoor wall sconce lighting fixtures in a few different ways. The method used will depend on the existing wiring to which the new light will be added. For example, an electrician may add a light fixture mid-circuit by splicing wires and adding another junction box. If there's already a light nearby, the new light may be pigtailed into the existing light fixture box.

Installation should be much simpler if you're replacing old outdoor wall sconces. Just turn off the circuit breaker that delivers power to that light fixture, disconnect the old one, and reverse the same steps to install your new fixture. One tricky part of installing exterior lights is ensuring that the gasket is flush with the siding to prevent water from leaking into where the wires are. When in doubt, call your local electrician.

Count on Mr. Electric to Install Outdoor Wall Lighting

If you need help picking out the best light fixtures for your outdoor space, the landscape lighting installation professionals at Mr. Electric can help. Your local Mr. Electric would be happy to help you select the right sconces and perform expert installation for you! Call us today at (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online.