Outdoor Wall Sconces

An outdoor wall sconce can be:

  • A functional item. Just there to make sure you don’t trip over the patio stairs.
  • A contributing design element. Follows the theme or style you’ve chosen for your outdoor decor.
  • A focal point. If you don’t have incredible landscaping, or stunning furniture, sconces are an inexpensive backyard conversation piece.

May I gently nudge you toward the latter two notions? Functional outdoor sconces are fine for prison yards and parking lots. But a backyard ought to be a place of beauty, or whimsy, or excitement. It’s your backyard, it should say something definite about you.

Even a simple object like a sconce makes a statement. The ones I chose to feature below say something to me—maybe they aren’t what I would have in my yard, but I know exactly who would. As you window shop the incredible sconces below, you can ask yourself: Is this me? And if not, who is it?

Outdoor Sconces Inspired By Nature

Snake Outdoor Sconce

Snake Outdoor Sconce
I call this a snake sconce. It’s not a good description of this abstract design. I could see this in either a modern-looking patio or a whimsical one.
Via Amazon.

Bald Eagle Outdoor Sconce

Bald Eagle Outdoor Sconce
I like the power projected by this image of an eagle. Not the literal light power, I mean the strength the eagle represents. Would want this near all my grilling stuff.
Via CustomCutLighting on Etsy.

Buffalo Outdoor Sconce

Buffalo Outdoor Sconce
I see this on the front porch of a home in the Mountain West. Probably a vacation home that’s a working ranch, too.
Via TheKingsBay on Etsy.

Ceramic Southwestern Sun Outdoor Sconce

Ceramic Southwestern Sun Outdoor Sconce
Super-cool and unique, this goes on my shopping list for my cousins, who love New Mexico. The artist, CustomCutLighting, is in Edgewood, New Mexico, about 20 miles from Albuquerque.
Via CustomCutLighting on Etsy.

Copper Bird of Paradise Outdoor Sconce

Copper Bird of Paradise Outdoor Sconce
Gorgeous flower, gorgeous sconce. If you’re lucky enough to grow this amazing plant in your backyard, what a sharp look for your sconces.
Via KukuiNui on Etsy.

Glass Pineapple Outdoor Sconce

Glass Pineapple Outdoor Sconce
This is just one of the many pineapple sconce options on the market. Why are they so popular? Why aren’t there any eggplant sconces? Okay, maybe that’s a dumb question. Anyway, you have plenty of options for a tiki-themed or Hawaiian outdoor space.
Via Wayfair.

Horse Head Outdoor Sconce

Horse Head Outdoor Sconce
The designer of this sconce recommends it for barn lighting. That would be a pretty nice barn.
Via CustomCutLighting on Etsy.

Horse Outdoor Sconce

Horse Outdoor Sconce
Doesn’t the horse seem to be leaping out of the wall onto the light? Adds a three-dimensional, in-motion aspect to the sconce. Just a dead obvious gift for anyone who raises or rides horses.
Via TheKingsBay on Etsy.

Mermaid Outdoor Sconce

Mermaid Outdoor Sconce
Cute sconce if you’re going for a whimsical design. I bet kids would love a light like this.
Via CustomCutLighting on Etsy.

Plumeria Outdoor Sconce

Plumeria Outdoor Sconce
This gorgeous Hawaiian flower represented as a wall-sconce. I’ll admit to bias here, I wore a plumeria lei for my wedding in Hawaii. Check out more by this Etsy seller, based on the Big Island.
Via KukuiNui on Etsy.

Red Chili Pepper Outdoor Sconce

Red Chili Pepper Outdoor Sconce
For the outdoor cook who likes everything spicy.
Via CustomCutLighting on Etsy.

Art Deco Outdoor Sconces

Art Deco Theater Outdoor Sconce

Art Deco Theater Outdoor Sconce
These vintage lights come from an old movie theater in Los Angeles. If I ever set up that outdoor movie area I’ve always dreamed of, these lights will be along for the ride.
Via lipmeister on Etsy.

Bigger In Texas Art Deco Outdoor Sconce

San Antonio ❤️ #architecture #sconce #beautiful #Sanantonio #oldtown #riverwalk #pretty #design #details #wow #loveit #iknowimweird #stuffilike #canthelpit #istopforpictures #lol #travel #texas

A post shared by cindydf27 (@cindydf27) on


Spotted in San Antonio, a beautifully-detailed outdoor sconce on what looks like a 1930s-era office building.

Copper Outdoor Sconces

Copper Lantern Outdoor Sconce

Copper Lantern Outdoor Sconce
Something a little bit different. This isn’t a full lantern, but isn’t a completely modern look either. It’s not my thing but I can see someone falling in love with this look. Maybe that someone is you?
Via Amazon.

Handmade Copper Outdoor Sconce

Handmade Copper Outdoor Sconce
Looks bright and new now, but this sconce will age with your home as weather and wind slowly form a patina on the surface of the copper. That patina will change how the sconce looks from different angles—and is unique to the specific weather conditions of your outdoor space.
Via KukuiNui on Etsy.

Nautical Outdoor Sconces

Antique Brass Bulkhead Outdoor Sconce

Antique Brass Bulkhead Outdoor Sconce
Gorgeous 100% cast brass; it will never rust (which would’ve been pretty handy on ships). This has a brass rain cap too, so light shines bright in stormy weather.
Via Big Ship Salvage.

Port & Starboard Nautical Outdoor Sconces

Port & Starboard Nautical Outdoor Sconces
Outfit your outdoor space with a real—and crucial—part of nautical history. Both ships and planes shine red lights on their starboard side and green on their port side, so oncoming craft know which side to pass on.
Via Big Ship Salvage.

Ship Porthole Outdoor Sconce

Ship Porthole Outdoor Sconce
The classic porthole. Install in along walkways for a nautical look, or if you want to pretend you’re in the bunker on Lost.
Via Amazon.

Vintage Nautical Outdoor Sconce

Vintage Nautical Outdoor Sconce
Salvaged from an ocean liner, rewired, and ready to star in your nautical-themed outdoor area.
Via RedHouseBlue Ocean on Etsy.

Industrial Outdoor Sconces

Double Pipe Industrial Outdoor Sconce

Double Pipe Industrial Outdoor Sconce
I like the effort to make the pipes look weathered. The double-light does more than double the industrial effect. I’m not much of a steampunk person myself but I know exactly who in my family I’d give this to (and so do you, probably).
Via Amazon.

Lightbulb’s The Star Outdoor Sconce

Lightbulbs The Star Outdoor Sconce
Showcase your cool industrial lightbulb. Looks like it’s in an art museum.
Via Restoration Hardware.

Steampunk Industrial Pipe Outdoor Sconce

Steampunk Industrial Pipe Outdoor Sconce
Manly lighting for an outdoor space. I would want these on my tool shed.
Via HanorManor on Etsy.

Modern Outdoor Sconces

Earthen Outdoor Sconce

Earthen Outdoor Sconce
The designer calls this “Earthen.” I tried to come up with a better name but I really can’t. It looks like a object that’s been burned away by flame—a log, maybe? I love how the design gives your imagination a workout—you could have this for years, always debating what it represents.
Via ScottCookLuminous on Etsy.

Tresses Outdoor Sconce

Tresses Outdoor Sconce
The manufacturer, Hubbardton Forge, calls this the “tress.” I think “tresses” is more accurate. It’s abstract but still with the strong suggestion of flowing hair. A nice sculptural element.
Via Wayfair.

Arts and Crafts Outdoor Sconce

Arts and Crafts Outdoor Sconce
You can find many arts and crafts outdoor sconces, I included this one because it looks terrific but is really inexpensive (around $50) and has strong reviews on Amazon. Good choice if you’re trying to save money without sacrificing style.
Via Amazon.

Blingy Bangled Outdoor Sconce

Blingy Bangled Outdoor Sconce
I didn’t find many outdoor sconces with a “bling” feel. But this one has it. I could see this lighting up a hotel’s pool or outdoor drinking deck.
Via Wayfair.

Chrome Outdoor Sconce

Chrome Outdoor Sconce
Clean lines, bright modern chrome coloring. I want this next to my gleaming chrome gas grill.
Via Wayfair.

Constellation Outdoor Sconce

Constellation Outdoor Sconce
A truly three-dimensional piece of art as a sconce. This single fixture could be the eye-catching element your outdoor space needs, especially if your landscaping is rather basic.
Via Wayfair.

Cool Angles Outdoor Sconce

Cool Angles Outdoor Sconce
I love the powerful angles and strong lines of this metal sconce. I feel like it would lend dignity and gravitas to an outdoor area, if that’s what you’re going for.
Via Wayfair.

Futuristic Outdoor Sconce

Futuristic Outdoor Sconce
This single-bar sconce feels futuristic to me, like you might see it on a interstellar passenger ship someday.
Via Wayfair.

Mid-Century Modern Outdoor Sconce

Mid-Century Modern Outdoor Sconce
This says mid-century modern to me. I have a clock with a similar design of shooting rays of light. Really striking, especially if the rest of your outdoor area is clean lines.
Via Wayfair.

Patinaed Bronze Finish Outdoor Sconce

Patinaed Bronze Finish Outdoor Sconce
The manufactured bronze patina on this sconce has a nice textured look to it.
Via Wayfair.

Patinaed Galvanized Steel Outdoor Sconce

Patinaed Galvanized Steel Outdoor Sconce
I don’t know if “patinaed” is a word, but it should be. The patina is a cool look, and it also softens the light.
Via copperandglass on Etsy.

Rotating Outdoor Sconce

Rotating Outdoor Sconce
This aluminum cube rotates 360 degrees. Change the emphasis of your lighting in minutes. Would be cool if you have a very active garden and want to spotlight different plants at different times of the year.
Via Wayfair.

Sculpture In A Sconce

Sculpture In A Outdoor Sconce
A beautiful abstract sculpture within a sconce. This aluminum sconce is hand-forged in Vermont.
Via Wayfair.

Single Light Outdoor Sconce

Single Light Outdoor Sconce
I like the minimalism of this sconce. “You want light? Here it is.” I’m also drawn to the simple lines and the pleasing symmetry of the square.
Via Wayfair.

Traditional Outdoor Sconces

Antique French Outdoor Sconce

Antique French Outdoor Sconce
Incredibly detailed antique sconces that would fit well in the City of Lights…or as a conversation piece on your patio.
Via One Kings Lane.

Antique Spanish Revival Outdoor Sconce

Antique Spanish Revival Outdoor Sconce
A gorgeous cast-iron sconce. Anyone with a stucco or Spanish-inspired home should consider this look.
Via VintageIronworks on Etsy.

English Carriage House Outdoor Sconce

English Carriage House Outdoor Sconce
Go Victorian with your outdoor design; you’ll be able to imagine Scrooge skulking around the yard.
Via Restoration Hardware.

Gaslamp-Style Outdoor Sconce

Gaslamp-Style Outdoor Sconce
Gas lighting wasn’t the safest, but it sure cast some cool light. The folks at Restoration Hardware reimagined an old gaslamp for modern technology.
Via Restoration Hardware.

Traditional Outdoor Sconce

Traditional Outdoor Sconce
See the example from Lisbon below—this is old-world sconce design. Back then, of course, lighting was done with candles, so the key was a sturdy material that wouldn’t burn, but could be fashioned to let light out. This pocket lantern hints at those times with an iron finish.
Via Amazon.

Weathered Copper Outdoor Sconce

Weathered Copper Outdoor Sconce
The green finish applied to this brass sconce mimics the look of very weathered copper (see the example below from the Trenton N.J. City Hall). This would go well with a nautical theme—or a haunted house one.
Via Wayfair.

Traditional Portuguese Outdoor Sconce

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJSWvHHBfdi/
This is what street lights looked like before electricity. I love the ship motif on the arm of the sconce, a callback to Portugal’s days as a maritime power.

Weathered Government Outdoor Sconce

Once, citizens invested in their city’s architecture. This beautiful copper sconce on the city hall of Trenton, New Jersey, (which is on the National Registry of Historic Places) has been weathered to that blue color. Still looks beautiful though—not bad for an outdoor sconce installed in 1907.

Outdoor Sconces I Just Like

Handcrafted Tribal Art Outdoor Sconce

Handcrafted Tribal Art Outdoor Sconce
Made of hand-punched tin with a copper finish, this is a unique-looking piece. Good for any outdoor area but especially if you have indigeous art or natural landscaping.
Via Amazon.

Mosaic Outdoor Sconce

Mosaic Outdoor Sconce
A lush, flowering garden deserves outdoor lighting to match.
Via BellasArtMosiacs on Etsy.
Any of these sconces speak to you? Which ones? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Seth Kolloen

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