Friday, January 18, 2013

How To: Replace Lamp Shades in your Home

Did you know you can update your existing decor simply by updating the shades on your table or floor lamps? Lighting helps set the tone and mood for any room and the perfect shade can add that extra bit of flair without spending a lot of money.

Here are a few tips to make picking the perfect shade for your lamp a simple, easy experience.

Bring the Lamp to the Store
According to George Gronvold of Phoenix Lamp and Shade, it is a good idea for you to bring the lamp into the store when fitting it for a new shade. "This policy applies to all lamps, from kerosene to electric. It will save you an extra trip and, most importantly, will ensure your satisfaction."

There are four measurements you should have when shopping for a new or replacement shade: the top diameter, bottom diameter, vertical slant (top to bottom on the outside) and vertical height (top to bottom from the inside of the shade).  These will give the general dimensions and a good starting point.

A couple rules of thumb when it comes to sizing:

  • The shade should hide the "hardware" or sit below the "harp seat" but above the base.
  • The bottom of the shade should be wider than the widest part of the lamp.
  •  Width should equal the height from bottom of base to socket.

Photo Courtesy: Lamps USA
Another item to inspect before you go shopping is the type of fitter or how your lampshade attaches to the lamp itself.  The most common type is the "spider" fitter, which resembles a spoked wheel (spider) and connects to a harp with a finial (or knob). Harps are "U-Shaped" metal support that influence the vertical positioning of the lamp.  They are sold in various sizes, from 7" to 12". Most are universal and can easily be switched out depending upon your shade and can help them fit better.

Another types is the Clip-On, which features metal loops that attached the shade on top of the bulb. Usually the fitter is built into the shade.

The third type is the UNO fitter. According to Lamps USA, "an UNO Fitter is designed with a larger center opening which fits snugly on the socket. Slip UNO Fitters feature a large drop and rest on the socket of a table lamp. Threaded UNO Fitters actually screw on to the socket so it can hang downward, typically on down-bridge floor lamps."

Use & Room
How and where you plan to use the lamp shade will influence what kind of lamp shade to purchase.  For instance, a reading lamp should have a wider, lighter shade to provide more light. Or, if the lamp is meant for a sofa table, keep in mind that they are usually 18 inches deep and you don't want a shade bigger than the table or people will  bump their heads on it when sitting down.

According to Lamp Plus, "Shades have traditionally been white, simply because they let the most light through and are the most functional at illuminating an entire room." Black or dark shades can add drama by forcing the light down, creating a spotlight effect.  It is okay to mix and match your shade colors and types to create a visually rich atmosphere in your room.

Buy What You Like
While there are rules of thumb and design concepts, these are meant to be broken.  Shopping for lampshades can be fun and the result will add a personal touch to your living space. Get creative and don't be afraid to invest in the shade that speaks to you.

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Photo Courtesy of Lamp USA

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 8:56 AM 


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