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How to Install a Sconce Light Fixture

by Paul Sanders

Lantern-style sconce light fixture

Things You Need:

  • Sconce light fixture
  • Light switch
  • Junction boxes
  • Electrical wire
  • Power drill
  • Wire strippers
  • Drywall saw
  • Drywall anchors

Stylish mood lighting can add atmosphere to any room or hallway in your home. Bathrooms and kitchens especially can benefit from sconces and vanities. And the way that sconces create combinations of light and shadow can add a dimension of complexity and texture to the room. Here are the simple steps for bringing sconce lighting to your home.

Installing Sconces:

  1. Draw a wiring diagram. A wiring diagram shows the path of electrical wires that supply power to the sconces and switches in the circuit. Start your wiring path from an existing electrical outlet and make measurements to the wall locations of junction boxes for your sconce lighting and light switches. Take note of air vents, windows and doorways that you may need to work around.

  2. If you're installing the light fixture on an exterior wall, keep in mind that you'll need to either cut a hole through the insulation and siding or use an existing light fixture mounting for the sconce.

  3. Measure and cut holes for junction boxes. Be sure that there are no wires or pipes behind the area where you are cutting. Cut the holes, but do not install the boxes yet.

  4. Run wire to each hole. Run electrical wire from the electrical outlet's box to your hole for your light switch and then to each wall sconce hole in a circuit. If the switch is built into the sconces, simply run wires to the sconce holes.

  5. Install the junction boxes. Run the wires though the knockout holes in the boxes and slide them into the holes you've cut. Screw the boxes into wall studs or use clamps to secure them to the wall.

  6. Wire the electrical outlet, switch and sconces. At your breaker box, turn the power off to the circuit before wiring anything.

  7. Connect your electrical wire to the ground and other wires in the wall outlet.

  8. Wire the light switch, similarly.

  9. Wire each of the sconces in your circuit, securing the connections with wire nuts.

  10. Test the circuit. Turn the power back on and test the sconce lights and the light switch. If they don't light up or you see flickering, you may need to check your wiring.

  11. Secure the sconces to the wall. Use the mounting bolts and brackets included with your sconce lights to secure them to the wall. If you can't secure them to wall studs, use drywall anchors. Replace your outlet and light-switch plates and finish any drywall repair as necessary.

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