LED Barn Lights

Barn lights are a great way to bring focused light to the indoor or outdoor space of your choice. Browse our barn lights below and keep reading to learn more about types, specs and applications.

“Barn light” is a broad category, however; so when you’re shopping, it’s important to know what kind of space you’re looking to light, what your lighting goals are and what kind of a look you’re hoping to create.

This guide should help answer your most important questions about barn lights and make that shopping journey just a little easier.

What is a barn light?

A barn light is an RLM lamp that uses a circular reflector to cast light downward in a bright, precise beam.

Barn lights get their name from the fact that they were originally popular above barn doors over a century ago. Now, barn lights are used for a variety of both outdoor and indoor applications.

Outdoors, barn lights bring a classic, rustic feel that balances functionality and eye-catching look.

Indoors, barn lights create a clean or industrial aesthetic that perfectly complements modern design.

Why use LED barn lights?

In the past, many barn lights contained metal halide or mercury vapor bulbs, which burned hot, had unpredictable lifespans, an dcontained toxic gasses.

LED technology offers a safer, more modern approach that eliminates those dangerous or inefficient media without sacrificing brightness or color temperature.

When you use LED barn lights instead of traditional incandescent or mercury vapor lights, you reduce your energy usage significantly and avoid the frequent bulb changes that make outdoor lights so frustrating to maintain.

Different types of LED barn lights

As we said, “barn light” is a general term that refers to several kinds of indoor and outdoor lights. Let’s take a minute to review the key differences between the most popular forms of barn light.

Direct Mounted Barn Lights

Directed mounted barn lights can be attached right to the side of a building or pole. They are used almost exclusively for outdoor applications.

Direct mounted lights don’t have the design appeal of many of the other styles of barn lights and are purely practical.

Direct Mounted Barn Lights are Ideal for:

  • Office parks
  • Outdoor shopping centers
  • Loading docks
  • Entryways

Gooseneck Barn Lights

The term “gooseneck” refers to any pipe that has a 180° (semicircular) curve in it. When it comes to barn lights, a gooseneck lamp is suspended from a curved pipe which is mounted to the wall above.

Gooseneck barn lights have a very distinct, striking look and can be used to bring light and personality to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Gooseneck Barn Lights are Ideal for:

  • Garages, sheds, barns, and other outbuildings
  • Restaurants (interior & exterior)
  • Retail stores
  • Restorations

Pendant Barn Lights

Pendant lights hang straight down from a ceiling mount, which means they are for indoor use only. They are ideal for bringing bright light down to a surface (like a table or desk) from a high ceiling.

Pendant barn lights create a modern, industrial feel without the cold, distant feeling of many other forms of overhead light.

Pendant Barn Lights are Ideal for:

  • Kitchens & dining rooms
  • Studios or workspaces
  • Entryways & foyers
  • Stunning accent pieces

Barn Sconces

A barn sconce is essentially a scaled-down gooseneck barn light that’s used specifically for decorative purposes. They aren’t true barn lights due to their size, but they bring the same aesthetic to smaller, more intimate spaces.

  • Front doors/porches
  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways
  • Restaurants & retail stores

Key specs & considerations for barn light shoppers

Dusk-to-Dawn Functionality

A light with dusk-to-dawn settings provides light only when it is needed. During the daylight hours, the lamp stays off no matter what. That means no wasted energy when additional light is unnecessary.

LED Dusk-to-dawn barn lights use a device called a photocell to detect whether or not daylight is present. If you’re looking to buy the most energy-efficient outdoor barn light, you need to make sure it is a dawn-to-dusk model with a photocell attached.

IP Rating

The ingress protection rating of a light (or any device) determines how well it will stand up to the elements – that’s essential information for any outdoor barn lights.

The first digit in an IP rating describes how well the device resists solids (dust) on a scale of 1-6. The second digit represents how well the device resists liquids (rain/melting snow) on a scale of 1- 8.

If you’re looking to install barn lights outdoors, you should be sure they have an IP rating of at least 54 but 65 is ideal. At IP 54, your lamp will be rainproof, although dust may eventually dim the light. At IP65, your barn light will stay sealed and functional, even if you clean it with a power washer, and should be impervious to dust.

Efficacy

When you buy LED lights of any sort, the efficacy rating (lumens of light produced per watt of energy used) is the most important number to know – just like the wattage used to be for incandescent bulbs.

Efficacy is increasingly included on product packages, but if it’s not, you can do a quick calculation.First, find the lumens (the amount of light generated), then find the wattage (the amount of power drawn). Divide one by the other, and you’ve got your efficacy rating!

A modern LED barn light should deliver an efficacy of at least 100 LM/W. That ratio should hold whether you’re shopping for a big outdoor barn light that delivers 12,000+ lumens or a sconce that generates closer to 4,000 lumens.

How many LED barn lights do I need?

The short answer to that question is that it depends on your space and lighting goals.

For example, if you’re hoping to light a dining room using pendant-style barn lights, you need to generate around 30-40 foot candles of light. That’s equivalent to about 3,000 – 4,000 lumens. That means you could probably address those needs with two pendant lights or a single pendant and a few sconces.

On the other hand, if you’re lighting an outdoor space, the number of lamps you’ll need depends on how bright you want the light to be and how much surface area it needs to illuminate. Barn lights cast their light directly downward by nature, so they area each lamp is covering will depend on both lumens and the height of the installation.

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