When choosing a lamp shade, the most important question you should ask is “what size lamp shade is best for my light?”. There are several factors you should take into account when buying a new lamp shade, as shape, size and style can all make a big difference on how your new lamp shade complements your existing lamp base or light fitting.
An excellent way to work out what size lamp shade will work best is to take some simple measurements, before you start considering the design and the color. This will make selecting your new shade much easier.
So - get your tape measures ready, and let’s get started!
Choosing a Shade for a Table Lamp
As a rule, a lamp shade should complement your light without taking away from the design of the lamp base, or the room. It's preferable to look for a shade that isn't a) too wide, b) too tall, or c) too short, as this will make the overall shape of your light look unbalanced.
Traditionally, the height of a lamp shade should be around half of the height of the lamp base. So, start by measuring your lamp base height, and then divide this measurement by two. For example, if your total lamp base height is 25 inches, then your shade should be around 12.5 inches high.
To determine the total diameter for your new lamp shade, measure across the light at the widest part (this is usually the very bottom of the base) and then multiply this measurement by two. For example, if the diameter of the widest part of your lamp base if 10 inches, then your lamp shade diameter should be 20 inches wide.
These necessary measurements will give you a good guide on what sort of size shade you need.
Of course, these are a guide, so if you want to divert from the traditional proportions for a lamp shade then you can go larger for additional impact and a more contemporary look. We wouldn’t advise buying a shade much smaller – this can bring the shade too close to the light fitting which makes it unsafe due to the heat emitted from the bulb.
Choosing a Shade for a Ceiling Light
What size lamp shade is needed for a ceiling light? If you’re shopping for a ceiling light fitting, then the most important factors that you should consider are the drop height, the overall size of the room, and where the ceiling light will be hung.
The most significant aspect for a ceiling shade is the drop length of the light - how much clearance will you need to allow underneath? Measure from the light fitting (where the bulb will be) and then add this to the drop height for your new lamp shade from the fitter. It is best to leave a reasonable clearance from the bottom of the pendant to the floor (around 7 or 8 feet) so that people can comfortably pass underneath the spot where your ceiling shade is hung.
If you are hanging a shade above a table or dining table, consider the total width of the table. A large dining table would be complemented by a similarly-sized large light pendant that is around a third or two-thirds of the entire width of the table. When shopping for a shade above a smaller table, think about proportions and ensure that the difference in size between shade and table isn’t too significant.
We hope that you have found this lamp shade size guide useful, but if you do have any questions about what size lamp shade would fit your light fitting or lamp, then please get in touch with us via the form here.