Oh, lampshades. They can take a perfectly fine, normal LED bulb and make it something fun, ambient, and unique, or they can take a cool-looking bulb and make it bland and standard. There are many types of lampshades and those types do very different things. Picking the perfect lampshade is an important—but often overlooked—decision for making your room lighting work.
The first thing you should decide is what kind of lampshade fitting you want. This will determine lampshade types because it decides how the lampshade is designed. The three main fitting types are spider, clip-on, and Uno.
Spider fittings are the three prongs that meet in the middle and sit on top of the bulb. Clip-ons clip to the bulb (which means you should only use them with low-wattage bulbs, for safety reasons). Uno fittings rest against the bulb socket and then use the bulb to hold themselves in place.
Spider fittings are your “basic” ones, while Uno fittings let the shade sit higher above the bulb. Clip-ons keep the shade extremely secure but risk damaging the bulb. Understand the pros and cons of each fitting type first, because picking one will let you narrow down the types of shades you can and want to use.
Picking Your Perfect Lampshade
With your fitting determined, you can really get into the weeds. Now, you get to decide what your lampshade should do and look like. Maybe you want a tall lampshade for floor lamp lighting, or you’re looking for lampshades for table lamps. Within these roles, you have many different decisions to make.
Do you want your lampshade to accentuate and amplify your lighting choices? Then maybe you want a thin lampshade that just keeps the bulb hidden but doesn’t dampen the light. Do you want a lampshade that makes your lighting fun and colorful? Look into funny lampshades or a statement lampshade.
Lampshades can take normal bulbs and make them into novelty lighting, or dampen down your lighting’s pop if you want or need something more subdued. Most importantly, lampshades are fun decisions that can really change a room’s aesthetic, so have fun!
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