Looking for a versatile lighting fixture to make your interior space look and feel inviting and complete? Then look no further than the wall sconce. Key to a layered lighting scheme, a wall sconce is a small-but-robust wall-mounted lighting fixture that can provide ambient, task, accent and decorative light. Plus, this type of fixture’s style ranges from spare to sculptural, so it’ll enhance your interior environment no matter what your style.

What Height Should Wall Sconces Be Hung?

The height you hang a wall sconce is an important factor to consider as you look to properly light your space. On the one hand, you don’t want it to hang so low that you can see the top of the fixture with the bulb screwed into it. On the other hand, it shouldn’t hang so high that it doesn’t light the area it’s supposed to. So how high should wall sconces be mounted? Typically, a wall sconce should be hung between 66 to 77 inches from the floor. If the room has vaulted ceilings, or if you happen to have a tall family (above 6’), then you can adjust the height accordingly.

Hudson Valley Junius Aged Brass Two-Light Wall Sconce

Here are a few additional considerations when determining what height wall scones should be mounted:

  • If you’re using a wall sconce as task lighting, such as at the kitchen counter, you’ll likely need to place the sconce at around 60 inches up from the floor.
  • If you’re using it to sit in a chair and read, around 48 inches up from the floor.
  • As a bedside light, wall sconces should be aligned as a bedside lamp would—just above shoulder height where you can turn it off without getting out of bed.

How Far Apart Should Wall Sconces Be Placed?

rustic wall sconce on gray wall

Varaluz Reel Rustic Bronze One Light Wall Sconce

When using more than one wall sconce, it’s important not to place them too close to each other and over-light a space. On the flipside, if you place them too far apart, you can end up with gaps of light.

In a hallway particularly, when determining how far apart wall sconces should be placed, 96 inches to 120 inches apart from each other is ideal. Additionally, any given sconce should face between two on the opposing wall. In your bath environment when flanking the mirror, wall sconces should sit about 18 inches in either direction from the center of the sink. In a larger room like the living room or master bedroom, where there will likely be another primary source of light, strategically place wall sconces in areas that are not being directly illuminated by the other light source. Multiple wall sconces should be placed at least 72 inches from each other.


The Best Rooms to Place a Wall Sconce

As you look to incorporate wall sconces into your home’s lighting design, you may be wondering for which rooms of the home they’re best suited. The fact is wall sconces are great for almost any room of your home. Let’s take a look at how wall sconces can fulfill the need of utility and function in different rooms.

Living Room

unique gold wall sconce

Calligraphy Gold Leaf Wall Sconce

Wall sconces for the living room play a key role in providing the needed lighting to make the living room functional and inviting. Try a flush mount wall sconce above a fireplace or flank a large mirror with a pair. Wall sconces also work great for illuminating bookshelves—in a traditional design environment, try a candle sconce.

Hallway

wall sconces placed along wooden wall

AFX Post White LED Wall Sconce

Is there anything that looks better than hallway walls washed with the light from multiple well-spaced wall sconces? Look to provide ambient and accent light to this important artery of your home with decorative wall sconces for the hallway: think flush mount, lantern and wallchiere varieties. The hall is one of those spaces that your guests won’t expect to be wowed by, so surprise them.

Foyer/Entryway

Justice Design Group Textile LED Wall Sconce

The entry to your home is a key area for making a first impression and the lighting you choose here sets the tone. Use wall sconces, like flush mounts, to do the heavy lifting and add accent lighting as needed. This is a great area to try out easy-to-install battery-operated wall sconces and plug-in wall sconces.

Bedroom

led wall lamp next to bed

SONNEMAN Pluck Satin White LED Wall Lamp

When you’re trying to create the ideal sanctuary for R&R, wall sconces for the bedroom help you design the perfect ambiance. Use them to not only set the mood, but also to highlight architectural features and bedroom décor, and add functionality. Swing arm sconces next to the bed work particularly well for reading.

Bathroom

wall sconces in bathroom

Access Lighting Aqueous One-Light Wall Fixture

A key contributor to a layered lighting effect within the bath environment is vanity lighting. Use wall sconces next to the mirror to banish that pesky shadow that overhead lights tend to cast. Be sure to choose a wall sconce rated for damp/wet environments.


Now that you have a much better idea about wall sconces, including their functionality in various rooms and installation requirements, you’re ready to start looking for the sconces that will best satisfy the needs of your home.

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