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Centuries ago, the first sconces held candles, oil lamps, or torches and many of today's sconces continue to evoke eras past.
Some contemporary wall sconces, of course, hold actual candles. While these are impractical for today's lighting needs, they make a pleasant addition to a dining room. Try a sconce set with delicately scented candles in your bathroom or any quiet, contemplative corner of your house.
In general, however, modern homeowners seek the look of candles without the smoke, wax and fire hazards. Today's fashions favor simple candle-shaped bulbs rather than the false-looking "flicker" bulbs that were popular in the 1970s.