Mini-guide of wall lights
Types of Wall Lights
Wall lights come in diversified styles and types. The most common option in wall lighting design is sconces. Other types of wall lights include track lights, picture lights, swing arm lights, and vanity lights. Wall lighting fixtures can be crafted from almost any fixture materials, from bronze to glass to fabric. Outdoor wall lights will be crafted from weather-resistant metals, glass, or marine–grade plastic. Common components of wall fixtures include back-plate, arm, power switch, shade, and dimmer.
Wall Lighting Sizes
Wall lighting fixtures vary greatly in terms of size. Task wall lights should be proportional to the object they are styled against. For example, outdoor wall sconces should be proportional to the front door or garage door they flank. Vanity lights should be proportional to the accompanying mirror and picture lights should be proportional to the painting or artwork piece they highlight. Bathroom vanity lights above a mirror should measure 75% the length of the mirror. Bathroom sconces should measure between 9-10” in length. Wall lanterns flanking the sides of a door or garage should measure ¼ the height of the door or garage. Sconces that are very close to what they are lighting should be smaller in size. Sconces that are further away from what they are lighting should be larger. Choose a picture light that is approximately 1/2 the width of the picture being illuminated.
Wall Lighting Placement
As a rule, wall lights should be placed 65” above the floor. This places the lights close to eye level. In rooms that are used for sitting or lounging (living and dining rooms) sconces may be positioned slightly lower on the wall. To determine the ideal placement height for sconces alongside a staircase, measure the height of the ceiling and place the sconces 3/4 of the way up the wall. A bathroom mirror should be lit from three sides: the left, top, and right. Leave at least 4” between each side of the bathroom mirror and wall lighting fixtures. Mount bathroom wall sconces 60” above the floor and 36”- 40” apart. Mount horizontal vanity light 78” above the floor.
Horizontal bathroom vanity lights should measure at least 36” in length to ensure full illumination. Place hallway sconces close to 60” above the floor. Hallway sconces can be slightly higher in taller-ceilinged homes. The top of the sconce should not be visible while standing. If multiple hallway sconces are placed in succession, space the fixtures between 8’ and 10’ apart. In narrow hallways, opt for slim fixtures that protrude 4” or less from the wall. This will keep the hallway from feeling cramped and helps to prevent passersby from bumping into the fixtures.