Few types of lighting offer the variety and versatility of floor lamps. Fit them in any corner of the room to create eye catching appeal. Place them beside a sofa or chair to provide task lighting or to simply accent the decor. Add glamour in a hallway entrance or overall illumination in the family room. Unlike track, recessed, and pendant lights, floor lamps are portable. They are convenient, and easy to position anywhere. You simply move them where needed and plug them in. There are hundreds of styles of floor lamps from which to choose and a price range to suit any budget. Styles run from traditional to contemporary, from plain to elegant, from muted tones to colorful, from brass to chrome. In short, floor lamps offer a simple yet elegant means to fill in lighting gaps sometimes left by even the most flexible track lighting or cable lighting system.
Basic floor lamp design
All of the different styles of floor lamps are essentially based on one of three different designs. Each design enhances different lighting functions.
Single light design
This is the traditional floor lamp with a single light at the top of the pole. It may have a cloth shade or a Tiffany glass shade to direct the main light down. It may be the torchiere design which is an inverted glass bowl or cone shaped shade to direct the light up. Depending upon the type of shade, this lamp design can provide either task or accent lighting.
Multi light design – along the pole
This design features multiple lights, typically two or three, attached along the lamp neck. These lights can be individually adjusted for light beam direction. This makes a single multifunctional floor lamp. Placed between two chairs, it can provide reading light for each one and wall accent illumination at the same time. This floor lamp is great for an area of limited size but larger light demand, like a dorm room.
Multi light design – at the top of the pole
This design features multiple lights, perhaps as many as five or six, extending upward and fanning out from the top of the lamp neck. Typically the lights have either inverted shades or small globes covering them. This makes excellent accent lighting. The type of illumination it provides and the very style of the fixture can really add a “wow” factor to any décor. The task lighting is not as effective as the other designs. The accent light is terrific, however, and it provides somewhat better general lighting in the immediate area.
Variety of uses
Floor lamps are as flexible in their uses as in their styles. They can add design balance to a room; if tall pieces are used in one section of a room, floor lamps can provide balance on the other side. They can separate one area of a room by creating their own island of light for reading or relaxing. Used in combination with track, recessed, and pendant lighting, floor lamps provide a very nice layer of accent lighting. The most unique feature of floor lamps is their portability. If you want to redecorate a room’s lights for a party or need extra lighting next to a chair or a craft table, simply move the floor lamp to where it’s needed and plug it in. Another great advantage – no installation. Just plug it in and turn it on.
Many floor lamps are sold alone, without shades. This gives you extra design freedom; match the shade and lamp to your own taste and style.
Also available in floor lamps is the counter balance or swing arm design. Depending upon your need, this can add flexibility to your lighting.
A word here about bulbs may be helpful. Choose the bulb that best suits your needs. Among choices are halogen, full spectrum, and incandescent. Halogen and full spectrum provide good crisp light with excellent color rendition. Incandescent bulbs, however, are available in 3-way light levels. Whatever bulbs you choose, make certain it fits your lighting needs.
Floor lamps are practical yet stylish, functional yet flexible. When you consider additional lighting, start from the floor up.