As promised last week, today we’re going to look at wall lights, which are perfect for those who are low of ceiling or short of space for table lamps. Wall lamps have had a bad rap in recent years as they tend to be associated with twee country cottages, and were often either wrought iron affairs with tiny shades or, in the 1980s, versions of scallops and shell uplighters that served mostly to catch dust and flies.
You can see why they fell out of favour. But, as is so often the case, having been ignored by the trend setters for so long, designers had to wake up and get busy and now there are masses to choose from in every style and to suit every budget.
They can also suit every house now that there are so many different ones available. So before you dismiss them out of hand let’s look at a few places where they can work really well.
Firstly, wall lights can be good in the kitchen where you might have spotlights in the ceiling but want something a bit softer if you eat in there as well. This is the one room where a table lamp on the table won’t work. You might not have room for a floor lamp so the next best thing is, as ever, to use the walls.
I have done this in my kitchen as the ceiling isn’t very high and I didn’t have room for the three pendants over the island look that is so popular. Not did I have space for the one pendant over the dining table thing. So I had to go vertical.
I chose an industrial style to tie in with my tin ceiling, but you might prefer a long armed wall light that you can swing over the table and back to the wall when not in use. Or this rather fun banana from Seletti.
Wall lights can also work well in the sitting room, where a pendant light can be too harsh in the evening and you might not, once again, have space for lots of lamps dotted around the room. Although, in an ideal world, you should be layering all different sorts of lights.
Wall lights can be used to highlight a picture and you can now buy versions which you can have painted to match the wall so it really won’t show. They also come in different finishes so you don’t have to have that shiny brass from the gentlemen’s club look.
They can also wash light gently up and down the wall and show off a curtain, a wallpaper or just gently cast a soft pool of light into a room.
In the dining room (should you have one) wall lights round the edges and candles on the table can be a really pretty combination. Maybe it’s my age, but candles alone are no longer enough for me. I like to see what’s going on. The plaster light above can be left natural or painted to match the wall which is perfect for a dining room.
Moving upstairs and here too, there is a strong argument for a wall light. In a small bedroom where space is tight, a wall light will leave room on the bedside table for all those books you haven’t read and the glasses of water you haven’t drunk. These days there are plenty that plug into a socket so you only have to mount them on the wall rather than chasing out plaster and repainting – all of which is fine in first fix but annoying if it’s a retrofit.
And, of course the bathroom, where I don’t have wall lights but wish I did. Either side of the mirror looks good and, as in the kitchen, provides an alternative to ceiling spots. Especially if you are spending time in there in the evening and want more of a spa feel rather than the businesslike brightness of 7pm.
So there you have in. I have included lots of different options here and while wall lights aren’t for everyone, they are definitely worth considering for the low of ceiling and tight of space. These are just some ideas as there are thousands of styles available and I have tried to give a snapshot from budget to designer, via comedy and industrial, elegant and artisan. You will have to refine the search from here.
One word of advice – check the IP rating if you are considering wall lights for the bathroom. A rating of 44 is advised for 60cm around the basin. If it’s further away then IP20 is probably all right – check with your installer.