Sconces & Chandeliers
A sconce is a type of light fixture affixed to a wall in such a way that it uses only the wall for support where the light is usually, but not always, directed upwards. It does not have a base on the ground. For this reason, lighting fixtures will need an electrical box to be installed. A sconce may be a traditional torch, candle or gas light, or a modern electric light source affixed in the same way. Modern fittings are more often called wall lights or similar terms, especially if the light source is wholly covered by glass.
Sconces can be placed on both the interior and exterior walls of buildings. In pre-modern usage, these usually held candles and torches respectively. Historically, candle sconces were often made of silver or brass from the 17th century, with porcelain and ormolu coming into use during the 18th century. The light of the candle flame was often intensified by a reflecting backplate.
Modern electric light fixture sconces are often used in hallways or corridors to provide both lighting and a point of interest in a long passage. Sconce height in a passageway is generally 3/4 of the distance up the wall as measured from the floor to the ceiling, and the distance between sconces on the wall is generally equal to the distance of the sconces from the floor, often alternating sides of the passageway. Sconces are typically installed in pairs or other multiple units to provide balance. They can be used to frame doorways or line a hallway. Swing arm sconces are often placed next to a bed to provide task lighting for reading.
A chandelier is a branched ornamental light fixture designed to be mounted on ceilings or walls. Chandeliers are often ornate, and normally use incandescent light bulbs, though some modern designs also use fluorescent lamps and recently LEDs.
Classic chandeliers have arrays of hanging crystal prisms to illuminate a room with refracted light, while contemporary chandeliers assume a more minimalist design that does not contain prisms and illuminate a room with direct light from the lamps, sometimes also equipped with translucent glass covering each lamp. Modern chandeliers have a more modernized design that uses LEDs, and combines the elements of both classic and contemporary designs; some also equipped with refractive crystal prisms or small mirrors.
Chandeliers are distinct from pendant lights, as they usually consist of multiple lamps and hang in branched frames, whereas pendant lights hang from a single cord and only contain one or two lamps with fewer decorative elements. Due to their size, they are often installed in hallways, living rooms, staircases, lounges, and dining rooms. However, miniature chandeliers also exist, allowing them to be installed in smaller spaces such as bedrooms or small living spaces.
Chandeliers evolved from candelabra and were invented during the medieval era. They originally used candles as their source of light and remained in use until the 18th century, when gas lights, later superseded by electric lights, were invented.