If you’ve ever walked into a home with poorly placed wall sconces, you notice it. Perhaps it’s the glare of exposed light bulbs that captures your attention. Or something seems just, sort of, off center.
How to hang wall sconces is an integral part of lighting your home? Contemporary sconces can help beautify your home, but only if positioned correctly.
A few rules of thumb exist on this issue. Some say they should be five feet above the floor (60 inches) and eight to 10 feet apart. Others recommend higher placement: between 66 and 72 inches above floor level.
In rooms with vaulted ceilings, modern wall sconces can be placed even higher for dramatic effect. Take the following factors into consideration as you decide where to position your modern wall sconces:
1) The height of the people who live in your home, and the height of people who might visit.
You don’t want the bulb in contemporary sconces to be shooting bright light directly into a guest’s face when he or she walks by. So you will want to aim high with the light, or provide a diffuser on the top of your contemporary sconces to prevent glare from hitting the eyes of tall people in your home. What type of diffuser you are using will determine how to install wall sconces in each room.
2) The height and placement of other points of interest in the room
What else is on the walls of the room? A painting? Photographs? Bookshelves? Plaques or certificates? Modern wall sconces should highlight and complement – but not overpower – these points of interest.
3) If in a hallway, sconces should be balanced
They should be placed on either side of the hallway, staggered so that halfway between two sconces on one side (spaced approximately 8 to 10 feet apart) is a sconce on the opposite side.
4) Sconces and furniture around them should be positioned and planned out to avoid glare.
Placing a favorite reading chair in the wrong spot can shed the wrong kind of light on a reader. Likewise, a quiet conversation spot needs the soothing backdrop of an unobtrusive sconce – not the direct light from its bulb.
To test sconce placement, you might consider having people hold flashlights against the wall in different positions you are considering, to see how your placement ideas work out.
5) What will the sconce look like when you are standing up? Sitting down?
Substitute a silhouetted cutout in the shape of your sconce for the sconce itself, and test placement from sitting and standing positions around the room.
A little trial and error before putting up the sconce will help to ensure a perfect fit. Once you know how to hang wall sconces, you can utilize these versatile fixtures to their fullest.