Types of Lamp Shades
Whether you’re shopping for a floor lamp for the living room, looking for creative ways to make over old lamps, or you want to design a desk lamp for your office, there are different needs to consider during your creative lighting projects. At Color Cord Company, we’re here with ideas, inspiration, and guidance that can help you find a ready-to-install piece or take you step by step through a creative process from scratch.
There are five features to consider when you’re choosing a lamp shade for any room: height, base, positioning, shade, and bulb. If you’re ready to explore different lights for any room, follow along with our blog to ensure you choose the perfect lamp shade for your space.
1. Entrance & Living Room
As you check out the types of lamp shades and lighting for your living room and entryways, you might want to consider their function as well as their aesthetic. Your lamps are there to provide task lighting for reading or game night, but they also need to ensure a fun, intimate ambiance as you welcome guests into your home.
If you’re looking at a desk lamp for the living room, aim for a height between 26” and 34” to ensure that it’s level with your eyes. You want the lights to shine down onto your books and activities, not shine directly into your face. If you prefer a hanging lamp or plug-in pendant lamp for your living room, choose an option that falls around your eye level.
Your living room sees a lot of activity, so you want to prevent mishaps with a very stable base. Whether it’s running grandchildren or a packed party, your lamps need to withstand all sorts of activities. While purchasing a lamp with a slim base isn’t out of the question, double-check that it’s weighted so that nobody knocks it over by accident. We also love a non-traditional approach where the lamp fixture is combined with a shade and a cord but used as a lamp on a sideboard or table.
With all the different lights in the living room, space them out to ensure your room is well lit. If you have wider types of lamp shades, you may want to space them even further apart, so nothing feels crowded.
When it comes to table lamps, you don’t want the type of lamp shade to overwhelm the table, so keep the shade slightly narrower than the size of the table. Different types of lamp shades also have different effects on the light bulbs; fabric shades offer a warm glow, while opaque shades ensure minimal glare.
Lamps designed for reading need a bulb with at least 840 lumens (~60 watts) so you can see well. You may also want to opt for a dimmer to control the brightness of the different lights in your room to match the occasion.
2. Kitchen & Dining Room
While your kitchen is best served with overhead lighting that doesn’t get in the way of food prep, your dining room can use the accessorization to infuse the main table and the sideboard with your aesthetic and create layered light sources.
Here, you don’t want the light shining into anyone’s face as they try to make conversation, so keep your lamp around 36” tall. You can also opt for transparent shades that diffuse the light gently around the room.
If you plan on hosting frequently, your lamps need to fit in amongst a variety of festive centerpieces, glassware, food, and tableware. To accommodate everything on your table, keep the base for a type of lamp shade on the slimmer side.
Most people place lamps at the ends of sideboards and at the center of the dining room table to generate a symmetrical design and diffuse the light evenly throughout the room.
Since you’re looking into a slim shape that doesn’t obscure views or take up too much space, find a type of lamp shade that’s a little more narrow and compact.
In addition to bulbs with less than 60 watts, you may also want to explore silver-tipped varieties to reduce glare.
The perfect lamp for the bedroom is all about finding the right piece to enhance your personal sanctuary. The perfect height and angle are one thing, but you want to be able to take true pleasure in how the space looks, too!
You always want the light from the different types of lamp shades to fall onto your book or newspaper and not into your eyes, so testing your comfortable positions is key. How do you sit in bed? Where is your head most of the time? Match the lamp height to your personal needs to ensure a comfortable glow, and remember you can get creative with a hanging lamp at your bedside instead, keeping similar guidelines in mind for height and placement for your needs.
When it comes to lamps in the bedroom, you don’t need to be constrained by bases at all! If you need your bedside table to hold other essentials, you may want to work a wall-mounted lamp into the lighting design instead.
A wall sconce is naturally close to a wall, but you may want to consider how close it is to your bed. Do you want it centered over the bedside table? Sitting directly over your side of the bed? What looks right to you?
Many people love large dramatic shades for the public spaces in their home, but in your most intimate room, you want something minimalist and convenient. You may even opt for a shadeless fixture! Will your type of lamp shade be in the way when you reach over to grab your glasses or snooze your alarm in the morning?
We can’t say enough for getting versatile light bulbs. Whether you choose a bulb cluster or a dimmer, give yourself the flexibility to have a bright light for reading and a dim light for relaxation.
Like the desk lamp in your living room and bedroom, you want the desk lamp in your office to cast light onto your work and not into your eyes. A lower lamp offers more focused lighting without getting in your way.
Base & Positioning
Considering all the items you need to have on your desk, from your computer to your files, you may not have a ton of room for an overly large lamp. Explore unique base options, standing lamps next to your desk, and mounted sconces if your desk is situated next to a wall.
Incandescent or LED, your bulbs must provide enough lighting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come in unique shapes and sizes. Explore Edison bulbs with visible filaments, long bulbs that peek out from under a squat type of lamp shade, or metal-tipped bulbs that offer a two-toned look.
Now that you have different light ideas for every room, it’s time to start designing! Visit our customization station to create a fixture from the ground up or shop single components, like sockets and canopies, to buy just what you need for a little upgrade!