The Parts of a Lamp Shade

Updated February 21, 2017

Lampshade parts include a spider, fitter and a harp and finial. These parts work together to affix the lampshade to the lamp base. The outside of a lampshade can be made of fabric, glass, metal or paper.


Lampshades sit on a lamp base or chandelier, diffusing the light that emits from the bulb.


If a lampshade is made of fabric or paper, the material is held in place by a metal frame. Glass or metal shades do not require this support.


The spider attaches to the inside top rim of the lamp shade and connects to the lamp base either with a harp and finial, a clip that slides directly over the light bulb, or an uno fitter, which screws onto threads on the lamp's socket.


A spider fitting requires the use of a harp, a U-shaped piece of metal with a screw on the top. This screw allows the harp to slide through the opening in the spider, and a finial is screwed onto the top, securing the lampshade in place.


Lampshades and lamp bases must have the same kind of fitter to work properly together.

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About the Author

Amy Swanton Mills is a writer and designer residing in Los Angeles. She has spent the past 10 years working in various aspects of the architecture, furniture and interior design industry. Her articles on furniture, design and green lifestyle issues regularly appear on and She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from UCLA.