A couple of weeks ago, I shared a photo on Instagram from my California Cool Master Bedroom project (the photo above is from that space!) and passed along a little design tip about using plug-in wall sconces. When I asked if y’all would be interested in seeing a roundup of some plug-in wall sconces, the answer was an enthusiastic YES. So! Here we are - I want to chat a little bit about why they’re one of my favorite kinds of lighting, the best places to use them, and a few extra things to consider. Then at the end, you can take a peek 15 of my faves!
via Coco Kelley
Why Plug-In Sconces Are Awesome
I’m a huge fan of wall lamps in general. You can use them in so many places in your home - to provide ambient light, to brighten a particular area (like a reading nook or above a fireplace), or as alternatives to table lamps. They come in two types: hardwired and plug-in. The hardwired variety require permanent wiring and an electrician to install them, while plug-ins can simply be mounted to the wall and plugged in to a nearby outlet. That means no electrician and no permanent installation, so they’re easy to add to your home and can be much more budget-friendly if you don’t already have an electrical box in the spot where you need the sconce to go. They’re also great for renters or for folks who know that they’re not going to need a sconce in that spot forever, but it’s the right type of lighting for right now.
Over the past several years, companies have recognized that plug-in sconces come in handy in many scenarios and have started manufacturing a lot more of them, which is great for us as consumers. There a lot of fantastic options out there now and the roundup I have for you is just a tiny selection of what’s out there!
They come in at all sorts of price points as well, so no matter if you have a shoestring budget (one of the sets is two for $49!) or are looking for something a little more high end, I bet there’s a plug-in sconce to suit your needs.
The Best Places to Use Plug-In Wall Sconces
In theory, you could probably use a plug-in sconce wherever you can’t or don’t want to hardwire one in, but that doesn’t mean that every spot is a good spot for one. Since they have visible cords, they’re not ideal for high traffic areas, places where outlets aren’t readily accessible, or where having cords hanging down won’t really work well. Two of the best places to use them (in my mind at least!) are bedrooms and living rooms.
For bedrooms, they’re wonderful alternatives to table lamps for either side of your bed. They free up space on your nightstands, you can hide the cords easily behind your bedside tables, and they act as a pretty decorative element on your walls. Plug-in wall sconces are a fantastic option whether you’re short on space or you’ve got a large bedroom. Since a lot of them are made for task lighting, they’re perfect for the kind of light you typically need when you’re lying in bed. I also just love the look of them in this particular spot in homes.
In living rooms, sconces can work really well in places where it’s not possible to use a table lamp or floor lamp, or if you just want to change things up. They’re great space savers as well - if you have a tight spot that needs light, mounting a wall lamp is a great way to solve that problem! In one of my recent e-design projects, my client had a sectional that was situated in a corner, and there was no easy way to put a floor or table lamp in the “L” part of it, so I chose a plug-in sconce for that spot and it works perfectly! It adds light and adds visual interest to that wall since the one we picked took up a lot of vertical space. You can see it in the design board below:
A Few “Extra” Things to Consider With Plug-In Sconces
As you can probably tell, my love for plug-in wall sconces is pretty strong! That being said though, I do want to talk about a few extra considerations you’ll want to think about before you decide to go this route.
First, as I mentioned before, plug-in sconces have visible cords hanging down, which can be an issue either from a visual or a functional perspective. Some folks just don’t like the look of them, and in some spots, they can be a safety issue. If you have kids or pets that might like to mess with them, be cautious about where those cords are. If you’d like to conceal those cords (whether for safety reasons or otherwise), you can purchase wall-mounted cord covers that you can paint to match your walls or that come in the metal finish of your fixture that can solve that issue really nicely.
Second, think about where you’re mounting that sconce and if you have wall outlets available nearby. In an ideal world, you’d plug it in directly below the sconce or very close by - you don’t want to have to run it down the wall and along a significant part of the floor if possible. Not only can this be a little bit of an eyesore, but if you have to run a cord across the floor, it can be a tripping hazard depending on where it has to go.
Third, consider what kind of light you need that sconce to provide. Is it a source of light for the whole room or will you use it for task lighting? If it’s for the whole room, you want to choose one that provides multi-directional light or uplight like numbers 2, 4, 11, and 13 below. If it’s for tasks like reading or lighting up a small area, you can go with a downlight like numbers 3, 6, or 9 below. Think about whether the shade is opaque or transparent as well, since that will also affect the amount and kind of light it puts out. Function and style are both important here, as it is with any design decision!
15 of My Favorite Plug-In Wall Sconces
Now that we’ve talked about all-things wall sconces, are you ready to see a few of my favorites? I’ve got 15 of them rounded up for you below. A lot of them fall into the modern, coastal, industrial, or mid-century modern styles, and you’ll also notice that sconces are often made of some sort of metal as a base, which is fairly common no matter what style they are. I included a lot of brass and black ones, but I’ve got a couple of nickel options in there as well. They typically have either glass, fabric, or metal shades - I’m a fan of all of them! Also, the ones in my roundup come in at a variety of price points as well to fit all sorts of budgets.
So! Take a look below and let me know what your favorites are!
1. Industrial Plug-In Wall Sconce 2. Double Globe Brass Wall Sconce 3. Modern Brass Wall Lamp 4. Brass & Black Wall Sconce With Shade 5. Mid- Century Modern Brass Sconce 6. Modern Industrial Plug In Wall Lamp 7. Curved Mid-Century Plug-In Wall Lamp 8. Swivel Wall Sconce with Basket Shade 9. Black & White Modern Wall Sconce 10. Globe Wall Lamp 11. Adjustable Wall Arc Plug-In Sconce 12. Modern White Shade Plug-In Sconce 13. Brass Ring Plug-In Wall Sconce 14. Long Gooseneck Plug-In Sconce 15. Brass Wall Sconce With Linen Shade