When You Need a New Lamp

Sometimes a lamp is all you need to complete a room.

By FamilyTime


Your overhead light fixtures may do fine in the kitchen, bathroom, and hallway, but when it comes to living rooms and bedrooms, floor and table lamps turn an ordinary space into a welcoming and well-lit one

Far more of us have table lamps than floor lamps, but sometimes mixing and matching them makes the room even more inviting.

Table Lamps

Table lamps should be considered both a lighting device and an accessory. Make sure those you choose blend nicely with the room’s décor. This does not mean you can’t introduce a classic base with a white silk shade to a room with contemporary furnishings, but you should take care when deciding.

For example, a colorful china base with a drum shaped shade might look great in a minimalist room, but a sleek stainless steel lamp would look out of place in a room filled with overstuffed, chintz-covered furniture.

You might want a table lamp to illuminate the room with gentle light, or you may be looking for a reading or task lamp. Before you buy your lamp, turn on the lights already in the room and determine where you need more light.

If it's a reading lamp you want, be sure to buy one that casts enough light over your shoulder when you're seated in a chair or at a table or desk.

Floor Lamps

Floor lamps can make more of an impact on a room than a table lamp. At the same time, because the light they shed is warm and isolated, they may be thought of as more functional than decorative.

This does not mean they can’t look great and add to the room’s overall ambiance.

When deciding on the floor lamp, consider its primary function and then decide on the right height.

If the lamp will be mainly for reading, it should not be too high. It must shine light exactly where it’s needed.

On the other hand, if the floor lamp (also called a standing lamp) is meant to provide a good amount of light to an otherwise dark area, it should be on the tall side so that it covers a relatively large area.

The Lamp Shade

The shape of the shade must be considered, as well. Some give more light than others. As a rule, darker shades made of heavy fabric shed warmer, gentler light and do well in rooms where the lamp’s function is to create a calm, quiet mood.

Lamps with wider, lighter shades emit good light, while those with smaller, narrower shades are little less bright. You don’t have to stick with the lamp shade that comes with the lamp (although you will probably have to buy it) but instead can choose another shade.

A new lamp shade is a good way to give an old lamp new life. When you buy a lamp shade for a lamp you already have, make sure it’s the right kind (does it fit over a harp or clip onto the light bulb?) and the right size.

Lamps come in all price ranges. It’s a good idea to take your time to find those that best fit your rooms, your taste, your needs and your budget.