How do I Choose the Best Brass Wall Sconces?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith
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Woman posing

Choose the best brass wall sconces by determining the overall decor of the home, whether modern or traditional, and maintain that unifying style throughout. These types of lighting fixtures are generally defined by the lines and shape of the metal used to create the design. They may commonly be purchased at local home improvement stores or through the Internet.

Wall sconces can be found in virtually any style for the home. Different types of metals may be used, including chrome, brass, bronze, and nickel. Metallic bases may also be mixed and matched with various types of glass and fabric lamp shades, to create atmosphere and mood within a room.

Brass is typically used in both modern and traditional designs, and is often more expensive than chrome and nickel. Modern wall sconces tend to feature straight, bold lines and simple shapes. Traditional wall sconces tend to be large and curved, and are designed with a particular period of history in mind to match the lighting fixtures from that time.

Brass wall sconces are a key staple of the Williamsburg lighting style. These fixtures are generally simple and elegant. Their design usually includes a long, slender metal structure that extends the light out from the wall, and then straightens from a bulbous base in a manner similar to a candlestick. Some Williamsburg brass wall sconces are designed for use with reproduction plastic candlesticks, which are then topped by flame-like candelabra light bulbs. This type of fixture is best paired with small, cloth lamp shades.

There are a variety of finishes available for brass wall sconces. The metal on these lighting fixtures may be polished, satin, burnished, or oxidized. Polished and satin brass, common in modern lighting fixtures, are similar in appearance, giving the metal a shimmering, golden-like look. Burnished brass provides a slightly more antique look, and causes the metal to appear darker than the polished finish. Oxidized brass is very dark, looking almost black when viewed from a distance, and is a traditional, antique finish.

Brass wall sconces may also be purchased through antique stores. This metal was commonly used in home and commercial lighting during the 1800s and 1900s. Many of these original fixtures, which were previously designed to support candles and kerosene flames, have been rewired to work with electric bulbs. These kinds of reworked wall sconces are generally two to three times more expensive of new fixtures designed to mimic such antique styles.

Individuals wishing to recreate a particular time period through their decorating scheme, but who are also on a budget, may wish to research reproduction brass wall sconces. These types of lights can copy the look of the antique models in both design and finish but cost less. Another way to cut expenses is to create the finish on a wall sconce yourself. For instance, chemical solutions are often sold through antique or craft websites that can darken the overall appearance of new brass. This technique can provide a traditional look for far less money.

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