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Choosing the Right Lamp for Your Home

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 17 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Lamps Lighting Lamp Fixtures Lamp Shades

The right lighting can change a room from stark and stressful to subtle and comforting in an instant. So choosing the right lighting is important and worth spending some time over. There are several reasons why you may want to choose a lamp as opposed to over-head or wall lighting:

  • To create mood lighting
  • To light a desk or reading area
  • To create a focal point, such as a painting or piece of art
  • For convenience, such as on a bedside table

Choosing the Right Style

Choosing the right size is important. If you've decided on a standard lamp to create a general mood then obviously you'll be looking for something tall and large. If the lamp is standing on the floor next to a chair or sofa the bottom of the shade should be level with your ear when you are sitting, so take the appropriate measurements before you go to the store. This will prevent the bulb from glaring in your eyes.

If you're looking for the prefect desk or reading lamp then pay attention to the shape of the shade and how it disburses the light. Measure the distance from the top of the table to the point you want the light to reach so you can choose a lamp that suits your needs. Also, make sure that the lamp is correctly proportioned to the table on which it will be sitting. You don't want to get your lamp home only to find out that it smothers everything on the table. The edges of the shade should not extend beyond the edges of the table top. Similarly you don't want a lamp that is dwarfed by the large surface of the table. Feel the weight of the lamp and choose one that has a weighted base as this will be much more difficult to knock over, which is an important consideration if you have pets or children.

Choosing the Right Shade

The colour of your lamp shade can make an enormous difference. If you are trying to add warmth and atmosphere to a room, a coloured or patterned shade can be perfect. Shades come in a wide range of materials, choose one that complements the surface its resting on as well as the furnishings around it. Having a lamp shade that is either too big or too small for the light fixture can look odd and out of place. The shade should be no smaller than one-third of the height of the light fixture. The shade should also cover the fixture's hardware and should come just up to the top of the lamp base. It should also be the right shape for the fixture. Don't be tempted to use the same size, shape and colour shade on all your lamps. Using a variety will help create a more comfortable mood and will add to the style of the room. Most of all take your time and have fun picking out the right lamps for you.

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