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Pole Barn Exterior Lighting Ideas:(Find the Right Type Barn Lights)

Do you have a pole barn that requires a lighting plan? Whether you plan to keep horses in the pole barn or use it as a garage or food store, choose good lighting. Depending on your pole barn uses, you might have to install interior and exterior lights.

Most people cannot figure out the best outdoor lighting plan for their barns. They urgently require our pole barn exterior lighting ideas. If you are one of these people, this article will help you make better decisions.

”Before selecting the best pole barn exterior lights, consider the purpose and cost. LED lighting options tend to be most people’s first choice. Also, motion-activated floodlights produce a lot of light and are common.”

We have more external pole barn lighting tips below.

What lights to put in a barn? 

Vital things to focus on when selecting them are durability, visibility, and safety.

If you need interior lighting solutions, prevalent choices are fluorescent tubes, tungsten halogen, HID metal halide, and HID high-pressure sodium lights.

Pole barn external lighting includes LED lights, canopy lights, and wall pack lights.

How many lights do I need in my pole barn?

When choosing indoor lights for your pole barn, consider the number of lumens they have. A standard rule is to ensure 100 to 200 lumens per square foot.

Do not choose any fixtures offering less than these lumens range. Choose LEDs if you need small lighting fixtures with sufficient lumens per square foot.

Pole Barn Exterior Lighting Ideas 

Start by establishing your primary design goal. Do you want to illuminate the path leading to the pole barn for security? Would you like to highlight the pole barn’s architectural design and ensure security?

After you set some goals, selecting the best external lights for your barn will be easy.

Internal pole barn lighting options are easier to choose from than external ones. We will share ideas on the best barn lights for external use below.

01. Canopy lights

A canopy light fixture for external use should use LED bulbs to save energy and last longer. A canopy lighting fixture is rugged enough to resist water damage and other weather elements.

Reliable canopy barn lights consist of heavy-duty aluminum and polycarbonate materials.

Some of them contain glass lenses, including flat lenses and drop lenses. If you require diffused light, the drop lens styles are excellent picks.

In contrast, flat lenses are ideal when you want clear and even light beams. Your pole barn’s location matters when selecting the best-LED canopy lights.

If it is in a constantly wet place with water and dust, consider wet location-rated LED lights.

As you buy the lights, focus on ratings such as IP65, IP66, and IP67 to ensure you purchase the best performing LED canopy lighting fixtures.

There is no shortage of LED canopy lighting devices online, as they come in all shapes, tinges, and sizes.

If how the lights look on your barn’s exteriors matters, then choose white, bronze, or black finishes. Instead of metal halides or high-pressure sodium bulbs, opt for LED bulbs to save energy and money.

Note that LED canopy lights can appear as a pendant, recessed, or surface mounted options. Hence, select your styles based on your tastes and preferences.

02. Wall Pack Lighting Fixtures

As the name suggests, wall pack lights mount on the outside facing walls of houses. Wall pack lights produce a beam that can illuminate a wide ground area.

If you want more security as you walk into the barn at night, wall pack lighting fixtures might suit you well.

You can mount any number of wall packs if you space them evenly. Wall pack lights are the best if you want to imitate the industrial lighting style.

Best for illuminating the walkways leading to the pole barn and the surrounding pathways, the wall pack lighting fixture can get hot.

If energy efficiency does not matter to you that much, these options could be ideal.

Older versions have HID bulbs like high-pressure sodium lamps and Metal Halide bulbs. They have durable housings and can survive outdoor elements.

High-pressure sodium lamps

Sodium vapor lights are examples of high-pressure sodium lamps. They produce an orange light or a deep yellow light.

If you want to select these, avoid the low-pressure sodium vapor lighting devices because of their poor color rendering.

Even if they can illuminate an area with less electricity, they might be too dim for night use.

Metal Halide (MH)

They may work better than high-pressure sodium lamps for pole barn lighting, but they are costly to maintain.

Metal Halide lamps also take fifteen to thirty minutes to warm up, which is one of their downsides.

Metal Halide offers the best color rendering, and their foot-candle levels are sufficient. Like LEDs, MH lamps have a flickering problem that can waste electricity.

LED-wall packs

Modern wall pack lighting devices use LED bulbs. As we hinted earlier, LED bulbs use less energy but produce very bright light.

Whether you select LED high bay lighting or industrial lights, you can experience all their benefits.

They are much better than less durable fluorescent lighting with mercury toxins. LED-wall lighting devices are initially expensive, but they recover the cost in the future.

Due to their high lumen output, LED bulbs can give you the best outdoor visibility without sucking up too much electric current. As LED bulbs do not get hot, they can also be the most comfortable lights.

Pole barn Lighting Tips for New Pole Barn

As you seek the best Pole barn exterior lighting devices, focus on these tips:

Damp or wet location rating

 As you choose the best wall packs or canopy lights, consider those with a damp/wet-location rating. If you see this rating on the label, you are about to buy safe lighting fixtures for outdoor use.

Wet rated or wet location rated lamps are ideal for windy, dusty, and rainy places.

Damp location-rated lamps can match any pole barn wall that does not face the rain. You can choose them as your outdoor ceiling lights.

Maintenance ease

As you decide the types of lights to buy, think about how easy it is to maintain them. If you want wall pack lamps using traditional bulbs, you might have to schedule regular inspections and maintenance work.

Metal Halide lights are costly to maintain when compared to high-pressure sodium lamps.

However, they produce a brighter glow than their counterparts. If you do not mind maintaining MH lights, then select them.

LED canopy lights and LED wall pack lights are more modern, energy-efficient outdoor lighting options.

They cost more to buy than to maintain as they do not heat up like their traditional counterparts.


When searching for pole barn lights for external use, dwell on the prices of various products. You already know your budget.

Next, consider the lamps you wish to buy and the ease of maintenance. Buying price is one thing, and the installation cost is another.

So, focus on the cost of buying and installing your external barn lights. Unless you are good at doing DIY jobs around the house, the best thing is to hire someone to install the lamps. 

LED lights seem to even out the high buying and installation costs eventually because they are low-maintenance options.

Voltage lighting

If you have no solar panels for trapping the sun’s heat, your main powering option for pole barn lights is electricity. 

So, choose between low voltage and line voltage lighting options. Low voltage lighting uses twelve volts and is easier to install.

As for the line voltage lighting, it will use 120 volts, as you can guess. When installing these outside your barn, exercise extra caution.

Dealing with electricity is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you cannot handle the task, call an electrician.

How to Mount Lights on Pole Barn?

Another of our pole barn exterior lighting ideas entails how to mount your light. We have recommended canopy and wall pack lights.

When it comes to installation, you must consider the lighting fixtures you have purchased.

People use different mounting styles depending on their abilities.

If you want the easiest and least-expensive method, try using the clip-on shelf bracket. How can you do this? First, gather the right tools: drill, drill bit (3/8-inch), screwdriver, and a clip-on shelf bracket.

Next, do the following simple steps:

Mark the position of the pole barn lighting

Use your tape measure to determine the gap between the base of the lamp and the ground.

Mark the position with your pen. Next, use your clip-on shelf bracket as a marker to identify the two places you will drill.

Drill your mounting holes

Using your drilling machine and a 3/8 drill bit, cautiously make holes at the two points you marked above.

If you have electrical wiring for indoor barn lighting, do not go too deep not to ruin the cable insulation.

Fix your clip-on shelf bracket

A clip-on shelf bracket should align with the two holes you made in the previous step. Hold your shelf bracket with a screwdriver as you finish attaching it.


Hang your light fixture from the slip-on bracket you have just attached.

How Do You Install Exterior Lights on a Pole Barn?


If you want to be more professional when installing your external barn lights, buy some electrical conduit clamps. All clamp kinds are practical, including clamp-on, box-type, and heavy-duty.

But, here, we will share specific instructions on installing a wall light on a pole barn. Follow the YouTube video link shown above to understand these steps:

  • Assuming you have received your delivery box containing the wall lamp, the first step is to open it.
  • Remove the hardware, a long-twisted metal arm, the wall lamp, and the lamp base.
  • Three electrical cables are coming from the wall lamp where white is neutral, yellow is the live wire, and brown is the earth wire. Put these through the curved metal arm in the easiest way possible. As in the video, grab a radiator trim wire and tape the three wires to it.
  • Insert the radiator hose from the end that connects to the light fixture head to the end that connects to the base.
  • Screw the metal arm to the light fixture head. Insert the three cables through the middle of the lighting fixture base. Then, attach the metal frame to the lamp base using a wrench to fasten the nuts. Now, you have an assembled lamp.
  • The next steps are tricky because you will connect the lamp to the electrical wiring system. Turn off the power switch and connect the neutral, live, and earth wires from the lamp base to the matching ones from your electrical wiring system.
  • Attach the fixture to the pole barn wall. Once done, turn on the light.

[FAQs] On Pole Barn Lightings

Is there another type of external pole barn light fixture I can use? 

In this article, we have written about canopy lights and wall pack lights. Now if you are wondering whether you have other options, we would suggest gooseneck lighting fixtures.

These mount directly to the wall as they have an arm and a wide head for downward lighting. A motion sensor LED flood light is also a wonderful choice.

Can I install pole barn lights by myself?

Yes, you can, if you have some electrical wiring knowledge. Besides, the best pole barn lights come with a user’s manual with installation steps.

If you are not feeling confident, watch an installation video on YouTube.

Are there any building codes to follow when installing outdoor pole barn lighting fixtures?

In most states, people must follow certain building codes when doing electrical wiring projects for pole barns.

In some places, you might need to install the barn lights in a particular way. Learn about the codes before installation.


Did you enjoy reading our pole barn exterior lighting ideas? Next, decide when to install them.

Before you can install, find the most suitable external pole barn lights based on the cost of buying, installing, and ongoing maintenance.

If we can suggest the best options, we would pick wall pack lights with LED bulbs. They are costly initially but cheaper to maintain eventually.

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