May 30, 2024

How to Use an Outdoor Wall Washer to Illuminate Vertical Surfaces

Outdoor wall washer is a lighting technique that illuminates a vertical surface like a building facade, eliminating shadows and making spaces perceptually larger. They can also highlight unique landscape features and create captivating effects.

These lights are easy to install and can be controlled via smart technology. They can also change colors to match the season.


The versatility of linear LED Wall Washers is unmatched, allowing for stunning effects that elevate spaces and create mesmerizing lighting displays. This is why they are used in a wide range of applications and settings, including accentuating architectural features, illuminating building facades and landscape elements, and creating dynamic lighting displays for events.

To achieve the desired visual effect, it is important to consider the specific lighting goals and design considerations when selecting the best fixtures. This includes determining the appropriate mounting height to ensure proper illumination and aesthetics. Fixtures mounted closer to the wall will typically provide more intense illumination, whereas those Outdoor Wall Washer mounted at greater distances will cast a broader wash of light over a wider area.

When using the wall grazing technique, it is also essential to understand that shadows may be created on certain surfaces. However, this can be mitigated by using a fixture that is positioned slightly above the surface being illuminated.

In addition to the visual impact, a key aspect of a great lighting solution is the color appearance. This is determined by the color temperature, which refers to the hue of the fixture’s emitted light. Lower color temperatures, such as 2700K to 3000K, offer a warmer tone that creates a relaxing and inviting ambiance. While higher color temperatures, such as 4000K to 6500K, deliver a cool white illumination that is ideal for commercial and office spaces.

Energy Efficiency

Wall washer lights are an energy-efficient lighting solution that uses 80% less voltage than a halogen light. This reduced power consumption contributes to significant savings on utility bills and environmental costs. In addition, these fixtures emit less heat, which reduces cooling needs and extends their lifespan.

LED wall washers are available in different power ratings and wattages, allowing you to select the best option based on your project requirements. They can also be configured as single-color or dynamic color-changing fixtures to create visually captivating lighting displays. They are also equipped with a range of optics and lens options that allow you to optimize the lighting distribution pattern and focusing.

The positioning of LED wall washers is a critical factor in achieving the desired lighting effect. Closer positioning will result in a more intense lighting intensity, while greater distances will produce a softer and diffused light. It’s important to experiment with the positioning of each fixture and observe the lighting effect from various angles before finalizing the installation.

The type of mounting method will also play a role in the overall appearance of your outdoor wall wash lighting scheme. Surface mounting is a simple and popular choice that allows you to quickly install your fixture on a flat wall surface. However, it’s important to consider the impact of vibrations and glare when choosing this mounting method.


In addition to delivering superior lighting performance, outdoor wall washers offer versatility in terms of moving head beam design and functionality. They can be used to illuminate building facades, accentuate a fountain or sculpture, highlight an architectural landmark, and more. This is largely due to their wide range of color options, which enable creative lighting designs that can create captivating visual spectacles and enhance the overall ambiance.

When installing a wall wash lighting system, it’s important to consider the lighting installation’s intended purpose. For instance, if the aim is to eliminate shadows and provide a uniform wash of light, the fixtures should be installed relatively close to the wall to ensure maximum visibility. In contrast, if the aim is to showcase texture by creating dramatic shadows on a textured surface, it’s best to position the fixtures at a greater distance.

Some lighting designers also use wall washer lights to create a festive or celebratory atmosphere by using different colors. This makes them a great option for highlighting buildings or structures that may be celebrating an event, such as Christmas, Halloween, or a wedding. Furthermore, some LED wall washer lights can change colors to suit events or the mood of a space. This allows you to create a unique and personalized look for your building or landscape project. However, it’s crucial to select LED wall washers with proper heat dissipation to prevent overheating and maintain optimal performance.


Ensure that wall washers are mounted securely and correctly to prevent them from falling off or becoming dislodged. They also need to be properly maintained and regularly cleaned to keep them in optimal condition. Moreover, check that the fixture-to-wall distance is suited to the desired lighting intensity and visual aesthetics. Generally, lower placement allows for a wider wash, while higher placement produces a narrower one.

Depending on the mood you want to achieve, select the appropriate color temperature for your LED wall washers. Warmer colors evoke a welcoming and cozy feeling, while cooler temperatures exude a modern and clinical aesthetic.

Use your wall washers as part of a layered lighting design to create depth and texture in an outdoor space. Layer them with other fixtures, such as spotlights or path lights, to highlight unique architectural features and to transform an outdoor area into a mesmerizing nighttime display.

Incorporate timers and sensors with your wall washers to optimize their operation and energy efficiency. This helps minimize energy consumption during off-peak hours and supports sustainability goals in commercial and retail spaces. Moreover, directing your fixtures’ light output away from the sky reduces light pollution and supports stargazing opportunities. Additionally, install wall washers with an IP rating of at least IP67 to prevent water ingress and maintain their functionality. This is particularly critical for locations prone to rain and other challenging outdoor conditions.

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