Should Wall Sconces Face Up Or Down?

Should Wall Sconces Face Up Or Down?

Sconces are a perfect way to introduce practical lighting anywhere in your home. The best thing about these lights is that you can hardwire them into the wall or plug them into an outlet. When choosing sconces, make sure that they maintain the overall style of your room. Also, use a combination of light sources to achieve a flawless layer of illumination.

A common question when installing wall sconces is should they face up or down? The direction of the sconces depends on the fixture and its purpose. There are many styles of wall sconces, some should face up (uplighting sconces) while others should face down (for downlighting).

For instance, I have four pairs of sconces in my home, one pair in my bathroom near the mirror while the others are in three of my bedrooms. They all the different styles so three are facing down, while the wall sconces in my bathroom are facing up.

Regarding the purpose, sconces in the bathroom provide task lighting when using my mirror, so it was a good idea to mount them up. Also, if you want to add uplight in this direction, sconces offer both functionality and style.

In the bedroom, they are facing down which provides ambient lighting, and combine with Philips Hue smart bulbs, I can adjust the lighting and color to fit my mood or task.

Sconces are usually installed in pairs, and they do especially well when placed in dim areas. Install them on either side of fireplaces or beds to bring light into the dark corners of your home.

Uplighting Vs Downlighting Sconces

Wall uplighting is one of the most effective ways to add drama to almost any room. An uplight wall sconces outline shapes and reflect light in a particular direction. This causes light to spill out, creating a fascinating show. While downlight sconces shine light downward to the ground and are best for task lighting.

When installing lighting fixtures, your job is to tell your electrician how you want your light to look. One of my friends installed five pairs of sconces throughout her home, but for each, she chose a different electrician.

Keep in mind, all the sconces were the same style so three of the electrician installed them facing up while the other two wanted to place them down. However, she insisted that she wanted them facing up because she loves the way they look.

How to Install a Plug-In Wall Sconce?

  1. Mark the walls through the holes in the bracket.
  2. Pre-drill the holes in the wall.
  3. Gently add the drywall anchors into place.
  4. Then, screw the mounting brackets into the drywall anchors.
  5. Line up and screw into place using the canopy screws.

Can you turn a wall sconce upside down?

There’s no problem with turning a light fixture that’s supposed to be mounted up-down, especially with LED. LED naturally gives off very little heat and will produce it even if they are turned upside down.

Install sconces so; the light is at eye level. Typically, that means they should be 65 to 70-inch off of the ground. However, there are places where you can put them higher–such as on stairs and in high-ceilinged rooms.

When To Use Single Or Pair of Sconces?

A sconce can be used in many different ways. A single light over a desk is fine for reading, but if more than one person is working at the desk, it makes sense to add another to make the light brighter. Besides mirrors, above bed heads, outdoor, and in the living room, a pair of sconces provide the perfect design element.

If your electrician installs your sconces in a direction you dislike, then you can always ask him to fix it. Also, when buying wall sconces look at the picture or read the description of the product as the manufacturer always positions the fixture in its intended direction.


I am a mom with two kids. I am also a writer, avid DIYer, and tech enthusiast. My favorite things are writing, shopping online for gadgets, and gizmos I can't afford (yet). Being at home with my kids is the best part of my day!

You may also like...