23 Types of Lamps to Really Spruce Up Your Home Decor
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
The various types of lamps are a crucial part of the modern household decor, and putting a suitable lamp in the right corner can enhance the aesthetics of your room.
While there are different types of lamps available on the market, you need to focus on what suits your house better. Rather than going for the most expensive one, you should go for the most suitable one.
That being said, a perfect lamp for you should have multiple features and provide just the right amount of light you need. It's not easy to pick the right type of lamp for you, but we made it easy. Give this article a brief read, and you'll know more about them.
23 Types of Lamps
We have meticulously put together some of the most common and popular lamps for you to choose from. Time for us to introduce them to you.
The standard lamp is so versatile and common that it's hard to even say much about it. They come in every style of decor from every era and decade. The one thing about them is they always feature the same core design.
This design is that of a rounded or cylindrical body, whether thick or thin, and a cone or cylinder shaped lampshade. Most feature a harp that surrounds and protects the bulb while bringing stability to the shade riser, finial, and ultimately the shade itself.
Similar to a standard lamp in size and functionality, many desk lamps perform the same task which is to light up an area versus an entire room. But the main difference is these are used specifically to light up a desk top.
Some of these are sleeker and feature boom arms, adjustable and flexible necks, and may have LED bulbs or other modern gadgetry attached. Some will feature power outlets, USB hubs, and even wireless charging stations.
Some will even clip to the side of your desk. These are fun for youngsters to have clipped to their headboards so they can read at night.
There's not much to say about bedside lamps other than they're simply standard lamps meant to be placed on your bedside table. These types of lamps usually have a less intricate design and a regular round base so that the risk of knocking them over while groggy is lower.
They're often bottom-heavy so there's a lower center of gravity to help from knocking them over. Also, many will have a pull chain instead of a turning knob to further make it easy to use and prevent accidents.
As the name suggests, buffet lamps are specialized for aesthetic buffet tables. These are slender, tall lamps with a height starting from 32 inches.
Often called the 'taller version of a table lamp,' this is a unique lamp that illuminates the essence of a dinner party.
Originally designed to direct light towards the buffet table only, these tall kinds of lamps can be a compelling choice for other rooms.
The slender shape means it won't take up much space, and the tall shade ensures your hands and food containers won't be anywhere near the lamp while eating. It's also an excellent choice to use on office desks.
The problem with buffet lamps is that it only focuses on a specific area and can't illuminate the whole room but only that area.
No matter how powerful the lights are, buffet lamps can't illuminate larger areas in most cases. Keep this in mind if you prefer a buffet lamp.
It's a common phenomenon that you feel a lack of proper lighting in different corners of your bedroom.
Tripod lamps can be of great help on this regard - it enhances the lighting in bedrooms and living rooms. A tripod lamp is beneficial because it has a very sturdy and stable base which, in turn, helps provide steady illumination.
Perhaps the best part about tripod lamps is the solid three-legged base. It's usually well-polished and shiny - so the whole thing adds a different architectural look to your room.
But looks aren't everything here because a tripod types of lamps can illuminate the entire room if you want it.
The drawback to this lamp is that it takes up a lot of space because of the three legs, unlike the previous type. The base is much larger, so if your room is already filled with a lot of furniture, it would be difficult for you to fit in a tripod lamp.
Arc lamps are arc-shaped lamps with slender bodies, long arms, and a bent shade that holds onto the light.
They're a good option for corners of your room, and they look better if the light arches over a sofa, table, or chairs. Because of its slender shape, it takes up a tiny amount of space.
The bending arch ensures that the user will get functional task lighting. It means even though it can't fully illuminate the whole area, it sure can provide ample light on the site it covers.
It is one of the most popular kinds of lamps available in the world, so that you can find different patterns and designs of arc lamps.
For decoration purposes, arc lamp types excels in creating the vibe. However, since it has such a lean build and low weight placement - it doesn't have enough balance or sturdiness to protect itself from getting knocked over easily.
If you choose to buy these styles of lamps, we'd recommend you to keep it in a safer corner.
Swing Arm Lamp
This is where technology meets aesthetics. Swing Arm lamps are a new addition to the fusion-based room decor style, and it comes with a functional, adjustable arm.
This swing arm comes in different sizes and shapes and fits in office desks, floors, and tables. You can use the arm to change the focus of the light and other customizable things.
This type of lamp specializes in adjustability. It's very versatile and allows the user to target the lighting in the places they need the most. The concentrated light will ensure that wherever you focus, you get proper lighting.
However, this concentrated light can be an issue if you're looking to illuminate, say, a whole room.
It's not cut out for that, so try to use it to illuminate relatively smaller areas like your reading table or office desk. If you're looking to add them to your living space… we'd suggest not to.
Boom Arm Lamp
The boom arm lamp is a modern lamp featuring straight lines but still has rounded surfaces, giving off a contemporary feel but harkening back to the retro days of the 80's.
It has a swinging arm like the types of lamps mentioned above, but can get unstable if they don't feature either a very heavy and wide base or a counterweight on the opposite side of the boom.
These are very attractive to youngsters who will want to play with them, knock them over, and just be an annoyance. And that's because these lamps are very cool and fun to maneuver.
You've probably heard of these, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a renowned stained glass artist. The Tiffany lamp therefore is one in which the shade is made from stained glass and can emit, with a bright enough bulb, interesting colors throughout the room.
Louis Comfort Tiffany's influence from 1895 and forward was so great that any lamp shade made from stained glass, whether made by him or his relatives or not, will be called a Tiffany lamp. That's how it became one of the official types of lamps.
Setting these next to table top types of clocks or a cuckoo clock on the wall can really set off the old English style of decor just right.
Torchiere Floor Lamp
This is as classic as you can get. Having Torchiere types of floor lamps in your living room will surely bring you back to the medieval ages.
These are lamps with a tall body and upward-facing shades, and they'll provide good luminescence to your room. The lamps come in a variety of styles, including the stained-glass and 'Tiffany-style' one.
These same floor lamp types can provide you much more lighting than your average floor lantern. The upwards shade helps the light to bounce off the walls and illuminate the whole room.
You can add dimmers and buy an extra pair of torchiere shades to match the lamp with different ambiances.
Even though it can illuminate an entire space, the problem remains with the balance of these lamp styles.
It's not the sturdiest lamps out there, and with a glass-shaded Tiffany-style torchiere - things can get somewhat risky if it falls. We'd suggest you find a torchiere with a solid and balanced base.
When we say table lamp, we don't mean a standard lamp being used atop a table like a desk lamp. We're specifically talking about floor lamps that are built into a side table or end table.
The pipe that houses the cord will run up to the bulb and socket knob as usual, but it will also then run down into the table itself, usually through the center of the wood or glass, where the cable is then routed through a table leg.
This is a great space-saving design that also brings stability to the lamp, making it so there's one less thing for your pets or kids to knock over. These types of lamps are going to be found in every home, probably including yours already.
Now, this is truly a very unique lamp, sometimes called a banker lamp. It's not entirely for room decor; instead, it is for illuminating organ keys and sheet music of electric keyboards or a piano.
In general, they are designed in such a way that the lamp's light won't affect the eyes of the performer. It's available in tons of different designs, sizes, and shapes. These styles of lamps are surprisingly versatile for all being similar.
In general, these piano lamps have a slender build, a horizontal types of light bulbs, and a bent hood to focus the light on the keys. Since it has a minimal shape, it often comes with a swing arm to help navigate the focus of the light.
Even though they're specialized for keyboards and pianos - you can easily use these kinds of lamps as a desk/reading lamp. So, if you're just looking to illuminate smaller surfaces like a table - you can pick this one even if you don't own a piano!
Sometimes called country lamps, these are simply standard lamps that are designed in the tradition of the country and cottage lifestyles. They'll use muted colors, have a base that appears to have been designed on a woodworking lathe, and have shades of a similar style.
Typically they'll be made of wood, though sometimes you can find them in stone. The lamp shades will often have borders with floral designs but otherwise will use the same muted colors as the base.
The name says it all; it's a unique lamp that has a body shaped liked a goose's neck. There are two basic designs of it - one has a flexible and adjustable neck, and the other has a traditionally curved but fixed metal neck.
Be it table lamps or floor types of lamps - you can find gooseneck versions in all of them.
It is a very versatile lamp with flexible curves, so you can easily target which spot you want to illuminate. Again, it's not a very powerful lamp, so it can't lighten up the whole room. But it's an excellent option for desks or reading tables.
The sturdiness and balance can be an issue with gooseneck lamps too. They don't have a robust build, so there's a high chance that it will break if someone knocks it over.
While it can't be the primary light source - it can sure be your personal light source in a small space.
Mid-Century Modern Lamp
Another sub-type of the standard styles of lamps, this style encompasses the decor philosophies of the 1950's or so, which became popular again in the 2000's.
It usually involves ceramics, spherical shapes, bulbous bases and lamp shades, natural materials in the construction, and so forth. It's hard to define but easy to recognize.
Also called Mission lamp types, these are your typical standard lamps but the bases are often of dark wood colors like walnut and appear like they'd be made by and for a craftsman who is skilled with his hands.
The big giveaway that you're looking at a craftsman lamp is the shade. These lamp shades will by thinner at the top and wider at the bottom, resembling a pyramid shape.
They're often made of a firm material like stained glass or very thick paper and are of a dark color to not emit too much glow out into the room, but push it down onto the work surface. Match it with the right types of candles and you'll create the perfect old school atmosphere.
An industrial lamp is categorized as such because it resembles what we call these days the 'steampunk' design style. It features iron pipes, decorative gauges, and exposed bulbs, perhaps protect from bumping by a cage, but certainly no lamp shade.
We finish the list with one of the most popular and common types of lamps. Tree lights are pretty standard in almost all artistic houses.
It actually looks like a tree in many designs, with different branches targeting different directions in a room. Generally, it's a central stand with multiple branches of light moving off in various directions.
If you prefer ambient or directional lighting, these adjustable branches will help you achieve that. They can be either gooseneck or adjustable, so it depends on your choice.
These days, there are tree lamp styles that give you the opportunity to turn on just one single branch, and not the whole light!
Even though this lamp might prove to be a bit bulky and you won't find them in a small size - it's still a handy lamp that can illuminate your room quite easily. Again, it depends on what its position is and how you're utilizing it.
A column lamp is a floor lamp type that looks a lot like a tower or column rising up from the ground. These different types of lamps are usually rectangular but can be round.
Many will feature several types of shelves on them for you to place trinkets and other decorative items. Some remain rectangular to the top while others culminate in a more typical bulb and shade style.
The candelabra floor lamp may seem like a standard lamp until you turn it on. You'll find the standard base, pipe arm, and shade may seem regular, but inside you'll find several bulbs much like a candelabra or chandelier.
Instead of candles in your cadelabra, use these as the perfect candle alternatives which are much safer.
Most of the time you can tell these apart because the lamp shade will be sheer so you can see the multiple bulbs and the shade may have pendants dangling or be made of threaded crystals to reflect the light in every direction.
If you see a curvaceous and shiny lamp body that seems like it could only have been made in the present, that's probably true and you're likely looking at contemporary lamp styles.
The shades don't define it, but the body does. They're often shiny, polished, glossy, and made of metal or colorful ceramics. Some of these even have wall types of light switches instead of pull cords or turn knobs.
These are fun devices for kids, often called motion lamps. They gained popularity in the 60's and 70's when people were apt to stare at unimportant things for hours on end, if you catch my drift.
These lamps are constructed of a glass bottle that contains a thick liquid that is usually colored red or blue or any other color of your fancy. Then, within the glass is wax that is heated by the light bulb which is positioned at the bottom of the lamp.
The wax is heated and melted and flows around the liquid as a big blob that changes shapes. The lamp can give off enough light to emit a glow, but not enough to be functional as a lamp, per say.
These lamp types are kind of out there and not really meant to illuminate a space, though they can do an okay job of it. The idea of a salt lamp is that the heat helps emit ions that help purify the air of the room. We include it only for the sake of completion!
Types of Lamps for Every Need & Decor
As interior design trends are changing day by day, it isn't easy to catch up to the newer trends and act accordingly.
That being said, you don't have to be trendy always - sometimes a classic, old-fashioned lamp does the trick. We hope our list of the kinds of lamps was of help to you.
At the end of the day, it's all about what you want from the lights, where you want to place them, and what purpose they should serve. Once you've settled that, all that's left for you to do is read our article again and choose the best types of lamps for you!