Table Lamps: Know Your Size and Style

Choosing the perfect lamp takes a little math. Image courtesy of Hubbardton Forge.
Choosing the perfect lamp takes a little math. Image courtesy of Hubbardton Forge.

Table lamps are a necessity of any home. They can provide much-needed task lighting and serve as decorative elements to highlight furniture or home accessories. However, choosing the right lamp for your space can be tricky.

The Perfect Size
Table lamps come in a plethora of different shapes and sizes, from larger lamps used to light up a whole section of your home, to smaller task-oriented lamps that provide some light for reading before bed.

To find the best-sized lamp, sit in the chair, bed or sofa that will be next to the lamp and measure the distance from your eye level to the table's surface, the San Francisco Chronicle recommended. You shouldn't purchase a lighting fixture that is longer than the eye-to-table ratio.

It's critical to measure the area between you and the lighting fixture so you have a better idea of how the light will affect your vision and comfort.

Additionally, you should never eyeball a lamp size for its end table. According to Pier1, calculate the table's height and circumference[. Once you have your figure, ensure your new lamp will not be more than one-and-a-half times the height of your end table.

Lampshade Sizes
Lampshade sizes also play an important role in ensuring your lamp fits perfectly with your end table. Lampshades should never overlap the circumference of the table the lamp sits on, Pier 1 states. The bulkier the lampshade, the more awkward it will look on your table.

As for the lampshade type, the rounder the actual light fixture appears, the more oval or rounded lampshade you should consider. However, square- or boxed-shaped lamp fixtures should have more angled lampshade shapes to match the entire piece. Lamps and lampshades should work together and not contrast one another.

Using a Single Lamp
Style plays a necessary part when deciding on the location of your light fixture. With that being said, homes do not always need two end tables to surround a bed or couch. According to Fred Gonsowski's home design blog, a single end table works perfectly as long as the light is set up correctly for the person sitting next to it.

Lamps don't necessarily have to match the end table, but the lamp's shade and fixture should be parallel and set at the right height. This will create enough lighting for an entire bed or sofa.

Fixture Shapes and Forms, Task Lighting

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