Some light on wall sconces

Some light on wall sconces


Wall sconces are available in a mind-blowing range of designs, materials and types, writes A Dyuti

You’ve just shelled out an astronomical sum to spruce up your interiors, but are disappointed with the result? Have you paid adequate attention to lighting? For, well-planned lighting enhances the appearance of colours and furnishings in any room. Of course, you’ve picked that classy chandelier for your dining room and strewn your living room with ceiling lights. But, if that magical charm still appears elusive, how about trying wall sconces? 

These wall-mounted light fixtures, evolving from traditional candlesticks fixed onto walls, are today available in a mind-blowing range of designs, materials and types.

Sconces can be made of wrought iron, crystal, metal, ceramic, polyresin, wood and many other materials. They come with lights directed upwards, downwards or sideways. Indoor or outdoor sconces are also available. The bulbs can range from fluorescent to halogen to incandescent types and of lower or higher wattage.

Suits different lighting styles

So, how can you effectively use them for different lighting styles? Wall sconces are a wise pick irrespective of whether your lighting need falls into only one of the three categories of task, ambient or accent lighting.

For ambient or general illumination, select pieces with open candelabra or clear glass casing, installing them high up on your room’s side-walls as you need light that is pervasive and yet not harsh for this purpose. For task lighting to facilitate your performance of particular tasks, be it reading, TV watching, studying, doing handiwork or cooking, choose sconces that hang low and use relatively brighter bulbs.

Accent lighting can help you draw attention towards particular pieces in the room, be it a painting, sculpture, figurine, portrait, antique piece, mirror, plants or architectural elements. Sconces with dark, opaque shades focussing light that’s brighter than the surrounding ambient light in the room onto a particular object help produce spectacular results. 

In the living room, wall sconces can be used around the fireplace, TV-stand or accent pieces.

Today, chandeliers come with matching wall sconces too. You can opt for them if your chandelier is largely decorative and you require some functional lighting fixtures in addition.

Ditto with dining room chandeliers and lighting fixtures. In the bedroom, wall sconces can be used in lieu of bedside lamps. In the bathroom, place sconces on either side of the mirror, supplementing the ambient lights.

In the kitchen too, sconces can channelise light towards particular spots, say, the work area, counter-tops or wash basin. Theatre sconces with enclosed incandescent lights for your home-theatre lighting needs are a wonderful option. You can place a sconce above a doorway too. Light up the hallway, corridor or staircase with sconces dotting the way.

Miniature wall sconces help economise space; but they can be bright too when you use energy-efficient LED lights.

Outdoor sconces can lead the way along the drive or towards the garage or garden. But, ensure that they are waterproof.

Placement is important

Usually, wall sconces are mounted five-six feet above the floor and minimum 10 feet apart if they are on the same wall. But, this varies according to room height and particular lighting needs.

Avoid placing them at very low heights as people may bump into them. For this reason, it is best to give up sharp-edged designs. Take care to choose designs that gel with the overall decor of the room, especially tiffany sconces.

But, don’t let mere design guide your choice. Ensure the bulbs are of the right wattage for your need. Perhaps, they come with special bulbs?

Check if you can replace them easily. Since the connections are usually concealed, it’s advisable to let a qualified electrician handle the installation job.

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