What Size Lampshade You Need for Your DIY Lighting Project - I Like That Lamp

How to Measure Your Lamp to Find the Perfect-Sized Lampshade

 

So you want a shiny, new lampshade for your lamp but have no idea what size of lampshade you need? You’re in the right place. A lampshade with the wrong height or diameter will throw out the proportions of your lamp and detract from the overall look of your lamp. Getting the proportions right will help 'pull together' the overall lamp. When measuring, there are two measurements to consider: diameter and lampshade height.

 

STEP 1: Choosing Your Lampshade's Height

Measure your lamp base from the bottom of the base to the top, where the electrical socket attaches to the base.

 

For table lamps, the height should be approximately 60% and 80% of the height of the lamp base. For example, a table lamp base that’s 20 inches high should have a lampshade between 12 and 16 inches in height.

 

 

For floor lamps, the height of the shade should be between 30% and 50% of the height of the lamp base. For example, a floor lamp base that’s 60 inches high should have a lampshade between 18 and 30 inches in height.

 

 

*If the lamp already has a harp and you’re satisfied with its height, simply measure the harp from its top to the base of the electrical socket. This measurement will be your required lampshade height.

 

STEP 2: Choosing Your Lampshade’s Diameter (Width)

Your lampshade should be at least 2x wider than the widest part of the base. Calculate this by measuring the widest part of your lamp base and multiplying it by two.

Note: If your lampshade is tapered, the bottom of the shade follows this criteria.

In addition, the diameter of the shade (or bottom of the shade, if it’s tapered) should not be greater than the height of the lamp body, i.e. from the bottom of the lamp base to the bottom of the electrical socket.

 

Ready to make a custom lampshade?

We sell styrene, lampshade rings, lamp harps and lampshade glue - everything you need to make a custom lampshade.

 

When to Break the Rules

Sometimes breaking the rules makes for a more surprising and interesting lamp! Once you know the proportional measurement guidelines, feel free to play around a bit. Here are some examples of lampshades that don’t follow the lampshade sizing guidelines, and look great anyway!

 

 

A Few More Considerations

1. Your fixture type. If your lamp already has a harp, but you’ve determined that it’s the wrong size, you can always replace it with a harp that will fit your measurements. We have a collection of lamp harps available in our store that might work better with your lamp and lampshade.

2. The style of your lamp base. A busy lamp base generally calls for a more simple shade. If your lamp base has some extra flare, try pairing it with a minimalist drum lampshade. These round, cylindrical shades are the simplest style of lampshade and have the most modern look.

3. Your bulb wattage needs. The lampshade diameter (not the lamp body) determines the maximum wattage allowed.

We recommend having at least 2 inches of separation between your light bulb and your lampshade. The more separation, the higher the bulb wattage you can go with.

 

 

Make a One-Of-A-Kind Lampshade Today!

Head over to our store to pick out your styrene, lampshade rings and lampshade glue, or find more tips and tricks on how to make custom lamps and lampshades on our blog.

 

WHAT SIZE OF LAMPSHADE DO YOU NEED?

 

So you want a shiny, new lampshade for your lamp but you have no idea what size of lampshade you need... does that sound about right? Then you’re in the right place. A lampshade with the wrong height or diameter will throw out the proportions of your lamp and detract from the overall look. Getting the proportions right will help 'pull together' the look of your lamp. When measuring, there are two measurements to consider: diameter and lampshade height. Keep reading to find out how to measure your lamp to find the right size of lampshade.





Estimated Project Time

5 Minutes




Table Lampshade Sizing


Using a measuring tape or a ruler, measure your lamp from the bottom of the base to the point where the electrical socket attaches to the base. Next, measure the widest part of your lamp base. Write down these numbers so you don't forget them later on.

The height of your lampshade should be between 60% and 80% of the height of your lamp base. Multiply the height of your lamp by 60% and 80%. This will determine the range of height that your lampshade should fall in. For example, a table lamp base that’s 20 inches high should have a lampshade between 12 and 16 inches in height.

The width of your lampshade should be at least 2x wider than the widest part of your lamp's base. Calculate the optimal width by multiplying the measurement of your lamp bases's widest part by 2. For example, a table lamp with a base of 5 inches should have a lampshade that's at least 10 inches in diameter. Note: If your lampshade is tapered, the bottom of the shade follows this criteria. The diameter of your lampshade (or bottom of the shade, if it’s tapered) should not be greater than the height of your lamp.


Floor Lampshade Sizing


Using a measuring tape or a ruler, measure your lamp from the bottom of the base to the point where the electrical socket attaches to the base. Next, measure the widest part of your lamp base. Write down these numbers so you don't forget them later on.

The height of your lampshade should be between 30% and 50% of the height of your floor lamp's base. Multiply the height of your lamp by 30% and 50%. This will determine the range of height that your lampshade should fall in. For example, a floor lamp base that’s 60 inches high should have a lampshade between 18 and 30 inches in height.

The width of your lampshade should be at least 2x wider than the widest part of your lamp's base. Calculate the optimal width by multiplying the measurement of your lamp bases's widest part by 2. For example, a floor lamp with a base of 8 inches wide should have a lampshade that's at least 16 inches in diameter. Note: If your lampshade is tapered, the bottom of the shade follows this criteria. The diameter of your lampshade (or bottom of the shade, if it’s tapered) should not be greater than the height of your lamp.

 


When to Break The Rules

Sometimes breaking the rules makes for a more surprising and interesting lamp! Once you know the proportional measurement guidelines, feel free to play around a bit. Here are some examples of lampshades that don’t follow the lampshade sizing guidelines, and look great anyway!



Other Considerations

 

1. Your fixture type. If your lamp already has a harp, but you’ve determined that it’s the wrong size, you can always replace it with a harp that will fit your measurements. We have a collection of lamp harps available in our store that might work better with your lamp and lampshade.

2. The style of your lamp base. A busy lamp base generally calls for a more simple shade. If your lamp base has some extra flare, try pairing it with a minimalist drum lampshade. These round, cylindrical shades are the simplest style of lampshade and have the most modern look. Visit this tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to make a DIY drum lampshade.

3. Your bulb wattage needs. The lampshade diameter (not the lamp body) determines the maximum wattage allowed.

We recommend having at least 2 inches of separation between your light bulb and your lampshade. The more separation, the higher the bulb wattage you can go with.

4. The lampshade ring fitter.  Most lamps in the United States use either a Spider/Washer Fitter or a Euro Style Fitter. Spider/Washer fitter lampshade rings are for lamps that have harps, while Euro fitter rings are used for lamps with caps that thread over top of the socket. Most IKEA lamps require lampshades with Euro fitter rings.