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

How to Shop for Table Lamps

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A table lamp is the easiest way to add light, warmth and a touch of style to any room. Table lamps don't require installation and they come in so many shapes and sizes that finding the perfect addition to your décor is as easy as plugging one in.

Table Lamp Style

Table lamps come in a nearly endless array of styles and ATG Stores has something for everyone in its vast and affordable selection. Sometimes having too many options makes it harder to decide, which is why we provide several search filters that make browsing the styles that you know you like as easy as discovering new favorites.

Table lamp styles may be categorized according to period (modern, transitional, traditional), design inspiration (Tiffany, nautical, rustic) or by dominant themes and materials. You can use these as a way to guide you to the perfect lamp or give you inspiration if you have a design idea and are curious about how you can complement it.

Table Lamp Finishes and Materials

Table lamps come in a wide range of finishes, from familiar bronze and chrome to more selective looks like and gold, copper and iron. The right finish for your table lamp will depend on the décor and how you want to add to it, but it's never hit or miss. You may find several options that suit your design needs.

Keep in mind, however, that finish is not the same as material. Table lamps can be crafted in ceramic/glass, metal, wood, stone or a combination of different materials. Choosing your lamp based on what it's made out of - like a wooden lamp to pair with a room that has wooden floors - is a common approach.

Table Lamp Shades

There's arguably nothing more defining in a table lamp than its shade. It's often the first thing people will notice even if the lamp itself is what becomes the topic of conversation. In that way, the shade is how the lamp makes introductions to the room.

Fabric shades are by and large the most popular, but lamps also come with glass, metal, paper and crystal shades. The shade has a dramatic impact on how a lamp looks as well as how it lights the room. Consider what kind of light (color and intensity) you want when thinking about the best shade for your lamp.

What can I use a table lamp for?

Table lampsare a very convenient and versatile form of light and can be used for a variety of tasks. Most commonly, table lamps are used for general light, reading and other task lighting. Also, a well manufactured table lamp can produce a stylish effect on a room.

Where would I use a table lamp?

Just like the name implies, table lamps are made for tables. Because of their short height, table lamps must be on a surface and it is dangerous to put them on the floor because they can easily be knocked over which can lead to a fire or burn mark because table lamps have the potential to get hot or broken glass from the bulb or lamp base. Sofa tables, inn tables, bedside tables, hutches and other surfaces are ideal for table lamps.

How much light does my table lamp need to produce?

Table lamps should satisfy lighting requirements as well as complement décor. Be sure to find out what a lamp’s maximum wattage is before you purchase. Never use a higher wattage bulb than specified on your lamp.

Be sure to consider the functional as well as decorative features of the type of shade you choose, too. A white or off-white fabric shade will be translucent allow high light output. A darker or opaque shade will limit the light output and is useful when you want to create a more subtle lighting effect. A darker, non-translucent lamp shade with silver or gold lining will create a pleasant glow around the room.

What if I want to use my table lamp for a variety of tasks?

If you love the freedom to easily change the light level around you, consider getting a table lamp that accommodates three-way bulbs. For even more lighting flexibility, a lamp with a built-in dimmer switch will offer a range of lighting levels for any occasion whatever the time of day.

Energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs can be substituted for standard incandescent bulbs in most table lamps. They have a longer life, and they use considerably less energy than their incandescent counterparts. Keep in mind that only dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs should be used in lamps with incandescent dimmer switches.

What is the right size of lamp for me?

One of the most important things to consider when deciding on a table lamp is the height at which the shade will sit once placed on a table. The lamp’s bulb and socket should not be visible. The glare from a visible bulb will detract from the beauty of your table lamp. If you are planning to use the lamp for reading, take measurements to be sure the lamp will be tall enough to cast its light over your shoulder. The bottom of the shade should be about even with your cheekbone when you are sitting.

Remember that a shade with a wider lower brim will cast more light on the surrounding area below it and better facilitate reading. A narrower brim will cast less direct light.

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