Stunning Entry Sconces
Sconces can brighten your way and make your house's architecture shine
You probably don't give much thought to your outside lighting. Sure, those fixtures mounted on the house let you find your way inside without too much fumbling with the keys and help extend porch powwows well into the summer night. But exterior lights can also make or break the appearance of a facade, so it's worth the effort to choose wisely. For example, lighting designers love surface—hugging sconces for their ability to "graze" illumination onto textured stone or stucco walls and three-dimensional trimwork, creating an inviting, theatrical effect. But if your walls are less than perfect, you can hide that worn paint or those badly weathered shingles with an armed lantern that extends away from the house and pools its light on your front steps. On the following pages, we've assembled a collection of sconces—from traditional nautically inspired and Craftsman-style lanterns to space-age glowing orbs—that are sure to be noticed.
Give your bungalow a touch of authenticity with an Arts and Crafts reproduction. The hand-applied verdigris patina makes this one look like it's been hanging there for years. $304, Arroyo Craftsman
Outfit the entry to your home at the shore with a hand-forged dock light. The aluminum body (stamped circa 1910 in a nod to the past) will stand up to the harshness of sea air. $351, Troy Lighting
With its sleek styling, this modern spin on an old nautical lantern would look at home on a contemporary house. Opaque bubble glass casts a subtle but eye-catching light. $267, Forecast
Made of rugged die-cast zinc, this suspended sconce has a textured glass dome that cuts glare without sacrificing illumination. Beefy yet small in scale, it's just the thing where space is tight. $99, Restoration Hardware
The low profile and clean lines of this classic, wall-hugging mariner light are well suited to a 1960s ranch. The sconce is made from solid brass, with a sandblasted glass diffuser secured by stylized wing nuts. $275, Wilmette Lighting
You don't have to sacrifice traditional style for contemporary energy efficiency. This Mission-style coach lantern uses a compact fluorescent bulb that can be programmed to turn on automatically as night falls. (Don't worry, Northerners: The bulb's ballast works in temperatures as low as 0 degrees F.) $283, Thomas Lighting
Wall-hugging sconces manipulate light in eye-catching ways. The curved back plate on this one casts a dramatic glow on stuccoed surfaces. Optional amber or blue glass is available for a hint of color. $363, Hubbardton Forge
The simple, timeless look of a caged light makes it versatile enough to work on a rustic cottage or a classic Colonial. This one is available with incandescent or fluorescent bulb options. $410, Wilmette Lighting
Greet guests with the traditional symbol of hospitality. With its faceted, handblown glass and ornate metal detailing, this bronze-finished pineapple would look grand adorning a brick or stone pillar. $417, Hinkley Lighting
Frame your entryway with a pair of streamlined sconces that are as much artsy showpieces as practical light sources. The optional amber or blue glass and architectural design turn this smoky-hued sconce into an eye-catching gem. $507, Hubbardton Forge
A glass, 3-bulb sconce offers extra illumination for homeowners in need of a brighter ambience to see by. The checkered glass and Mission-detailing keep this 26-inch-high light from feeling industrial. $310, Murray Feiss Lighting.
Traditional on the outside with its bronze finish and fluted glass, this money-saving fixture has an Energy Star rating and includes a photocell that turns the light on as dusk falls.
$297, Thomas Lighting
Complement the sturdy, rough-hewn facade of your Colonial abode or log cabin retreat with a new fixture that looks like it's stood the test of time. This lantern comes sporting a bronze patina finish. $167, Thomas Lighting