Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! Today we are going to talk about a type of lighting fixture that gives a cozy air in any environment: the sconce.

Fixed to the wall, it creates different lighting effects and is therefore always present in decoration projects. Today, there are several models, from classic, rustic to modern.

Amidst so many options, we will show you in this article what you should take into account before buying the sconce that will meet your expectations.




The most important facts

  • The sconce is a type of light fixture that is attached to the wall and generally produces indirect and soft lighting.
  • This type of luminaire can be placed in different rooms, including outdoor areas.
  • It is therefore important to know how to combine the sconce with your decoration, where to install the piece and how to choose the ideal one.

The Best sconce: Our Picks

If you are looking for a sconce, you are certainly looking for a differentiated piece. Knowing this, manufacturers are increasingly investing in models for all tastes and purposes. Therefore, below we will present to you the best sconce models available on the market today.

Buying Guide

It's not easy to choose a piece which will influence your decoration as much as a sconce. Therefore, before buying this lighting fixture, it is necessary to analyse a series of factors, from the technical ones to those related to decoration.

That is why, in this Buying Guide we have prepared for you, we will show you which types of sconce, their advantages and the care you should take before installing them on your wall.

Mulher em sala com arandela.

The sconce creates an intimate and decorative lighting.
(Source: PaylessImages / 123rf)

What is a sconce?

The sconce is one of several different types of light fixtures that exist. But its main feature is that it is a fixture that is attached to the wall.

Very traditional in interior and exterior environments, the sconce usually creates indirect lighting. With this, the environment becomes more cosy and intimate.

In addition, because it is installed on the wall, usually in pairs, the sconce acts as a decorative piece.

It is very common to see sconces in living rooms in films and soap operas, both period and contemporary.

Quarto de casal, com cama e duas arandelas acima do criado mudo.

Sconces are fixtures fixed on the wall that, in general, have indirect lighting, ideal to be used in the bedroom.
(Source: Bru-nO / Pixabay)

Despite being an old piece, dating back to colonial times, over the years this type of fixture has been evolving and adapting to the trends of each era.

Today, for example, you can find a huge variety of sconces, with models that differ by manufacturing material, design and type of lamp.

What has also evolved in this type of luminaire, is that the piece now has different lighting options that, as a consequence, create environments with varied characteristics.

There are current models in which the light can be directed to various positions, making the sconce even more versatile.

In other words, whatever your objective or type of decoration, it is possible to find the ideal sconce.

What is the difference between the sconce and other types of luminaire?

Lighting is a very important part of a home, office, balcony and even garden. And, of course, it depends very much on the type of environment you want to create.

So depending on the type of lighting you want to create, you need to choose a different luminaire.

For example, if you want to set up a reading corner, you should consider a luminaire that has a strong, direct light.

The floor lamp can be a good choice. Not least because this piece is mobile and can complement the decor whether in the living room, TV room, office or study corner.

A chandelier, on the other hand, is a type of light fixture that differs mainly because it is installed on the ceiling.

Arandela acesa na parede, em foto preta e branca.

The sconce differs from other fixtures by the type of lighting and by being a fixed fixture and attached to the wall.
(Source: takenbytablo / Pexels)

The chandelier can serve as the main lighting or simply to compose the decoration of a room. And, despite acting as a highlight, the chandelier can either offer direct or indirect lighting.

The lampshade, on the other hand, is a table lamp, which also has variations in the lighting it produces. Depending on the material and shape, the lampshade can have direct or indirect light. In addition, it is versatile and mobile, and can be placed in various environments.

In the category of wall lamps you will find, as we have seen, the sconce, which generally has a more diffuse and decorative lighting.

But depending on your goal, you can also opt for another type of wall lamp, the beacon. This piece is fixed close to the skirting board.

Check out the main features of these types of luminaires below:

Sconce Floor lamp Chandelier Lamp Shade Beacon
Type Fixed Mobile Fixed Mobile Fixed
Lighting Indirect Direct Indirect/Direct Indirect/Direct Indirect
Ideal Space Internal/External Internal/External Internal Internal/External

Where should you install the sconce?

Although it needs to be fixed to the wall, the sconce is a very versatile luminaire. You can place the sconce in a variety of environments and for different purposes, depending on the lighting you require.

As the light from a sconce is usually indirect, avoid placing it in places that need a lot of light, such as offices and kitchens, unless it is a decorative piece.

For decorators, the ideal is to place the sconce in places that require softer lighting.

Good environments to receive one or more sconces are:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living rooms
  • Corridors
  • Bathrooms
  • Facades
  • Balconies

In corridors, sconces can serve to guide the way. This is because the sconce uses the wall itself (the ceiling or the floor in some cases) as a light guide. This creates a feeling that the room is longer.

In larger environments, such as a living room, for example, this type of luminaire can act as an additional point of light.

In the TV room, the sconce can also be functional if installed on the sides of the TV panel.

In bedrooms, the indirect lighting of the sconce is ideal to create an intimate and tranquil atmosphere. Not to mention that it can also save space on your bedside table.

Varanda de apartamento iluminada por uma arandela.

The sconce is also widely used in external areas, such as the balcony in flats.
(Source: qimono / Pixabay)

It is worth remembering that in external areas you need to pay extra attention when you choose the material of manufacture of the sconce.

You need to take into account that the sconce will be exposed to rain, sun and pollution. We will talk about the materials of sconce manufacture in detail in Purchase Criteria.

How should you install the sconce?

The installation location of the sconce is a factor that deserves attention. Remember that you will need to fix it to a wall.

This, therefore, requires you to identify power points along the wall so that the sconce can be applied.

But don't worry because the process is similar to installing a chandelier.

The recommended height for installing the sconce is proportional to the room's ceiling height.

For rooms with a ceiling height between 2.5m and 2.7m, you should install the sconce between 2m and 2.20m high.

However, if you prefer to fix the sconce at the head of the bed, the piece should be placed at 1m or 1.10m high, above the bedside tables.

What care should you take with the sconce?

The first care you should take is precisely with the installation. Make sure that the wall you choose to put the sconce on is safe to support the weight of the piece.

It's also essential to make sure that no pipes or wires pass through the installation site.

Safe installation and proper sconce size are key to ensuring the piece works.

Experts recommend that you give preference to a sconce made and fixed with quality materials so that they are not at risk of coming loose from the wall.

In addition, take care with the environment where you are going to install the sconce. In some places like corridors, for example, the size of the sconce must not interfere with the passage of people.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the sconce?

The sconce is a type of luminaire which has several advantages. The main one is that the sconce, while creating a diffuse and cosy lighting also contributes to the decoration.

Versatile, this type of luminaire is fixed to the wall and can therefore be used in various rooms such as bedrooms and hallways.

In addition, the sconce has the advantage that it can also be installed in external areas such as balconies and gardens.

Arandela acesa acima do espelho em um banheiro clássico, com a janela aberta.

One of the advantages of the sconce is that it can be installed in any room, such as bathrooms, for example.
(Source: Elena Saulich / 123rf)

Another advantage is that the sconce is a piece of easy installation and, because they stay on the wall, they do not take up space. In addition, sconces are available in various shapes, colours and materials.

However, this type of lighting fixture also has disadvantages. Although functional and decorative, the sconce is not suitable as reading lighting.

Below you will find the main advantages and disadvantages of the sconce:

Advantages
  • Cozy lighting
  • Decorative piece
  • Easy installation
  • Does not take up space
  • For indoor and outdoor environments
Disadvantages
  • Not all of them are for reading

How much does it cost?

The price of a sconce varies considerably depending on the material used, the dimensions and the number of pieces.

In general, you will find sconces costing between R$ 15 and R$ 1 thousand. Those of the finest materials, however, can cost up to R$6 thousand.

Of course you don't need to buy the most expensive one. Today there are options for all tastes and pockets.

Purchase criteria: What you should consider before choosing the sconce

Before buying a sconce you should have a project that will indicate how many luminaires are needed, the size and type of lamp you want for the room.

With this information in hand, you need to know what are the characteristics which differentiate one type of sconce from another. Therefore, we have listed for you the main factors that should be taken into account before buying a sconce:

  • Fabrication material
  • Decoration
  • Lighting
  • Design
  • Size

Below, we will explain each of these factors for you to make the best decision and purchase the ideal sconce.

Manufacturing material

The first factor you should take into consideration before buying your sconce is the type of material the piece is made from. This is because what differentiates a sconce for external use from one for internal use, for example, is precisely the material of manufacture.

External sconces need to be more resistant to climate change. Internal sconces, on the other hand, are more decorative and can be more daring in the manufacturing material.

But in general, you can choose a sconce made of the following materials:

  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Iron
  • Crystal
  • Acrylic
  • Aluminium
  • Ceramic
  • Metal

Decoration

In addition to choosing the manufacturing material according to the place the sconce will be installed, we recommend that you also take into account the decoration of the place.

As the sconce helps to decorate the walls, as well as the decorative pictures, you can dare in the combinations.

Decorators agree that nothing is more stylish than choosing iron sconces to complement the decor of an environment that has classic furniture, for example.

Or even combine a wooden sconce installed in a room whose decor is more contemporary and minimalist.

Here, you can use your creativity to mix different materials and create an exclusive decoration which is just like you.

Lighting

After choosing the best manufacturing material, we recommend that you observe the type of lighting that the sconce is intended to provide.

The type of lighting varies and will depend both on the lamp that will be used and the shape of the dome that surrounds the sconce's lamp.

On the packaging of the piece you will find the type of lamp and the socket number which must be used in the sconce. You must respect the recommendation to avoid damage to your sconce.

You will find options of sconces that use fluorescent, LED, white or yellow bulbs.

Your choice will depend on the environment you want to create, whether lighter, for reading, for example, or more intimate with soft, yellowish light.

Quarto de casal, com janela, cama e arandelas acesas acima do criado mudo.

The type of lighting of the sconce will depend on the lamp and the dome that surrounds it.
(Source:Digital Buggu / Pexels)

Remembering that the LED bulb is still the type that allows you to have greater savings at the end of the month.

In addition, know that in some models, you need to use two bulbs in each sconce. Put that in the balance and see if it's worth the expense.

Regarding the type of lighting they produce, you will find the following types of sconce:

  • Direct light: The turtle type sconce, for example, is often used in outdoor areas, such as gardens.
  • Dome: The dome sconce is similar to a lampshade and offers indirect but strong lighting.
  • Uplight: The uplight sconce directs the light upwards, ideal for illuminating facades or creating diffused light.
  • Downlight: this sconce directs the light downwards and is therefore suitable for intimate and decorative lighting.
  • Double effect: The double effect sconce directs the light upwards and downwards, creating scenic lighting effects, ideal for decorating a large wall in a room.

Design

The next factor you should check is the design of the sconce. The idea here is for the sconce to compose the decor of the room.

For example if your living room has a modern style, opt for a sconce with a contemporary design, with geometric shapes, such as those with a square or hollow dome, with hoops.

Arandela acesa em parede com o escrito: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”

The designer of the sconce is an essential factor if you want to unite lighting with decoration.
Source: Muffin / Pexels)

But if your style is classic, the sconces with vintage and colonial design are the most suitable. But the diversity is huge.

For example, you can also opt for luxury sconces, in candle shapes, cylinder, round and with different shapes and unique to each brand.

Not to mention the sconces with cone design, vertical, with dome and even with graphed images.

Size

Also note the dimensions of the sconce. This information is especially important if you are, for example, to place the piece in a corridor.

As we've seen, the piece can't be so large that it gets in the way of people passing through. On the other hand, a very small sconce on a large wall will not be suitable either.

To avoid problems like this, check the measurements of the wall and the piece before buying.

To give you an idea, the height of the wall sconce can vary between 13cm and 50cm, while the depth varies from 8cm to 20cm.

(Featured image source: Ekachai Sathittaweechai / 123rf)

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