Wall sconces have the power to transform a gloomy hallway to a gorgeous corridor, making them a popular light fixture. For instance, the light provided by a sconce or a series of sconces can help one safely negotiate a long hallway or a stairway. They can also provide task lighting when they are used on either side of bathroom mirror. However, there is a little less familiarity when it comes to knowing exactly where a wall sconce should be hung.
How High on the Wall?
The beauty of a wall sconce is in the soft lighting that emanates from the shade and spills out from below onto the ground. The part of the wall sconce that is not too pretty is the view from above. You don't want to see the top of the light fixture, with the light bulb screwed in – that would defeat the whole purpose of having a sconce! So, when you determine the hanging height from the ground, measure so that the average person will still have the wall sconce in their natural line of sight, but will not be able to look down into the wall sconce from above.
Generally wall sconces are installed at a height of 66 inches to 72 inches (5.5 feet to 6 feet) above floor level (rooms with vaulted ceilings can take a higher placement). However, if the average height of people living in your home is well above 6 feet – or below five and a half, you may want to adjust accordingly! If they are placed in a location that can be viewed from above (for example, at the bottom of a stairway or under a balcony), you may want to consider covering the top with a louver or a diffuser to avoid glare.
Where on the Wall?
If sconces are used in a hallway, they should generally be spaced about 8 feet to 10 feet apart and should be placed so that a given wall sconce on one wall is facing the area between two on the opposing wall. Other applications call for shorter spacing distances. For example, many people install wall sconces on either side of the vanity in the bathroom. In this type of functional use, spacing distance doesn't matter as much.