My high-ceiling living room has only 3 plug-in lamps, but there are two live, switched electrical boxes on the wall, a few feet apart, just above top of the bookcase in the photo below.

The easiest place to put fixed light fixtures is on the wall immediately over the bookcase.

What type of light fixture might provide the best light for the room, if put on the wall above the bookcase? (By best, I mean general light throughout the room.)

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  • I agree with jsotola, but I'd use a couple of upward-facing sconce lights (mounted to the boxes) or standing lamps (plugged into those boxes via outlets). Light off the ceiling would distribute well.
    – isherwood
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:13
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    Uplight wall sconce finds plenty of results that go only up, mixed with some that go up and down, for me. Whether they suit your taste is up to you. I've thought about converting the standing uplight lamps you have in the right foreground (particularly now that there are LED replacements for those hot, hot, halogens) to wall sconces, but never gotten to that project.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:44
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    install low voltage cable lights ... duckduckgo.com/?q=cable+lights&iax=images&ia=images
    – jsotola
    Nov 18, 2020 at 23:02
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    I would think that any lighting along the wall only (as you'd have with plug in lamps or wall sconces) would feel inadequate for reading or a more "formal" type of gathering. That looks like a reasonably large room and the limited amount of light those would cast would simply be lost reflecting off the ceiling. I think manassehkatz's answer for installing ceiling mounted lighting is the way to go.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 19, 2020 at 15:33
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    That's just the kind of room that halogen torchiere plug-in lights were built for, but unfortunately those things were power hogs and fire-starters (and at 500W, 4 would trip the breaker lol). I certainly hope that one isn't a real torchiere and is LED or something. Unfortunately every torchiere replacement I've ever seen puts out FAR less light than 7000 lumens, but that's a costing choice made by the builders because 7000 lm of LED is a little bit of money. (not a LOT). Nov 19, 2020 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


Non-trivial solution, but I would look at running a wire up the wall to the ceiling and over to the beam and either hang a chandelier from the middle of the beam, or install track lighting on the beam. You can use moulding along the beam to cover up a wire there so nobody will notice it (I did that for my living room which is now my dining room). If you do it right, you will only need to cut & patch two small sections of the wall/ceiling - one directly above the existing box and one next to the beam.

  • I was thinking similarly. Perhaps a valance box around the perimeter with strip lighting would create enough general area lighting. Creates a new look! coving-cornice.co.uk/ledcoving.html
    – user68386
    Nov 19, 2020 at 22:10

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