How to fit a lamp shade

Updated February 21, 2017

Lamps do not always come with a lamp shade. Even when they do, lampshades can easily rip, tear or break over time. Fitting a lamp shade to a lamp is a simple and easy process that can make finding that perfect lamp shade easier and stress free.

Measure the lamp height with the measuring tape. A lamp shade should be slightly less than half of the length of the lamp. Measure the lamp from the bottom to the top in inches to determine the ideal height of a lamp shade. A lamp that is 20 inches high would need a lamp shade that is about 8 to 12 inches in height.

Measure the base of the lamp with the measuring tape. For a lamp shade that complements and fits with the lamp, the bottom measurement of the lamp shade should be approximately the same size as the base of the lamp. The lamp shade should be no more than this measurement, though it can be slightly less if lamp shades are not available in the size of the base.

Measure the top of the lamp shade with the measuring tape. Though the base and height of the lamp shade are ideally based on the measurements of the lamp, the top of the lamp shade to the middle of the shade should be measured to the light bulb. The best lamp shades are those that leave a space of approximately 2 to 3 inches of circumference around the bulb. Measure the bulb across and then measure the top and middle of the shade. The measurements of the top should be a couple of inches larger.

Use a spider fitter for the lamp shade. Though it is possible to use other fitters, the spider fitter is the most common and easiest to use for any lamp. Most lamps are compatible with the fitter that has three sides with a circle in the middle for the bulb to go through.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Helen Jain has been writing online articles since December 2009 for various websites. She has studied English and psychology and hopes to get a Ph.D. in English in the future.