Everything you need to know about Wall Sconces

Contents

Introduction

Wall Sconces are one of the ancient lightings in the history where it was used to hold candles. These eye level wall mounted light sources, casting glowy point on a surface and diffusing its light all around the room.

Wall sconces can be used as the main lighting source, but generally, they have the role of setting the right tone by supporting other light sources. They are creating coziness and a structure to the room, especially when they are placed symmetrically. Wall sconces are injecting personality to the interiors with their different styles and types. It is the lighting that sets the tone in the interiors.

Features & Benefits

Unlike other lighting elements, wall sconces have different effect over the elements of interiors primarily walls, then floor, ceiling and the furnitures. By using the wall sconces in right position, it can change your interiors in a dramatically affective way.

Maximizing the Space

Maximizing the Space

Wall sconces are great choices for the interiors that are smaller. They are wall mounted lighting systems that don’t require any place in the floor space. When placed in the right position, they can create an illusion of a larger room.

Highlighting the Special Area

Highlighting Special Area

These small lighting details can be used to highlight a special area like a buffet, a bar chart or even a reading area. It will provide a focus area in the room and a concentrated ambiance.

Unexpected Statement

A single wall sconce, which is only lighting a single piece can create an unexpected accent to your interiors. It is also possible to find the wall sconces as a piece of art, standing alone, providing its unique lighting for its own.

Things to Consider

Amount of Light Required

The first thing to consider before having a lighting element is which amount of lighting is needed. First of all you need to decide f you need to highlight a special area or a simple light wash over the wall. The preference of the wall sconce will change according to the need. Then it should be considered the amount of the other lighting elements that are already existing and how to balance it with the right wall sconce.

Location and Desired Effect

Not all the wall sconces can be used for the specific area. Especially it is important first to decide if you are looking for an indoor wall sconce or outdoor. The size of the room and the other lighting sources need to be considered. The important thing is the desired effect; this will help you to choose the most convenient wall sconces for your interiors.

Cost and Budget

The cost would vary depending on the powering system, material, style, etc. Mostly, the battery powered and plug-in sconces are accepted as more economical solutions. Not only the price of the wall sconces but also installing, bulbs and the powering should be considered.

Where to use Wall Sconces?

Bedroom

Wall Sconces for Bedroom

Bedroom lighting is so much important. Bedrooms are the places where wall sconces are placed symmetrically on the wall behind the bed. These wall sconces are the helpers to have soft ambiances for reading sessions. Wall sconces are generally placed as reading lights. It is impressive when bed flanked with lighting.

Bathroom

Wall Sconces for Bathroom

As bathrooms are smaller and darker areas of the apartments, wall sconces are mostly used symmetrically at the sides of the mirror to create more luminous areas and to make the illusion of a bigger bathroom.

Dining Room

Wall Sconces for Dining Room

The dining room is one of the most prestigious place that wall sconces can be placed. They can be used to highlight the buffet, add more drama to the wallpaper or they can be placed over a mirror or a painting to gather the attention more. It is important to arrange the placement to keep the glare out of diners’ eyes.

Fireplace

Wall Sconces for Fireplace

Even if fireplaces are the source of heat and light, they are the affectionate spots for the wall sconces. The wall sconces placed symmetrically at the sides of fireplaces will create a dramatic effect even if the fireplace is not active. Wallchieres can be a good solution for fireplace area.

Foyer

Wall Sconces for Foyer

The foyer is where we welcome our guest. The first impression will be straightened with the existence of stylish wall sconces. For a standard 9-10 feet foyer, the wall sconces should be placed 7 feet above the floor.

Hallway

Wall Sconces for Hallway

Hallways are the narrow passages where perspectively is on the line. To guide the way and to support perspective, installing wall sconces will be a strong choice. The required height of the placement is 60” above the floor, and multiple wall sconces should be placed 8’-10’ apart.

Kitchen

Wall Sconces for Kitchen

Wall sconces are not highly preferred for kitchens. It can be placed over the working area or over the kitchen table.

Staircases

Wall Sconces for Staircase

To create more brightness to narrow staircases and to support the feeling of perspective, wall sconces can be placed on the walls. It is also more functional to highlight steps to guide the way.

Outdoor - Front Entry

Wall Sconces for Front Door

When you have a nice garden, wall sconces will be a great choice to lighten them. It is also important for safety, and to mention the architectural details of the building.

Garage

Wall Sconces for Garage

To choose the right size of the lighting, the garage door dimensions should be considered. One larger wall sconce can be placed above the garage door or two smaller wall sconces can be placed both sides of the garage door. The fixtures can be placed 1/3 or ¼ of the door height.

Wall Sconce Parts

Fixtures

Wall Sconce Parts

Finihes

Oil-Rubbed Bronze Sconce
Antique Bronze Sconce

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Antique Bronze

Brushed Nickel Sconce
Chrome Sconce

Brushed Nickel

Chrome

Bronze Sconce
Copper Sconce

Bronze

Copper

Antique Brass Sconce
Polished Brass Sconce

Antique Brass

Polished Brass

The Bulb

Wall Sconces are mainly working with the incandescent, LED and Fluorescent lights expect natural candle ones. According to the size and the design of the sconce, the bulb is changing.

Incandescent

Incandescent Sconce

These mostly known incandescent lights are emitting the soft light tone for the interiors. They are inexpensive but uses the most energy. Therefore they need to be replaced quite often.

LED

Led Sconce

These energy-saving LED lights are long-lasting. They have a different variety of colors, but they are more expensive than incandescent lights.

Flourescent

Flourescent Sconce

The fluorescent lights are using the least energy and emitting least heat possible when compared to the incandescent bulbs. They are also long-lasting and have different color varieties. They are more expensive and mostly providing blue lights, so it is not convenient to use them at the bedroom.

Powering

There are several kinds of powering for the indoor wall sconces:

Battery Operated Wall Sconces

Battery Operated Sconce

Although battery operated wall sconces are less preferred, they are easy to install almost everywhere without the need for any power outlet or cables. However, battery operated wall sconces are less expensive than the others; batteries should be renewed from time to time.

Plug-in Wall Sconces

Plug-in Sconce

Plug-in wall sconces can be thought as redesigned versions of the simple desk lamps that are mounted on the wall. They are working with traditional electrical cords that are plugged in the power outlet. Therefore the cords are visible and creating a less polished look. Plug-in wall sconces are less convenient to be operated switches, so the only way to close them is unplugging the cord.

 

Hardwired Wall Sconces

Hardwired Sconce

Hardwired wall sconces are connected with the internal electrical system of the room. They are the most common choice. They can easily be operated with its switch. The only disadvantage of them is that they cannot be placed everywhere. Hardwired wall sconces are running with the high voltage system which is defined as 120 volts.

Solar Powered

For the outdoor wall sconces, it is an energy efficient way to choose a wall sconce that is working with the solar power. They are more convenient for the 12 months sun exposing places. It is also possible to find wall sconces already designed for this purpose or also to but panels and connect them to your existing wall sconces which needs a professional help.

Low Voltage

Low Voltage lighting systems reqiıres a low voltage electrical cables and transformer packs to be operated. They are defined as 10V, 12V and 24V. They are more energy efficient and safer than high voltage systems. They are easy to install and adjust, but they require more equipment such as transformers and electrical cables. Outdoor wall sconces are generally running with low voltages.

High Voltage

Also known as line voltages, high voltage systems are the default wiring voltage for indoor. They do not require special equipment as low voltage systems. They have the same voltage as appliances, so they are compatible. Their fixtures, bubs and installation costs less. However, they are less energy efficient, they are difficult to install and they have higher operating costs.

 

UL Rating

Even if the wall sconces can seem compatible with both interior and exterior, the first thing that must be considered is the UL rating of the wall sconce. By knowing the UL (Underwriters Laboratories), it is possible to understand if the wall sconce can be resistance for both interior and outdoor conditions.

UL Rating

Dry Rated

UL Dry lights can be affected badly by moisture and water, so it is only convenient for indoor uses.  

 

Damp Rated

UL Damp lights are more consistent to moisture and water but still needs to be placed under porches and overhangs and must be protected from direct contact with the water.   

 

Wet Rated

UL Wet lights can withstand moisture and water without any need of protection. They don’t require to be placed under the porches and overhangs. Also, these lights can always be used in indoor.

Shades

Glass

Clear Glass Sconce
Frosted Glass Sconce

Clear Glass

Frosted Glass

Amber Glass Sconce
Tiffany Glass Sconce

Amber Glass

Tiffany Glass

Fabric Shade Sconce

Fabric

Frame

Wall Sconce Sizes

Even wall sconces can be found in a different variety of sizes, their width mostly differing between 4″-20”. For the smaller places such as bathroom, the smaller size of wall sconces must be placed. Bigger sconces can be placed at wider places such as entry of the building.

  • Bathroom sconces should be in 9-10” length
  • Outdoor Garage door or front door sconces should be the ¼ the height of the door
  • Task light sconces such as sign sconces and painting sconces that are close to the objects that are lighting should be smaller.
  • Larger sconces look better when they have placed

Outdoor: For outdoor, wall sconces must be placed according to the height of the door. For placing single sconce, taking the 1/3 height of the door is useful, but for double sconces, it will be better to take ¼ height of the door. The wall sconces shouldn’t catch the eye. Therefore the center of the wall sconces should be 66 inches above from the ground.

Lighting Configurations

Up Light

Up Lighting

Even wall sconces can be found in a different variety of sizes, their width mostly differing between 4”-20”. For the smaller places such as bathroom, the smaller size of wall sconces must be placed. Bigger sconces can be placed at wider places such as entry of the building.

Down Light

Down Lighting

Wall sconce that is providing illumination downwards can be used as a task lighting. When they placed for the general lighting, they can provide an illumination for the sitting, dining areas or the stairways.

Up-Down Light

Up-Down Lighting

These both way lightings are casting both way lighting to create more luminous interiors. When used as more directive, they are creating strong light lines from floor to ceiling.

 

All Around

All-Around Lighting

Wall sconces that are creating a light chamber all around can be accepted as a part of the wall design. They can create a light and shadow game, and they are good choices to create light patterns.

Wall Sconce Sources

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Single Bulb Sconce
Pair Bulb Sconce
Multi Bulb Sconce

Single

Pair

Multi

How to Place Wall Sconces?

Most of the sconces are placed at three-quarter of the wall, therefore measure the height of the ceiling and multiply it by ¾. This will give you an idea where your sconces should be placed.

Indoor Sconce Placement

Vertical

The vertical placement of the wall sconces are the most preferred ones. In this condition, the suggested height from the floor is 60″-70″. If you have ceilings over 9 feet, then you can go forward for the 66″-72″. It is also convenient to place wall sconces halfway through the floor and the ceiling.

Horizontal

In need of the special features to be highlighted such as a picture or a mirror, it is convenient to place the wall sconces 8 – 10 feet apart to create a continuous and soft diffuse.

Accent

Wall sconces are not always used as a light for the interior but also for the furniture, art pieces or the mirror. These wall sconces are serving especially for the object that needs to be highlighted. They are mostly placed over the objects, gathering the attention to that single piece.

Wall Sconce Types

The Armed Sconce

The armed sconce

For a muted glow, the armed sconces can be placed downwards in bathrooms and dining rooms. These wall sconces can also be used to make the room larger by placing upwards to the hallways and the foyer.

The Swing Arm Sconce

Swing Arm Sconce

Swing-arm wall sconces are adjustable lights that are mostly placed beside bed, serving as reading lights. To place these sconces, get the ideal sitting position and try to place sconces over your shoulder.

The Flush-Mount Sconce

Flush Mount Sconce

These wall sconces are mounted directly to the wall. They are light balances for the interiors and can be placed to support general illumination of the interior.

Wall Washers

Wall Washer Sconce

Wall washers are spreading light across the whole wall and creating the effect that the walls are flushed with light. It is a good accent lighting option.

Wallchieres

Wallchiere

Freestanding torchiere lamps, are great light diffusers to cast the soft and shadowy atmosphere.

Half-Moon Sconce

Half Moon Sconce

As it can be understood from its name, wall sconces that are designed with the shape of half moon have open tops, and round closed bottom. They are convenient for the mellow upward lighting.

Spotlight Sconce

Spotlight Sconce

They are particular types of armed wall sconces that is allowing user to adjust the light. They are often used to light up a particular object.

Recessed Light

Recessed Light Sconce

For the recessed light sconces, the key is to arrange the lights spread evenly. By dividing the height of the room with two, you can find the distance between light sources. These fixtures are installed behind the wall and can be placed for the stairs, walkways as a guide for the way. They are also convenient for the outdoor and garage lightings.

The Corner Wall Sconce

Corner Sconce

The corner wall sconces are designed specially to fit the 90-degree corners. These wall sconces are highly recommended for small interiors to eliminate the sharp corner effect and create a more open space feeling.

The Candle Sconce

Candle Sconce

The Candle Sconces are the contemporary interpretations of the candle holder wall sconces. They can be found in different styles. They are a great choice for the romantic interiors

Latern Wall Sconce

Latern Sconce

A throwback to the style of oil lamps, Lantern Wall Sconces are popular choices to have a more traditional ambiance. They are mainly preferred for outdoor lighting. They are not accepted as strong light sources as they are providing a soft diffuse.

Picture Light Sconce

Painting Sconce

If the case is highlighting a special painting, to find the center of the painting, take the height of the painting and divide it into two. The rightest place for your sconce is 4 inches away from the center of the painting.

Mirror Light Sconce

Mirror Sconce

As a mirror is reflecting material, it will be a great effect to widen the illumination by placing the wall sconces over mirrors. The wall sconces should be at least 3 inches above the mirror. It is important to make sure that light is not directly reflected from the mirror.

Sign Sconce

Sign Sconce

Similar to the picture light, sign light is also focused on one area except this area is larger. Sign lights are flooding a wider area, and they are mostly used to illuminate signs. Their aim is to keep the focal point on the message of the sign. Therefore they are mostly preferred as outdoor lights.

Wall Sconce Styles

Art Deco

Art Deco Sconce

Art Deco wall sconces are where it is possible to find elegant ornamented glassworks with a floral wrought iron frames.

Country/Cottage

Country Sconce

Country style of wall sconces is homey-cottage inspired designs that are found with shades and little ornaments that will expose the shabby-chic design aesthetic.

Craftsman

Craftsman Sconce

Craftsman wall sconces are artistic handmade elements that are convenient for the craftsman interior design where straight and simple lines, sharp angles and contemporary materials majors.

Modern/Contemporary

Modern / Contemporary Sconce

The modern sconces are elements of the design by themselves or found as elements of minimal design. Mostly made up of metal materials, they are giving a streamlined feeling to the interiors.

Industrial

Industrial Sconce

Industrial style of wall sconces are matching factory design and urban look style of interiors. They are mostly made up of patinaed materials, vintage style of bulbs and reclaimed designs. 

Retro

Retro Sconce

Retro style wall sconces with the detailed hardware and special bulbs will be both industrial and elegant choice for your interiors.

Rustic

Rustic Sconce

Rustic wall sconces are designed in darker colors, distressed finishes, can be even found with the motives of animals. They are a strong object that can characterize the interiors.

Traditional

Tranditional Sconce

The traditional wall sconces are designed very detailly with ornaments that are reflecting the style of the past centuries. The well known traditional sconces are tiffany shades, and the ones with crystals that is reflecting the light in their way.

Transitional

Transitional Sconce

It can be said that transitional wall sconces are the ones between traditional and modern wall sconces. Transitional lights offer both minimalistic and sleek details that can fit in the different style of interiors

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