Having the right lighting is one of the essential parts of any residential and commercial design. Lighting fixtures have many functions, from setting ambiance in a room to assisting with a task. Ensuring a design that accommodates was once an afterthought, but is now a priority throughout all design industries. Each type of lighting fixture has its purpose and requirements. However, wall sconces require a different level of attention to detail since 1991, when the Americans with Disabilities Act passed.
A sconce is a type of light fixture that is affixed to the wall and provides light for a wide array of tasks. Wall sconces come in a variety of styles for a variety of functions, from bathroom task lighting to simply creating ambiance in a room. In most cases, sconces are placed to complement a more significant light source such as a chandelier or ceiling light rather than providing a direct source itself. However, where more prominent light is necessary, pairing two on either side of a mirror creates an appropriate amount of light for a space without an additional source. Because sconces have been around for so long, they come in just about any color and style you can need to complement any design style type.
In a private home, a wall sconce typically is best if it is just high enough to not accidentally be bumped. It is recommended to hang wall sconces at least 66” from the floor, which is around eye level. If there is a shade, position the fixtures so that the bottom of the shade is a little bit below eye level, so that the bulb isn’t exposed to the eye. In a bathroom, it is especially important to place them at eye level on both sides of a mirror to eliminate shadows across the face. In that case, putting them 36” to 40” apart is typically ideal.
Wall sconces are the type of lighting fixture that is most affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act, most commonly known by its initials as the ADA, was created to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities. The act was enacted in 1991 to guarantee equal opportunities for both disabled people and the general public to be able to get through public places. The ADA has a focus on many design elements, from sinks and windows to walkways and stairs. ADA compliant lighting requires that any wall light mounted between 27” and 80” above the floor is not allowed to project from the wall more than 4”. This prevents all people, including those who use wheelchairs and walkers, from bumping into it and getting hurt.
307.2 Protrusion Limits. Objects with leading edges more than 27 inches (685 mm) and not more than 80 inches (2030 mm) above the finish floor or ground shall protrude 4 inches (100 mm) maximum horizontally into the circulation path.
We have put together a collection of ADA-compliant lighting fixtures that are all stylish and efficient. Whether you are designing a room in a private house or a large public area, these ADA-approved fixtures will keep the people in your space safe while still allowing your style to shine through.