Sconces: What to Know About This Amazing Lighting Fixture

Twin sconces on either side of bathroom mirror via foxtaledesignbydenamazza

The wall sconce is a classic wall lighting fixture that almost every home needs. What sets this type of lighting apart is the key fact that it can direct light at eye level. This is important for places where you are often standing – like next to the front door, or next to the bathroom mirror. Illuminating the face is a common need in many homes, so don’t overlook this practical lighting fixture!

What are Sconces Used for?

Sconces are used for middle lighting. They are great for illuminating faces, artworks, and mirrors. You can also use these handy lighting fixtures to brighten other objects on the walls of your home.

Where Sconces Should Be Placed in the Home

Here are the major locations of residential homes where you can use sconce lighting!

Hallway Sconce Lighting

Sconces are popular lighting choices for long hallways as they can create bursts of light at regular intervals through this long space of interior.

Wall Sconces for Reading

If the purpose of using a wall sconce is to help you read, then you should consider a swing arm wall sconce, which will give you the flexibility to adjust the lighting projection. These types of adjustable sconces are commonly found in the bedroom and in a reading nook.

Bathroom Sconces

Twin sconces are often found on either side of the bathroom mirror. These help to gently illuminate the face without blinding the person looking in the mirror.

Sconces by Style

You can find sconces in a wide variety of styles and designs. Here are a few of our guides based on style:

  • Scandinavian Sconces – Nordic design is trending in a wide variety of homes. Celebrated for its practicality and minimalist design, this is a winning design choice!
  • Brass Sconces – Brass is the most trendy finish on a large range of home fixtures from drawer pulls to table legs and of course, lighting fixtures. You can’t go wrong with brass!

Wall Sconce Power Sources

There are three main ways to power these lighting fixtures:

  • Hard-wired – These types of lighting fixtures are wired directly to your home’s electrical system. It offers the most seamless, clean look because wires are not visible from the outside! To turn them on, you must have an external light switch on your wall, or an external switch on the fixture itself.
  • Plug-in – For a simple installation, go for plug-in wall sconces which gain their power from any old electrical outlet. They can quickly be replaced when needed even though it makes the wall more cluttered to see wires hanging down.
  • Battery Powered – Battery operated sconces are also easy to install, and solve the problem of visible wires. These run on batteries, meaning they will need to be replaced after a while. They tend to be a bit dimmer than the first two options, but nonetheless, they are a viable choice.

How High Should Wall Sconces Sit?

The recommended height for wall sconces is around 5.5 feet or 66 inches, minimum. You can place them even higher if you have a tall household or especially high ceilings. At this height, the sconces illuminate the upper body, without blinding people. The bulbs should not be directly visible. They should be within reach, but not so much so that the inside is visible.

Here are some quick placement guides:

  • 2 sconces on either side of a piece of artwork
  • 2 sconces on both sides of a vanity mirror or entrance mirror
  • 1 central sconce above an artwork or mirror
  • 2 sconces on either sides of a large bed, above the nightstand and around 1 foot from the end of the bed
  • Several hallway sconces spaced around 1 foot apart along the wall. Stick to odd numbers!

There you have it! I hope this guide helped you understand more about these tiny but powerful lighting fixtures for the home. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy curating!


1 comment

  1. Your post about sconces are so impressing and informative. I was looking for information about hallway sconces and how high should they be placed. This post helped me a lot.

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