4 Tips For Buying a Floor Lamp

A floor lamp isn’t just another way to light a space, it’s a sculptural element that can add personality and support your design aesthetic. But there are so many different styles to choose from that it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you and your home.

Aside from color, style and material, consider what you need the lamp to do. If you have a large family room, you might need one that can double as a table or console so you can place a drink, remote control and other items on it. Or if you’re looking for a reading lamp to illuminate your favorite nook, find one with a flexible arm or other adjustable features that let you direct the light precisely where you need it.

In general, floor lamps can provide three layers of lighting: ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination and usually reflects light sideways or upwards. Task lighting focuses a “hot spot” of light for specific tasks such as reading or crafting, and tends to project down and toward the floor. Accent lighting, on the other hand, creates a more dramatic effect and can draw attention to a particular item or focal point in a room.

As you shop for your new floor lamp, keep the following considerations in mind to make the best choice:

If you want a versatile light that will work with traditional and modern decor styles, look for a floor lamp that’s finished with subtle details such as a cotton braided cord or a bone-china shade, suggests interior designer Glenn Ban of East Hampton, N.Y. The lamp pictured above fits the bill with its rounded silhouette, carved wood base and a mix of natural materials. It also happens to be a great pick for those on a budget, as it’s less than $500 and compatible with most smart-home systems.

For a minimalistic style, opt for a sleek model that blends into tight spaces and can be used as an accent in smaller rooms. The article Beacon floor lamp is available in two finishes—brushed brass or gunmetal gray and comes fully assembled. It’s a great option for a reading nook, home office or anywhere you need a quick and easy way to adjust the angle of the light.

For a more statement-making piece that can easily be the center of attention, go for a lamp with a bold silhouette such as this from EQ3. The matte-anodized aluminum shade doesn’t look like lighting at first glance, and the gold brushed metal works well in both contemporary and transitional interiors. It can be a little hard to maneuver and assembly isn’t a breeze, but it’s affordable and compatible with most smart-home systems. Plus, it’s not too tall for most people to reach and use comfortably. It’s the type of piece that you can see yourself reaching for day after day.