Getting the Most Out of Lamps

Floor lamps, hanging lamps and everything in between

In living rooms, bedrooms, home offices and recreations rooms, lamps form an important part of most successful lighting strategies. Beyond adding style and a sense of depth to the room, lamps are extremely versatile and allow you to create specific moods and effects. However, many homeowners taking their first crack at DIY lighting don't take full advantage of lamps simply because they aren't fully aware of the sheer range of options available. Before you finalize your lighting design, be sure you've investigated all the different types of lamps you can use in various rooms of your home.

Types of Lamps

Here is an overview of the most common types of lamps intended for home use:

  • Floor lamps. These lamps rest atop long, narrow bases which extend down to the floor. They are commonly placed near recliners or sofas, and can be used for reading as well as creating ambient light. Available in an astonishing range of styles, floor lamps can add a great deal of character to a room when carefully chosen to match existing décor.
  • Desk lamps. Practical and inexpensive, desk lamps provide task lighting in home offices and work areas. In most cases, they are adjustable and feature high-intensity, sharply focused lights that efficiently illuminate spaces.
  • Table lamps. These lamps are primarily decorative, or are used for ambient lighting. However, depending on the configuration, they can double as task lighting for working or reading.
  • Hanging lamps. If floor or table space is limited, you can get hanging lamps which extend down from the ceiling to provide accent lighting or task lighting in a specific part of the room. They are one of the most unique types of lamps, and they are fairly uncommon. If you're trying to create a unique effect in a room, they're well worth special consideration.

Fluorescent lamps and LED lamps offer superior energy efficiency, so if going green is part of your DIY home renovation strategy, they will make excellent additions to virtually every room. Incandescent tungsten or halogen bulbs consume greater amounts of electricity and have shorter average lifespans than both fluorescent and LED light bulbs.