Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Wall lamps give every room enough brightness and can be the highlight of a room with their design. Unlike floor lamps that get in the way and ceiling lamps that are not noticed first, wall lamps take up no space and are noticed immediately. There are endless types to choose from. When choosing, however, you should pay attention to some criteria.

With our wall lamp test 2021 we want to help you find the perfect wall lamp for you. We have compared wall lamps with and without plugs and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. In addition, we explain the criteria that you should use when making a purchase decision so that you can find the right one.




The most important facts

  • Wall lamps can be installed both indoors and outdoors, give the perfect brightness, take up no space and can create a certain atmosphere due to the endless designs that are available.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between wall lamps with plugs, which you can easily set up yourself, and wall lamps without plugs, where you should hire an electrician to install them.
  • Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose from many different wall lamps in terms of material, design and lighting style to find the right one for you. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Best Wall Lamp: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for wall lamps

In the following, we show you what criteria you should look for when you decide to buy a wall lamp. Criteria you should use when comparing wall lamps:

Below you will find a more detailed explanation of the respective criteria that are decisive for your decision.

Location

Whether for your bedroom or for outdoors: there are certain wall lights that are only suitable for either indoors or outdoors. Here, you need to pay attention to the IP index, which indicates how well a lamp is protected against liquids and solid foreign bodies. For example, for a wall lamp outdoors or in the bathroom, you need an IP index of 54 or 65 so that it is protected against splashing water from all sides. For the bedroom, on the other hand, an index of 20 is sufficient.

The information about the IP index can be easily obtained from the product data sheet.

Lighting style

Depending on the atmosphere you want to achieve with a wall lamp, you should pay attention to the lighting styles that are available:

  • Warm or cold light,
  • direct and indirect lighting
  • Downlight and uplight

In the following, the respective lighting styles are explained in short sections.

Warm light for a pleasant atmosphere and cold light for a productive atmosphere.

For a cosy atmosphere, we recommend warmer light. You use cold light to make the room appear larger and more stimulating, which is good for a working atmosphere, for example. Indirect light can illuminate the room without really dazzling the observer. Whereas direct light can be the focal point. Therefore, you can give your room a certain ambience depending on the light diffusion. There is another distinction here: A downlight wall lamp has its light beam pointing downwards and an uplight wall lamp has it the other way round. If you want to illuminate a certain object that hangs on the wall above or below, for example a painting, you can choose between the two. However, there are also wall lamps that shine in both or all directions. The design varies.

Material

There are many different materials for lamps, which can give a room a certain aesthetic depending on how they are used. Here you can choose between:

  • Wall lamps made of metals: Stainless steel, chrome or aluminium have a long shelf life and can be recycled. However, they weigh relatively much and are susceptible to rust. Painting and surface finishing can help to counteract the latter.
  • Wall lamps made of wood, rattan, fabric textiles and paper: They are much lighter and have a more natural and warm appearance. However, lamps made of these materials are very sensitive, as they quickly become dented, stained or cracked. Wood should therefore be regularly wiped with a cloth and varnished. While textiles should be washed with the right cleaning agents.
  • Wall lamps made of real glass: They can create a classy image, but there is a risk that they will break more easily and need to be replaced. Translucent glass lets all the light through and coloured glass can create beautiful lighting effects.
  • Plastic wall lamps: They are relatively inexpensive, lightweight and are available in all colours. Disadvantage is environmental pollution, as they take several hundred years to decompose.

Light output

The light output is crucial if you use the wall lamp as your main lighting. LED wall lamps are usually equipped with an E27 base, which can easily provide an output of 15 watts.

At least one wall lamp with 10 watts should be installed per 10 m².

Of course, there are also personal preferences here. Depending on how bright you want it in your room, you choose a certain light output for your wall lamp. The wall lamp can also serve mainly as decoration and therefore does not necessarily have to be the brightest lamp.

Design

There are endless possibilities for the design. This is where your personal preferences come into play. Depending on the room design, your wall lamp can be modern, vintage, antique or even art nouveau. The choice of style is a matter of taste. In combination with the material, the design can follow a certain style.

Material and design together create a certain style.

The designs can also have certain additional functions. Wall lamps with a remote control, a motion detector or a switch can simplify operation. A wall lamp that can be dimmed can also produce different brightness levels.

Difficulty of installation

This is about whether you can easily install the lamp yourself. Either you can install it easily yourself, because the instructions for the wall lamp are clearly worded and there are not too many complicated components. If the wall lamp has a plug, you only need to attach it to the wall and near a socket.

If it doesn't, you should get professional help to be on the safe side, as this can be a life-threatening situation. An electrician knows exactly what to do so that no one is put in danger. However, this is associated with additional costs.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about wall lamps answered in detail

If you decide to buy a wall lamp, you will certainly have some questions that you would like to have answered before your purchase. In our wall lamp guide, we have selected the most important and most frequently asked questions from customers and answered them clearly. Our guide should help you find the perfect wall lamp for you.

Wandlampe-1

Wall lamps that are mounted outside provide enough brightness and can also serve as decoration.
(Image source: Pixabay/ PublicDomainPictures)

What types of wall lamps are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a wall lamp, there are two types of products you can choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Wall lamp with plug
  • Easy to install and remove, as the plug simply has to be inserted into the socket
  • If with switch, easy to operate
  • Looks unsightly when a cable hangs down
  • Cable can get tangled
Wall lamp without plug
  • Looks neater when no cable hangs down
  • For safety's sake, installation and dismantling should only be carried out by a qualified electrician
  • therefore even more expensive

How do I install a wall lamp?

It depends on what kind of wall lamp you want to buy. If it is a wall lamp with a plug, all you have to do is mount the wall lamp on the wall according to the instructions. Then all you have to do is insert the plug into the socket. However, if it is a wall lamp without a plug, you should get professional help from an electrician for your safety. If you don't want to hire a professional, we explain how to install a wall lamp step by step below:

  1. Switch off the power: Switch off the power for all areas that have a connection to your luminaire. Use a voltage detector to make sure that no current is flowing through it. Only then can you begin with the installation.
  2. Mounting: First detach the luminaire from the mounting bracket. Then fix the mounting bracket of your wall lamp to the wall with dowels and screws according to the instructions.
  3. Connect the connecting cable: First check that no current is flowing through the wall connection cables. You will find three different cables at the power connection: a black one, a blue one and a yellow-green one. The yellow-green one is the earth wire. If you see one of these, you have to connect it. First, strip 0.5 centimetres of insulation from the cable with a wire stripper. There is a luster terminal that has 3 holes. Connect the earth cable (yellow-green) to the middle hole and screw it tight with a screwdriver. For the other two openings, it doesn't matter which one the blue or black cable goes into.
  4. Attach the lamp base: Tighten the lamp base to the mounting bracket with two screws on the side.
  5. Insert the bulb: Finally, insert the corresponding bulb. Then you can turn the power back on and switch on the lamp. Done!

However, please make sure that you connect the lamp at your own risk. If you do not feel safe, please seek the help of a qualified electrician.

At what height should I install a wall lamp?

It is very important to avoid looking directly into the wall lamp, otherwise you will be dazzled. For a downlight and/or uplight wall lamp, it is advisable to mount it at eye level.

As a rule, we assume a height of between 1.70 and 1.80 metres.

If there is a seat near the wall lamp, be careful. You don't want to be dazzled from there either. Therefore, you should simply align the wall lamp according to the current situation in the room.

Wandlampe-2

Wall lamps inside illuminate the room and complete the desired design of the room. Placed at eye level, the viewer should not be able to be dazzled directly.
(Image source: Pexels/ Ingo Joseph)

How much electricity does a wall lamp consume?

To find out how much electricity your wall lamp consumes, you should look at the energy label of the wall lamp. It tells you exactly how many watts it consumes and which energy efficiency class it has been assigned to. To be precise, a 400-watt lamp consumes 0.4 kilowatts per hour.

An energy class of at least A is energy efficient.

If you are looking for an energy-saving lamp, you should look for energy-saving lamps, halogen lamps and LED wall lamps. Such lamps consume significantly less electricity and you can certainly save quite a bit on electricity costs.

What are the alternatives to a wall lamp?

If you don't want a wall lamp, there are a few alternatives. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we have compiled a brief overview of the alternatives in a table for you:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Ceiling lamp
  • gives light from above everywhere
  • does not dazzle
  • difficult to install on its own without a cable
  • if with cable, it should be long enough
Floor lamp
  • easy to install and to switch on and off because of cable and switch
  • provides light for a specific area, e.g. reading corner
  • stands in the room and therefore takes up space
  • can be dazzling
  • Danger of tripping over the cable
Table lamp
  • gives enough brightness for a certain area, e.g. work table or dining table
  • easy to install and to switch on and off
  • takes up space at the table
  • can be blinding

Each type has endless designs and style possibilities. Which design you choose is a matter of taste and depends on how your room is designed.

Image source: Hoda/ 123rf.com

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