When Choosing Lamps

Interior Refiners recommend lamps as the one of the important lighting sources in any room. In addition to providing a light source, lamps provide warmth and intimacy, and their shapes and designs add an important sculptural element. Your refiner suggests that you keep these general guidelines in mind when choosing lamps:

The average table lamp will light 40-50 square feet. You may need up to five lamps in a standard 12×20 foot living room. Rooms should have a light source every 10 feet or so.

Most living rooms can handle a lamp that’s 26 to 34 inches tall. To see if your lamp is right for a given table, sit on the sofa or the chair next to it, the bottom of the shade shouldn’t fall higher than eye level.

Make sure your lamps don’t block the view or get in the way of conversation.

A lamp’s shade should never extend past a table’s perimeter.

If you intend to use your lamp for reading, make sure the bulb is at least 60 watts; a three-way bulb or a dimmer will modulate the brightness. A silver-tipped bulb will cut glare. Try pink and full spectrum bulbs for a rosy glow.

If you opt for a pair of lamps, they don’t have to be twins, but they should have the same “visual” weight and height and share some visual element in common such as color or material.

A bedside lamp shouldn’t top 30 inches when it’s next to a tall bed. If you like to read in bed, you’ll want the light to fall on the page, not in your partner’s eyes.

Consider replacing some of your translucent lampshades with opaque ones to increase dramatic lighting effects.

The height and weight of a lamp should relate to the furnishings next to it. For example don?t place an accent sized lamp next to an oversized sofa.

You need not always toss an old or outdated lamp; refine it by adding a new shade and repainting the base for an updated look.

Tip submitted by:

Jane Whaley, IRN

Redecorate with Jane, Ironton, OH