There’s something magical about a well-lit outdoor space. Whether it’s a cozy evening spent on the patio or a lively backyard barbecue, the right lighting can create an inviting atmosphere and enhance your home’s curb appeal. One of the most popular and versatile options for outdoor lighting is sconce lighting. These wall-mounted fixtures not only provide ample illumination but also add style and character to your exterior walls.
If you’re considering installing outdoor sconce lights, you might be wondering where to begin. Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the entire process – from choosing the right fixtures to wiring them up like a pro. So let’s get started on transforming your outdoor living space!
Step 1: Choose Your Outdoor Sconces
Before diving into installation, it’s important to select the right sconces for your outdoor space.
Style: There are countless designs available when it comes to outdoor sconces – from traditional lanterns to sleek modern styles. Consider your home’s architecture and existing décor when making your choice.
Size: Be sure that the size of your chosen fixture is proportional to its surroundings (i.e., don’t choose a large, imposing sconce for a small entryway). As a general rule, look for fixtures that are roughly one-quarter of the height of your doorway if placed beside it.
Material: Outdoor sconces should be made from durable materials like cast aluminum or brass that can withstand exposure to weather elements.
Light Output: The purpose of your sconce will determine how much light output you need – opt for softer ambient lighting along pathways or around seating areas, and brighter illumination near entrances or doorways.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools & Materials
Now that you’ve picked out your perfect outdoor sconces, it’s time to gather the necessary tools and materials for installation. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Outdoor sconce light fixtures
- Electrical wire (suitable for outdoor use)
- Junction box (outdoor rated)
- Wire nuts
- Drill with a masonry bit (if mounting on brick or stone)
- Pencil or chalk
- Tape measure
Step 3: Turn Off the Power
Safety first! Before starting any electrical work, always turn off the power at your home’s main electrical panel.
Tip: Use a voltage tester to double-check that there is no electricity running through the wires where you’ll be working.
Step 4: Determine Sconce Placement & Mark Mounting Locations
Take some time to decide where you want your outdoor sconces – consider factors like visibility from the street, proximity to doorways and pathways, and overall balance within your landscaping design.
Once you’ve chosen the ideal locations for your sconces:
- Measure and mark where each fixture will be mounted on the wall using a pencil or chalk.
- Check that each marked location is level using a small bubble level – adjust as needed until they’re perfectly straight.
Step 5: Install Junction Boxes
A junction box provides a safe enclosure for connecting wires and serves as an anchor point for attaching your outdoor sconce fixture.
At each marked location, trace around the perimeter of your junction box onto the wall.
If installing on wood siding or drywall, use a drill with an appropriate bit size to create pilot holes at each corner of your traced outline.
Cut out space along these pilot holes using either a jigsaw (for wood siding/drywall) or a masonry bit and hammer drill (for brick/stone).
Secure the junction box to the wall using appropriate screws and anchors.
Tip: Be sure that your junction boxes are rated for outdoor use, as they’ll be exposed to weather elements.
Step 6: Run Electrical Wire
If you’re replacing an existing outdoor light fixture, there should already be electrical wires running from your home’s circuitry to the mounting locations. If not, you’ll need to run new wire (consult with an electrician if you’re unsure how to do this).
Feed one end of your electrical wire through the back of each installed junction box. Leave enough excess wire sticking out from each box so that it can easily reach the connection points on your sconce fixture.
Step 7: Connect Wires & Attach Sconce Fixtures
Now it’s time to connect the wiring and secure your sconces in place!
Following manufacturer instructions, attach each fixture’s mounting bracket to its corresponding junction box. Strip about half an inch of insulation off the ends of all wires – both those coming from within the wall/junction box and those attached to your sconce fixtures. Using wire nuts, connect matching colors (typically black-to-black for hot/live wires; white-to-white for neutral wires; green-to-green or bare copper for ground). Twist together until snug and secure with electrical tape.
Carefully tuck connected wires into junction boxes, then mount sconce fixtures onto their brackets using provided hardware. Tighten all screws until secure.
Step 8: Install Light Bulbs & Test Your New Sconces
Almost done! Screw in appropriate light bulbs for each sconce (be sure to check recommended wattage on fixture labels), then turn the power back on at your main panel.
Tip: For energy efficiency and long-lasting performance, opt for LED bulbs in your outdoor sconces.
Now it’s time to test your new outdoor sconce lighting – flip the switch and bask in the glow of your beautifully illuminated exterior space.
How To Install Outdoor Sconce Lighting Conclusion
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed outdoor sconce lighting to enhance and brighten up your home’s exterior. With a bit of patience and some basic DIY skills, you can transform any outdoor area into a welcoming oasis for all to enjoy.