Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finding the Right Size Shade to Fit Your Lamp

My post from yesterday reminded me how difficult it can be to find the right size lamp shade for a lamp when shopping online.  Since I do a large percentage of my shopping online I did some research to help me decide what size lamp shade would look best with my lamps.  I'm quite pleased with how my shade/base combination turned out so I'd like to share some tips I discovered to make your online shopping experience simpler.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a shade is that you are looking to achieve a balance between the size of your base and the size of your shade.  You don't want  the outcome to feel too top or bottom heavy.  These few measurements should help you achieve the right proportion:  

  • The height of the lamp shade on the slope (not the vertical height) should be roughly 2 - 3" shorter than the height of the lamp base itself.  Measure your lamp base from just below the socket to the bottom. 
  • For drum shades, the diameter of the bottom of the shade be 1 - 2" less than the height of the lamp base.  For cone or bell shaped shades, the diameter of the bottom of the shade should be about the same as the lamp base height. 
  • The bottom of the lamp shade should be wider than the widest point of the base. 
  • The bottom of the lamp shade should fall 2" below the socket assembly.  This will hide the socket from view but still allow for easy access to the switch.     
I apologize for the rather lame graphic. I had only Microsoft Paint to work with at the time.

Photo Credits: All lamp shades pictured can be found at


  1. Love! Love! Love! That drum lamp shade!!!! Bellissima

  2. I can really appreciate these tips, thanks for sharing them Michelle!