12:12PM | 10/21/04
Member Since: 07/13/04
10 lifetime posts
I just bought a old house (built 1920) that has 9 wall sconces in various rooms and hallways.

The last owner removed the antique sconces ( i can see them in pictures he left with the house) and replaced them with outdoor sconces that do not turn off. These sconces are basically wired to remain on at all times, they are not hooked up to a switch in any way. The only way to cease the light is to unscrew the light bulb.

I would like to replace these immediately. However, the walls are made of very tough plaster and I was told to limit the work I would do that would require tearing into them. Therefore, I would like to NOT have to install switches for all of these sconces.

What are my options?

I have been trying to locate sconces that have on/ off switches or pull chains directly on the fixture - but this is much easier said than done. I have been to the main home improvement stores (L & HD- the site won't let me write them out) and I spent the entire day looking at lighting websites on the internet- and there seem to be very few available with the switches on the fixture.

Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for me? I have been able to find some antique sconces with the switch on them- but these are very expensive. Do I have any options other than installing a light switch if I can't find fixtures with a switch directly on them?



Tom O

01:09PM | 10/21/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
This is a tough problem. You might want to look into X-10 remote control switching. You might be able to get a relay that fits inside the wallbox & then be able to control the light with a small transmitter similar to the ones used to turn car alarms on & off . Try Radio Shack or do a google search on X-10.



12:40PM | 02/27/07
Member Since: 02/26/07
1 lifetime posts
I'm sure this can be done, lighting retailers offer to do it when you make a purchase, so there must be a way. I think there is a conversion kit of some sort. I'm also looking into this if I find out anything additional I'll let you k now.

linda e.


05:23PM | 02/27/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
198 lifetime posts
There are adapters available that consist of a screw-in base, a pull chain switch, and a screw-in socket at the top for the bulb. You can remove the bulb from your sconce, screw in one of these, and then screw the bulb back in to the adapter.

However, these add a couple of inches of height in the fixture -- that may not work in your sconces, or may work but look ugly.

Also, personally, I don't like using this kind of adapter as a permanent solution. Going thru the plaster walls, finding the existing wires, and splicing in a regular switch at the doorway is the proper way to fix this.


Another alternative might be to use a low-profile surface-mount switch box right next to the wall sconce, with a short piece of NM cable running underneath the sconce and splicing into the wire behind the sconce. That will work, though I can't say that it would look very nice. But it might be a temporary solution until you can go into the walls.
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