How To Hang Wall Sconces
Sconces can bring a touch of style to any room or lighten a dark hallway. The type of sconce you install depends on personal preference, as well as interior décor. Installing a new light fixture or replacing an outdated one is easy if you are equipped with the right tools and tips.
Choosing a Sconce
Find a sconce style that compliments your room. Once you bring your new sconce home, decide on the best area in the room to place your fixture and switch. Mark the wall with a pencil or masking tape to ensure that all the fixtures align with each other.
- Pick something that matches your style preference, but also take into consideration the room’s size, furniture, and décor.
- You do not want to get a fixture that is too big or too small for the space in which you want to install it.
- The desired height placement for a sconce is 66 inches (170 cm) to 72 inches (180 cm), depending on the height of the ceiling.
- Make sure that your new light switch is next to the existing panels in the room.
2Use a simple style for a more minimalist look. If the lamp is too ornate, it can take away from the cozy feel of your home and distract your guests.
- Simple styles include single color sconce or a fixture with a square or round shaped shade.
3Pick a lampshade that compliments the desired lighting in your room. Use a fixture with a clear glass globe for a brighter look. Select a darker shade for a more demure appearance.
4Find a sconce with easy mounting instructions. Most modern fixtures are easy to install and hang like picture frames. Try to avoid heavy sconces that may not attach securely to the wall.
- Sconces can be found at most hardware stores.
Adding New Sconces
1Turn off the power to the room where you will be working. Double check to make sure the power is off before beginning your work.
2Make the holes where you wish to place your fixtures and switch. Use one of the cut-in electrical boxes as a template for the holes. Use a drywall saw to cut horizontal rectangular holes for the sconces and a vertical rectangle space for the switch.
- Use caution when cutting the drywall. Do not cut to far into the wall and avoid cutting a pipe or wires.
- Make sure to use a hand-powered drywall saw so you do not cut too far into the wall.
3Use a 1.5” paddle bit to drill the holes for the electrical box. Drill these holes into the upper stud of the wall. If possible, use the same stud for each sconce and the switch.
4Install the wiring for the sconces and switch. Start with the farthest sconce and run a 12-by-2 electrical wire to each sconce, the switch, and finally the outlet.
- Use fishing tape or a coat hanger to get the wire from hole to hole.
5Install the electrical boxes and mount the sconces. Place the junction boxes into the precut holes. Tuck the wires into the boxes. Tighten the screws until the wings of the box are anchored and it is flush with the wall. Once the junction boxes are installed, use the supplied hardware to attach the mounting brackets to the electrical boxes.
- You may need to trim the drywall around the box in order for it to fit better.
6Connect the wires to each sconce. Start with the black (or “hot”) wires, followed by the white (or “neutral”) wires, and finally the bare (or “ground”) wires. Use a twist on wire connector and electrical tape on the ends of each set of wires to ensure they are secure and well insulated from each other. Tie the ground wire into the green grounding screw.
7Install the light switch to the sconces and outlet. Connect the “hot” wire with the outlet and the switch side with the closest sconce. Tie the switch wires into the outlet. Connect the “hot” wire to the copper screw, the “neutral” wire with the silver screw, and the “ground” wire around the green screw.
- Both grounding wires will go around the same ground post (screw).
8Hang the main fixture from the mounting bracket. Place a light bulb into each sconce. Turn the room’s power back on and test your newly installed lights.
Replacing an Old Sconce
1Turn the power to the lights off at the breaker. Double check to make sure the room’s power is off before starting your project.
2Remove the current light fixture. Take out the light bulb and lift the glass shade from its mounting bracket. Unscrew the mounting nuts from the face of the sconce. Once removed, let the sconce hang or get someone to hold it up if it is too heavy.
3Remove the wire nuts and untwist the connections. Start with the black (or “hot”) wires, then the white (or “neutral”) wires. Disconnect the bare (or “ground”) wires last. Unscrew the green screw and remove the “ground” wire from the mounting bracket.
4Take off the old mounting bracket and install the new one. Take off the screws from the junction box and remove the old fixture’s mounting bracket. Next, use the supplied hardware and instructions to install the new bracket.
5Reattach all of the wires to the new fixture. Twist the bare wire around the green grounding screw and tighten. Next, attach the bare wire from the house and the bare wire from the fixture together and cap with a twist on connector. Do the same thing with the white wires and finally the black. Tuck the wires into the junction box through the center of the mounting box.
- Push the white and black wires apart to make sure they do not touch each other.
6Finish installing the new light. Use the provided nuts and screws to attach the fixture to the mounting bracket. Remove the nut from the light socket and place the glass shade in place. Screw the nut back into the sconce to secure the lampshade. Install a light bulb into the fixture. Turn the power back on and check your new sconce.
Browse Wall Sconce Designs Here
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