A sconce is a wall fixture, originally used to shield a candle to prevent it from blowing out. The word sconce is derived from the Latin absconsus, and the French esconce. The reason for this word choice is that the fixture ensconces, or shelters, the light source. Sconces held candles that were used for illuminating rooms before electricity was invented. Today, sconces are primarily used as a decorative effect, and although sconces are not a major light source, they can provide indirect lighting that subtly enhances a space.