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Finding the Best Lamps for Lighting Your Space

Design Time on WMEN TV5

November 2020

TV5 Design Time WNEM
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Finding the Best Lamps for Lighting Your Space


So our day light is getting shorter, and we need lights on in our rooms earlier everyday!

How can we pick the best lamp. for our room?


Lamps shades have changed over the years....back in the 50’s and 60’s, lamps were really tall and shades were a drum, also very tall.  The problem with them was that it kept the light inside the Shade. The light came out at the top or down below the bottom...but didn’t really put the light where we need it! 

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So, today, lamp shades are much smaller, and they are trying to get the light where we need it, at our eye level!  When you are looking at a lamp, you need to sit by it and see where the light hits....we don’t want it in our eyes as that will cause eye stress, but we want to have light where we are holding a book or newspaper! You can see in the bedroom photos below that the first photo shows the nightstand  lamp shining only on the nightstand. You would get a neckache leaning over to have the light pool on your book. It would not be comfortable. You may try to tilt the shade, but this could cause a fire or damage the shade. The next photo shows the light from the lamp pooling in the proper place due to placement and correct size of light. 

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Does the lamp shade shape make a difference?


Yes it can....but where the light comes out is the most important.  Also, the color of the shade can allow more light to come out or it can diffuse the light and keep the light more hidden.


Are all lamps still 3 ways?


No, because of the changes with the light bulbs, the way lamps operate can be different.  Many specialty lamps, like this floor lamp, comes with LED bulbs which are much brighter and last longer, so the 3 way bulb concept is not as important.  This lamp offered a dimmer so you can have it really bright or turn it down to a softer light!


Probably the biggest question, is how many lamps do I need in my room?


If your room seems dark, you don’t have enough!  Today so many homes have ceiling light and so they do not think that they need as many lamps.  But, overhead lighting does not usually put the light right where you need it!  It lights the space-like a school room or a doctor’s office.....but focused light right where you sit is important, especially as our eyes become weaker while we age or later in the evening with tired eyes. 


Make sure to check the height where the light coms out and also make sure it has a large enough shade to let the light out.  Darker shades keep the light in! You can do some really cool affects in the room with celling lights and accent lamps.



You want to think about the function of the room and make sure you can accomplish the goal of the space in a healthy manor with the equipment you have provided. If you want kids to read every night, make the space a healthy place for their eyes. If you are working from home now and have a 2 year old who keeps you running. Make your 2am office comfortable. The correct lighting will brighten up your world!

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