How to Find the Perfect Table Lamp

Table lamps play two different roles in your home: functional and decorative; so when it’s time to select a table lamp there are several things you need to consider.

When choosing table lamps, both shape and style need to be taken into account so that the lamp will fulfill your lighting needs and work with your decor.

A living room setting with a blue gourd table lamp.

Size is also incredibly important.

Problems can occur when table lamps are too tall or too short — you will either be blinded by the glare of a too-tall lamp, or the light coming from the lamp is too low to be of any use as task or ambient lighting.

Gold and silver table lamp and gold sunburst mirror from Lamps Plus.

On a side table in a living room, the base of the lampshade shouldn’t be higher than your eye-level when you’re sitting down.

A chrome swing arm table lamp.

For bedside table lamps the base of the shade should be about 20″ above the top of the mattress. A table lamp that’s 26″-28″ tall (including the shade) usually fits the bill perfectly.

No matter if you are sitting or standing, you should never be able to see the neck of the lamp or the bulb, if you can, you have the wrong lamp and lampshade combination.

A living room with a table lamps, pendant light, and furniture.

The scale of the lamp is another important thing to keep in mind. A small table lamp will be lost in a large room with appropriately scaled furniture. At the same time, you don’t want to put a large lamp on a small, delicate piece of furniture – it will look totally out of balance.

A black and white color scheme with a table lamps, mirror and dresser.

Large table lamps look fabulous on a console in an entryway. They also work well on a sideboard in a dining room when there are no sconces on the wall above it.

An important thing to remember is that statement-making large table lamps create distinct focal points, so make sure you want to draw attention to where you put them.

Check out our video “Table Lamp Height Guide – Our Best Tip for Choosing the Right Height Table Lamp” below:

Table Lamp Height Guide – Our Best Tip for Choosing the Right Height Table Lamp

To learn more about how to find the perfect table lamp, read our official guide on How to Buy a Table Lamp.

in addition to learning about finding the right size lampshade and light bulb, watch the video below:

More Table Lamp Ideas and Advice

How to Buy a Table Lamp

8 Ways to Decorate with Table Lamps

How to Choose the Perfect Bedside Reading Lamp

How to Buy a Lamp Shade and Keep It Clean