When we think of lighting, we often imagine ceiling fixtures, table lamps, and floor lamps. However, another type of illumination also adds form and function when incorporated into a lighting design project: wall lighting. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, wall lights can make your home more functional and beautiful.
To help you start making the most of interior and exterior wall lighting in (and outside) your home, we compiled this handy guide comprising everything homeowners should know about this underutilized type of illumination. Let’s take a look!
The 411 on Interior and Exterior Wall Lighting
Wall lights are exactly as they are described: Light fixtures that attach to the wall, as opposed to hanging from the ceiling or sitting on a floor or desk. When incorporated into a layered lighting scheme, wall lights can help make a room feel brighter and more spacious while simultaneously freeing up critical square footage on surfaces. They can also balance out overhead light sources and add visual appeal to a room.
One of our favorite things about wall sconces is their versatility. From bathrooms to bedrooms, hallways, and stairways, interior wall sconces add form and functionality to any space. Meanwhile, exterior wall sconces and other lighting fixtures are wonderful additions to porches, patios, and other outdoor rooms.
While it’s possible to incorporate either interior or exterior wall lights into your home lighting scheme, taking advantage of both options can lead to an especially inviting end result.
The Best Interior Lighting for Homes
There are many different types of interior lighting available. As we mentioned earlier, some of the most well-known fixtures include chandeliers, table lamps, pendant lights, desk lamps, and floor lamps. Additionally, many homeowners turn to track lighting, recessed lighting, under-cabinet lighting, cove lighting, and other strategies when illuminating their homes.
Whichever type of interior lights you choose, it’s important to keep in mind that the most effective plans incorporate a layered approach with three categories of lighting: general (ambient), task, and accent. This brings us back to wall lights, which are especially suitable for accent lighting.
n addition to providing critical illumination for dark places like hallways, stairways, and bathrooms, wall lights – including sconces, picture lights, and swing arm lamps – can also be used for directing people’s attention to areas of visual interest, such as collectibles or an architectural feature.
How To Choose Wall Lighting Fixtures
As with all lighting projects, the best type of wall lights for your home will be influenced by several factors, including your lighting needs and personal preferences. For example, if you’re looking to showcase a piece of art or family portrait, a picture light is an ideal solution. Or, if you’re decorating a bathroom, incorporating a bath wall sconce above the vanity or on either side of it can provide critical lighting while simultaneously making the room brighter.
However, your lighting needs are only one factor in the equation. When choosing wall lighting – both for indoor and outdoor spaces – you should also take into account the overall aesthetic of your home and your unique design sense. Wall lights come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. Choosing ones that express your personal taste while coordinating with your décor can lead to cohesive and harmonious results.
Outdoor Lighting Décor Guide
Like indoor lighting, outdoor lighting is multi-faceted. Used to provide light for the exterior of your home as well as its outdoor spaces, outdoor light fixtures are designed with special considerations in mind. In addition to being durable and weather-resistant, they may also have security-forward elements, such as motion sensors. However, exterior lights are about much more than functionality. Beyond lighting entryways, driveways, and other areas, they can also emphasize architectural details.
There are many different types of outdoor lighting fixtures available, each with their own benefits and advantages. Wall lights are a popular choice for many reasons, including ease of use and accessibility. When placed at a side door, in front of the garage, or on the porch, they improve both illumination and curb appeal. In addition to outdoor wall lights, other common types of exterior light fixtures include outdoor hanging lights, outdoor post lights, landscape lighting, ceiling-mounted lights, and free-standing outdoor lamps. As with interior lighting, layering in a mix of different types of lighting can have a particularly beautiful effect.
Choosing the Best Outdoor Lighting for Patios
More and more homeowners are embracing outdoor entertaining, and for good reason: Such gatherings have tremendous potential for fun. If you’re hoping to make better use of your outdoor living spaces by adding more lighting, it’s important to consider what activities will take place on your patio. For example, if you have an outdoor kitchen, you may require task lighting for preparation and cooking. Love game nights in front of the firepit? Well-placed lighting makes the experience more feasible and comfortable.
Plus, wall lights are an excellent addition to any exterior lighting plan due to attributes ranging from their versatility to their unobtrusiveness. We love wall lights when mounted on either side of a front door. Not only do they illuminate these well-traveled areas, but they also welcome guests and set the tone for their visit.
Of course, ambiance is everything when it comes to outdoor gatherings. This is another reason to embrace layered lighting, which can be adjusted according to the specific needs of the situation. Hanging wall lanterns, for example, provide light to see by while also adding drama to the space.
Creating a Cohesive Outdoor and Indoor Lighting Design
While indoor and outdoor lighting plans differ in some ways, they do share a few common principles, starting with the importance of layering. Another commonality? Quality, which is everything when it comes to home design – especially lighting. Not only do high-quality lights provide more effective and efficient illumination, but they’re also more durable and beautiful.
When shopping for lighting for your home, we encourage you to think of it not as another line item on your budget but as an opportunity to make your home more livable and luxurious. After all, choosing lighting from high-end designers who are passionate about innovation and craftsmanship can vastly improve the look and feel of your interior and exterior living spaces.