Floor lamps are a practical lighting source that can be used in almost any room of your home. Not only are these lamps functional, they also influence the mood of the room as a whole. Sometimes even the lightbulb you select can make a big difference on the effect of the floor lamp in the room.
Because of their height, floor lamps can definitely be an attention grabbing item, so you’ll want to pay attention to the material used for the base and the lampshade. All in all, these lamps are a smart lighting choice that can be assembled quickly.
This quick guide is designed to help you understand all the different floor lamp options available, and eventually select the right floor lamp for your lighting needs!
Floor Lamp Lighting
Let’s go over the different types of lighting so you can be clear on your needs before shopping for a floor lamp. Here’s a quick overview:
- Ambient – Ambient lighting diffuses light evenly through its vicinity
- Task – Task lighting directs light to a specific area like a reading chair or a desk
- Uplight – Uplight lighting directs light upwards, which is then evenly and softly reflected downwards from the ceiling
Where to Put a Floor Lamp
You can put a floor lamp in a variety of places, which is what makes these lighting fixtures so great! The most common places to put a floor lamp include: next to an accent chair, in the corner of a bedroom near a dresser, and next to a console table.
Types of Floor Lamps
Floor lamps are primarily composed of a base and a lamp shade. Accessories like an electrical wire and a lightbulb are necessary for the lamp to function. Here’s an overview of the different types of floor lamps available in terms of design. Some lamps will offer shelves mid-way around the column, and others will offer adjustable height columns.
1. Club Floor Lamp
The club lamp is the most basic design you can find for this style lamp. Featuring a solid base and a simple lamp shade around a lightbulb, it’s easy to find this type of lamp in a variety of styles and designs to fit your home decor!
2. Swing Arm Floor Lamp
The swing arm floor lamp is comprised of a column base and a lamp shade, just like the club lamp. However, a small adjustment is made to the upper part of the column base that allows this lamp to “swing” left or right as needed. The horizontal movement of this lamp makes it great to use above an accent chair or desk so you can direct light where it is needed!
The torchiere lamp is another popular lamp design that can be easily found. It comes from the French word for “torch,” the old way of lighting a room before electricity! This lamp can be spotted by its straight base and triangular shade that directs light upwards. The design is simple and functional. Torchières offer general, ambient light that is further diffused throughout the space if you have white ceilings.
4. Tripod Floor Lamp
A tripod floor lamp has a different base typically composed of three columns that work together to hold the lamp shade and bulb upright. It’s a slightly modified version of a standard single-column floor lamp design that can add a touch of character to your space.
5. Six-way Floor Lamp
The six-way floor lamps offers multiple lightbulb sources under one lamp shade. It’s the perfect choice if you’re lighting a large room and need all the extra light you can get! This type of lamp is also sometimes called a candelabra lamp, as it looks like a traditional candelabra that held candles. Pretty interesting that our modern day floor lamps are actually influenced by old-school ways of lighting before electricity, right?
6. Tower Floor Lamp
The tower floor lamp is designed in a different way. It is generally composed of a singular width column “tower.” If the shade spans the entire height of the lamp, then multiple light bulbs will diffuse light up and down the column. Other times, instead of a full-length lampshade, shelves are installed at different heights of the lamp for storage. You can find these in a variety of styles and some can look like abstract sculptures when not illuminated!
7. Down Bridge Floor Lamp
The down bridge floor lamp is a type of task light stands upright, but at the very top, it’s base begins to curve, dropping the lampshade a bit lower than the height of the lamp. This type of light is great for placing next to an accent chair or desk, as it directs the light to a lower level than normal.
8. Pharmacy Floor Lamp
The pharmacy floor lamp is similar to the down bridge in that it directs light downwards like a task lamp, however it tends to be much more adjustable both vertically and horizontally. You can typically raise and lower them as needed, and also swing the head back and forth to where you would like it.
9. Arc Floor Lamp
A staple of mid-century modern lighting design, the arc floor lamp is a beautiful type of floor lamp that is making a comeback in contemporary interior design. This lamp is recognizable by its long, arching body that holds a lightbulb and shade at the end, typically above a sofa. Admittedly, you need a good amount of space for this lamp, as it would look silly in a small living room! Most arc floor lamps come with heavy bases to ensure the arch can be held without falling.
This type of lamp will definitely make a dramatic statement in your home. Lately, I have seen this type of lamp recommended for the dining room, of all places. Personally, I know if I walked into a dining room with this lamp installed, I would be TERRIFIED of knocking it over somehow onto everyone, so I would not make this design decision myself!
10. Tree Floor Lamp
The tree floor lamp offers 3 or more light bulbs and miniature shades that can sometimes be adjusted to have light directed in multiple places.
Sarah Sherman Samuel Mandy Moore
Floor Lamp Styles
Now that you understand the main types of floor lamps, let’s take a look at the different styles available that can match your home decor! The base material used to construct a floor lamp will influence its overall style. You can find lamps made of wood, metal, stone, marble, paper, and ceramic. Here are a few styles we particularly enjoy: