Why I Love Simple Plug-In Sconce Wall Lights (And What To Do If You Hate The Cable)


hanging pendant wall light

Wall lights seem to be a bit of a controversial issue - people either love them or hate them. For some, they are a stylish way to add lighting in a room. For others, wall lights are super-dated, and ceiling lights with floor & table lights for atmospheric lighting are preferred. For me personally, I love wall lights. The space-saving properties of them alone make them a winner in my book. By having a wall light as opposed to a lamp on my bedside table, I have more space for magazines / flowers / half-drunk cups of tea and so forth. I think they also can add a real feature to a wall, the same as an artwork or styled shelf can. A beautiful wall light will create a focal point.

  My custom-made drop pendant light by Urban Cottage Industries

However, the problem with wall lights is that unless you already have the wiring in place, adding a wall light to a wall that previously didn't have a wall light is a major pain in the arse. One that quite frankly I can absolutely never be bothered to have. Not only do you need an electrician to carry out some re-wiring, you have to have some drilling and re-plaster work going on - and really who needs that hassle for a light fitting when there are so many other alternatives?

  Image courtesy of Perch & Parrow. Scroll down to purchase this wall light.

Image courtesy of Perch & Parrow. Scroll down to purchase this wall light.

This is why I am giving a a giant huge shout out to plug in wall lights, which to me are a thing of greatness. I also don't think there is much awareness about them out there (hence the idea for this post). Instead of having to wire a cable in your wall - plug in wall lights have the cable dropping down the bottom of the light with an on/off switch, and you simply plug in the light into a socket to turn it on. No electrician or plasterer required, you can simply position your wall light where you want it, then screw it into the wall.  

  The Ikea RANARP light in white in my bedroom.

The Ikea RANARP light in white in my bedroom.

In my bedroom I have two simple Ikea lights above the bed as reading lights. As they don't run on the mains, I can position them exactly where my headboard rests. Yes, the cord hangs down, but I like it -  the black and white cord doesn't look out of place at all. However, if you are completely against the visible cord there are a couple of things you can do:

Paint the cord the colour of the wall

If the cord just stands out too much for you, paint it in. Open back up the tin of paint you painted the walls and give the cord a couple of coats the same colour. The cord will then blend in with the wall much more. I've done this for a light in my front room and I don't even notice the cable now.

Use a self adhesive cable tidy

For less than a couple of pounds you can buy a plastic cable tidy. Buy a thin one with an adhesive strip so that you can easily stick it to the wall, then paint over it so it blends in. This is what I did with my kitchen hanging pendant plug-in lights to keep the cords ordered and neat:

  This plug-in hanging pendant light is by Urban Cottage Industries. Scroll down to purchase.

This plug-in hanging pendant light is by Urban Cottage Industries. Scroll down to purchase.

If you are a regular reader to this blog you'll know that I recently did up my kitchen. My kitchen was crying out for some 'dinner party' lighting, rather than just the spotlights in the ceiling, but fitting a central ceiling light over the dinner table proposed a shed load of issues. First, the ceiling is really low, so any light fitting pretty much had to be a flush-fitting, which just wasn't to my taste at all. I wanted something dramatic and industrial, but even the shortest drop light would be too imposing. Secondly, my electrician said he wasn't sure if there would be any load bearing joists or beams exactly central to the dining table. This meant that we'd have to knock into the ceiling to find out, and it may be the case the light wasn't fitted in the correct central position (obviously, this was a huge no for me). There was no floor space in the kitchen for a floor lamp, which would also look out of place, so instead I decided that it would be really cool to have a couple of drop pendants hanging on the chimney breast behind the dining table.

With the budget for the re-vamp being minute, and not wanting to mess about with the fireplace, I headed on over to Urban Cottage Industries to purchase a couple of customised plug-in pendant drop lights. The two plug sockets near my chimney breast were behind the fridge on the right hand side, and behind a display cabinet on the left. I therefore needed two plug in lights with cable long enough to navigate round the back of these items. I also wanted to choose my cable colour and the colour of the bulb-holder.

I chose black cable 4m in length for both lights so I had loads of cord to reach round the back of the fridge/cabinet. I chose a black bakelite plug to match the cord, and a dirty brass lamp holder. The bulbs I picked where short tube LED filament bulbs which are just perfect - they are bright enough so you can see what you are eating, while at the same time not being blinding. They offering a more warm light which is great for creating the right evening ambience. 

  My custom-made drop pendant light by Urban Cottage Industries

My custom-made drop pendant light by Urban Cottage Industries

I hung the pendant lights by wrapping them around an Ikea shelf bracket painted in the same colour as the wall. Rather than drilling holes, I simply stuck the brackets up with a super strength mega-bond glue, which is a total top-cheat-tip! 

If this all sounds good to you, there are some fantastic plug in wall lights out there - I've listed a few of my favourite ones for you below! 

* A huge thank you to Urban Cottage Industries for supplying me two of their simple plug in lights for my kitchen revamp.