The Best Plug-in Sconces (No Electrician Needed!)

published Jun 15, 2016
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(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

There’s no more polished look in your sleeping quarters then two sconces flanking a bed, IMHO. But as a renter myself, it not only makes zero sense to invest time and money into hardwired light fixtures, I’m simply not permitted to do it. Enter the perfect solution: the plug-in sconce, hold the electrician.


I’ve been a longtime fan of IKEA’s Ranarp series of lighting. The black-and-white threaded cord adds some unexpected punch to the lamp, and I love that it can either be affixed to the wall, or used as a clamp.

Lightbulbs don’t exactly scream “Decorative Element!” but in the case of this industrial cage light, the Edison bulb is the star. I’d love to see this bare-bones sconce in a room with feminine accents, playing the part of the masculine supporting role.

Another budget-friendly favorite of mine. The Crosby Collection was first introduced as a desk lamp and floor lamp, so I was pleased to see Target expand the line with this swing-arm sconce (there’s a pendant, too!) If black doesn’t quite do it for you, it’s also available in white.

There’s something so downright happy about an eyeball sconce (though I prefer to call them bubblegum lamps…potayto, potahto.) This little fella also comes in a brushed bronze.

I just love the soft, brushed brass finish on this elegant wall sconce. It’d be great in a living room near a reading chair, by your bed, or even in a hallway or foyer flanking a console table.

Black and gold will never get old, especially not in lighting (at least not in my book). The color combination works well with all styles, and these are both traditional and modern enough to fit into any room aesthetic.

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Perfect if you’re after the look of a Serge Mouille sconce, but can’t stretch your budget as far as their $3,000+ price tag. This one comes in well under $100!

OneFortyThree has such great offerings, the brand as a whole is definitely worth checking out, but I couldn’t help but include this molded plywood shelf/lamp hybrid. It’s pretty customizable, too: You can pick between 3 wood finishes, 12 socket colors and, because there’s no need to singe your hand on a hot bulb as you reach for your phone, whether the light is on the left or the right.

I’m a sucker for brass in any iteration (polished, brushed, patinated), but I’m equally enamored of matte black. It’s a good thing this CB2 sconce comes in both finishes. Note: Reviewers have complained about having trouble with the mounting hardware, but some of the commenters have provided some useful tips.

This is a great gooseneck sconce that can either be hardwired or plugged in. The frosted globe that covers the bulb would diffuse any direct light in case you want this one next to your bed.

You really can’t beat the look and feel of a handmade object. Ninosheadesign out of Los Angeles has a plethora of beautiful handmade light fixtures, including this little guy. At 5″x5″, it might be small, but it makes a mighty style statement (especially when you opt for the red cloth cord.)

“Custom” isn’t a word commonly associated with home decor items below a certain price point, which is why I really love what Barn Light Electric offers. For instance, you can purchase The Lovell plug-in wall sconce in 20 shades, 12 cord colors and 2 metal finishes. Calculating the amount of combinations is something I long forgot how to do…all I know is, it’s nice to have so many options!

At almost 24 inches tall, the Ditte sconce is no shrinking violet. The large-and-in-charge wall fixture is still quite sleek with mid-century modern styling, which is always a winner in my book.

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I was first introduced to OneFortyThree through a friend who was looking for modern sconces that had a luxe look but didn’t completely break the bank. She found exactly what she was looking for in the double-jointed swing lamp. Sure, at $235, getting two to flank her bed was an investment, but one well worth it as the finished look was one straight out of a magazine.

For small spaces, it’s important to think outside the box, and a swing sconce can work perfectly as an overhead light, just like West Elm’s styling example shown above. Use it in your dining area, for your desk to save surface area or next to/above your sofa.

Decor should be equal parts fun and functional. This Dot wall fixture is just that. The open bulb here throws light evenly across the room, but also has a sweet, playful design. Get a few if your budget allows and create a pattern all your own.

I like to think of lighting as decorative art for the home and Horne conveniently describes its Pivot sconce as “an ever-changing line drawing that nestles into a room.” The pipe-like design can be configured to a multitude of shapes and silhouettes.