the ultimate guide to wall sconces

Are you seeking expert advice on wall sconces? Look no further! Here's Pooky's comprehensive guide on where and how to place these versatile beauties...

Wall sconces are a chic and adaptable addition to your lighting setup. Apart from offering beautiful ambient and accent lighting, they can also serve as practical task lighting. Moreover, they have the potential to make a striking design statement on their own. In this expert guide, we delve into the most common types of wall sconces, their optimal placement, and offer tips on selecting the right wall sconces for your space. But before we get into that, let's address a frequently asked question...

What is the ideal height for wall sconces?

When it comes to positioning your wall sconces, the perfect height and spacing depend on various factors, including the size and style of the wall light fixture, the room's proportions, and the desired aesthetic.

As a general rule of thumb, wall sconces should typically be situated around 152-170cm (approximately 5-5.5ft) above floor level, while multiple wall sconces should be spaced roughly 250-300cm (or 8-10ft) apart. Aim to position the top of the wall sconce at eye level to avoid glare from the exposed bulb.

However, keep in mind that these are general guidelines. If the room boasts exceptionally high ceilings (e.g., over 10ft), or if you intend to install wall sconces in a bathroom or bedroom, you may want to make slight adjustments to these measurements.

Wall sconce in a bathroom

For instance, wall sconces are excellent for illuminating a bathroom mirror. To achieve flattering, even, and glare-free illumination, consider placing two wall sconces on either side of the mirror, with their centers slightly lower, around eye level. (Explore our range of beautiful bathroom wall sconces, perfect for washbasin areas.)

On the other hand, if you're using wall sconces above a bed, position them at shoulder height for easy access from the bed.

Different types of wall sconce

What are the most common types of wall sconce?

Wall lights come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes, serving various purposes such as supplementing the primary lighting in a living room, enhancing the ambiance in dimly lit corners, or serving as an attractive alternative when a central ceiling light is impractical.

Wall lights also play a pivotal role in layering lighting within a room. They serve as excellent sources of ambient lighting, ideal for providing soft accent lighting during evenings for relaxation or entertainment, and for creating depth and atmosphere. Moreover, they can be utilized to accentuate favorite features, such as a fireplace or a piece of art, adding focus and drama.

Downlight wall fixtures

Upward or downward light?

Uplights, as the name suggests, are designed to cast light upward along the wall and towards the ceiling, creating a more open atmosphere in living rooms or hallways. Conversely, downlights primarily direct light downward, resulting in a cozier and more relaxing atmosphere, particularly in larger living spaces.

Wall sconces

A wall sconce is a classic decorative light fixture mounted on a wall, historically associated with candles and oil lamps. Sconces are excellent for introducing warmth and intimacy to a bathroom, bedroom, or for lighting hallways and corridors.

Wall sconces are available in various styles, including traditional candle sconces, lantern sconces for a rustic ambiance, modern flush-mounted sconces that sit flush against the wall, and vertical torchiere-style lights for added decorative appeal.

Discover the variety of wall sconces.

Bedside reading lights

Wall lights can serve as excellent reading lights, whether positioned above the bed or in a cozy corner of the living room. Some wall lights are specifically designed for bedside reading, while conventional wall lights can also serve as a great alternative to bedside lamps. Additionally, some wall lights are adjustable, providing added flexibility. In the living room, consider placing a stylish swing arm light above a favorite sofa or chair.

View Pooky's range of specialized bedside reading lights.

Picture lights

Picture lights

If you wish to showcase artwork or create an elegant gallery, long, narrow wall lights are specially designed for this purpose. Picture lights, whether used individually or in a series, suspended artistically above your chosen pieces, offer the perfect backdrop. For targeted task lighting, such as over a table or a kitchen island, consider selecting wall lights with more of a spotlighting effect.

Explore all of Pooky's picture lights.

Choosing the right wall sconces for your space

Wall lights are available in an array of styles, ranging from traditional decorative designs to sleek contemporary and ultra-modern industrial styles, and are crafted from various materials and finishes, including glass, brass, metal, fabric, and ceramic.

When selecting your wall sconces, consider not only their function but also the desired effect you wish to achieve.

Here are some tips:

  • For a serene ambient atmosphere in a hallway or living space, consider placing a series of matching translucent glass wall sconces around the room to diffuse light gently.
  • Highlight a feature, such as a fireplace or an alcove, with a pair of matching wall sconces, one on either side.
  • Create a warm and welcoming feel by staggering multiple wall sconces along a hallway or corridor.
  • Add visual interest by mixing and matching wall sconces with different colored shades.

Using wall sconces in the bedroom

In the bedroom, wall sconces offer a softer and gentler alternative to the main ceiling light, and they can also serve as lovely design elements. A general wall sconce provides warm ambient illumination, while an extendable or swing arm wall light fixture makes an excellent bedside lamp substitute. To enhance ambiance, consider installing a dimmer to adjust the lighting to your preference.

Explore a range of beautiful bedroom wall sconces

Browse through Pooky's extensive collection of sensational wall sconces.