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Lighting,  Progress Lighting

The Right Way to Use Wall Sconces

[Our friends at Build.com share their expertise on the Progress Lighting blog. Enjoy!]

Lighting your home may seem like a no-brainer, there’s definitely a better way to do it. And lighting with a wall sconce is no different.

The first question to ask yourself is: What kind of lighting do I need from a wall sconce (also sometimes called a wall light)? Is it complementary lighting in a larger room? Brightening a hallway? Or is the wall sconce more of a decorative accent, with functionality taking a back seat?

Since wall sconces are so versatile, there are definitely right and wrong ways to use them. And there’s an amazingly wide range of Progress Lighting wall sconces to work with.

No matter where you’d like wall sconces to go, they should be hung roughly 60 inches from the floor and, if possible, approximately six feet apart from each other.

These are the general lighting rules for using a wall light, but, as we all know, some rules can be bent. Here’s a breakdown of possible places and guidelines for using a wall sconce.

Hallway: Here is where you can follow the six-feet-apart rule along the wall. If it’s a long hallway, each wall sconce will produce enough brightness to be placed at that distance. If you’re considering the decorative element (one on either side of a door, or multiple wall sconces at the end of the hall, for example), that’s also perfectly acceptable.

Large rooms: Wall sconces provide the perfect secondary light source. They’re not so bright that they overpower a living space, yet they’re bright enough to help with illumination.

A larger living area (a great room, living room or bedroom) will typically feature a primary source of light of some kind, like a chandelier or ceiling light. A strategically placed wall sconce can brighten an area that could use more light (a far corner or next to a slider) or highlight a feature in the room (a piano or piece of art).

Again, place multiple wall lights at least six feet apart, unless it’s for ornamental sake.

Entryway: There are a few places that could benefit from a wall sconce as strictly a decorative element. And an entryway (or foyer, if your prefer) is one of them.

If your home has an entryway, chances are you have an excellent primary light source somewhere nearby. Bay windows, floor lamps, chandeliers and foyer pendants are examples. Adding a wall sconce to one of the entryway walls (even right next to the door) creates a warm environment and is an excellent way to welcome guests into your home.

Outdoors: Inside the home isn’t the only area that profits from wall sconces. Your home’s exterior can also benefit, and thanks to the vast selection of Progress Lighting outdoor wall sconces, you have a lot to choose from.

The front porch is an excellent location for an outdoor wall sconce. The benefits? Increased safety at the front door, a decorative upgrade and an instant boost in curb appeal (especially if you add complementary Progress Lighting outdoor lighting).

The wall sconce might be one of the smallest lights you add to your home, but it can pay off some of the largest dividends. To harness the power of the wall sconce, just follow a few simple (and flexible) rules, and your home will thank you.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving from Build.com!


Sean Murphy is copywriter at Build.com. Build.com is the second-largest online home improvement company, specializing in plumbing, lighting, door hardware and ventilation products. Sean manages the Build.com at blog.build.com and is enjoying some productivity following his marathon in December 2011.