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Lampshades Buying Guide

While their main purpose is to diffuse light, lampshades are also essential as the final flourish to add style to table and floor lamps as well as chandeliers and pendants. Use this guide to best match lamp bases with lampshades.

Types of Lampshades

Types of Lampshades

Lampshades come in countless shapes and sizes that are able to fit on the tiniest of lamps and the largest of pendant fixtures. Think carefully about how a lampshade—hard or soft, drum or oval, floor, empire, hexagonal, coolie, bell, or hybrid—will accentuate the style of your lamp as well as the surrounding decor of a room. Here’s an introduction to lampshade types and differences.

Hard Vs. Soft

In addition to shape, the biggest distinction in lampshades is in structure. Hard lampshades have a hard plastic liner covered by a glued-on material, typically fabric or laminate. Soft shades usually have a solid-color liner with a more decorative outer shell—typically made of fabric—attached with either thread or tape.

shop Hard Vs. Soft
AFX Inc
$162.69 $287.10
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce-Transitional style Hard backed linen shade double torch Satin nickel finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electronic ballas...t.SKU #: MNS218SNECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 12.5 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.95 lbsUPC: 03794932784 4 read more

AFX Inc
$132.77 $234.30
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce- Transitional style Hard backed linen shade with single torch Oil-rubbed bronze finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electr...onic ballast.SKU #: MNS118RBECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 7.50 x 4.0 inWeight: 2.0 lbsUPC: 03794932688 5 read more

AFX Inc
$364.65 $643.50
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling with a white linen acrylic shade, white acrylic bottom diffuser, 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHC224...0SNMVT-LACertification: ULMax Wattage: 2240Uses:(1) 22 Watt & (1) 40 Watt C2C T5 Lamp (Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 6.0 x 22.0 x 22.0 inWeight: 8.45 lbsUPC: 03794936142 8 read more

AFX Inc
$147.73 $260.70
at DW Lighting Direct

Square linen fabric shaded pendant is an 8" square and includes an 8 foot adjustable cord with a twist lock strain relief for easy... adjustment. The lay-in white bottom diffuser simplifies lamp replacement. Canopy mounts to a standard junction box (not included).SKU #: BKP118SNSCT-CRCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt GU24 self ballast Lamp (Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 10.0 x 8.0 x 8.0 inCord/ Stem Length: 96.0 inWeight: 4.2 lbsUPC: 03794937859 4Made in USA read more

Drum, Cylinder, or Oval

Drum or oval shades are often used to cover pendant lights, although miniature drum, cylinder, or oval lampshades may be found on chandeliers as well. They are the same width from top to bottom. Their clean lines work well in contemporary or transitional decorating schemes.

shop Drum, Cylinder, or Oval
Color Plus

This apothecary-style African Violet designer color glass table lamp features a stylish off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon... trim on the top and bottom. Infuse your decor with brilliant color and style with a beautiful apothecary style Color + Plus glass table lamp. This designer African Violet lamp is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our California workshops. It stands on a lucite base, and is topped with a stylish off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon trim on the top and bottom. Lamp base U.S. Patent # 8,899,798. read more

Lamps Plus

A large and feminine pink drum shade with a spider fitter. This sleek drum shade features a round body for a look that is clean an...d contemporary. The exterior is wrapped in a soft pink fabric, and the spider fitter allows you to easily add to any table or floor lamp. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. read more

Lamps Plus
$179.94 $199.98
at Lamps Plus

With its black shade, this gold leaf crystal spray console lamp has a cosmopolitan sophistication. Dripping from within a stylish ...black drum shade are gorgeous strands of crystals that highlight this vintage-style console lamp. The candlestick style base is coated in a gold leaf finish and is held upright by a staircasing square foot. The design stands tall, and is sure to command attention from anywhere in the room. read more

Lamps Plus

A large and sleek white drum shade with a spider fitter. This simple drum shade features a round body for a look that is clean and... contemporary. The exterior is wrapped in a crisp white fabric, and the spider fitter allows you to easily add to any table or floor lamp. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. read more

Floor-lamp, Empire, or Coolie

Floor-lamp, empire, or coolie lampshades widen at the bottom of the shade. The amount of flair varies; floor-lamp shades typically most closely resemble drum shades, but all three kinds push most light downward.

shop Floor-lamp, Empire, or Coolie
Giclee Glow

A lovely giclee shade in a regal pattern and rich color make this Mocha Flourish Arc Floor Lamp a natural choice for accenting a c...ontemporary room. Add contemporary style to your home with this arc floor lamp design. It features a brushed nickel finish and a drum shade with bottom diffuser to prevent glare. Stem switch allows for two different lighting levels. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. read more

Giclee Glow

Embrace the retro design of this Blue Boxes Linen Arc Floor Lamp and its delicate, festively designed giclee shade. Add style with... this contemporary design. It features a brushed nickel finish and a drum shade with bottom diffuser to prevent glare. Stem switch allows for two different lighting levels. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. read more

Giclee Glow

Bring a sophisticated and rich look to a modern room with the Chocolate Blossom Linen Arc Floor Lamp, featuring a slender giclee s...hade in a gorgeous hue. Add style with this contemporary design. It features a brushed nickel finish and a drum shade with bottom diffuser to prevent glare. Stem switch allows for two different lighting levels. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. read more

Giclee Glow

A lovely giclee shade in a regal pattern and rich color make this Mocha Flourish Arc Floor Lamp a natural choice for accenting a c...ontemporary room. Add contemporary style to your home with this arc floor lamp design. It features a brushed nickel finish and a drum shade with bottom diffuser to prevent glare. Stem switch allows for two different lighting levels. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. read more

Geometric

Lampshades that are square, rectangular, hexagonal, or another shape have matching sides that sometimes slant slightly from top to bottom.

shop Geometric
Color Plus

With a designer Eggplant Purple Metallic color and a stylish black and white drum lamp shade with a rectangular pattern, this doub...le gourd glass table lamp is a handsome addition to your home decor. From the Color + Plus collection comes this beautiful double gourd glass table lamp as a brilliant color accent for your home decor. The designer Eggplant Purple Metallic base is hand-crafted by our experienced artisans in California. This high-quality color tone features metal flakes that sparkle luxuriously - like a new car in the sunlight. Topped by a stylish black and white drum lamp shade with a rectangular pattern. Lamp base U.S. Patent # 8,899,798. read more

Adesso

The shade on this floor lamp features a distinctive "dripping" shape. Sleek and cosmopolitan, this floor lamp makes a stylish addi...tion to your home's d??cor. The satin steel finish frame is perfectly accented by a sculpted rectangle shade. Three-way socket allows for more light control. read more

Color Plus

With a designer Passionate Purple color and a stylish black and white drum lamp shade with a rectangular pattern, this double gour...d glass table lamp is a handsome addition to your home decor. From the Color + Plus collection comes this beautiful double gourd glass table lamp as a brilliant color accent for your home decor. The designer Passionate Purple base is hand-crafted by our experienced artisans in California, and is topped by a stylish black and white drum lamp shade with a rectangular pattern. Lamp base U.S. Patent # 8,899,798. read more

Imperial Shade

A stylish classic rectangular shade in creme with cut corners. The rectangular creme fabric lamp shade has cut corners for a sligh...tly casual look. The creme polyester fabric is high-quality and meant to last, as is the poly/nylon interior lining. Features a polished brass spider fitting. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. From the Imperial Shade Collection. read more

Bell

Bell lampshades are very narrow at the top and quite wide at the bottom; they work particularly well in situations that call for intense downlighting, such as on desks.

shop Bell
Lamps Plus

This solid brass floor lamp has an eye-catching decorative element in the base. This floor lamp features solid brass construction ...and a lustrous brass finish. The base is crafted with a stunning decorative element. A ribbed bell shade in beige tops this design. Three-way socket allows for more lighting control. read more

Lamps Plus

Give a lamp a new, fresh look instantly with an updated bell lamp shade. Make over an old lamp with the classic simplicity of this... silk fabric bell shade. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. read more

Lamps Plus

Freshen up a lamp with this eggshell silk bell shade. This eggshell silk fabric bell shade is a true classic. Vibrant white inner ...lining helps direct light out from the top and bottom of shade. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. read more

Lamps Plus

Give a lamp a new, fresh look instantly with an updated bell lamp shade. Makeover an old lamp with the classic simplicity of this ...silk fabric bell shade. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. read more

Hybrid

Lampshades also can mix or match various elements of several types of lampshades; for example, a geometric shade may come in a bell shape.

shop Hybrid
Color Plus

This apothecary-style African Violet designer color glass table lamp features a stylish off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon... trim on the top and bottom. Infuse your decor with brilliant color and style with a beautiful apothecary style Color + Plus glass table lamp. This designer African Violet lamp is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our California workshops. It stands on a lucite base, and is topped with a stylish off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon trim on the top and bottom. Lamp base U.S. Patent # 8,899,798. read more

AFX Inc
$162.69 $287.10
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce-Transitional style Hard backed linen shade double torch Satin nickel finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electronic ballas...t.SKU #: MNS218SNECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 12.5 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.95 lbsUPC: 03794932784 4 read more

AFX Inc
$205.70 $363.00
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling - Hard back linen shade. Champagne finish. White acrylic diffuser encloses top and bottom of shade. Double ar...m. Electronic ballast. Meets ADA requirements. 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHS218ACMVCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.0 x 12.625 x 4.0 inWeight: 5.65 lbsUPC: 03794935611 0 read more

AFX Inc
$205.70 $363.00
at DW Lighting Direct

Hudson sconce-satin nickel - Hudson Sconce Inter-weaving double torch. Satin nickel finish. Twin hard-back linen shades. Enclosed ...top. 120V ballast 18W CFQ lamps required.SKU #: HZS218SNEC-FTCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 15.625 x 9.875 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.85 lbsUPC: 03794934313 4 read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Combining a lampshade with a lamp base is a delicate balancing act. Think about the material, color, upkeep, and style when you purchase. Base size and shape, lampshade fitter, bulb placement in relation to the height of the lampshade, and light direction also play roles in how the lampshade works with the base and affect the quality, effectiveness, and beauty of the lighting. Before you choose a shade, think carefully about the location of the light fixture and how the light should be directed.

Material, Color, and Style

Lampshades can be made of nearly any type material, including glass, wood, fabric, and metal. The color of a shade’s material affects the color of deflected light and should coordinate or complement a room’s decor, too. Lampshades often include decorative details such as pleating, scallops, stencils, stamps, and notches.

Upkeep

As with any other furnishing or accent piece, lampshades need regular care and upkeep; investigate how best to care for a chosen shade before making a purchase.

Base Size and Shape

Lampshades should complement the lamp base in scale and proportion as well as shape. For table lamps, lampshades should be about three-fourths the height of the base; other lampshade sizes depend on the size and style of the fixture.

Bulb Placement and Lampshade Drop

Lampshades should not be too close to the bulb; measure to make sure several inches of space separate the shade from the bulb. The height of the shade should be enough to hide the bulb so the bulb is not visible from outside the shade.

Fitter

Your lamp fixture will have some sort of a fitter that secures together the shade and the bulb. Fitters include clip-on, threaded, and other types; make sure your shade and fixture or base are compatible.

Light Direction

A lampshade affects how light bounces into and around the room. In a large entryway, you likely want most of the light pushed downward. The desired directional lighting changes based on the size and shape of a room and placement of a fixture.

Decor on sale
AFX Inc
$162.69 $287.10
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce-Transitional style Hard backed linen shade double torch Satin nickel finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electronic ballas...t.SKU #: MNS218SNECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 12.5 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.95 lbsUPC: 03794932784 4 read more

AFX 12.5" Sconce | Satin Nickel | linen shade
AFX Inc
$132.77 $234.30
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce- Transitional style Hard backed linen shade with single torch Oil-rubbed bronze finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electr...onic ballast.SKU #: MNS118RBECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 7.50 x 4.0 inWeight: 2.0 lbsUPC: 03794932688 5 read more

AFX 7.50" Sconce | Oil-rubbed Bronze | linen shade
AFX Inc
$364.65 $643.50
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling with a white linen acrylic shade, white acrylic bottom diffuser, 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHC224...0SNMVT-LACertification: ULMax Wattage: 2240Uses:(1) 22 Watt & (1) 40 Watt C2C T5 Lamp (Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 6.0 x 22.0 x 22.0 inWeight: 8.45 lbsUPC: 03794936142 8 read more

AFX 22.0" Semi-Flush | Satin Nickel | white acrylic / linen shade
AFX Inc
$147.73 $260.70
at DW Lighting Direct

Square linen fabric shaded pendant is an 8" square and includes an 8 foot adjustable cord with a twist lock strain relief for easy... adjustment. The lay-in white bottom diffuser simplifies lamp replacement. Canopy mounts to a standard junction box (not included).SKU #: BKP118SNSCT-CRCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt GU24 self ballast Lamp (Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 10.0 x 8.0 x 8.0 inCord/ Stem Length: 96.0 inWeight: 4.2 lbsUPC: 03794937859 4Made in USA read more

AFX 8.0" Pendant | Satin Nickel | cream shade fabric
AFX Inc
$196.35 $346.50
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling. Linen acrylic shade Satin nickel finish. White acrylic diffuser encloses top and bottom of shade. Double arm.... Electronic ballast. Meets ADA requirements. 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHS213SNMV-LACertification: ULMax Wattage: 13Uses:(2) 13 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.0 x 12.625 x 4.0 inWeight: 4.7 lbsUPC: 03794935587 8 read more

AFX 12.625" Sconce | Satin Nickel | white acrylic / linen shade
AFX Inc
$147.73 $260.70
at DW Lighting Direct

Square linen fabric shaded pendant is an 8" square and includes an 8 foot adjustable cord with a twist lock strain relief for easy... adjustment. The lay-in white bottom diffuser simplifies lamp replacement. Canopy mounts to a standard junction box (not included).SKU #: BKP118SNSCT-WHCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt GU24 self ballast Lamp (Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 10.0 x 8.0 x 8.0 inCord/ Stem Length: 96.0 inWeight: 4.2 lbsUPC: 03794937465 7Made in USA read more

AFX 8.0" Pendant | Satin Nickel | white shade fabric
AFX Inc
$205.70 $363.00
at DW Lighting Direct

Hudson sconce-satin nickel - Hudson Sconce Inter-weaving double torch. Satin nickel finish. Twin hard-back linen shades. Enclosed ...top. 120V ballast 18W CFQ lamps required.SKU #: HZS218SNEC-FTCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 15.625 x 9.875 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.85 lbsUPC: 03794934313 4 read more

AFX 9.875" Sconce | Satin Nickel | linen shade
AFX Inc
$132.77 $234.30
at DW Lighting Direct

Sconce-Transitional style Hard backed linen shade single torch Satin nickel finish. Meets ADA requirements. 120V Electronic ballas...t.SKU #: MNS118SNECCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.125 x 7.50 x 4.0 inWeight: 2.0 lbsUPC: 03794932783 7 read more

AFX 7.50" Sconce | Satin Nickel | linen shade
AFX Inc
$177.65 $313.50
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling - Hard back linen shade. Champagne finish. White acrylic diffuser encloses top and bottom of shade. Single ar...m. Electronic ballast. Meets ADA requirements. 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHS118ACMVCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(1) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.5 x 6.125 x 4.0 inWeight: 3.7 lbsUPC: 03794937445 9 read more

AFX 6.125" Sconce | Champagne | linen shade
AFX Inc
$205.70 $363.00
at DW Lighting Direct

Transitional styling - Hard back linen shade. Champagne finish. White acrylic diffuser encloses top and bottom of shade. Double ar...m. Electronic ballast. Meets ADA requirements. 120-277V multi-voltage ballast.SKU #: SHS218ACMVCertification: ULMax Wattage: 18Uses:(2) 18 Watt CFQ 4 pin Lamp (Not Included)Dimensions (h x l x w): 18.0 x 12.625 x 4.0 inWeight: 5.65 lbsUPC: 03794935611 0 read more

AFX 12.625" Sconce | Champagne | linen shade
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