How Big Should My Lamp Be? Choose the Correct Lamp Size Guide

When decorating any room of your house, you will have to add adequate lighting. Many times, this includes finding table lamps, and it can be hard to choose the correct lamp size. You may be asking yourself, how big should my lamp be? And this is a valid question that can be difficult to answer. To avoid purchasing a lamp that is too small or too large to fit in with the rest of your furniture, follow these simple strategies. Below you will find a guide to choose the correct lamp size in each room of your home.

lampsize-header

General Scale of Lamps

These guidelines apply to all three areas that we will be discussing, but we will provide examples for each of the room setups.

  • Overall lamp and table measurements: The lamp should not be more than 1.5 times taller than the surface it is sitting on, and the lamp shade’s diameter should be smaller than the width of the sofa side table. You don’t want the table lamp’s shade to be sticking out beyond the table’s edge.
  • Lamp base height and lamp shade width: Choose a shade with a diameter within two inches of the lamp’s base length. For instance, if the base length is 12″, the shade diameter should be no smaller than 10″ and no bigger than 14″.
  • Lamp base measurement and lamp shade measurement: The shade length should be about 65 to 90 percent of the base length, or in other words, about one third of the fixture’s total height.

Living Room

In the living room, you need table lamps to complete tasks such as reading, crafting, or watching television. Since you spend a lot of time in this area, you want to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

livingroom

Sofa Side Table Lamp Scale

  • Overall lamp and table measurements: 28.5″ x 1.5 = 42.75″. With a lamp height of 26.5″, this is a good pairing. Since the lamp’s 16″ diameter is smaller than 30″ (end table’s width), this is an ideal fit.
  • Lamp base height and lamp shade width: We have a 14.5″ lamp base length, so the shade diameter should be no smaller than 12.5″and no bigger than 16.5″. At 16″, this shade fits the base.
  • Lamp base measurement and lamp shade measurement: Here, we come in just above 80% at 12″ (14.5 x 0.80 = 11.6).

Sofa Side Table Correct Lamp Size

  • Ideal living room table lamp size: 24″ – 34″
  • Eye level measurement: The bottom of the shade should line up with eye level when sitting on the couch or chair. The Charlotte Cream Jar Lamp sits perfectly at eye-level in our diagram.

Bedroom

In the bedroom, lamps are often put on a bedside table for activities such as reading, getting ready for bed, or recounting the day’s events with a partner. Table lamps in the bedroom should be easily accessible when you are in a seated position on the bed.

bedroom

Bedside Table Lamp Scale

  • Overall lamp and table measurements: 27″ x 1.5 = 40.5″. At a 27″ fixture height, we are under the 40.5″ mark, so this is a good lamp and table combo.
  • Lamp base height and lamp shade width: We have a 17″ base length, so the 16″ shade fits in the 15″ – 19″ range.
  • Lamp base measurement and lamp shade measurement: With a 17″ base, our shade diameter should be between 11″ and 13.5″. This lamp is a little under 65% at 10″.

Bedside Correct Lamp Size

  • Ideal bedroom table lamp size: 24″ – 27″
  • Chin level measurement: Your nightstand should be the close to the same height as the top of your mattress. The bottom of the lamp shade should line up with your chin level when you are seated in bed. The Laguna Mason Jar Lamp is pictured in the photo above.

Office

One of the most important places in the home that needs adequate lighting is the office. Since you will be spending a lot of time reading, writing, on the computer, and completing other tasks, it’s important to get the correct lamp size to be efficient.

office

Office Desk Lamp Scale

  • Overall lamp and table measurements: 31.25″ x 1.5 = 46.88″. At 30″ and 12.5″, both lamps are a good height. Since the lamps’ diameters are smaller than the desk’s width, they are the correct size.
  • Lamp base height and lamp shade width: We have a 18″ lamp base length, so the shade’s diameter is correct at 16″ (16″ – 20″ range).
  • Lamp base measurement and lamp shade measurement: 18 x 0.90 =16.2. At 16″ (a little under 90% of the base height) this shade works.

Office Correct Lamp Size

  • Ideal office desk lamp size: Bring in taller lamps for a larger illuminated area. As you can see with the dotted lines, the 18″ Rockport Table Lamp brightens a wide area. For a larger desk, you will either need larger lamps or more lamps.
  • Layering lighting: Add a dedicated task light to help bring specific desk areas into focus. Adding an ambient light makes an office more cozy. The Bell Jar Lamp is ideal for making a specific area of your workspace brighter.

Overall, by following these simple guidelines, you can easily find the correct lamp size for each room in your home. Be sure to checkout Best Lighting: A Room-by-Room Guide when you are ready to buy bulbs for your new lamps!

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