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How to choose the right size Lampshade

How to choose the right size Lampshade

Table Lamps – Matching shade size with base size…

Choosing a lampshade is a fun part of the design process and the perfect opportunity to add ambiance and character to a room. There are many to titillate, particularly when visiting an independent lighting studio or browsing bespoke lampshades online so it’s worthwhile (and curiously satisfying) researching the options available to you.

Once you’ve selected the perfect lampshade it’s time to measure up so you can choose the right size shade for your base. If shades are too large or too small for the base than the whole piece will look disjointed, it’s essential to get the proportions right so your lamp isn’t dwarfed by a giant shade or unbalanced by a small one. If you’re still unsure, or your lamp is in between two sizes, than choose the larger of the two as proportionally it will sit better and distribute more light.


Start by measuring the lamp base itself and making a note of the width and height.


Now that you have your width and height we can consider the other measurements. The bottom of the new lampshade should be a similar width to the height of the lamp base. 


The height of the lampshade should be approximately two-thirds the height of the lamp base. 


The lampshade should also be wider than the widest part of the lamp base.




A few more rules of thumb

While it’s usually better to go for the larger shade – thin and tall lamps can often suit thin and tall shades. Trust your eye.

If your lampshade sits too low on the lamp base it will feel clunky so allow the bottom edge of the lampshade to fall midway on the neck of the lamp, generally around 2″/ 5cm below the lampholder.

If you’re going for a cohesive look than match the shape of your shade to the shape of your base, e.g – square with square – round with round.

Consider your lumens. Here at Shady and the Lamp we recommend using ‘warm white’ LED light bulbs only. Low lumens are essential when creating warmth and atmosphere so 2200 K to 2700 K bulbs are ideal.

Don’t be afraid to take your lamp with you when visiting stores and studios, it’s worth it to not have wasted trips. If you’re commissioning a design online than photographs and measurements are necessary.


So there’s our guide to choosing the best size lampshade for your lamp base, now go have some fun…


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