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Choosing the Perfect Lamp for your Room or Design Project

by stephen fitzwater May 23, 2018

Choosing the Perfect Lamp for your Room or Design Project

Perfect size cordless lamp for project

How to Choose the Right Lamp for your Room Design



The space of the room should help you to determine the right size lamp you need. A smaller table or tight space requires a smaller lamp while a large console table behind a large sofa in a living room with a tall ceiling will call for a MUCH larger lamp. For example, measure your side table and make sure the shade diameter doesn't overwhelm the table diameter, typically you want plenty of room for a book, glass, and a small decorative accent piece to all be able to sit on and be accessible on the same table. If your side table is a small 16" diameter, you don't want the lamp's shade to be anywhere close to that or it might look odd and be inconvenient, even if the lamp's body is narrow. For a 16" small accent table you might consider a smaller lamp around 10-12" diameter shade to fit. Also consider (depending on your ceiling height) on average you want your lamp to be 1 to 1.5 times taller than your table height. The shade should line up with your eye level when seated more or less. Say your side table is 26" tall, your lamp should be anywhere from 26-36" tall including the shade. Finally you might consider for our cordless lamps the weight of the lamp as you will need to pick it up to access the battery pack hidden underneath. All of our lamps are easy to change the battery pack, but for example our large Marilyn lamp is over 10 lbs and might not suite the physical ability of a more senior customer, while our mini lamps couldn't be any easier for anyone to manage. Also with our lamps being cordless, the typically used spot for a lamp is no longer the norm! From bookshelf to dining table to patio, the possibilities are pretty endless!


lamp fits the table and chair


Light output is a factor in illuminating your space as is the flexibility of the lamp. If the lamp is telescopic or hinged it might be better or tasks, like desk work or painting/crafting. If you have a lot of overhead lights but dislike using them you may want several lamps around the room to use at night to make the ambience inviting yet usable. Dimmers make it that much easier to set the mood (overhead and/or on the lamp) as do lamps/bulbs with Smart technology where you can control the type of light with an app or your voice. Some people are looking for reading adjacent to their favorite chair so you might consider a brighter lumen output (400-600+ lumens) then again others are looking for a dim, warm output to set a comfortable mood. That might be a 2700K (warm, yellow tone) and 250-400 lumen output per lamp to be inviting or comfortable to look at. Bulbs can be a tad complicated to comprehend (most of us have spent countless minutes in front of the Lowe's or Home Depot bulb aisle!) and bulb technology has really almost completely switched over to LEDs. But don't be afraid of LEDs, they are just as warm and pleasing to the eye as any incandescent or halogen these days and last MUCH longer and consume MUCH less energy, which are big benefits. So read, and do your research, to help choose the right bulb for your space or lamp, as it really does depend on what you plan on doing with the light and the space.

We have done a lot of the homework for you with our cordless lamps and our low voltage LEDs are fairly warm and geared more towards the ambient lighting needs rather than the more daylight tone (blueish) or super bright reading lamps. We are pushing technology with li-ion battery pack and LEDs, which are only getting better and better with performance every year, but they do have some minor limitations. Here is a good intro article on understanding the benefits of LEDs.


 lamp for bookshelf use


Style is more often the subjective discussion as everyone's taste is different. Lamps can be the jewelry of the room, but they don't have to be. If your room's style is rather simplistic you may want your pillows and lamps to be the "bling" but if your table is on the exotic side, you might want to choose a more simple or classic lamp to sit on it so it does not compete visually. Some lamps have a larger "footprint" than others not only by the overall size but by the material and design too. A full-bodied ceramic lamp takes up more visible room than a wireframe metal lamp of the same exact size or even larger. Also a dark bronze lamp in a light room may be much more apparent than a nickel version of the same lamp in the same room. So yet another factor to keep in mind. Finally it is OK to have a matchy-matchy pair of lamps on a console with one on each side of the table, but consider NOT doing this for two or more end tables in the same room. It is perfectly OK to mix it up with a couple different lamp styles, particularly if the tables are not flanking the same sofa. However it looks nice to have them close to the same height. Having it too matchy tends to look boring and expected (unless the lamps are really unique).

Here at Modern Lantern we keep most of our lamp designs fairly classic. Meaning we don't push to far in the contemporary or super traditional look and feel, to help make the decisions for our customers a little less overwhelming. There are A LOT of lamps on the market, but not too many Modern Lantern Cordless Lamps;)

We hope we've been able to shed some light (sorry couldn't help it) on the world of lamps, but overall have fun with it! Buying a lamp isn't that intimidating, not like buying a mattress or expensive piece of furniture. If the lamp you bought doesn't work exactly where you thought it would, no problem move it to another space. When the lamp is cordless that almost makes it much easier and much more fun as a Modern Lantern lamp can go anywhere!


For order information, please reach out to us:

Thanks for listening, and hope you found some inspiration! 

Carrie Fitzwater 

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