As with many things in life, not all floor lamps are created equal. There is a wide variety of styles, types and heights in the world of lamps that find their footing on the floor. But what do you need to consider when you start to think about what lamp to choose?
What height should your lamp be? What is a good standard height and how was it decided that a specific height works well?
A whole mouthful of questions just about a single lamp. But when you spend your hard earned cash on a floor lamp, you want it to give your moneys worth. We are here to answer some of these questions and even give a few more tips on décor and design.
When it comes to the best height for a floor lamp, the first thing you need to keep in mind is the visibility of the bulb and the bulb fitting.
When you are sitting or standing, you want the lamp shade on the floor lamp to conceal the bulb and its fitting. This prevents unnecessary glare, but frankly, also just looks better. A good standard height that works well is about 68 inches. That is around 172 cm for our metric friends.
Another thing you can think about when it comes to lamps, is that a standard height for a task light is a little lower.But there is more to a great floor lamp than just a standard height. Let’s take a look at some of the other elements you can consider when you look for a good floor lamp.
A floor lamp (with a good height) can enhance a room and become a focal point. It can even become the central character in room, by not only adding light, but also adding a statement.
Of course you can decide what will work in your space. A floor lamp can be a statement piece, but you don’t necessarily need to have a floor lamp be the main actor in a room.
Floor lamps can also add a more subtle character and atmosphere to a room. So you can decide if you want it to make a bold tall statement, or a softer more quiet contribution.
But remember to consider the size of the room. A bold statement in a small room may be too much, but a lamp can really liven up a dull corner in a larger space.
Decide what you want to say and choose a lamp that helps you do just that. A lamp can be an artwork or it can softly paint the walls with ambient light.
The standard height of a floor lamp is not the only consideration when you decide if a lamp will work in the space. The next height to consider is the ceiling height. The height of the ceiling already makes a massive impact on how a room feels.
It will also help to determine what type of floor lamp will work best. Perhaps you need a lamp that is higher than a standard length or a little shorter.
A high ceiling creates a larger space and it can dwarf a short floor lamp. It can seem out of proportion and become a nagging feature that just doesn’t feel right.
The opposite is also true. A lower ceiling gives a feeling of a more cozy space, and a very tall lamp can suddenly seem like it is cramped by the ceiling.
A standard lamp can seem larger and oversized just due to a lower celling. A good tip is to think about the feeling you want to enhance in a room and choose lamps and other décor elements that will suit that feeling.
When you choose a floor lamp and you have decided if you want a standard lamp or one that is taller or shorter, you also need to consider the type of light you want from your floor lamp.
A standard floor lamp can provide either ambient light or task light. If you want to use the lamp to create a softer character and warm light in the room it can be higher.
But if you need a reading lamp next to a sofa or arm chair, the bottom edge of the lamp shade should be at around eye level. That way the light will be in the best position for reading or other tasks. That means the top of the light should be around 60 inches (150cm) from the floor.
With ambient light you can vary the height of the lamp to create the atmosphere you want. For softer light you can use a lampshade of lighter more translucent material. If you want to highlight something more directly a darker lamp shade will be more effective. The stand of the lamp can be a statement and you can change the lamp shades, depending on what type of light you want.
There are many things that can make a floor lamp work for what you need. Consider what you need from the lamp, do you want to enhance the ambient light, make a statement or do you need better light to read at?
Consider the size of your room and the existing furniture you have in the space. That way you will also be able to narrow your choice of lamp down to one that suits you best.
All of these factors are important, but the most important is that you choose a lamp (no matter how tall or short) that fits with your sense of style and your needs.
Hopefully this piece has given you some tips that you can use when choosing a floor lamp. Understanding that a standard height lamp can be good choice, but the best height of a floor lamp is one that best suits you.