Supplement your lighting design with table lamps

Many homes aren't equipped for ceiling light fixtures, so it falls on a well-planned lamp lighting scheme to give the room the right ambience and the necessary amount of practical lighting. Fortunately, there are so many types of lamps available that you can light even the most complicated spaces, and there are so many styles that you won't even miss a ceiling fixture.

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Your basic lamp categories are floor lamps and table lamps. Among these, your style options are numerous, from elaborate ceramic and glass antique lamps, with floral patterns or scrollwork, to the most basic geometric glass modules that are a modern decor trend.

Floor Lamps or Table Lamps

Most people end up with a combination of floor lamps and table lamps, particularly in larger rooms like living rooms. Floor lamps are perfect for providing light behind sofas or the TV, since there is often no space for a table lamp. Many of these lamps are directional (such as up-lights) or have adjustable arcing poles so that you can get light exactly where you need it.

Table lamps (obviously) can only be placed in areas where there is a flat, easily accessible surface. Most commonly, table lamps are used on nightstands in the bedroom, but you can also use them in your living room on end tables or bookshelves.

Types of Lamp Lighting

Putting style aside, there are three basic types of light bulbs you can find in lamps (as well as in any other type of lighting). The first is incandescent, which is what we're most used to. These lights produce a yellowish glow that many people don't like, and unfortunately, they are not the most energy-efficient. For these two reasons, halogen lamps are becoming more popular. Halogen offers both a softer white light and greater energy efficiency.

The final lamp option is fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lights are the most energy-efficient of the three options, but they are often considered too harsh for accent lighting. This type is best saved for practical purposes, such as under-the-counter lighting.

Lamps as Accents

Even if you have adequate lighting from a chandelier or other lighting fixture, you can still use lamps as accents or as a more accommodating means of lighting. Reading lamps, for example, placed over a chair can make it possible for one family member to read while the others watch a movie uninterrupted by bright light. Desk lamps are another popular choice if your living room doubles as an office.

Whether you're using lamps out of necessity or by choice, think about how and where you'll need light so you can create the most effective lighting scheme.