Wall Sconce Buying Guide

Whether you refer to them as wall sconces, wall lights or wall lanterns, they are all the same thing. Wall sconces are lights that mount directly to your wall to provide ambient lighting or task lighting.

At Lighting Direct, we want to make it easy for you to find the perfect wall sconce for your home. Browse through our Wall Sconce Buying Guide and learn a little bit about sizes, styles and types of wall sconces to make your shopping experience easier.

If you have any questions during your shopping experience, our certified lighting experts are here and ready to help, so give us a call.

Wall sconce buying guide
Indoor Wall Sconce
Indoor Wall Sconce

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are very versatile light fixtures. Traditionally, they have been used to provide light along hallways, but they are starting to pop up in more and more rooms around the house.

How are wall sconces being used?
  • Mounted on each side of a mirror in a bathroom to create the perfect amount of light
  • Added on either side of a bed to provide reading light
  • Installed along the walls of a hallway to provide light
  • Added to a living room or bedroom to create ambient or task lighting
What height should a wall sconce be mounted?

There isn't a single answer for all situations, but here are a few rules of thumb for general wall sconce placement.
  • The placement height of the light fixture can vary from 60" to 72" off the floor.
  • The wall sconce should be mounted at a height on the wall that doesn't allow the light bulb to be seen. This will save you and your guests from a painful glare when looking at the fixture.
  • Taller ceiling or vaulted ceiling can allow for larger or higher mounted wall sconces for a more dramatic lighting effect.

Outdoor Wall Sconce
Outdoor Wall Sconce

Outdoor Wall Sconces

Also referred to as porch lights, outdoor lanterns or outdoor wall lights, these are a staple on the front of any home. Lights mounted on the outside of your home provide security, safety and character.

How are outdoor wall sconces being used?
  • If space permits, two lights are ideal for the front door, one on each side of the door.
  • Design, wall space or budgets often call for only a single light to be used.
  • For side doors or back doors, a single wall light is most commonly used, often a smaller version of the ones around the front door.
  • For single wall light installation, mount the fixture on the same side as the door knob.
  • Surround garage doors with smaller versions of the front door fixtures.
What height should outdoor wall lights be mounted?
  • In most cases, mounting the fixtures at a height that places the bulb 66" above the bottom of the door is ideal.
  • Wall lanterns should be mounted just above eye level.
  • Placing the light above eye level will allow guests to safely approach the door without glare in their eyes.
What size should outdoor wall lights be?

Much of this comes down to personal preference, but here are some general sizing guidelines for outdoor lanterns.
  • When mounting a single light next to your front door, it should be 1/3 the height of the door.
  • When mounting 2 lights around your front door, they should be 1/4 the height of the door.
  • The number one mistake made when choosing an outdoor lantern is selecting one that is too small.

Swing Arm Wall Lamp
Swing Arm Wall Sconce

Swing Arm Wall Lamps

The most convenient form of wall mounted task lighting is definitely a swing arm wall lamp. Also referred to as a swing arm wall sconce, these offer convenient and adjustable task lighting.

How are outdoor wall sconces being used?
  • Mounted next to a bed as a convenient reading light.
  • Installed next to or behind a sofa or chair.
  • Mounted above a desk or table that sits against the wall.
  • Swing arm wall lamps are excellent space savers; they remove the need for space where a table lamp would normally sit.
What some popular features of swing arm wall lamps?
  • Adjustable arm for maximum flexibility.
  • On / off switches mounted on the fixture.
  • Plug-in option to allow for easier installation.
  • Secondary light source for additional task lighting, often with a gooseneck arm.

Wallchiere Light
Wallchiere Lights

Wallchiere Lights

What is a wallchiere light?

A wallchiere light is like the grandfather clock of the wall sconce family. It is a combination of a wall sconce and a torchiere lamp. If you aren't familiar with torchiere lamps, they are the very tall and skinny floor lamps that cast a large amount of light towards the ceiling.

What are some benefits of a torchiere light?
  • Wallchiere lights offer all of the light of a torchiere floor lamp, without taking up floor space.
  • They create a soft, spreading light; most often in an upward direction.
  • These fixtures offer a stronger design element than a typical wall sconce, making it the perfect fit for a room that needs a little design help.


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