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Sconces, Indoors and Out

When it comes to decorating a room in your home, the right lighting plays a very important part. Lighting a room is more than just being able to see into it, it’s about illumination, style, ambience, and comfort. Wall sconces can bring all these elements to the room you are remodeling or redecorating, as well as provide the general lighting you will need.

A Little History

Originally, a sconce was a fixture that supported a torch high on a wall to reflect light in darker areas of castles and, later, as stands for candles and oil lanterns. Today, they reflect electric or candle lighting upwards to illuminate and set the mood for any room or outdoor area you choose. Sconces are a perfect decorative lighting for the room with a limited amount of space.

Choosing Your Sconce

When choosing to use sconces in a room, you will want to choose what fits with your style of decor, ranging anywhere from Southwestern to Contemporary. The variety of choice in style, type, and size is virtually endless. They also come in an array of different materials, including metal, ceramic, crystal, plastic, or wood. Along such a large choice comes a wide range of prices, from less than $20 to hundreds. You will want to do plenty of shopping around; Internet decorating sites and manufactures have amazing ideas to consider.

Also, consider the function your sconces will play. Are you choosing sconces mainly for ambient illumination, reflecting light off a surface? Or do you want to spruce up the wall with accent to a focal point? Better still, could a larger sconce placed center of the wall become the focal point? Then again, you may have decided to use a sconce, or several, to do the job of lighting a darker area, such as a hallway, entryway, or bathroom. Even so, remember the style and type of lighting that will fit those places.


Wall sconces are easily installed and their placement is very important. They are usually installed at about 70 inches above the floor, or about ¾ up the wall. Because most sconce fixtures are open at the top, placing it too low will take away from its purpose for lighting and ambience.

Two choice places for using wall sconces are the master bedroom and bathroom. In the master bedroom, they give the room a romantic appeal, charm, and elegance, especially when candles or lighting that gives a candle-like feeling are used. In the bathroom, sconces are perfect fixtures to frame wall art or the mirror, removing that bright glare that vanity lighting often brings. This too, will give your master bath a romantic, relaxing atmosphere.

The uses of sconces are versatile with any style and within any room. Don’t forget sconces for outdoor lighting as well. Both types of lighting are meant for their own specific use, so make sure you are buying outdoor lighting for the outdoors and vice-versa.

Sconces come either with the switch on the fixture itself or wired for wall or dimmer switches. Most any type of lamp can be used in a sconce, incandescent, 3-way incandescent, or even low-voltage halogen. Serious consideration needs to be made in the installation of any lighting and the electrical dangers involved. Most fixtures come with instructions for their installation, but if you are unsure, consult an electrician for proper wiring. Whatever choice you make for your room decorating and remodeling, wall sconces will add true illumination with your personal touch.

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