Just browsing table lamps you may feel as if you are in a vortex of light and design, and questions like how do I know which lamp to choose? What size? What color? What type? What texture? This helpful article on how to select a table lamp will help you answer these questions.

A good overall goal would be to find the ideal combination of function (light) and form (looks). Here’s how:

Are you trying to match your current decor’s theme?
By considering your own tastes and your current home decor, picking a table lamp that blends with these concepts will enable for a solid design flow throughout your space. Your living area is simply a reflection of who you are and what you like. Keep in mind there are an endless line of designs, colors, textures and styles of table lamps you are bound to find one style that is just perfect for you and your tastes.

Where will you be using the table lamp?
Lamps are a lot like jewelry, they should accent the space not necessarily hog all of the attention. However they do help us see, so taking into consideration what exactly they will be illuminating will help you determine the “function” part of the decision.

Why are you getting a new table lamp?
Determining why you are purchasing a new table lamp enables you to narrow down your buying possibilities. For example if you are replacing an outdated desk lamp, you may know that you should be looking in the desk or task lamp section.

Size, style and brightness
You need to calculate these three things, each one is based upon where your lamp will be placed.

Size
Many people try to guess or eyeball how big they think their table lamp should be, but if you want accurate and less trouble, do yourself a favor and measure before you start looking. Not all table lamps are the same size. Bases and shades can vary greatly depending on the table lamp’s design and manufacturer. As a rule of thumb most interiors designers go with the idea that your lamp’s height should be no more than 1½ times the height of the furnishing that it sits on. Whereas your table lamp’s shade shouldn’t overlap the table. Also take into consideration the weight, a 50-pound ceramic lamp may not work so well on an antique table with not much support.

Style
Contemporary, Rustic, Traditional, Modern and European are just a few of the style choices you may encounter while shopping. Here are a few easy to follow hints:

  • consider the decor of your space
  • don’t get too finicky about matching everything
  • painted porcelain creates a luxurious or Old World feel
  • clear bases add less visual weight
  • wood or iron bases provide texture and richness
  • crystal can lend a simple touch of glamour
  • Moroccan lanterns add a hint of exotic

Other table lamp types include Exhibit Lamps, which allow you to place decorative objects into the base of the table lamp, such as shells and trinkets.

Try visualizing the lamp in its new location, maybe print out the picture and hang it where your new table lamp will be placed. Take a few a days and look at it throughout the day. If you like variety try a few different print outs, much like when deciding upon a new paint color for your home. Tape the paint samples to wall and observe.

Brightness
Again we will need to consider the primary function of your lamp.

  • ambient mood lighting (low light)
  • task lighting for reading or your desk (focused light)
  • Purely decoration (a spread of soothing light) – you may want to choose an opaque fabric shade. This will help to illuminate the space from ceiling to floor rather than outward.
  • and safety (focused light on the unsafe object/space)

So there you have it, a starting point for choosing your new table lamp(s). Happy hunting!