Sconce Shades Are Attached To The Wall
The average house hold lamp is of the upright, standing variety that rests either on the floor (torchiere type) or on a desk (table or desk lamp). There is one more type of the lamp - the wall sconce shade or sconce shade that is found in modern homes.
Sconce shades differ in that they are attached to walls, serving in the niche between ceiling lights and floor lamps. They have both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest disadvantage may be that they require a lot more work to install into the wall than other types of lighting options. They are popular in hallways, bedrooms, reading rooms, and bathrooms where a light source at face-level is useful.
Sconces Were Prevalent From Medieval Times
The word sconce itself is lent from the latin root absconcus which means to shroud or cover. This may refer to the fact that historically these were torch-like devices which were covered with a grill or grating that prevented people from accidentally touching the flame. In modern times, sconces are rarely available in torch designs for homes although in commercial and other public buildings the situation is different. The shade is often glass or tempered glass whereas the fixture may be a variety of metals such as chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, brass, steel or nickel. Few are made of iron even though most people associate the base with that type of metal. Of course cloth shades are also available.
Creating A Wall Outlet Is Needed For New Installations
When installing a sconce, one must consider the concurrent installation of an outlet box to power the light unless the sight of extension cords is not troubling to the occupants of the house. The outlet box requires cutting a hole in the wall, and running wires from the power source of the house to the hole. If the outlet is recessed, then it must be mounted onto the joists behind the wall. This will require specialized equipment like a stud finder. Following, a wall fixture is attached to the box that will end up holding the sconce shades. Be sure to consult with a professional and practice safe installation (e.g. turn off main switch for current in the house).
Avoid Wall Outlets By Using Battery-Power
Is installing an outlet into the wall distasteful or dangerous to you? Using an extension cord is ok but considered quite ugly by most people. Therefore some manufacturers offer battery-powered sconce lights that just require simple hanging of the shade with a few nails. The battery power often has a remote-control option to turn on and off.
Consideration of Installation Location
Sconces are most often installed about 75% of the way up the wall from the floor as measured to the ceiling. Sconce shades may be placed on one side or both sides of a hallway, with the latter choice providing more even lighting. Choice of size for the sconce shade should also depend on the dimensions of the hallway, wall or room. Make sure the shade is not too large or too small otherwise there will be an unbalanced feeling. A very large sconce looks out of place in a narrow hallway for example.
There Are Two Major Styles
Style-wise, chiefly we consider the glass sconces, of which there are two major divisions. The first is fixture-mounted, the second is wall-mounted. The fixture-mounted consists of a metallic fixture base that holds the bulb or lamp like an arm. It can be thought of as a regular lamp that has a floating base attached to the wall. The wall-mounted lamp looks like a curved pane of glass that wraps around the bulb. The latter gives off a more contemporary feel.
Getting Your Own
Overstock has a selection of sconce shades as well as tips on what to consider before buying these weird lights. Shades Of Light store also has a huge selection of sconce shades with nice pictures. Garden Web forum has a discussion about where people get their sconce shade sources.