Jeff Flowers on January 14, 2016 4 Comments Lighting in your home is one of those things that you may not think much about until a bulb goes out or your in the middle of renovations. There are many ways you can use strategically use your home lighting to change the look and feel of an entire room. One way is to use wall sconces to cast light in certain directions or illuminate areas that may be tough to get light into. While all sconces are essentially nothing more than a lamp affixed to a wall, there are a ton of different types, styles and finishes that you have to consider. Before you buy a wall sconce, it would be wise to determine which variety is going to look best in your house and go with your decor. In order to help figure out which light fixture is best for you, let’s take a closer look at the different types of sconces, as well as a few styles that they come in. 7 Types of Sconces The type of sconce that you get will determine how much light is in a room. It will determine what bulb is used. I might even determine what styles are available. Here are the seven most common types of wall sconces. 1. Flush-Mounted Wall Washers / Half-Moon When it comes to wall sconces, this type may be the most common. While it is known by a couple of names, this type of sconce is typically small, compact and tight against the wall. It can be used both inside or out and comes in a wide variety of styles, designs and finishes. This type of sconce is typically used as an accent light. It creates the feeling that your wall is completely covered with light, or to give the name a better explanation, it washes the entire wall with light. This type of sconce is great at creating a unique design element, however it’s not great at acting as a primary light source. This will vary from model to model, but for the most part, if you’re looking to light up large areas, this may not be the best wall sconce for you. 2. Wallchieres Wallchieres are more of a decorative option, as their decorative detail sets them apart from other wall sconces. The name comes from a combination of wall lamp and torchiere floor lamps, as they are characteristically long, tall and slim. Wallchieres are typically used for indoor use and come in a wide variety of finishes and styles. The defining characteristic of this type of wall sconce is that they are generally very detailed to add a little something extra to your home decor. There are some benefits of using a wallchiere instead of a torchiere or a standard floor lamp. The major benefit is that you can get the light you want without using up any floor space. This opens up a wide variety of opportunities on how and where you can use these. Two common scenarios that they are commonly used for, is over or nearby large furniture pieces or in your bathroom to help illuminate your vanity. Wallchieres can add both a wonderful touch of style and light to your home. Which is precisely why they are one of the most popular types of wall sconces out there. 3. Lantern Wall Sconce Designed to add a touch of traditional ambiance to your home, a lantern wall sconce is one of the most popular choices for outdoor lighting. This type of wall sconce comes in a wide variety of finishes, designs and styles. Homeowners often choose to put this type of sconce around the outside of their homes, especially by the entryway to help residents get in and out safely. Not only are they incredibly easy to install, but they also help deter burglars from snooping around your home. The main benefit of this type of wall sconce, however, is that they give off plenty of light that helps provide a welcoming first impression to your home. Despite their popularity for outdoor use, there are a few lantern sconces available for interiors as well. You may have to search a little bit harder to find them, as the vast majority of lantern sconces are designed for outdoor use only. 4. Candle Sconces This type of sconce is a throwback to old days gone by. Dating back for centuries, candle wall sconces have always been a go-to staple for home lighting. Whether it was an actual candle or a light bulb, this is the original method used to add a splash of light to a wall. Nowadays, candle sconces are generally used indoors and come in a wide variety of finishes, styles and designs. From wrought-iron to brass to wood, you can find candle sconces made from many different materials as well. Because they are made to look like candles, the bulbs may take a little more work to replace, as the bulbs are no longer as popular as they once were. This shouldn’t deter anybody from buying a candle sconce, however, as bulbs are still relatively easy to come by. While they are great at creating light for an intimate environment, the main downside of this type of sconce is that they don’t give off much light. So, if you’re looking for a primary light source, a candle sconce is definitely not the best type for you. 5. Swing Arm Wall Light A swing arm sconce actually gives you the capability of moving the unit around and redirecting the light into a specific direction that you need. Because of its increased mobility, it’s a great option for task lighting, such as in a nursery, office, reading nook or by a bedside. Primarily used indoors, this type of wall light is available in many different finishes, styles and designs. There are many different types of swing-arms available. Some only move in and out, while others move up and down. No matter which direction it goes or the style you buy, they are all incredibly easy to install and will provide you with the light you need without taking up any floor space. If you have very little room for a desk light, table lamp or floor lamp, a swing-arm light may just be the best sconce for you. 6. Picture Light A picture light is well-known for its long, slender look. Its purpose, as its name suggests, is to illuminate a picture or piece of art. As such, they are usually installed just above the piece and the light is aimed back at the work. This type of light fixture is primarily used inside, and is available in all sorts of designs and styles. With LED technology constantly improving and their purpose of illuminating art and photographs, these units are becoming slimmer and slimmer every year. This slimmer design is intended to help keep the focus on the artwork and keep the viewer from being distracted by a bulky fixture hanging above it. The benefit of using this type of sconce is that it will draw the eye of your guests right to your art on the wall. This is an accent lighting option because as it won’t add light to the room. If you are looking for a primary light source, then this is not the best wall sconce for you. If you want your home to feel like an art gallery, or you have a lot of art that you want to show off, a picture light is a great option. 7. Sign Light A sign light is very similar to a picture light, except it is designed to light up a larger more broad area. It does this by flooding a wider area with light. As the name suggests, the most common use for this type of light is to illuminate signs, especially those out in front of a business. This type of fixture pushes light in one direction which helps keep the focal point on the message on the sign. They are primarily used outside, but can also be used inside to help illuminate large pieces of artwork or murals. If they are used inside, they will be used for accent lighting as it is shining light on an object rather than lighting up an entire area. Sconce Designs No matter what type of wall sconce you buy, they can all be categorized into three simple design configurations — which way the light is pointing. 1. Up Light An up-light wall sconce is one that was designed to cast light upwards. This type of lighting can help make a room feel larger and more open. Because of this expansive feeling, homeowners often choose to place them in living rooms, entryways, hallways or dining rooms. 2. Down Light The opposite of an up light, a down light is designed to cast light downwards. Rather than making a room feel larger, this light makes a large, airy room feel warm and cozy. If you have an expansive living room that feels empty, try making it feel warmer with a down light. It is important to note that many wall sconces can be mounted as either up or down lights, but you should read the installation instructions that came with your unit to make sure that you get a sconce that can be mounted in the way that you want. 3. Up/Down & All-Around There are some sconces that give light in both directions. This type of light actually helps balance a room. It’s a great option for someone who wants to add a lot of light into a dark room, or depth to a long, dark hallway. Sconce Styles On top of all of the different types, there are a few different styles that you can find too. 1. Contemporary / Modern Like most things contemporary, these sconces have a sleek, modern feeling. They’re designed simply, and focus on function more than ornamentation. You’ll often find them in silver colors. They work well in homes that are already modern, but they can also help to add a minimalist touch to a more traditional space. 2. Rustic If dark colors, animal motifs and distressed finishes sum up your style, then rustic sconces will fit right in at your home. That being said, you don’t have to have a lodge theme to use this style. They can help add character to any home. 3. Traditional Traditional sconces tend to be one the formal, ornate side of things. They can help give a room an upscale feeling while providing a throwback to styles of years gone by. 4. Transitional If you’re not quite ready to buy an ornate tradition sconce, but you don’t want something as minimalistic as a contemporary sconce, then you need to shop transitional sconces. This light offers sleek and minimalistic detailing that can fit in with any type of décor. It is important to pick out a style of sconce that you can fall in love with every time you see it. Finding the Right Sconce With so many different options, finding the right wall sconce may not be a short journey. It can be done though. All you have to do is figure out what type of sconce will fit your needs best, and then consider the different styles that would complement the existing decor of your home. Change the look of your home and add some extra light with a wall sconce.