As well as being undeniably useful and practical, wall sconces can become attention-grabbing accent pieces to emphasize the style of your interiors.
Small but brightly mighty!
Luckily, battery operated wall sconces are available in a wide variety of styles and designs, but you shouldn't pick them randomly.
Some general points that we recommend keeping in mind:
- If you're mainly after wall sconces to achieve ambient lighting, opt for translucent models that can help diffuse the light more evenly;
- If you need them for task lighting (e.g. in the kitchen or above a desk), stick to those that can offer a more selected spotlight effect;
- If you're trying to direct your guests' attention to a piece of artwork or a particular decorative feature, your accent lighting must be around three times brighter than your room's ambient fixtures.
Finally, you definitely need to think of your décor style.
Contemporary & modern interiors
Antique Brass Armed Sconce
Because these styles focus on practicality, you want to find bright models with streamlined designs rather than blatantly decorative pieces:
- Look for clear lines, regular shapes, and very limited details;
- Chrome, steel and glass are popular materials in contemporary settings;
- Up & down lights or simple rounded flush mounts are some of the most obvious choices;
- The safest colors are black or, if you have a dark wall, white. However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use your room's accent hue to maintain an element of consistency;
- Choose white bulbs for a more contemporary effect.
Mid-century modern interiors
Metal Armed Sconce
If your modern interiors draw inspiration from the 50s and 60s, then we recommend sticking to the lighting trends that were popular at the time:
- You could opt for starburst designs or simpler symmetrical combinations, with one of the most recognizable being two spherical bulbs connected by a thin, vertical arm;
- Other ideas are flush mounts and wall sconces that mirror traditional lampshades;
- Look for yellow bulbs to reinforce the warm palette that characterizes this retro style.
Dimmable Candle Wall Light
For traditional interiors you definitely want to emphasize a sense of coziness:
- Choose traditional shapes like lampshades with short arms;
- Black is a popular color but you can also find warm-colored or golden-like metal finishes for these interiors;
- Another idea that can help you convey a rustic sense of comfort are wall sconces with fake candles.
Elegant Minimalist Armed Sconce
When it comes to minimalist interiors, you want to keep the focus on the lighting elements rather than the wall sconce itself:
- Stick to simple, streamlined designs in monochrome shades, avoiding decorative pieces;
- For example, you could look for flush mounts with up & down lights, thin designs like vertical bars with LED lights, or small metal shades with exposed light bulbs.
Cone Armed Sconce
A minimalist approach will work wonders in Scandinavian settings too, but you also want to focus on creating pools of lights or introducing a natural element:
- For example, you could look for sleek designs with wooden elements or metal pieces in a natural color like white, yellow, grey, dark blue, or forest green;
- Small metal shades with short arms are very popular, but don't be afraid to experiment with longer adjustable options;
- Another instantly recognizable Scandinavian look is an exposed lightbulb in a geometrical metal cage.
Industrial Armed Sconce
Do your interiors mirror the raw, unfinished vibes of modern warehouses and hipster coffee shops? Then you're in luck: lighting fixtures are one of the most central elements in industrial décor!
- Nothing conveys this style more effectively than exposed lightbulbs. Nowadays, you can find different takes on this element: on their own, in a metal cage, behind a see-through glass panel on a flush mount or shade, dangling from a wire, etc;
- You can also look for metal swing arms and long extendable accordion models;
- Overall, try and focus on a warm lightbulb and a dark metal arm and backplate to reinforce this contrast.
Shabby chic interiors
White Washed Driftwood Candle Wall Light
If you have shabby chic interiors, forget everything you've read in our industrial section and go in the opposite direction:
- Because this is a very feminine and decorative style, you want to find the most ornate wall sconces that are abundant in details;
- For example, you could scout for battery operated wall sconces with curved arms, pendants, ornate shades, or even fake candles;
- To keep the traditional shabby chic palette consistent, stick to white and cream designs when possible, especially if they have a distressed look.
French country interiors
Candle Wall Light
Because this is another very decorative style, many shabby chic features work here too, but with some differences:
- You're freer to experiment with grey or even darker finishes;
- You can focus on the fancier part of this charming interior style, for example with glass pendants, or on its rustic half, perhaps with fake candles;
- Don't forget to look for heavily decorated curved arms.
Antique Silver Wall Sconce
A proper bohemian wall sconce has all the credentials to become a conversation-starter:
- Scout for the quirkiest design that looks global-inspired, ethnic, or with natural elements;
- The most popular type of bohemian wall sconces is flush mounts, especially those with glass pendants or beads, bright colors, or unusual patterns like quatrefoil shapes.