What Is the Right Height of a Lamp Shade on a Table Lamp?

Written by amy swanton mills
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What Is the Right Height of a Lamp Shade on a Table Lamp?
A lamp shade should cover the socket when viewing it at eye-level. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Vassil Tzvetanov)

Choosing the right height shade for your lamp involves evaluating the proportions of the shade and base together.

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Your shade should always cover the socket of the lamp when looking at the lamp at eye-level.


Measuring the lamp from the base to the bottom of the socket will give you approximate dimensions for the lampshade's overall height.


Adjusting where the lampshade sits on the base is easy to do by changing the height of the harp. The harp is the u-shaped metal piece that attaches the shade to the base. These can be purchased at most lighting or hardware stores.


Bring your lamp base with you when shopping for a shade. Trying on different sizes and shapes of shades is the best way to find the right height and proportion for your table lamp.


Some lamp styles require shades that are much shorter than the base to socket ratio described above. One example of this is buffet lamps, which usually have a much taller base than shade.

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