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

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

*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.

 

Separation Between Bulb and Shade:

2 inches

3 inches

4 inches

5 inches

6 inches

Maximum Wattage:

25 watts

75 watts

125 watts

175 watts

225 watts

 

 

 

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.

 

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.