History of Sconces
Van Chaplin; Charles Walton IV

High History

Long before Thomas Edison gave us bulbs for floor lamps and overhead fixtures, sconces presented an appealing source of light. The graceful form -- candles held forth on nimble arms, suspended from a sturdy backplate -- met a basic need with finesse. Mounted just above eye level, candle-fired sconces bounced light off walls and ceilings, casting a diffuse, alluring glow.


Continuing to Captivate
Tria Giovan

Continuing to Captivate

Today, though incandescent and halogen bulbs have largely replaced wax and wicks, sconces continue to captivate. Their ambiance remains a flattering commodity, as cherished in decorating as a tasteful color palette or thoughtful floor plan.


Form and Function
Laurey W. Glenn

Form and Function

Besides providing different layers of light, sconces can also set the right tone with both form and function.


Task lights
Annie Schlechter

Task Lights

In kitchens and home offices, they offer an alternative to overhead or task lights.

For work spaces, the diffuse light is preferable.


Focal Points
Laura Moss

Focal Points

Sconces also have a knack for creating focal points and sophisticated lighting patterns. Placed on either side of a powder room mirror, they provide balanced light for checking or applying makeup.


Flanking Artwork
Tria Giovan

Flanking Artwork

They work well above mantels or flanking artwork, ceramics collections, or tapestries. In dining rooms, they accentuate a buffet or serving table and heighten the romance of chandeliers.


Reading Lamps
Van Chaplin; Charles Walton IV

Reading Lamps

Indispensable in bedrooms, sconces serve as bedside reading lights, particularly when equipped with articulated arms. In hallways and in corridors, they resolve monotony of long spaces.


Choosing a Fixture
Laurey W. Glenn

Choosing a Fixture

Before choosing a fixture, determine the lighting pattern and the intensity you desire. Up-, down-, and dual-firing sconces create different patterns, as do single- and multi-armed configurations. Incandescent bulbs create a warm ambience, while halogens cast a whiter, brighter glow. Dimmers and shades can moderate brightness of either type of bulb. Candle sconces add drama, and mirrored backplates double the radiance.


The Right Height
Roger Davies

The Right Height

Determine the height. In a hallway or heavily trafficked area, place sconces just above the shoulder height of the tallest inhabitant or frequent guest.


Avoid the Middle
Tria Giovan

Avoid the Middle

A sconce in the middle of the wall can throw off the proportion of a room. Install a small sconce closer to terra firma, and it will seem larger. Raise a larger sconce to accommodate its size.


Low Ceilings Love Sconces
Tria Giovan

Low Ceilings Love Sconces

If your ceiling is low, sconces can replace a chandelier, providing light and tone.


Stick Together
Tria Giovan

Stick Together

Pairs should stay together. When various sconces are used in a room, keep the heights of matching sets equal.


Downplay the Wiring
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Downplay the Wiring

If a cord can't be completely concealed, pull it straight down from the sconce and nail it to the top of the baseboard. Painting it will greatly minimize its impact. If an additional backplate is needed to hide wiring, cover it with paint or wallpaper to match the wall.


Printed From:
http://www.myhomeideas.com/decorating/design-ideas/sconces