What is the difference between a sconce and a wall light?

What is the difference between a sconce and a wall light?

The difference between a sconce and a wall light lies primarily in their design, functionality, and usage:


What are lights that hang on the wall called?

Lights that hang on the wall are commonly referred to as wall sconces or wall-mounted sconces. These fixtures are designed to be mounted on vertical surfaces such as walls, providing both functional lighting and decorative elements to a space. Wall sconces come in a variety of styles, sizes, and designs, making them versatile lighting options for homes, offices, and other interior spaces.


1. Design and Appearance:

  • Sconce: A sconce typically refers to a decorative lighting fixture that is attached to a wall, often featuring ornamental elements such as intricate designs, shades, or embellishments. Sconces can have a more decorative or artistic appearance, and they are often used to enhance the ambiance and aesthetics of a space.
  • Wall Light: The term "wall light" is more general and can refer to any type of lighting fixture that is mounted on a wall. Wall lights can include sconces, but they can also encompass a broader range of fixtures such as wall-mounted lamps, picture lights, swing arm lights, and linear wall lights. Wall lights may vary in design from decorative to functional, depending on their intended use.


2. Functionality:

  • Sconce: Sconces are primarily decorative in nature, although they can also provide ambient or accent lighting depending on their design and placement. They are often used to create a specific lighting effect, highlight artwork or architectural features, or add visual interest to a room.
  • Wall Light: Wall lights encompass a wider range of functionalities. While some wall lights may be purely decorative like sconces, others may serve as task lighting (e.g., wall-mounted reading lamps), ambient lighting, or general illumination for a room. Wall lights can be versatile in their functionality and can be customized to suit different lighting needs.


3. Usage and Placement:

  •  Sconce: Sconces are commonly used in various areas of a home or commercial space, such as hallways, entryways, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms. They are often installed in pairs or groups to create a balanced and harmonious lighting scheme.
  • Wall Light: Wall lights, including sconces, can be used in a wide range of applications depending on their design and purpose. They can be installed indoors or outdoors, in residential or commercial settings, and in areas where overhead lighting may not be suitable or desired.


In summary, while sconces are a specific type of wall-mounted lighting fixture known for their decorative appeal and ambiance-enhancing qualities, wall lights encompass a broader category of fixtures that can include both decorative and functional lighting options for walls.


NEXT: What junction box should be used for wall sconce?
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.