At some point between dinosaurs roaming the earth and Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb, sconces became the first ever light fixture in our homes. You know in movies when people walk into a cave of some sort and place their lit torch on the wall to fill the room with light? That is called “ensconcing” the light, which is how we ended up with the word “sconce” to describe those mounted lights you see in fancy hotels and pre-war homes.
Eventually the sconce became an elegant and carefully considered fixture for holding candles to evenly distribute light in a space. Once our friend Edison brought light bulbs into the world, the fixture game changed entirely, with tons of options flooding the market. Fast forward a little bit, and what once was the caveman’s light fixture of choice became associated with luxury due to the hardwiring required to have an electric, wall-mounted source of light.
Move the timeline to today, and we now have tons of options for ensconcing the light in our homes! Elegance is now accessible, largely due to one major change: plug-in sconces.
The ability to plug in a sconce is a welcome change, because now you can create that elevated look you desire without worrying about having to hardwire a fixture in order to have it work. You don’t have to get behind a wall to install them, and you have the flexibility to move them around if you decide you want to rearrange your furniture. (Alternatively , we have used puck lights in non-plug sconces before, but we’ve never been in love with the light those give off.)
From a design perspective, I appreciate the way sconces fill the vertical space in a room without creating clutter. Sometimes just the physicality of a table or floor lamp in a vignette can create the illusion of it being cramped. Simply swapping the light source to an adjacent wall can open up a miniature world of options for you. Lots of time we only have horizontal space to work with, but using a plug-in sconce gives you easy-to-use vertical options to not only enrich the look of an area, but can also make it feel more full and open up other design options.
Lastly, if you have a space with higher ceilings, this is where sconces shine brightest. You can use the height to your advantage by maximizing interest and distributing light in a really beautiful way.
While we’re taking some time to sing the praise of sconces, I wanted to share some of my favorite plug-in options with you below. We hope they offer some inspo for your or perhaps end up being exactly what you’ve been looking for! (Shop using the links above or below.)
PS: If the sconce you want doesn’t come with a cord cover, we have used these cord covers in some cases. If you want to paint them to match the walls, it’s a great touch!