How To Hang Wall Sconces

Wall sconces have the power to transform a gloomy hallway to a gorgeous corridor, making them a pretty popular light fixture. However, there’s a little less familiarity when it comes to knowing exactly where a wall sconce should be hung.

Wondering about how high the wall sconce should be hung from the floor – and how far apart multiple sconces should be placed from one another? You’ve come to the right place.

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.

Typically, contractors install wall sconces between 5.5 feet to 6 feet above floor level. However, if the average height of people living in your home is well above 6 feet – or below 5.5, you may want to adjust accordingly! If you choose a long or very large wall sconce, you may want to install them a bit higher up on the wall as well.

Now, for distance between light fixtures: If you are installing in a long hallway, space wall sconces about eight to ten feet apart. 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.

Any more questions about wall sconces? Comment below!

Emily Widle

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.

  • NC

    What is the recommendation for whether to hang them pointing up or down?

    • Emily Widle

      It depends on the particular wall sconce! Most of the ones we sell are designed to point up (like this Sea Gull Island Wall Sconce). That way, it creates intriguing up lighting. Wall sconces that point down are meant to accentuate any ceiling lighting. You’ll find some that have openings at the bottom, some at the top, some both, and some not at all.

      It’s usually pretty clear which way each light fixture is designed to hang. Do you have a question about a particular one?

  • Kathi

    Can I hang wall sconces on the side of a mirror in a full bath? The tub/shower is on the opposite wall about 4.5 feet away? Or do I have to go above mirror?

    • Jacob Swiger

      Kathi – yes, you can hang sconces on the sides of a mirror. It would be wise to have another light source above the mirror so that a person getting ready will have even lighting on his/her face.

  • michellerams

    can you identify the wall sconce in this picture?? I love it!