6 Different Brass Sconces to Consider

Brass sconces in dining room

Brass sconces can add a timeless warmth to any room! They have been around for quite some time and can be found in traditional, classic and ornate styles or in cleaner, minimal and contemporary styles. Brass sconces can be constructed in a number of ways – swing arm sconces, candle sconces, sconces with shades, plug-in sconces and vanity sconces. 

We recently installed new brass sconces in our dining room and we know firsthand how overwhelming it can be when it comes to making a decision between all the different types and styles. To help reduce the confusion, we have grouped some of our favorite brass sconce options below. However, before we dive into the different types in detail, here are some common questions people have when shopping for brass sconces for their space:

What is the purpose of wall sconces?

There are many reasons why people decide to install brass sconces (or any type of sconce) in their home. They can be added to any room of the house and act as a secondary or accent light source. They can also be added for decorative reasons to break up a big wall or to highlight other elements in the space like art, molding or a fireplace. Lastly, some people add sconces for functional purposes, such as task lighting.

Sconces in a theater room

Do sconces need to be in pairs?

Absolutely not! Sconces can be installed individually, in pairs, or in sets. Many people add a swing arm sconces in a corner of a room with a chair below – this creates a beautiful vignette area where you can curl up on a rainy day and read a good book. There are also many people who install multiple sconces along a stairway or hallway. 

How high should I hang sconces?

This will vary depending on the type of sconce you are using. A bathroom vanity sconce will depend on whether it is being hung above or next to the mirror. For other sconces, it can depend on your ceiling height or the type, but the general rule of thumb is to have them installed six feet from the floor, or between 27-60 inches. All of that being said, it is your home, do what looks right for you!

Sconces with shades

Types of Brass Wall Sconces

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are many different types of brass wall sconces to consider when designing a space. Here are six types to consider:

Brass Sconces with Shades

One of the most classic and popular options is a brass sconce with a shade. For this sconce style, it is important to hang them about eye level so you are not  looking upwards into the shade. 

There are also nine different shade styles that can be used on a brass sconce. The most popular being a drum shape, tapered shape or empire shape.

We have brass sconces with shades in our theater room in our basement and also have black sconces with shades in our family room. We love how they filter the light and soften the overall look!

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Brass Swing Arm Sconces

If you are looking for a brass sconce that is versatile, then a brass swing arm sconce should be your top choice! What makes a swing arm sconce versatile is its mobility and length. The arm can unfold and reach over a chair or sofa to provide task lighting. These can also be used above an open shelf in a kitchen or family room to highlight the items displayed. 

Another popular location for a swing arm sconce is next to a bed. The arm can be adjusted so you can get the perfect amount of glow when reading. As an added bonus, they are a huge space saver and don’t take up any room on a nightstand or bedside table!

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Candle Shaped Brass Sconces

This is the shape we went with for our dining room design. They are beautiful, yet understated, and are a timeless addition to enhance any design! They are a great option if you have a chandelier or other table or floor lamps in the room that have shades – you don’t want your sconces to compete with those fixtures.

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Brass Plug-in Sconces

Are you living in a rental property or not looking to spend a lot of money hiring an electrician to hardwire sconces? Then a brass plug-in sconce is your best choice! They are a great option when you have a limited budget or are wanting something temporary that you can easily remove down the road. There are also great solutions (like using a cord cover) to help camouflage the cord and make the installation look more finished! 

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Brass Picture Lights

Highlight a beautiful piece of art, family photo, mirror or even bookshelves with a brass picture light! The typical placement of a picture light is about 5-7 inches above what you are hanging it over. Picture lights come in both hardwired versions and plug-in versions.  

We installed this brass picture light in our dry bar over a piece of art and are also using the same light above our built-ins in our home office renovation

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Brass Vanity Sconces

Bathrooms and powder rooms are another popular area to add brass sconces. These vanity sconces can be installed in a couple different ways.  The first is above the mirror – the advantage to this location is that it creates a linear design that extends the height of the mirror.  The second is to install them on the sides of the mirrors. Some people prefer this option instead of above the mirror because the lighting direction will better illuminate a person’s face (and not the top of their head).

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Needless to say there are so many different types and styles of brass sconces to choose from!  Want to look for more options? Here are some of our favorite shops to purchase lights from:

Double brass sconce in dining room

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Meet Megan & John

Hi there! We’re a married couple with a passion for DIY, decor, and home improvement! We’re currently renovating The Arched Manor in Leesburg, VA.