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Modern Sconces

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Sconces are, by definition, wall lights that hug a wall closely, distributing light in various directions across the wall’s surface. Modern wall sconces have evolved from ornate and fussy designs to ones that are every bit as innovative and elegant as other lighting models, and that makes adding sconce lighting to an interior space more inspiring and fun than ever before. If you’re considering adding a wall light or sconce to a room in your house, the following questions are worthwhile to consider before making a purchase:

Why would I install wall lights instead of other types of lighting?

The main reason that a contemporary wall light might win out over other types of lighting is space and convenience. When space is at a premium, wall lights are a smart option because of their small footprint. They require no additional surface area on which to reside—like a floor or tabletop—and many wall sconces are small enough to fit into the smallest and most awkward spaces, providing illumination that no other type of lighting is equipped to do.

Where in my home would modern wall lights look best?

Wall lights can be fitted into a number of spatial scenarios, many of them specific to your home. But indoor wall lights typically fall into the categories of primary lighting or purely accent lighting. Primary wall sconces may be defined as those along a hallway, for instance, in which the wall lights are the only source of illumination. A wall light installed in a dark corner of a room or above an entryway table may also be considered primary because it may be the lone source of light for that space.

On the other hand, accent sconce lighting is subsidiary, meaning that it resides alongside other types of lighting to highlight areas not serviced by primary lighting. A wall sconce can, for instance, illuminate an object or specific area of a room, often for esthetic purposes. A painting or sculpture, ornate architectural details, or objects displayed in a cabinet are ideal reasons for designer wall lights. In these instances, a wall light will draw the eye in specific directions in a way that primary light sources—pendant lamps, floor lamps—may not.

Are contemporary wall sconces ever adjustable?

Yes, the advantage of indoor wall lights is that they’re increasingly more versatile, and designed for varied lighting scenarios. Far from being static light sources, modern interior wall lights may include movable elements which can change the direction of light, or increase and decrease light emissions in tandem with specific needs. Wall mounted lamps like these may be ideal for a bedroom, where light can be redirected for reading, and then readjusted for ambience.

Are designer wall sconces as decorative as other kinds of lighting?

Yes. Contemporary designers and brands have created modern wall sconces with every bit as much visual panache as pendant lights or table lamps, so a wall light no longer needs to be the neglected sibling of its more glamorous counterparts. Artful shapes, a broad range of materials, and striking colors have all been applied to wall mounted lamps, so finding sconces that are both practical and visually inspiring is not the challenge it once was.