32 Best Vintage Wall Sconces for All Budgets in Every Room

Decorating guide of vintage wall sconce lights from high-end designers and low budget look-alikes + the best types of wall lighting for every room of the house and why.

If there was ever a way to kick a room up a notch in the lighting department to create that moody, cozy effect, it’s definitely by using vintage wall sconces.

vintage wall sconces on either side of Venetian mirrors in a bathroom

Why Vintage Wall Sconces Are Perfect for Any Home

Wall sconces are the BEST at 

  • adding character to an otherwise plain space
  • highlighting art or architectural details on walls
  • blending different design styles in a room
  • making a space feel warm and welcoming with their cozy glow
  • creating a feeling of timeless elegance 
  • helping a brand new home seem like it has a long, beloved history with old-world charm

When I shared our DIY batten wall using lattice strips in the breakfast nook last week, I got the same question over and over: “Where did you get those vintage wall lights?!”

So I’ve rounded up over 30 antique wall light sconces that are budget-friendly and would make a beautiful addition to hallways, bedrooms, dining rooms, and common spaces.

flower vintage wall sconces on a white board and batten wall

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How to Install a Wall Sconce Without Electricity

Wiring a wall sconce or hiring an electrician to do it can add to the lighting budget, but the good news is there are a few ways to get around using hard wired wall lamps. 

Rechargeable Light Bulb for Wall Lights 

You can just remove the wiring components from the back of the sconce and use this rechargeable bulb in the socket instead. For outdoor sconces, there are even battery operated motion sensor options. 

(I placed battery operated puck lights inside the shades of the sconces in our office to hang them wirelessly.) You can follow this tutorial for other ways to hang a sconce without wires.

Source | Vintage Double Shaded Sconce

double shaded vintage wall sconces in a home office with oversized art, rolling chair, and navy cabinet

Plug-In Light Sconces and Cord Covers

Or you can opt for sconces with a plug-in option. We often use these cord covers to hide the cords on plug-in lights. Paint the covers the same color as your wall and they virtually disappear.

We used plug-in sconces with cord covers in our neighbors’ coastal living room makeover.

Source | Nickel Swing Arm Plug-In Sconce

plug-in wall lamps in front of window

Best Vintage Wall Sconces for Every Room

I thought it would help to give a tour of the vintage wall sconces around our house (there are lots of them) and round up a bunch of gorgeous designer sconces with their less expensive look-a-likes!

Since we moved into this house 5 years ago, we’ve slowly been adding them in many of the rooms.

Breakfast Nook Wall Sconces

I found these art deco style solid brass ruffled sconces for the breakfast nook that perfectly softened the straight batten wall with its curves! Choosing brass instead of a black finish added some much-needed warmth in the space.

Source | Vintage Brass Flower Wall Light

ruffled flower vintage brass wall lights on a board and batten wall

Hallway & Stairway Wall Sconce

A candle style makes the perfect hallway sconce since it usually doesn’t jut out too far into a narrow hallway where someone could bump into it.

Hanging a sconce on a wall up our enclosed staircase highlights our family gallery wall so beautifully! Since we don’t have a ceiling light in the stairway, the sconce is a major workhorse here.

I found these bronze wall sconces on clearance years ago at Lowe’s, but since they’re now discontinued, this one is similar…

Source: Double Candelabra Sconce

black candelabra sconce on a gallery wall up a staircase

Best Bedroom Sconce

The best sconce for a bedroom is the swing arm type. They have a versatile look with the right functionality for reading in bed. 

Since we had to settle for small nightstands in our bedroom, we didn’t want a lamp taking up valuable side table space, so these swing arm plug-in sconce lamps were the perfect solution.

For extra vintage charm on a shaded sconce like this one, you could use some basic craft supplies like hot glue and fabric remnants to make a DIY pleated fabric lampshade that coordinates with your bedding.

Source | Swing Arm Wall Sconce Plug In Lamps

swing arm plug in wall lamp beside a bed with black walls and white French bifold door

Living Room Sconces

We lucked out with sconce boxes already wired above our mantel in our living room when we moved in. Even though our art is actually a Samsung Frame TV (which I gave a brutally honest Frame TV review about here), the sconces trick the eye even further to make people think it’s real art.

I spray painted gold some inexpensive sconces I found years ago, but these are similar.

Sources | White Shaded Sconce Light

shaded vintage wall lights on either side of a Samsung Frame TV above a brick fireplace in a living room

​If your sofa is pushed against your living room, try installing a pair of swing arm wall lamps. They’re a great solution for adding some reading light without taking up space on end tables. 

We used these simple brass wall lamps as a lighting solution in our media room above the couch when table lamps weren’t a possibility. 

Source | Brass Swing Arm Shaded Wall Lamps

swing arm vintage sconce lamps in living room

Bathroom Sconces

Most people don’t know that hanging shaded sconces on either side of a bathroom mirror is ideal for putting on makeup! Because your face is lit from either side with diffused light, shadows virtually disappear.

When using glass wall sconces, the light will be direct. Hanging bathroom sconces above the mirror will create shadows on your face, which isn’t ideal for makeup application.

It was the biggest reason why I didn’t want a glass vanity light hanging above our bathroom mirrors because shadows make makeup application challenging.

Source | Vintage Shaded Gold Sconce

shaded vintage wall sconces on either side of a Venetian mirror in a bathroom with marble countertop

The Best Vintage Wall Sconces for All Budgets

I rounded up a bunch of the best high end antique and vintage style wall sconces and their more budget-friendly counterparts so that you can get the look for less. They all would add so much charm in any hallway, entryway, bathroom, dining room, or anywhere!

Splurge-worthy Vintage Style Wall Sconce Lights

 

Splurge | Vintage Sconces Over $200

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Budget Friendly Vintage Style Wall Sconce Lights Under $200

Save | Vintage Sconces Under $200

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Frequently Asked Questions

How high should you install a wall sconce?

The general rule is to install a sconce 66-72 inches from the floor. If your ceilings are taller than 8 feet, aim for close to 72 inches.

How far apart should you install a wall sconce?

If you’re installing multiple sconces in a hallway, keep them around 6 feet apart. This will allow your space to be evenly filled with light without any gaps.

What color light bulbs should you install in a wall sconce?

It’s all about your personal preference, but most designers recommend between 2700-3000K light bulbs. They add clean, inviting light without being too blue or yellow.

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Splurge Vintage Style Wall Sconce Lights Over $200
Save Vintage Style Wall Sconce Lights Under $200

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8 Comments

  1. Great post! It’s amazing when the inexpensive choices look just as good as the expensive ones 🙂 I guess my question would always be would they last as well…
    Lauren, I love your posts. They are always so relatable and you have such good information!
    Thank you!

  2. I have looked at many of these lights and not one is under $20.00. Did you mean to write $50.00?

    1. I think you just mis printed just above the lights where it says
      So if you’ve been on the hunt for some sconce lights for a small budget, I rounded up all 20 of my favorites for under $20.

  3. Love your posts & blog, Lauren.
    Is there a link missing? When I click on a sconce they come up as way more than $20.

  4. That is so funny! I’ve been looking for a scone light for sooo long and some of the one you shoved us are in my shopping cart too! I just can’t decide (that’s me sometimes!) Thanks for this post Lauren!

    1. Yes! I put a link to two options further up on the post for how to turn a hard wire sconce into a plug-in and how to make it operate with a remote using a puck light. 🙂