Wall lanterns are a creative choice for indirect lighting both indoors and out. Choosing a wall lantern can be an easy and fun project when you know what factors to consider. Choose salvaged vintage faux candle lamps to revamp a small living room in an old home with wood floors and jewel-toned walls; choose big, strong lamps with iron frames to illuminate a garden walkway following a wall that winds through a rambling Victorian estate. Wall lanterns are available in modern, antique, rustic and artisan styles in a range of prices. Different electrical circuitry and styles are appropriate for indoor and outdoor usage; be sure that you select the right lamp for your location. The best fit for you will meet both your design and lighting needs and have your friends asking where you found your picks.
Knowing your lighting needs is the first step to choosing the right lamp for your outdoor location. Outside, wall lanterns can be attached to the home, a fence, an out-building or a garden wall. A wall lamp is commonly placed beside a front door. Porches sometimes feature wall lamps and are useful when you enjoy summer evenings in a rocking chair, listening to a baseball game and watching the cars go by. The blossoms in night-blooming gardens such as those of the fragrant, glowing moonflower vine are easier to see and appreciate when you place wall lamps along the stone wall against which they are growing. Attach wall lanterns to outbuildings such as potting sheds and garages and set them on motion-detecting timers for additional lighting when you arrive home late, or to alert you of a presence near your home. Focus on whether the lamps are primarily for mood, for seeing clearly, or both, then proceed to consider design ideas.
Indoors, wall lanterns work in bedrooms as both task and mood lighting. Try installing vintage wall lanterns on a DIY headboard made of an old barn door and putting them on dimmers for lamps that do double-duty, allowing you to work or relax depending on your need. Use wall lanterns in a walk-in closet as a design feature, supplementing dim lamps with overhead lighting to ensure that you can see your clothing well when you need to. Kitchens can double as dining rooms and cocktail party areas when you turn off the fluorescent overhead lights and light cool wall lanterns, especially if you choose oil lanterns rather than electrical versions. Dining rooms, bedrooms living rooms and bathrooms are all great candidates for wall lanterns; choosing the right lamp depends on the mood you want to create and how well you need to be able to see. Some wall lamps are connected to a wall switch, while others require you to turn them on and off using a switch directly on the lamp. Consider whether this is convenient for you before installing lamps like this.
Match or contrast the style of the room with your wall lamps. Install sleek, spherical streetlight-style wall lanterns on both sides of a modern bed for a slick city feeling. Complement this look with accessories including streamlined side tables, a mod turquoise table lamp and a hip green ceiling fan. In a hallway papered with vintage 1960s psychadelic wallpaper, try 1940s style brass lamps for an ornate, eccentric contrast, or go art-deco to keep with the curvy geometrical scheme without getting dull. Romantic looks are a cinch with wall lanterns; shades made of frosted glass with fluted rims are easy to find, inexpensive and can soften a living room or bedroom instantly. Western offices are fun when faux oil lamps line wood paneled walls. Medieval feeling dining rooms can look great with heavy iron wall lanterns. A gentle, natural look uses high-quality, handmade wooden square wall lanterns in a warm, natural craftsman living space filled with hand-wrought details.
Think about scale. You may fall in love with gigantic wall lamps that seem suitable for an ocean liner, but think twice before installing them in a living room where they will battle the couch for attention. Find a spot where the lamps can be the star, such as up high on both sides of a tall garden gate. In a small space, place a single large wall lantern near a conversation-piece sculpture such as an old merry-go-round horse. Similarly, little candle wall lamps would get lost in large rooms; save them for intimate bedrooms, bathrooms and dining rooms. Install multiples of highly decorative small wall lanterns along both walls of a dining room, symmetrically, for a well-lit space with a cozy appeal that can last late into the night of a long dinner party.
When you know where your wall lanterns will be located, the lighting requirements of the space, the style you are going for and the approximate size of the lanterns you want, begin scouring lighting stores, shops stocked with materials salvaged from old buildings, vintage stores and online auction and classified websites to get a feel for the options in your price range. Collect photos of your options and bring them home to see whether they really would fit into the space as well as you imagined. Determine whether you have the skills to install the lighting yourself or whether you want to hire someone to do the job. If you are considering using old lighting, have the lanterns checked to ensure that they are wired correctly and safely for current use. Consult with others living in your home to be sure that they like the idea, especially if the lanterns are in an intimate space such as a bedroom. Decide if you want to have the lamps on dimmer switches or automatic timers and purchase any additional equipment you will need to achieve this. Once you install the lighting or have someone install it for you, test its functionality and feel. You can always supplement wall lanterns you love with additional lighting if necessary. Ultimately, your wall lanterns should be a special design feature that adds sculptural interest to your room whether they are turned on or off.