Short answer: they didn't.
As Lynx_Arc said, people in these old times got to bed at sundown and rose at first daylight, because fire-based lighting was so limited. But when they needed light, candles were not the first pick, because they were expensive. Beeswax was almost a luxury item, and wicks needed quite a bit of tending-to such as trimming and snuffing. And their lights were not bright enough to offer significant illumination when used one at a time anyway. As such they were used more as table and desk lighting, like our not-so-old tiny-bulbed desk lamps. (Candles as we know them – cheap, made of paraffin with self-trimming cotton wicks – are little more than a century old!)
Oil lanterns were more potent, but they were a high initial investment and tended to spread both soot (when used incorrectly) and smell (no matter what) with the fuels used back then - tallow from rendered animal fat, and fish oil, mostly. Sperm whale blubber was the cream of the crop for lighting because of its clean stink-less burn, but sperm whales were hard to take down and that drove the prices to nobility-only levels.
Torches, curiously, were hardly ever used for fixed lighting, Hollywood got them completely wrong. As the actual burning part (typically a cloth soaked in oil wrapped around the wooden tip) had a large surface area, it burned bright but only for a short time, a matter of minutes. In this sense, they were used the same way as our dear flashlights. See why it's so fitting that non-Americans call them 'torches'?
The sconce served to keep it in an easily found location, like flashlight cradles do for us now.
What the poor used were something called rush lights.
They're simple to make (peel the central stem out of a rush plant, let it dry and dip it in molten tallow several times to soak in as much as possible) and cheap even in bulk, and burn brighter than candles (think of the flame on a Zippo lighter) but for longer than torches. If more light was needed, both ends of the rushlight could be lit, though that obviously halved its burn time. (This is where the "burning the candle at both ends" actually comes from.)
But yeah, most of these were only an accessory in case you needed to do something at night, which wasn't often.
There was no light pollution back then.
This too. When there's no ambient miasma or glare to drown out your little flame's light, you do not need much. Heck, check out yourself during a big blackout sometime how little light you need to see by. When a tree fell on my old house's powerline and I was out of light for a whole week, at night I only used the moonlight-like 0,1% mode of my Convoys. :candle: