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How to Install Sconces on the Side of Built-Ins - Hiding the Wires

A few days ago someone on Instagram asked me how I wired these light fixtures. I gave a short explanation but knew I had to do a post about it.

Well, with all the projects done in this room, I have a big picture archive. I went through all that pile and here they are.

Ha, I saw some others that might also be good posts. I'll see.

But first, I want to let you know
I'm NOT an electrician

Far from it, I wish I were one, though. ;)
We hired a crew to run all the electrical wires, and install switches, and dimmers, and even some fixtures. This post is mostly a guide on how I chose to hide the cable on each side of the built-ins.

Since the beginning of this room makeover, I knew I wanted to install a set of sconces on each side of the built-ins. I was also installing can lights and I was relying on them to provide a very well lit area for reading while in bed. The addition of the sconces was more a decorative choice. However, I also like the nice mood this light gives to the room when its on.

So, let's go back to the part when the guys were here running those cables. There's an outlet right there in between the two built-ins, they opened a bigger hole like a foot up to the left of that outlet, and from there they opened holes through the 2 x 4's to run the cables up and to the sides. The sconces have a dual switch, they can be turn on/off from a switch on the wall at the entrance of the room, and close to bed on the right side built-in. (how to to that, I have no idea)

For installing the sconce, the first thing that needs to be decided is how high you wanted. I went for the lower part of the top shelf. Right there a metal round wall electrical box was installed (outside).

The wire was brought up, as you can see in the picture above, right there in the corner, very close to the side of the bookcase. It didn't look pretty. :/

So, this is the way I hid it, because those guys usually don't do this. They run the cables and install lights, but you have to patch holes on the wall or hide ugly stuff like this.

Knowing that the width of the face frame is 1½" and that the thickness of the side of the bookcase panel is ¾", I had another extra ¾" to use. Pieces of ½" square molding were added around that side of the shelf (above picture).

The tape, I think you don't need it, I had to add it to keep my husband happy. He thought that maybe by accident I could drive a nail through the cable. Even though, I assured him it was not going to happen. Oh well, he can sleep better! :)

Then, a piece of ¼" plywood was added to cover the whole thing. Paint and caulking did wonders afterwards.

This is how it looks now. On the top shelf, the face frame goes flush with the in-side. You can see the difference with the lower shelf.

When you move to the front is not that noticeable.


Have you done this? What other way have you done it? As I said, I'm not an electrician, if you have a better idea or think something is wrong. I would love to know. Thanks!

For more DIY ideas check these out:

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  1. I do love this light fixture and great idea to add it to the shelf.

  2. Love that you took the care to hide the wires. A job well done!!

  3. You have really changed the whole look of that room with the built ins. I love the lights you chose.

    Thanks so much for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. ;)

  4. I need to add some sconces to a bedroom and I really appreciate your tips. Your post was truly a joy to read and I hope that you will continue adding your ray of sunshine every week on Thoughts of Home on Thursdays.

  5. I think that is a brilliant idea to hide the wires!

  6. Please post a link for these sconces. The one you have is no good. Thank you

  7. This is fabulous! You are so creative and handy:) Thank you for sharing and inspiring all of us! I know your son must be thrilled (as I know you are)! Great job and beautiful design: )


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