Best outdoor wall lights: light up your porch and garden with ease

Equip your garden, patio and porch with some of the best outdoor wall lights for every style and budget

Best outdoor wall lights
(Image credit: Future)

The best outdoor wall lights are not just for illuminating your garden on a balmy summer evening. If fixed to your porch or by your back door, you will never have to worry about coming home to a poorly lit entry. This is also reassuring from a security point of view. 

They can also be a nice styling touch to your home and garden too. Outdoor wall lighting adds ambience to a backyard and patio set-up and can be used to add a touch of vintage chic or contemporary cool to your outside space.

If you haven't checked already, there's a lot to choose from online. Faced with reams of similar products, you might, quite fairly, be a little overwhelmed. So, rather than spending hours trawling endlessly for the perfect lighting, why not take some guidance from us?

As you read through our guide, be sure to take note of the key specs we've outlined. For the utmost ease, we've stated what each product is recommended for – automatic on-off function, timeless design, nautical appeal and more – as well as some key criteria you might have in mind. Covering material, dimensions and bulb type, our guide has you set for sleek LED lights, powder-coated steel barn lighting and a whole host of other options. Plus, you're all good for halogens, eco bulbs and incandescents, too. Big on motion sensors? No problem; we have some designs that will give you hands-free switching when you need it.

So scroll on for the best outdoor wall lights, or check out our guide to the best outdoor lights for more choices including uplights, fairy lights and versatile freestanding options.

The best outdoor wall lights

John Lewis & Partners Strom LED Outdoor Wall Light

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. John Lewis & Partners Strom LED Outdoor Wall Light

Best outdoor wall light: sleek design that washes light up and down

Specifications
Best for: Slick style
Material: Metal
Dimensions: H16.4 x W8.5 x D9.3cm
Bulb type: LED
Reasons to buy
+A++ energy rating+Dimmable+Replaceable bulb
Reasons to avoid
-Less suited to shabby-chic homes

This smart design washes light up and down the wall to create a decorative effect.

Single or group
This attractive light would look great on its own beside a door, or you could go for a group to create a welcoming ambience.

Colour options
If the matt lacquered finish in black isn’t your preference, you can opt for a steel option, which offers an even slicker elegance.

Bulb swap
Most integrated LED modules can’t be replaced, but you can fit a new bulb to this light when the time comes. 

Garden Trading Outdoor Barn Light

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

2. Garden Trading Outdoor Barn Light

Best outdoor wall light for rustic settings: go for a simple design with lasting good looks

Specifications
Best for: Cottage gardens
Material: Powder-coated steel
Dimensions: H39 x W25.5 x D38cm from wall
Bulb type: E27 60W or equivalent energy-saving bulb
Reasons to buy
+Simple shape+Attractive colour+Easy-to-change bulb
Reasons to avoid
-Won’t suit contemporary garden designs

In a sage green shade, this weatherproof light is the perfect complement to your cottage garden ideas.

Traditional look
This design is based on the type of lamps that were used on outbuildings and stables for checking on animals in the dark and, with its unfussy lines, it’s a design you won’t tire of.

Durable finish
The natural colourway ensures this light will blend in with the palette of hues in a country-style garden.

Swap over
The glass housing is easy to remove to change the bulb for a new one.

B&Q Blooma Edna Matt Charcoal Grey LED Outdoor Wall Light

(Image credit: B&Q)

3. B&Q Blooma Edna Matt Charcoal Grey LED Outdoor Wall Light

Best outdoor wall light for contemporary style: this metal fitting lets you adjust the beam of light

Specifications
Best for: Modern gardens
Material: Powder-coated aluminium
Dimensions: H10 x W10 x D10cm
Bulb type: LED
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable beams+A rated+Warm white light
Reasons to avoid
-No motion sensor

Whether it’s by the front door or lighting up a garden wall, this streamlined design will create a fabulous finish.

Fuss-free
This design puts the focus on the light itself rather than the fitting; it washes the wall above and below it. The spread of light can be adjusted from top and bottom to create the effect you prefer.

Welcome home
The warm white of the light makes this an ideal choice by the front door or creating ambience in a garden seating or dining area.

Contemporary choice
Its square shape will complement gardens with clean lines and architectural planting.

Strothers Swan Neck Outdoor Fisherman Light

(Image credit: Strothers)

4. Strothers Swan Neck Outdoor Fisherman Light

Best outdoor wall light for a nautical look: evoke seaside style wherever you live with this curvaceous light

Specifications
Best for: Coastal charm
Material: Metal
Dimensions: H35.5 x W29.5 x D35.5cm
Bulb type: LED, CFL, halogen, incandescent
Reasons to buy
+A+ rated+Durable+Wipes clean
Reasons to avoid
-Not dimmable

Introduced some nautical touches to your garden and put in typical coastal plants? This fisherman’s lamp is the perfect finishing touch.

Light the way
Ideal by a door, or on the patio, this light is also suitable for illuminating a passageway or path.

Traditional feature
The shape of this light is a classic, and a decorative filament bulb adds to its appeal.

Easy care
Made from metal, this light is durable, and any cobwebs or dirt can be removed with a dry cloth.

Philips Ecomoods Bridge Outdoor Wall Light

(Image credit: Philips)

5. Philips Ecomoods Bridge Outdoor Wall Light

Best outdoor wall light for automatic switch on: this modern design has a motion sensor for light on arrival

Specifications
Best for: A well-lit front door
Material: Aluminium
Dimensions: H24.5 x W11.8 x D10.1cm
Bulb type: LED
Reasons to buy
+Warm white light+Long-life bulb+Motion sensor
Reasons to avoid
-Not for classic gardens

Assuring 80 per cent energy savings compared to traditional light sources, this design could reduce your electricity bill.

Many hours
The bulb included with this light promises up to 20,000 hours of operation, so you shouldn’t need to change it in a hurry.

Motion sensor
Try this light at your front door: it will turn on at your presence so you can see clearly to put your keys in the lock. Or fit it for the patio so it switches on as soon as you step outside.

Match windows
With an anthracite finish, this light is perfect for picking up the colour of bi-fold doors or window frames for a pulled-together look.

Cox & Cox Galvanised Swan Neck Light

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

6. Cox & Cox Galvanised Swan Neck Light

Best classic outdoor wall light: add a touch of vintage-inspired charm

Specifications
Best for: Enduring style
Material: Steel and glass
Dimensions: H32 x W39 x D42cm
Bulb type: Halogen GLS, E27 42W
Reasons to buy
+Elegant swan neck+Durable+IP44 protection against water and solids
Reasons to avoid
-Electrician hire recommended for installation

With a naval design, this is an elegant option that would look suitably chic on an outdoor wall or fence. While it's a little more than other options, for this level of quality, it's very reasonable.

Practical and aesthetic
Yep, when it comes to both function and form, this scores high. Made from hard-wearing galvanised steel, this has a matt finish that offers a delightfully rustic allure.

Timeless design
Look, some things stay in forever. This vintage-style light from Cox & Cox is one of those. With an elegant swan neck, it looks charming illuminated or not. 

Call them in
A little annoyingly, because this light needs wiring into the mains, it is advised you have an electrician help out. That said, when you're investing in quality, it pays in longevity to go the extra mile.

How to choose the best outdoor wall light

Outdoor wall lights are a functional choice, but they can create atmosphere, too, adding inviting illumination to the best garden furniture and creating an outdoor entertaining space that can be enjoyed well into the evening. 

Picking the right design means thinking about where the light will be located and therefore what benefits it needs to provide, but also how its appearance complements your garden. To help you with these aesthetic and functional decisions, we've pinpointed some factors you might want to keep in mind. Plus, we've also picked out some of the most-asked questions regarding outdoor wall lights to assuage any concerns, worries or thoughts you might be pondering.

Types of wall light
Wall light designs include both the contemporary and more traditional. The best options will echo the style of your garden for a pulled-together effect. Think about the finish, too. Cooler metal tones have more standout, while warmer ones will add subtle highlights, black finishes can be classically smart, and coloured finishes could blend with the tones of your planting.

Power source an issue? Check out some of the best solar lights for a mains free option. 

Outdoor safety
Lights are given an IP (ingress protection) rating that shows how well protected the fittings is against moisture and foreign bodies like dirt. The higher the rating, the more water and dirt-proof the light is. We recommend opting for a minimum rating of IP44 for an outdoor wall light to be sure it can withstand heavy rain.

Motion detection
Think about whether you’d like your wall lights to be fitted with a passive infrared sensor (PIR). These can detect motion within a certain range which turns the light on. Wall lights with motion sensors are useful at the front of the house so you don’t need to leave a light on when you’re out. Plus, along with the best outdoor security cameras they can be a useful deterrent for burglars too. 

Light bulbs
Outdoor wall lights that take LED bulbs save a massive amount of energy compared to incandescent bulbs plus the bulbs last longer. Be aware, though, that the LED bulbs in some outdoor wall lights cannot be replaced. 

What are the best outdoor wall lights?
Sure, it seems like an obvious question, but it's more than valid. Firstly, there is no catch-all answer. While we do have a personal favourite, the John Lewis & Partners Strom LED Outdoor Wall Light, commendable for its sleek style, there are go-to picks for specific needs. For example, if you can't resist a little rustic charm, the Garden Trading Outdoor Barn Light is ideal. Alternatively, for something a little more contemporary, the B&Q Blooma Edna Matt Charcoal Grey LED Outdoor Wall Light is a no-brainer. In short, refer to the 'best for' spec in this guide and you're sure to be pleased.

How do I choose outdoor wall lights?
There are no hard-and-fast rules to this, but there's definitely aesthetic consensus on a few things. For example, if you're mounting a single light near a front door, you'll want it to be roughly a third of the door's height. On the other hand, if you're placing one light on either side of the door, you can take it down to a quarter. Dealing with double front doors? In which case, you can afford to go a bit larger. 

Are LED lights good for outside use?
Ideal for residential use, the LED, compared to the incandescent and CFL, has a longer lifespan, making it perfect if you're liable to long evenings outdoors during summer. Plus, it is cheaper and more efficient. Granted, there was a time when CFLs were the favourite for outdoor use due to a broader beam, but nowadays LEDs have been improved largely, emitting broader, warmer light. If it's this that worries you, simply look at the lumens or brightness when weighing up the different products.

Where to place outdoor wall lights?
In most cases wall lights are used for illuminating a doorway or perhaps a path so you will be placing them near enough to cast good light here without causing nuisance light to bedroom windows or neighbours.

However, they don't have to be used simply for task lighting. Get creative with our outdoor lighting ideas and see how lighting can be used to illuminate architectural and ornamental features in your garden. 

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She's spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens – long enough to see interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement, both indoors and out, and it's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, so she's a serial house revamper.