“It seems simple until I go to choose lamps for my home”. I hear that a lot more than you know.
Lamps are a must in most spaces for additional task lighting. A space really isn’t complete without proper lighting for all the activities that occur in a space. But it can be overwhelming choosing the right lamp for the spaces in your home. It’s all about the function and the look you are trying to create.
I would say that the first thing to note is understanding how to choose the right bulb. That is a very important part of the equation. I know it’s not the sexiest decorating topic, but it is worth a read.
Although bulbs are very basic in their function, there are guidelines to choosing the right bulb for the right fixture. Not only will it save you money in the long run, it is a safer way to go. Using the wrong bulb for the wrong fixture can lead to a possible fire. Let’s try to avoid that, shall we?
Although today’s post will be more focused on choosing the right lamp aesthetically for your home, the designer in me has to cover the basics of choosing the right light bulbs for your light fixtures, including your lamps.
Look for the right wattage – the wattage is the amount of energy a bulb is capable of producing. Usually ranging from 40-120 watts. Each light fixture will indicate the maximum wattage for the light bulb. This means that any wattage above that could be a fire hazard. The bulb used for that fixture must be equal to, or lower in wattage
Look for the right lumens – lumens is the amount of light the bulb will put out. The higher the lumens the more light it puts out, and the closer it gets to that of natural light. 1000 lumens and over is ideal for a large room.
The shape of the bulb – the shape of the bulb doesn’t really matter as much except when it is visible in your fixture, and of course checking to make sure it is the right size for the socket
The life expectancy of the bulb – not all bulbs are created equal when it comes to life expectancy. Be sure to check the packaging for this information. Obviously the more a fixture is used, the more you want to get a bulb that will last longer. Incandescent bulbs tend to have the shortest life expectancy. Halogen bulbs are a slight upgrade over incandescent bulbs. They have more improved efficiency and lifespan. Compact fluorescent bulbs have a much longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs but the lifespan is significantly reduced with the more usage. LED bulbs have the longest lifespan. They last several times longer than an incandescent light bulb and significantly better than most fluorescent bulbs.
The light appearance of the bulb – the ‘light appearance’ is usually noted on the package – this tells you if the light will appear warm or cool. Warm has more orange/yellow, while cool has more blue/white in the light appearance. This should be a serious consideration, because the light appearance will affect the way your wall color and furnishings appear in the room
Now that you are totally knowledgeable on how to pick a light bulb for your light fixtures, including your lamps, how do you decide on the right size and scale for each application? In general, you can choose a lamp you love and use it wherever you see fit, but there are a few things to keep in mind
Consider the space that you will be placing the lamp in. When you have higher ceilings, it is ok to go a bit taller. Traditionally, you also want to choose a taller lamp for a foyer table and sideboard in a dining room. The lamp shown here is about 30″ tall and has a great presence on this entry console in a commercial office space. The white linen shade maximizes the light that the bulb puts out. The lamp is available here
Next to the bed, you want to use a lamp that is easy to reach to turn on and off at bedtime. This will depend on the height of your nightstand, which can be in the range of 24-29″ or so. Based on that, you choose a lamp that will not be too tall or too short. Here is a similar lamp to the one shown in this example
A great looking desk lamp is great for the tasks you do while you are working at your desk or on the computer. It is great to bring in an adjustable lamp so that you can move it into whatever position you need to depending on what the task is. You can find this adjustable desk lamp here
Choose the right style for the right room. Your lamp should not just be functional, but helps to make a design statement in your space. The look also matters. It helps to create a more cohesive feel to the space. This lamp, available here, was chosen because of the slightly industrial feel in this masculine study
These are just a few key things to keep in mind as you choose lamps for your spaces. The main takeaway is to know the function and look that you are trying achieve, and choose the appropriate lamp
The cut crystal lamp shown in this bedroom vignette is available here.
It was chosen to help create that calming monochromatic feel in the master bedroom.
The Ginkgo lamp in this space is available here
It was chosen to be a bit of a focal point and add some visual texture to this luxury bathroom
Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!