Ever since man learned to make and contain fire, lanterns have hung on the walls of homes and been used to light the way at night. While gas and candle lanterns have given way to electric fixtures in the home and headlights in vehicles, wall sconces still have a place in modern lighting. They can be used for decorative and accent lighting, and add to the style or theme of a certain room. At Hacienda Lighting in Scottsdale, we have a fantastic selection of sconces, and would love to help you find the perfect fixtures. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the history of sconces, and how they made their way from lanterns to the walls of contemporary homes.

Harnessing Fire

Open torches and candles were once the only source of light that humans could find, and as everyone knows, an open flame can be unpredictable. Once glassmaking techniques were refined centuries ago, people began carrying handheld lanterns that contained the flame. Artisans would make wall holders where the lanterns could be placed to light a corridor or an entrance, and servants would tend to them throughout the day to make sure they were still lit, or replace the candle when necessary.

When oil burning lamps were first developed, homes and businesses began stocking up on oil to keep their wall lanterns burning as long as possible. Homes were also piped with gas and sconces had dampers placed on them so they could be turned down when the family was not at home or a room was not being used. This of course presented its own danger, as a leak could be potentially hazardous to the home’s inhabitants. By this time, designers had come up with all sorts of styles and decorations for sconces, and the practical application of the wall lantern was somewhat surpassed by the aesthetic appeal.

Modern Options

With the advent of electricity, homes and businesses began swapping out their gas sconces for electric fixtures. Flame-shape bulbs were fashioned to keep the look and feel of fire, and these bulbs can still be found today. As technology progressed, engineers and designers both came up with better lights and cases, and consumers began adding more sconces to their hallways, stairwells, and rooms.

The accent lighting that sconces provide is a perfect alternative to relying solely on the overhead lights for illumination. Adding dimming controls gives the homeowner complete control on the level of light, just as the dampers did centuries ago with gas sconces. The number of styles available continues to grow, and our showroom has an extensive selection from which to choose. If you’re looking for new fixtures for your home or office, come to our store in Scottsdale and let one of our experts show you all of the possibilities. When you have your new sconces installed, you can think about how far technology has come since man first placed fire under glass.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you choose new light fixtures!