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How to Select a Fabric Lamp Shade in Three Simple Steps November 05 2013, 1 Comment

In order to choose the correct shape and size fabric lamp shade for your lamp there are a few guidelines to follow. Outlined below are three simple steps that can help you select the correct shape and size fabric lamp shade for your lamp.

 

Step 1: Selecting the shape of the shade

Fabric shades come in many different shapes. When choosing the shape, the lamp shade should be similar to the shape of the lamp base. Also consider the location of the lamp as certain shapes allow the lamp to set closer to the wall or other furniture.

Common Fabric Shade and Lamp Base Shapes

* Round

 - Bell

 - Cylinder

* Square

* Oval

* Rectangular

* Hexagon

A lamp base with an Asian motif looks good when paired with a Pagoda style shade.

 

Step 2: Selecting the shade's bottom diameter

The best way to determine the bottom diameter of the shade for your table lamp is to measure the lamp height from the bottom edge of the table lamp base to the top of the lamp stem, (just below the socket cap).

The shade you choose for your lamp should have a bottom diameter that is within 2", plus or minus, the measured height of your lamp. For example if your lamp height (measured by the method noted above) is 14" tall, the shade you select (depending on your preference for a small, medium, or larger looking shade) should have a bottom diameter of 12", 13", 14", 15" or 16".

 

Step 3: Selecting the shade's overall height

The overall height of the shade is directly related to the height of the harp. As a general rule, the overall height of the shade should not exceed the height of the harp plus 1/ 2", and should not be smaller than the height of the harp minus 1/ 2".

For example, if your harp is 7" tall, the shade you select should have an overall height in the range of 7 1/ 2" to 6 1/ 2".

The shade height is important because you want adequate coverage of the bulb without covering the lamp base.

Note: Fringe and tassel should not be included in the measurement of the overall height of the shade.

 

 Blissy table lamp by Zaneen

 

Selecting a shade for a lamp with multiple sockets

Some table lamps have multiple sockets or "clusters." While a lamp with clusters will not have a harp or some other usual lamp hardware, determining the proper height of a shade is similar to a lamp with a harp. The height of the shade should not exceed the height of the cluster stem plus 1/ 2", and should not be smaller than the height of the cluster stem minus 1/ 2". To select the bottom diameter of the shade for your lamp, see step 2 above.

 

Safety Tip: Never allow a bulb to be within one inch of the shade material. Certain shapes, like the bell, could be too close to the bulbs in a cluster.

Selecting a shade for floor lamps with IES glass, harps, or cluster sockets

The bottom diameter of the floor lamp's shade is related to the diameter of the lamp base. To determine the size, measure the bottom diameter of the floor lamp base. A 10" floor lamp base should have an 18" bottom diameter shade. An 11" to 12" floor lamp base needs a 19" Jr to 20" Jr bottom diameter shade. A 13" or bigger floor lamp base will look good with a 20" to 22" bottom diameter shade. Finally, the overall height of the floor lamp shade you select should be within the range of 10" to 13".

Selecting a shade for floor lamps with UNO sockets and bridge arms

The main guideline is - floor lamps with UNO sockets require shades with UNO fitters. Most shades with UNO fitters are similar in size ranging from 10" to 13" bottom diameter. For the best fit, match the shape of the shade with the shape of the base or select a shade style you like best for your lamp.

Selecting a fabric shade for a chandelier and wall sconce

For chandelier and wall sconces having candle covered sockets, we suggest using miniature fabric shades with torpedo style fitters. You will also need to use torpedo style bulbs to fit the torpedo style fitters. Select a shade size based on the bottom diameter of the shade. The simplest way to determine the correct bottom diameter of the miniature shade is to measure the length of the candle cover. Candle covers usually come in standard lengths such as 2", 3", 4", 5", and 6". The length of the candle cover should approximate the bottom diameter of the shade you select. In other words, if you have a 4" length candle cover on your chandelier or wall sconce, you should select a 4" bottom diameter shade.

These guidelines and tips for specific lamps should help you determine the best fabric lamp shade for your lamp.

 

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