Wall Sconce vs. Table Lamp

Wall Sconce vs. Table Lamp: Which One is Better For You

Looking to illuminate your space but unsure whether to go with a wall sconce or a table lamp? 

In this article, we'll delve into the differences between wall sconces and table lamps, helping you navigate the decision-making process with ease.  

Stick around to uncover the unique benefits of each lighting option and discover which one best suits your needs. 

Let‘s dive in.

Understanding Wall Sconces 

Wall sconces

Wall sconces are fixtures mounted on walls, providing ambient or accent lighting. They are ideal for saving space, creating a cozy atmosphere, and adding a decorative touch to a room. 

Advantages of wall sconces

  • Space-saving
  • Stylish and elegant
  • Directional lighting
  • Adds ambiance

Disadvantages of wall sconces

  • Poor portability
  • Difficult to install than a table lamp
  • Prices may be higher than table lamps

 Understanding Table Lamps

Table lamps

Table lamps are lighting fixtures designed for placement on tables or other surfaces. Table lamps are versatile lighting options that can be easily moved around to different locations in a room. 

Advantages of table lamps

  • Portability for versatile placement.
  • Soft, diffused illumination.
  • Decorative enhancement to any space.
  • Easy to install than wall sconces.

Disadvantages of table lamps

  • Occupies surface space.
  • Limited light coverage.
  • Prone to tipping over.

Wall Sconce vs. Table Lamp: Head-to-Head Comparison

Space Utilization

Wall Sconce: Utilizes wall space effectively, leaving floor space free.

Table Lamp: Requires surface space, typically on a table or nightstand.

Winner: Wall Sconce, for maximizing space efficiency by utilizing vertical surfaces.

Ambiance Creation

Table lamps offer localized lighting, creating a cozy ambiance for reading or task work, while wall sconces provide accentuated illumination, enhancing overall room ambiance. 

Winner: Tie


Wall Sconce: Fixed to the wall, not easily moved around.

Table Lamp: Portable and can be placed anywhere with an outlet.

Winner: Table Lamp, for its flexibility in placement and ease of relocation.

Task Lighting

Wall Sconce: Offers directional lighting, suitable for specific tasks such as reading or highlighting artwork.

Table Lamp: Provides localized lighting for tasks like reading or studying.

Winner: Draw, as both provide effective task lighting depending on placement and design.


Wall Sconce: Requires installation on the wall, potentially involving wiring.

Table Lamp: Simply needs to be plugged into an outlet.

Winner: Table Lamp, for its straightforward plug-and-play installation.


Wall Sconce: Typically more expensive due to installation and materials.

Table Lamp: Generally more affordable with a wide range of options.

Winner: Table Lamp, for its accessibility and affordability.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Table lamps may accumulate dust more easily and require frequent cleaning of lampshades and bases, whereas wall sconces mounted higher on the wall are less prone to dust accumulation and easier to maintain. 

Winner: Wall Sconce

Focal Point Creation

Wall Sconce: This can be used to highlight specific areas or architectural features.

Table Lamp: Adds a decorative element to a surface or room.

Winner: Wall Sconce, for its ability to draw attention to focal points in a space.

Easier to Turn On/Off

Wall Sconce: Typically operated with a switch on the fixture or via a wall switch.

Table Lamp: Easily turned on/off with a switch on the cord or base.

Winner: Draw, as both offer convenient ways to control lighting.

No Hardwiring Needed

Wall Sconce: Requires hardwiring for installation in most cases.

Table Lamp: No hardwiring is neededsimply plug into an outlet.

Winner: Table Lamp, for its simplicity in installation without the need for hardwiring.

Easier to Change Out

Wall Sconce: May require professional assistance to change fixtures.

Table Lamp: Easily swap out for different styles or designs.

Winner: Table Lamp, for its DIY-friendly design allowing for easy changes.

Adjustable Lighting

Many table lamps feature adjustable shades, swivel heads, or dimmer switches, providing versatility in lighting control. Wall sconces, while offering fixed illumination, may not provide the same level of adjustability and flexibility in lighting options. 

Winner: Table Lamp

Our Final Verdict

Deciding between wall sconces and table lamps has never been more straightforward with our in-depth comparison.

Opt for a Wall Sconce when:

  • You want to maximize space efficiency by utilizing vertical surfaces.

  • You aim to create an accentuated room ambiance.

  • You prefer a fixed lighting solution that highlights focal points.

  • You're seeking easy-to-maintain lighting fixtures.

For those who opt for wall sconces, explore IKEA Wall Sconces to find the perfect addition to your home decor.

Choose Table Lamps if:

  • You're on a budget and need an affordable lighting option.

  • You require focused lighting for specific tasks such as reading or studying.

  • You're working with limited floor space and need a compact lighting solution.

  • You enjoy adding decorative elements to tables for an aesthetic touch.

  • You prefer the flexibility of easily relocating your lighting fixtures.

Find a wide selection of stylish table lamps at Target Table Lamps to illuminate your space with style and functionality.


What is the difference between a lamp and a sconce?

The main difference between a lamp and a sconce lies in their design and functionality. A lamp typically sits on a surface like a table or nightstand and provides direct light. On the other hand, a sconce is a type of light fixture that is mounted on a wall, often with an exposed light source, and is more decorative.

Do wall sconces provide enough light?

Wall sconces can provide adequate light for specific tasks or to create ambiance in a room. However, they are typically not bright enough to serve as the sole source of light for an entire room. To ensure sufficient lightingit's often recommended to use wall sconces in conjunction with other light sources, such as overhead lighting or floor lamps, to achieve the desired level of brightness in a space.

Are wall sconces still popular?

Wall sconces have maintained their popularity in interior design and home decor. They are considered a staple for both their functionality and aesthetic appeal. Whether used individually or in pairs, wall sconces continue to be a versatile and stylish lighting option that can complement various design styles, from modern to traditional. 

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