Choosing a lamp shade

Choosing a lamp shade

When it comes to choosing a lamp shade, there are a few things to consider which will help unite the shade and lamp base making them feel cohesive.

Lamp shade size

A bit like goldilocks and porridge, your lampshade should be neither too large nor too small, perfectly proportioned with your lamp base.

The general consensus is:-

  • Shade height – this should be 2/3 the height of your base.
  • Shade width – this should be slightly wider than the widest part of the lamp base and equal to the the height of the lamp base
  • Make sure that your lamp shade will cover the light fitting of the base it will sit on.

Lamp shade shape

Also bear in mind the shape of your lamp base

  • A tall slender lamp base looks best with a shade mirroring it’s slender proportions.
  • A round, squat lamp base looks more traditional with an empire/coolie style of shade and more modern with a straight sided shade.

 How much light do you need

The design of drum lamp shades allows the light to spread evenly from the top and bottom of the shade when lit.  This shape works equally as well as a pendant light as well as on a table lamp.

Box pleat shades and scrunchie shades allow less light through.  Firstly, there is the double layer of both inner lampshade and outer fabric.  Secondly the inner shade is an empire shape (smaller diameter at the top, larger diameter at the bottom) so less light emits from the top and more from the bottom.

These few simple rules will hopefully help you decide on your lamp shade but ultimately if you feel your lamp shade works with your base, go for it, it’s your home.

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