While pendant lamps, floor lamps and chandeliers get all the attention in lighting design, there is one type of light fixture that often goes overlooked — wall lights. Also known as sconces, these wall-mounted fixtures can cast pools of light upward or downward to brighten up living room spaces and add a touch of ambience. And because they come in a wide variety of styles, there’s a perfect option for every living room.
The first step in selecting the best wall lamps for your space is to determine your purpose. Then you can assess your needs and create a layered lighting scheme that will allow you to adjust the illumination to suit the mood or time of day.
Ideally, you want to find a fixture that provides an even amount of light for the space so that your entire living room is well-lit without being overpowered. The size of the fixture, its brightness level and whether or not it has a dimmer switch will all play a role in how it affects the space.
If you have a focal point in your living room, such as a fireplace or a TV, consider placing a pair of matching sconces on either side to emphasize the area and enhance the overall look of the space. They’re great for highlighting your favorite pieces of wall art as well.
A more traditional take on this style of lighting is a nonelectric wall sconce, which “gives off that old-world feel with its ornate bracket and candleholder,” says Havenly lead designer Toussaint Derby. “I think it’s a great piece to have in a romantic bedroom or a cozy reading nook,” she continues.
An uplight wall sconce can be used to highlight a specific area of the room and is often seen in foyers, dining rooms and bedrooms. It’s typically installed in pairs and has a decorative shade that helps diffuse the light and make it appear more natural. This type of wall light works well over a sofa or seating area, a mantle or next to a piece of art in a living room setting.
This Hudson Valley Nyack 19-Inch wall sconce is an excellent example of a stylish designer light that works as a statement piece in the home. The metal components have a metallic finish that complements the other fixtures in this living room and the perforations in the black metal caps reflect the light from the bulb, creating a warm layer of ambient lighting.
Another good way to use uplight sconces is to install them along a staircase. This creates a soft, welcoming glow as you move up or down the stairs and is a simple way to add some extra warmth and character to your home.
While installing a wall sconce can seem like a simple task, it’s important to have the fixture professionally installed to avoid any potential electrical issues. It’s also recommended that you consult a licensed electrician to ensure your light fixture is wired correctly.