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Home > Buying Guides > Lighting & Electrical > How to Shop for Floor Lamps
  

How to Shop for Floor Lamps

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Lightecture by AXO UTSKR070E26 4 Light Skirt Floor Lamp

Floor lamps and torchieres have a similar look and can often be confused with one another; however they serve different purposes for home lighting. Floor lamps are typically used for task lighting, such as for reading if they are placed behind a comfy chair. Often times the floor lamp head is multi-directional and can be twisted and turn or hangs over to shine its light downward.

On the other hand, a torchiere is also tall lamps but the light from a torchiere shines upward. Torchieres are fantastic for ambient and accent light. Torchieres can be the perfect addition to large living rooms where one corner may be missing out on the general lighting and needs some brightening up. Floor lamps and torchieres both are found in living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms.

Almost Infinity Floor Lamp

What to Look for When Browsing

There are many factors that make a good floor lamp or torchiere but some key things to look for are:

  •  •  Light Switch Location:It is important to take note of where the power switch is located on the lamp such as near the bulb, on the cord or remote control. If you will be putting your lamp in an area hard to reach it might be a good idea to get a remote control light.
  •  •  A Sturdy Base: Because of the proportions of a floor lamp or torchiere it can be easy to end up with a wobbly lamp. Generally you will be able to judge the sturdiness of a torchiere or floor lamp by simply looking at the base and comparing it to the shade it is supporting. If the lamp features multiple “legs” double check that they are all connected at some point before the shade for maximum sturdiness. The price differences you will notice between similar looking lamps can often be a clue to their sturdiness.
  •  •  The Shade: Depending on your purpose for purchasing a lamp, you will want to consider the style of the lamp shade and how it will affect the light it shines. Opaque, clear or shade that point light directly downwards will offer the best task lighting, while deeper colored shades or shades that point upwards are better for accent and ambient light.
  •  •  Light Bulb: Floor lamps and torchieres will be compatible with a variety of light bulbs, but double check while shopping if there is a particular type of light bulb you prefer to use such as incandescent, CFL or others. Because lamps are often used for reading or writing, it is helpful to get a light bulb that you prefer to use for these kinds of tasks.

Show Your Style

Floor lamps and torchieres come in a variety of style to match your home décor. The key style factors to consider when shopping is metal finish, consider matching it to existing metal such as table pulls and handles, shade style and color and the overall style sense such as whether the lamp is traditional, modern, rustic or tiffany style.

How Big or Small?

Floor lamps and torchieres are usually between 60 and 78 inches tall. It is a great idea to measure how high your ceiling is before choosing a lamp height to be sure the lamp isn’t so close to the ceiling that it ends up heating a small discoloration in the ceiling. Beside the height of the lamp, floor lamps and torchieres generally can fit easily beside chairs, behind couches or by the bedside.

If you are using a floor lamp for general lighting find one tall enough that the bottom of the shade is just above eye level. For torchieres used for general lighting the top of the uplight’s edge should be above eye level. For reading, the floor lamp should shine downwards at lower than eye level, since reading is usually a task done sitting.

Safety First

Floor Lamps and torchieres have a distinctive long and skinny physique which makes them easier than a stout lamp to knock over. Hot bulbs can easily led to fires or burn damage, so ensure that floor lamps and torchieres are secure in the home well away from potential cat/dog chases catastrophes. Specifically, torchieres with halogen bulbs can be very dangerous if placed near anything that could potentially catch fire if exposed to great heat. They should be kept away from curtains and other loose materials.

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