Copper Lanterns are timeless and add a little historic charm to any home, whether old or new. An investment you’ll love for many years to come, learn why copper outdoor wall lights and hanging lanterns might be the right fit for your home and personal style.

Copper outdoor lanterns are functional and beautiful elements in an outdoor space. Their warm metallic luster adds ambience and soft light wherever they are used.

Learn where and how to use copper lanterns, where to shop, and even how to care for them.

An exterior of a home with a copper lantern near a garage door.

It’s no secret that outdoor lighting greatly contributes to the atmosphere of an evening outside. You can choose string lights, candles, a campfire, or lanterns to turn your outdoor space into an inviting wonderland.

Lighting make outside family dinners and hangouts extra memorable. Guests attending a celebration will feel like guests of honor when you turn on the outdoor mood lighting.

The right exterior lighting can change your home for the better. Just like choosing lighting for the interior, you can add your own touches to your home’s street appeal and help set it apart from others!

Lanterns are the prettiest, most charming way to add a little historical pizzazz to the exterior of your home. The warm tones of copper lanterns and brass lanterns, especially, feel cozy and inviting.

When we first moved into our St. Louis home, I knew immediately that our tudor style house would benefit from copper lighting on the exterior. There’s just something so warm and timeless about it.

So, when we took the plunge and painted the exterior in my favorite Tudor Paint Colors, we knew it was time to update the lighting, too. Copper lanterns for the win!

Next up? Cooper guttering, I hope. A girl needs to have dreams, right?

A copper lantern on the side of a house, trees in the background.

What Are Lanterns?

Lanterns have been used for centuries to illuminate and decorate the world. They basically began as a humble way to provide light while allowing candles to be protected from the wind.

A candle was placed inside a metal container with glass sides, leaving holes in the top for oxygen to keep the flame going.

Lanterns can be made with all sorts of materials – metal, wood, even paper! Copper is ideal for lanterns in all environments because it withstands the elements without corroding.

Initially candles were used for light. Candles for light were replaced by oil to burn, then gas, and eventually electricity. While the ease of electricity ended the need for lanterns to light the way, they are still a popular choice for decorative outdoor lighting.

The beauty and tradition of lanterns continues today, whether powered with electricity or glowing with candles. And copper lanterns are still providing authentic beauty to landscapes and homes everywhere.

Why You’ll Love Copper Lanterns

  • Warm and Authentic Finish
  • This Metal Last for Decades
  • Only Look Better with Time
  • Set Your Home Apart from Neighbors

Find my best tips for Outdoor Lighting to learn how to create a beautiful, warm outdoor space.

Copper outdoor lanterns on the exterior of a home between garage doors.

Copper lanterns are beautiful and timeless. As they age, their rustic, elegant patina adds character and charm. Above all, they create an atmosphere that’s cozy and welcoming for everyone who visits your space.

How to Choose Copper Outdoor Lanterns

Copper outdoor lanterns are very diverse in their shape, size, and style. When choosing a copper lantern, do some research about the style you like. There are lanterns that can suit your design style, whatever it is.

Straight lines, angled lines, curved and ornate edges can all be found in outdoor copper lanterns.

  • First, search for your style – Coastal, Traditional, Farmhouse, Modern, and more to find a copper lantern to suit your design preferences.
  • Next, determine how you’ll be using your lanterns. Lanterns can hang from overhead areas like covered decks or porches. Copper outdoor wall lights are also a popular look, like the ones we have throughout our home’s exterior!
  • Price is another factor. Everyone has a budget they’d like to stay within! If you’re shopping on a tighter budget, consider lanterns with a copper finish to get the look you desire. Authentic copper lanterns are not inexpensive, so this is something to consider.
  • Finally, you’ll also need to consider the size you’re looking for. Do you need a large lantern for “street effect” with a big impact? Or maybe something smaller, more intimate and subtle?
A copper wall lantern on the outside of a house.

Copper Outdoor Wall Lights

Next to traditional hanging lanterns, wall lights and sconces are a common style. Copper outdoor wall lights look stunning on the outside of a house. Common places for a copper wall light are surrounding the garage, near the front and back door, and on lamp posts.

Copper outdoor wall lights can be wired as permanent fixtures to be turned on with the flip of a switch. If you’re looking to update existing lighting, it’s really easy to change an old light to a cozy and charming copper lantern.

Of course, if you’re not experienced with wiring, electricians are always available to get the job done correctly and safely.

Copper outdoor lanterns on the exterior of a home between garage doors.

I love using candelabra light bulbs for a truly authentic and warm look that invites a feeling of calm as the light dances off the copper.

Copper outdoor wall lights on the exterior of a home between garage doors.

How to Care for Copper Lanterns

Copper lanterns are very durable and won’t rust with the weather. However, they do have a natural aging process that changes the look.

New copper is bright and shiny, while aged copper gets a patina – or verdigris – that darkens it or produces a blue-green coating, like you’ve seen occurring on pennies.

Copper should always be cleaned with a soft cloth, nothing abrasive. Here are a few methods for cleaning your copper outdoor lanterns (turn off electricity and remove lightbulbs when cleaning electric lanterns):

  1. Water and Soft Cloth – For normal cleaning, just wipe with a damp cloth.
  2. Lemon and Salt – Wet the lantern and sprinkle with salt. Cut a lemon in half and rub the cut edge of the lemon gently over the copper, removing the tarnish.
  3. Vinegar and Salt – Make a solution with vinegar and salt. Then rub solution onto copper gently with a soft cloth.
  4. Product – Use a product made especially for cleaning copper and follow manufacturers instructions.
An exterior of a home with a copper lantern near a garage door.

Part of the charm of copper is the natural antiquing that occurs. Copper lanterns will not remain pristine on the exterior of your home, and they’re not supposed to.

In short, you just need to embrace the beauty of a weathered lantern and the patina that shows just how useful its been through its lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I mix copper lanterns with other metal finishes?

Yes! Mixing metallic finishes is a resounding yes. Consider having a main metal, and then mixing in one or two more finishes. Adding a warm metal like copper or brass can really even out a space with mostly cooler metals like steel and nickel.

Can I use a copper lantern anywhere?

If you’re using lanterns that have a place for a candle, then you can use them anywhere. They look beautiful on decks, in gardens, lining a walkway, at special occasions.

If you want a lantern attached to a home and electricity, then you’ll need to use existing wiring or have a professional electrician do some new wiring for you.

A copper wall lantern on the outside of a house.

You’ll find a variety of of price points for copper outdoor wall lights and copper outdoor lantern links below. Enjoy!

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