Design Guidelines & Advice

  • Table Lamp Ideas: Choosing the Best Table Lamp for Your Room

Are you looking for a DIY lighting design idea to refresh your room's style? Replacing old table lamps is a great way to start gradually upgrading your room! Unlike other new fixtures that might require additional wiring and electrical expertise to install, plug-in table lamps are easy to install and can be moved around your home as you plan the perfect look. Table lamps also provide practical lighting for everyday work areas, from a study desk to a bedside table. Browse our table lamp guide to learn how to find high-quality table lamps that fit into your daily life and enhance your room design.

  • Where to Place Table Lamps: Recommendations by Room

Table lamps are most commonly used as task lights for seated activities. Therefore, a good rule of thumb for placing table lamps in rooms around your home is to consider where your family, friends, and guests will spend the most time sitting. Here are a few home areas we recommend you consider when shopping for new table lamps on the market.

  • Living Room Table Lamp

Table lamps add warmth to a living room, whether you're relaxing with family or entertaining guests. Small accent lamps can be placed in unsuspecting corners of the room, such as on bookshelves or decorative trays, while solid-colored table lamps can bring interesting pops of color to the sofa coffee table.

The number of table lamps needed in a living room depends on other light sources in the room. If table lamps are the only source of illumination in your room, then in a standard 12x20 foot living room, you might need as many as five lamps. If your living room is lit by chandeliers, ceiling lights, or ceiling fans with lights, you could add two to three lamps on side tables or other accent tables to balance the lighting levels.

  • Office Desk Lamp and Study Lamp

Now more than ever, we are working from home extensively. Whether you're telecommuting or helping your children with their schoolwork, having a dedicated workspace can help you and your family stay focused on tasks and achieve your goals. When choosing the right table lamp for your home office or study, it's important to remember that a typical table lamp can illuminate 40-50 square feet, or about half of a room. For home offices with little natural light, you may need to consider coordinating table lamps with other light sources, such as semi-flush ceiling lights for broader overall illumination, or floor lamps to light up the other side of the room.

  • Dining Room Table Lamps: Buffet Lamps and Candlestick Lamps

When you think of dining room lighting, you might first think of a central fixture hanging above the dining table. Indeed, dining room chandeliers and pendant lights usually provide the brightest light for your dining area; however, dining room table lamps offer an additional layer of illumination, and their bodies can be coordinated with the style of the centerpiece.

Buffet lamps (sometimes called candlestick lamps) are the most popular style of table lamp for dining areas, as they provide task lighting for guests serving themselves from a buffet spread. These lamps tend to be taller and narrower compared to traditional table lamps. However, even if your meals are not buffet-style, a bit more warm, intimate lighting can help create an atmosphere suitable for formal dining.

  • Bedside Reading Lamp

    Lowering the lights in your bedroom a few hours before bedtime can help you transition to sleep time. Whether you enjoy reading, journaling, meditating, or watching TV before sleep, bedside table lamps are essential for illuminating your pre-sleep activities.

    Bedside table lamps are also practical for safely moving around the bedroom at night. Without a bedside lamp, you might have to get up to turn off an overhead fixture, making it difficult to see the path back to bed. Bedside lamps allow you to turn off the lights at your resting place and quickly re-illuminate the room if you need to get up in the middle of the night for any reason, such as caring for a baby, working night shifts, or using the bathroom.

    Since the bedside is a less conspicuous area for guests in your home, you can focus more on your personal taste and style with this type of lamp. We recommend choosing an unconventional modern bedside lamp that makes you smile, or opting for a lamp with a soft, calming tone that makes you feel more relaxed while viewing. It's the little things, like looking at a lovely antique lamp, that can set the tone for a good day—or a good night’s sleep.

    • Table Lamp Anatomy: Key Components You Need to Know

      Before purchasing a table lamp for any room, it's essential to be familiar with several key parts of the lamp's anatomy:

      Lamp harp: The component that connects the lamp and the lampshade
      Plug assembly: The prongs that allow you to connect the lamp to a power outlet
      Socket housing: The base where you screw in the bulb
      Cardboard: The insulator between the socket housing and the inner socket shell, where the switch is located

      • Table Lamp Size Recommendations

      The correct height of a table lamp is determined by the height of the chair/sofa and the side table next to it. While the lamps on either side of a sofa do not have to be exactly the same, they should have the same "visual" weight and height. To avoid glare, the lamp should be tall enough so that the bottom of its lampshade reaches the eye level of someone sitting next to it.

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