Ideas + Advice


What Is a Wall Sconce?

A wall sconce is a type of lighting fixture affixed to a wall, usually in such a way that it uses the wall for support and does not hang from the ceiling. Wall sconces can provide general, task, or accent lighting. Unlike floor lamps or table lamps, they save space and can be positioned at any height to create unique lightscapes in the room.

1. Candle Sconces
Designed to mimic the look of the original candle wall sconces, these add a touch of timelessness and romance to any setting.
2. Flush Mount Sconces
Ideal for minimalists, these are mounted flush against the wall, projecting light outwards to brighten the space without drawing too much attention to themselves.
3. Swing Arm Sconces
Highly functional, these allow you to adjust the positioning of the light as needed and are perfect for reading nooks.

Incorporating Wall Sconces into Your Home

Here are some tips on how to use wall sconces effectively in your decor: 

Living Room
Create a cozy ambiance by placing sconces on either side of the fireplace or above end tables.
Dining Room
Consider installing a pair of sconces on the walls to complement the chandelier and provide sufficient lighting.
Nightstand space can be saved by mounting swing arm sconces next to the bed, which can be adjusted for reading or ambient light.

What is the difference between a sconce and a wall light?

The difference between a sconce and a wall light is a sconce is more decorative. A sconce protrudes more from the wall with more encasing to show off style, while a wall light tends to be more flush. Choose a sconce if you want a tad more visual interest.

Why is it called a sconce?

Sconce has a meaning that refers to a Middle English origin: screened lantern or candle. Today, sconce refers to any type of light fixture that can be mounted on a wall. This means that sconces can be decorative, simple, screened or unscreened.

Where do you put wall sconces?

You can put wall sconces on any wall. As long as you have the right mounting equipment, a sconce can go wherever you need light. Most often, you can get the most benefit out of these lights by placing them over doorways, over an art piece, next to a door frame or over a bed frame. Choose a place based on your sight and mood needs.

Is a sconce always a light?

Yes, a sconce is always a light source. How that light source is functioned can vary: candle, battery or electricity can power sconces. Most often, sconces are operated via electricity and come with LED bulbs.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.