How to Install a Sconce Light Fixture

What You'll Need
Two or more cut-in electrical boxes
Drywall or keyhole saw
Side-cutting pliers
Wire strippers
Fish tape
Light switch
1 1/2 paddle bit
12-by-2 electrical wire

Not only are there endless sconce design options, but also these fixtures give off a dim light that makes rooms seem larger than they actually are. Have one in your bathroom and stylize the cover for a night light, or put one in your bedroom for intimate ambiance. To install one of the popular fixtures, follow these steps.

Warning: Before beginning, turn off power to the room you will be working in to prevent being electrically shocked.

Step 1 – Pick Your Sconce Location

Select the location to install your sconce. Keep in mind that the ideal height for a wall sconce is 72 inches from the floor. Mark the location you want to install the sconce at on the wall with a pencil.

Choosing a Light-Switch Location

In addition, select a location for the light switch. Ideally, the switch should be next to existing switches. If possible, put it in the same stud as an existing outlet.

Step 2 – Make Cuts

Using the inside portion of a standard cut-in electrical box as a template, draw horizontal rectangles for the sconce locations and a vertical rectangle for the light-switch location. Then, use your drywall to saw cut them out. The initial cut should follow the line, but you may need to trim additionally to insert the cut-in boxes.

Step 3 – Drilling the Holes

Using your drill and a 1 1/2 inch paddle bit, drill a hole in the top stud on the inside of the wall. Make sure the hole is in the same stud bay as the light's box. Do this for each of the sconces you are installing, the light switch and, if necessary, the electrical outlet for the switch.

Step 4 – Running the Wire

Beginning at the farthest sconce light, run a 12-by-2 electrical wire to the next sconce by using fishing tape. Continue running these wires until the final sconce, and then run an electrical wire from the final sconce to the light switch. Finally, run a 12-by-2 electrical wire from the switch to the electrical outlet.

Step 5 – Install the Cut-In Boxes

Run the wires into the cut-in boxes and insert the boxes into the wall. Using a screwdriver, tighten the screws until the wings anchor up to the drywall and the cut-in box is flush with the drywall.

Step 6 – Mount the Sconces

Install the sconce mounting brackets to the cut-in boxes using the supplied screws. Then, connect the wires to each of the sconces. Remember that the black wire is hot, white is neutral, and the ground wire has exposed copper. Tie the ground into the green grounding screw. Finally, hang the wall sconce from the bracket.

Step 7 – Install the Light Switch

Install the light switch into the cut-in box. The wire going to the electrical outlet will connect to the constant hot side. The wire going to the first sconce in the chain will go to the switched side.

The copper screw is hot, the silver screw is neutral, and the green screw is the ground screw. The wires follow the same pattern as in the step above. Both grounding wires will go to the same ground post.

Step 8 – Tie the Wire Into The Electrical Outlet

Connect the electrical wire going to the electrical outlet into the receptacle. The black wire will connect to a copper screw, the white wire to the silver screw, and the exposed copper wire to the green ground post.

Step 9 – Turn on the Power

When the wiring and installation is done, install low-wattage bulbs in the sconces and turn the power on to the room using your breaker panel. Test the lights using the switch.