How To Choose Lampshade

By JulieLast update: 2024-07-11

To achieve the correct mood in any place, good lighting consists of layering various components. This applies to not just the sort of lights you use, but also how you choose lampshade to cover each piece. Finding the components that strike the correct balance isn't always easy, but the appropriate lamp and lampshade combo may convert a neglected corner into a cozy nook or a corridor into a work of art.

While it is possible to be fortunate and have the perfect lamp and lampshade appear to you as if by magic, more often than not, the search for the perfect shade is slightly more difficult. It must not be taken lightly either.

How To Choose Lampshade


What is generally regarded as the most aesthetically beautiful lamp and shade combination? that instructs us to consider the base's shape before looking for a color with a contour that resembles it. But ultimately, it is still a matter of personal opinion. For example, if you don't care as much about convention and formality, you may create an eclectic look by combining a geometric lamp with a curved lampshade. A coherent design is more pleasing to the eye, so keep that in mind if anything appears not to be right immediately.

A variety of lampshade shapes exist, each with a distinct personality (of sorts). Here's how to recognize the most common types and utilize them effectively.

Empire Shade

  • An empire shade would be a traditional 'frustum'-shaped shade, which is manufactured by cutting off the top of a cone and aligning the cut well with base.
  • Empire lampshades are designed such that further light is directed downward than upward.
  • Frequently used to enhance traditional decor or floor lamps.

Drum Shade

  • A drum shade has a cylinder design with side walls that are shaped like a drum, as you might anticipate.
  • Floor lamps, larger or rounder lamp foundations, and drum lampshades all offer a contemporary touch to a space.

Cone Shade

  • Cone shade has a small base and a tapering top.
  • They complement long and tall lights effectively because the sizes are similar.
  • Cone shaped shade is a fantastic option if you're trying to squeeze a lamp together into tiny location because of its thin dimensions.

Oval shade

  • Oval shades have the same appearance as drum shades but are longer.
  • Traditional plans work well for them.
  • Because of their diminutive size, they complement wall lighting and small nightstands well and are frequently used in restrooms, corridors, and window treatments.

Square Shade

  • Despite having a square foundation, square lamp shades get a similar design to empires.
  • Both conventional and contemporary dwellings can benefit from them.

Rectangular Shade

  • Rectangular shades that are rectangular have straight sides with some rounded edges.
  • They go well with thin lamps; modern or geometrical designs are appropriate.


When selecting a lampshade, size really does important, and there is a really helpful general guideline that all decorator will be familiar with. Your lampshade's base diameter and the lamp's height should match. Of course, this rule will occasionally be broken. For instance, a very narrow candlestick lamp will necessitate something smaller since otherwise, the proportion between the lamp or shade would be entirely different! Similar to this, if your lamp is really short and fat, you could require something that is much wider than it is tall.

Another usual principle stipulates that the lamp shade should have been twice as long as the lamp foundation. If you evaluate your entire lamp, such as the shade, the lamp portion of what you can see would make up two-thirds of the overall height, as well as the shade portion should make up the remaining third. Again, these ratios are a great place to start and will work most of the time, but if deviation is done carefully, it may be quite effective.


The majority of lampshades are either composed of fabric that has been spread over card, palm, or box-pleated, or of card that has been artistically hand-painted or neatly pleated. A folded fabric lampshade is just a work of art, particularly if it has been meticulously hand-gathered and is finished with a beautiful band at the top and bottom.

When selecting a shade material, the most crucial factors to consider include how the material interacts with the lamp's real light but what material the lampshade is lined with.

A warm-colored lining, for instance a card or a fabric with yellow or pink tones, will provide a warmer light, while a bluish green or silver inner surface will produce a colder light. Some manufacturers believe that a fabric shade with a liner will produce a more lovely light than one without. If the shade textile is purposefully translucent and glowy, like a sari silk that lets out a large amount of light, it may be left with no need for a liner, which is a break from the rule regarding lining textiles.

On the market, a growing number of natural materials with various properties are available. The reason alice goad-inspired card-backed wicker or cane shades are so popular is in addition because they emit a pleasing, evenly distributed honey-toned illumination, which is always a winner. More "gappy" natural materials, like wicker or unlined raffia, should be handled carefully because they can throw patterns mostly on the wall and let out rather large bands of light. They may possibly look their best in front of a dim, warmer bulb.

Additional tips to choose lampshade

We frequently overlook lamp shades because lamp bases and shades are frequently supplied together. Which is strange when you consider that the lampshade will invariably have an impact on the room just as much as the base. The size, form, as well as the color or design of a lamp shade can significantly enhance the design theme of your space. Therefore, if you're purchasing a new lampshade, be sure to select the appropriate one for the lamp or the space. Here are some additional things that you should think about.

The Light

What kind of lighting do you require, and where ought it be directed? Typically, light can pass through light shades but not dark ones. For adequate lighting when used as a reading lamp, the base of the lampshade should be

The Space

Consider the color and design of the space your lamp will be installed in before deciding whether users want it to stick out or fit in. In either case, they need to enhance one another.

The Bulb

To prevent burning, you must ensure the shade is large enough to leave a 2 to 3 inch distance between it and the light bulb. Ensure that the shade's top seems spacious enough to allow heat to escape.

The Foundation of the Lamp

Choose whether you want to highlight the foundation or the shade. Use a more muted lampshade if indeed the base is distinctive or daring. You could want to think about a shade with certain decorative decorations or color if the foundation is quite plain and simple.

The size

The challenging aspect is size. There are certain broad guidelines you can adhere to, however some lamps require shades of peculiar proportions.

  • Ensure that you measure the harpist before purchasing because the bottom of both the shades might barely cover the lamp switch. The height between the bottom of the socket and the top of a lampshade will be indicated by the harp. While shopping, you can experiment with various harp sizes.
  • Generally speaking, the shade's height needs to be roughly 3/4 that of the base.
  • The shade's bottom ought to be larger than just the base's broadest area.


Overall, these are merely suggestions; picking a lampshade seems straightforward enough. Sometimes, a lamp will require an out-of-scale shade or even one that is smaller than expected. Choose the right one based on two separate factors: the décor of the area and the lamp's base. Determine what would fit stunning in your space. Finding the ideal choice is much more crucial when the variety of lampshade styles, sizes, and materials are taken into account. Trust your eye; if something seems funny, don't buy it; if something appears good while violating the rule, embrace it.

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