8 Quick Tips for Picking the Perfect Lamp

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It may seem like a simple decision, but picking the right lamp can make an impact on a room. Pick the wrong one and you will create an aesthetic clash between the room’s design and that of the lamp, making it stand out [ironically] in negative light.

It takes a keen designer’s eye to find the right lamp to match a room. After all, putting together a harmonious collection of furniture items within a room is a learned art-form. By following a few tips and guiding your eye towards the right choice, you too can pick out the perfect lamp to match the room. Just follow this brief guide and you will be on the right path!

Lamps come in all colors, shapes and sizes – pick the right one!

1. Determine the type of lamp you want
Lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Table lamps tend to be stockier in size and are made to be placed over a table or other furniture pieces that place distance between the lamp and the floor.

On the other hand, floor lamps will stand tall, usually with a very long tube, and a strong base to support the weight and height. Finally, there are hanging lamps that will hang from the ceiling and shine light from above, rather than below. Each type has a different functionality, aesthetic and lights a room differently.

2. Calculate the appropriate size
Many people make the rookie mistake of buying a lamp without first measuring the area it’s going in. Always measure first to ensure you buy a lamp that fits the area. If you’re planning on purchasing a table lamp, measure the table height as well as the diameter of the lamp itself. The lamp should not be more than 1.5 times the height of the furniture it sits on and the lampshade should not over-extend the table. Similarly, if you are looking for a hanging lamp, make sure that it it’s not too big for the space and consequently hang too low, creating an uncomfortable situation.

3. Decide on the desired brightness
What is the primary function of your lamp? The lamp you pick should vary depending on what you’re aiming to achieve with the lighting. If you want mood lighting, darker lampshades can create a more romantic and relaxing ambiance in the room. However, if you are looking for a brighter, more functional light, such as for reading or to light up the room, a hanging lamp with a strong bulb may be a better choice. Table lamps for reading need the appropriate arc of light, so it’s best to keep the lamp height around 65-75cm.

4. Choose the right lampshade shape
There are an endless amount of shapes and sizes when it comes to lampshades. The skill is in finding the right one to match your lamp’s base and work effortlessly with the room’s design. Each shape will elicit a different look and feel to the lamp and the area, so picking the right one is essential. The more popular shapes are usually the traditional bell type, floor, empire, coolie, drum and cylinder lampshades. Consider the base in order to pick the right lampshade, as well as the surrounding objects and furniture.
Here is a short guideline on how to match the lampshade to the base:
- Rounder lamp base: pick a rounder lampshade [drum, coolie, bell, oval, empire, etc[
- Squarer lamp base: pick more angular lampshade [rectangular, hexagon, square, etc]
- Ornate lamp base: pick a simpler lampshade [and vice versa]

5. Consider the lampshade’s material
The fabric of the shade can impact the practical use of the lamp as well as the aesthetic. Pick the material based on what you’re aiming to achieve with the lamp, both from the perspective of the lighting and the desired look. Translucent shades of sheer fabric or paper will create an ambient lighting but can also be great for reading. Opaque shades such as silk, thicker fabric, or laminated cards will direct light forcefully and can be perfect for highlighting objects or setting a mood.

6. Choose a color that compliments the room
Any room or area where you’re placing your lamp should be looked at as a whole when you are picking out the lampshade color. First, you need to consider whether you want the lamp to stand out as a focal point in the room or simply blend into the other objects or colors in the room. If you’re looking for something bold, bright and colorful lamps is a great way to perk up a room and draw attention to the lamp. For a more subtle look, use neutral tones that match the colors in the surrounding area smoothly.

7. Safety first
Consider where you will be placing the lamp and how it could affect materials surrounding it. Inside lamps cannot be close to water sources as it may cause an electric shock. It’s imperative to take into consideration any sort of dangerous possibilities, including the placement of the light bulb at a proper distance from the lampshade. After all, light bulbs give off heat and it could damage or burn the lampshade material. Check that your lamp has the ability to extend the distance through a size harp or by using sized fitters.

8. Scan through online stores with ample products
The best way to find the perfect lamp for your room is to scan through the web, especially through online stores that have a wide variety of lamp options on display. This can help you go through hundreds of options at the touch of the button, while inspiring you with colors, shapes, and sizes. It’s a great way to evaluate which type of lamp would be the perfect fit for your room. One of the best features to online shopping is the ability to see detailed information about each lamp such as its size, weight, material, dimming abilities, and voltage.

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