5 Expert Tips To Choose A Floor Lamp

When choosing a floor lamp there are plenty of options and choices, but the goal is always to find the floor lamp that compliments your space and needs. This guide will walk you through our best tips for finding a floor lamp that will truly make your space shine.

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Where do you want your floor lamp to send the light?

Do you need light to spread fully across the room? => Ambient Floor Lamps

Ambient floor lamps are the most common floor lamp and are designed to provide light to a general area without concern for direction or focus. The lamp with its accompanying lampshade allows light to diffuse throughout the room and provide indirect illumination. These floor lamps are best for living rooms or sitting areas and are often situated in a corner or the rear of a room.

Black Metal Traditional Floor Lamp
Distressed White Plastic Traditional Floor Lamp
Bronze Metal Traditional Floor Lamp
Metal Bowl Traditional Floor Lamp
Nickel Metal Traditional Floor Lamp
Black Nickel Metal Traditional Floor Lamp

Do you need light for focused activities like work or reading? => Reading Floor Lamps

A reading floor lamp provides a directed light that is focused on a certain area or direction. These lamps can brighten up a desk or reading nook while providing the illumination needed to complete work assignments or casual reading. Note that a reading floor lamp will direct its light directly beneath the lamp; so, it may be necessary to have supplementary lighting in the room when purchasing a reading floor lamp for your space.

Brass Metal Reading Floor Lamp
Zadar Brass Metal Reading Floor Lamp
Black Metal Reading Floor Lamp
Blackened Bronze Metal Reading Floor Lamp
Natural Wood Reading Floor Lamp
White Metal Reading Floor Lamp

Do you need a light that makes the room seem bigger? => Torchiere Floor Lamps

A Torchiere floor lamp, which may also be referred to as an Uplight, is a floor lamp with a lampshade that widens upward or has a shade that is wider at the top of the lamp than the bottom. This reversed design allows the light to add flair to an area and provide an accent to the room. 

These lights work best in a room with a light-colored ceiling, and few or no competing floor lamps or lights. The lighting effect works best if the room's design allows for the torchiere floor lamps to be positioned in pairs or adjacent corners.

Dark Bronze Metal Torchiere Floor Lamp
Warm Bronze Metal Torchiere Floor Lamp
Black Metal Torchiere Floor Lamp
Aged Black Metal Torchiere Floor Lamp
Black Metal LED Torchiere Floor Lamp
Metal Crystal Torchiere Floor Lamp

Do you need a floor lamp that adjusts to your needs? => Arc Floor Lamps

An Arc Floor Lamp is a variation of an ambient floor lamp that can be rotated and adjusted for directed light. While the stem of the arc floor lamp remains fixed in a vertical position, the shade and light are positioned on an adjustable arm. The light can then be adjusted to continue providing ambient light, but also rest directly above a nearby reader. 

While these floor lamps do have a highly versatile arm to adjust lighting, some designers may find that the multi hinged arm is less traditional than other pieces in a room. So, the appearance of an arc floor lamp may not be right for all decors.

Gold Metal Arched Floor Lamp
Copper Metal Arched Floor Lamp
Blackened Bronze Metal Arc Floor Lamp
Marble Metal Arched Floor Lamp
Chrome Metal Arched Floor Lamp
Matte Black Metal LED Arc Floor Lamp

What size floor lamp should I get?

Need the most light possible? => Tall Floor Lamps 

Regardless of the type of floor lamp you choose, the taller the light source the more light will be spread in the room. Also, make sure you consider the other lighting sources in the room, as the ideal height for a floor lamp, should also be the identical height of any table lamps in the room, when the table lamp is sitting on its table or legged furniture.

Tall Wood Dark Brown Tree Floor Lamp
Brushed Steel Metal Tall Tree Floor Lamp
Metal Tall Tripod Floor Lamp
Tall Plastic Metal Tree Floor Lamp
Brown Walnut Tall Task Floor Lamp
Cherry Wood Tall Floor Lamp

Want to keep eyes from being blinded by the floor lamps bulb? => Short Floor Lamps

The drawback of a taller light source is that it will be more likely that the light's bulb will reach or exceed your eye line, which many people find uncomfortably bright. To prevent this, consider aiming for a height of 67-69 inches, which should prevent you or any guests from seeing the bulb while standing or while being seated. Additionally, the shorter floor lamp will provide more directed light for precision tasks and reading.

Brown Wood Short Tripod Floor Lamp
Short White Manufactured Wood Column Floor Lamp
Gold Wood Short Tripod Floor Lamp
Chrome Metal Short Novelty Floor Lamp
Antique Brass Metal Short Tree Floor Lamp
Oil Rubbed Bronze Metal Short Floor Lamp

Do you want to conserve floor space with your new floor lamp? => Small Floor Lamp Bases

While it is important to consider the size of the lamp portion of a floor lamp, the base will likely be the largest limiter for space. Ambient and Uplight will customarily have the smallest bases and the narrower shades; however, arc lights will have larger bases to counter-balance the floor lamp's extendable arm.

Steel Metal Tree Floor Lamp
Satin Black Metal Torchiere Floor Lamp
Matte Nickel Metal Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Chrome LED Column Floor Lamp
Black Metal Novelty Floor Luminaire
Black Metal Tree Floor Lamp

What type of lampshade will work best for your floor lamp?

Are you looking for a lamp with sleek straight lines? => Square Shade

While it may seem obvious for the floor lamp and lampshade to be sold together, not all retailers provide the two as a package deal. If you run into this issue, the rule of thumb is; straight-line stem, square-shaped shade. Conversely, if you select a lamp with curves or circular shapes, then you should also select a rounded shade.

Gold Metal Floor Lamp With Square Shade
Chrome Crystal Floor Lamp With Square Shade
Column Floor Lamp With Square Shade
Metal Floor Lamp With Square Shade
Desk Floor Lamp With Square Shade
Contemporary Column Floor Lamp With Square Shade

Do you need a shade that supports the most light in the room? => Wide Shade

Along with the shape of a lampshade for a floor lamp, you may also need to select the shade's length and width. Regarding width, the wider the shade, the more light will be spread throughout the room. The standard practice for lampshade width is to select a width that is only slightly wider than the floor lamp's base.

Brushed Nickel Floor Lamp With Rectangular Shade
Metal Tripod Floor Lamp With Drum Shade
Column Floor Lamp With Paper Shade
Arched Floor Lamp With Wide Shade
Novelty Floor Lamp With Rectangular Shade
Tripod Floor Lamp With Dome Shade

Do you want a lampshade material that allows for the most light? => Cotton Shade

The materials used in the shade of a floor lamp can directly affect how much light is produced by the lamp. The less translucent the material, the less light will be able to pass through the shade and reach the room. For the most light, seek out cotton or linen fabric in the shade, and avoid leathers and opaque fabrics

White Wash Floor Lamp With Linen Shade
Metal Floor Lamp With Linen Shade
Tray Table Floor Lamp With Cotton Shade
Black Tray Table Floor Lamp With Cotton Shade
Tripod Floor Lamp With Cotton Shade
Column Floor Lamp With Poly Cotton Shade

What is the best bulb for your floor lamp?

Do you want an inexpensive and warm light? => Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the least expensive bulb available due to their long history and extensive compatibility with the vast majority of lamps. They generally produce a warm glow but lack the overall brightness of its competitors. Additionally, they tend to less energy efficient and have a shorter lifespan than newer designs.

Tripod Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb
Metal Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb
Novelty Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb
Antique Brass Tree Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb
Black Tree Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb
Bronze Tree Floor Lamp With Incandescent Bulb

Want a bulb with a great lifespan, and don't use many dimmers? => Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

A compact fluorescent light bulb or CFL is a light bulb made a fluorescent light tube that has been contorted into a compact shape to fit standard lamps. These bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb and maintain their energy efficiency even when tasked with staying lit for long periods of time.

Additionally, CFLs generate significantly less heat than an incandescent light bulb, which is ideal for hotter months and climates. Unfortunately, CFLs still struggle to produce warm light, though they are excellent at producing bright white light in a room. 

Another slight drawback of CFLs is that their design requires an initial surge of energy to start up the light. For this reason, dimmers tend not to work with CFLs, as a traditional dimmer switch functions by sending smaller and smaller amounts of energy to a bulb, which creates less and less light. For a CFL, the small units of energy are not enough to trigger the lamp and cause the CFL to stay unlit.

Brushed Nickel Arched Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb
Gun Metal Tree Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb
Sand Nickel Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb
Plastic Task Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb
Tray Table Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb
Nickel Arched Floor Lamp With CFL Bulb

Do you want the longest lasting bulb? => LED Light Bulbs. 

LED light bulbs, or light-emitting diodes, are great bulbs that can last for more than twenty years. Due to their exceptional life span, LED bulbs tend to have a higher price tag than other bulb options. These high tech bulbs are easily capable of producing warm light, and some models can even produce varied colors and hues.

Black Metal LED Arched Floor Lamp
Brushed Aluminum Metal LED Task Floor Lamp
Metallic Silver Plastic LED Floor Lamp
Manufactured Wood LED Task Floor Lamp
White Plastic Metal LED Floor Lamp
Black Antique Brass LED Tree Floor Lamp

Want an exceptionally bright bulb, and don't mind the heat? => Halogen Light Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are a popular light bulb for floor lamps, and some floor lamps will only function if a halogen bulb is used. These bulbs produce very bright light and can fill large rooms with ease. That said, to produce so much light, the bulbs also produce a lot of heat.

In fact, some colleges have even banned halogen floor lamps and bulbs, due to the heat being a potential fire hazard. The heat may be superfluous, but even with the loss of heat the halogen gas is a very energy-efficient way for producing light and uses less electricity than its incandescent predecessors.

Bronze Metal Halogen Floor Lamp
Gold Metal Halogen Column Floor Lamp
Brushed Nickel Halogen Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Brushed Chrome Metal Halogen Floor Lamp
Natural Oak Metal Halogen Floor Lamp
Black Metal Halogen Torchiere Floor Lamp

Want the brightness of halogen without the heat? => Xenon Light Bulbs

Xenon light bulbs are very bright bulbs and don't produce excessive heat. These benefits have been noticed by car manufacturers and have become common in vehicle headlights.

As for floor lamps, the brightness is a great trait for lighting up a room, but all of the brightness benefits of xenon bulbs come with an increased price tag. Xenon bulbs are usually the most expensive bulbs available for floor lamps, and unfortunately, they also have a shorter lifespan than most LED bulbs.

Silver Metal Task Floor Lamp
Manufactured Wood Tripod Floor Lamp
Metal Black Novelty Floor Lamp
Graphite Metal Tray Table Floor Lamp
Metal Dimmer Arched Floor Lamp
Chrome Metal Contemporary Floor Lamp

What features are important in a floor lamp?

Do you need a floor lamp that can adjust its lighting? => Dimmable Floor Lamp

Some floor lamps feature dimmers or three-stage lighting that is built into the floor lamp's frame. Like a dimmer switch, the three-stage switch allows the user to switch between three settings of dim, bright, and brightest. This feature can come in handy when you want to lower the lights for a late evening, or if you are setting the mood a dinner or event. 

While the floor lamp may have these functions, it important to note that not all bulbs will be compatible with this feature, and many CFL and LED bulbs will have difficulty expressing light in the dimmer modes.

Brown Rope Dimmable Floor Lamp
Charcoal Gray Wood Dimmable Novelty Floor Lamp
Brown Stone Dimmable Task Floor Lamp
Industrial Bronze Iron Dimmable Arched Floor Lamp
Brushed Steel Metal Dimmable Tree Floor Lamp
Silver Metal Dimmable Column Floor Lamp

Do you need a floor lamp that can bend? => Adjustable Floor Lamps

Along with adjusting the brightness of your floor lamp, some lamps also allow you to adjust the direction and height of the light and bulb. For height, some lamps will allow you to tighten them at certain heights and offer a telescoping stem. Other lamps, like arc lamps, will allow you to modify the direction of the light and move the lighting over the task or work area of your choosing.

Oil Rubbed Bronze Adjustable Task Floor Lamp
Matte Black Adjustable Reading Floor Lamp
Metal Adjustable Arc Floor Lamp
Brass Gold Metal Adjustable Floor Lamp
Black Metal Adjustable Tripod Floor Lamp
Antique Brass Metal Adjustable Floor Lamp

Would you like your lamp to consider the environment? => Energy Efficient Floor Lamps

While many types of bulbs have varying levels of energy efficiency, with LED bulbs currently using the least energy, they are not the only way to save energy costs. Many floor lamps have energy-efficient features, from low yearly electricity usage to motion sensors that can extinguish the floor lamp's light if people are no longer in the room. Many manufacturers will list the yearly cost of running the lamp in the floor lamp's manual.

Brushed Steel Metal LED Tree Floor Lamp
Black Plastic Metal LED Novelty Floor Lamp
Black Metal LED Task Floor Lamp
Chrome Metal LED Floor Lamp
White Metal LED Arched Floor Lamp
Brown Wood Tripod Floor Lamp

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.