A sconce is illuminating Art →


Wall sconces are light fixtures that is attached to a wall.  The light from a sconce may be ambient, accent, task or wall washing.  It is important to keep in mind, the use for the wall light.  For example, is it accent lighting purely for decoration, with minimal light output necessary?   Or, on the other hand, is it task lighting needed to illuminate a space.

The beauty of wall sconces is that they work well in any room and are ideal for hard to light areas.  They range from decorative sconces to vanity lights and then swing arm lamps and picture lights.


Generally, sconces should be placed 60”-72” from the floor depending on the style.  However,  they require a junction box.  Please note where the existing box is, or where a new one will be located in the wall.  An electrician will provide the information and possibilities.  Lastly, the room size and ceiling height will determine the size sconce needed.


The type of wall sconce you select depends on the space.  If for instance you have a tall, white vaulted ceiling, than an up light is a great choice.  If however, more light is needed than a wall sconce with down lighting is a good option.

A wall sconce can be part of a layered lighting design plan.  Along with a chandelier or ceiling light, recessed lighting and perhaps table lamps.  That being said, sconces alone can be a creative design element for a modern or traditional space.  A candle-style or chandelier style wall light suits formal dining rooms, foyers and halls.  A contemporary sconce is also decorative and the ambient light is subtle.  Furthermore, if you have a fireplace that is centered on the wall,  interesting sconces will complete the look.


Bathroom wall sconces come in many styles, shapes and designs.  The choices are endless.  Before selecting the bathroom lights, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, if the sconces are flanking a mirror, you need to know the correct mirror size.  There has to be enough space on either side of the mirror, to install the lights properly.  Knowing the width of the sconce’s back plate and frame is crucial.  Next, the rule of thumb is to mount the middle of the wall light, 60-70” from the floor.  In addition, they should be spaced about 28” apart for a small mirror to 40” for a larger one.  Again, junction boxes are needed to install the sconces.

Vanity lights are a slightly different story.  The bath bar light fixture is ideal over a large mirror.  However, it is important to make sure there is enough clearance from the ceiling to the top of the mirror, to mount the horizontal wall light.  In this case, the vanity light should have the center about 78” off the floor.

To summarize, wall sconces are illuminating design features.


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