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Lamp shades

The Finishing Touch

Browsing through antique markets, flea markets, stumbling onto a great garage sale, or searching through grandma’s attic, you are likely to find a treasure or a beautiful old lamp. All it needs is a shade.

The least thought of, but a very important part of any lamp is the shade. But there are as many colours, sizes and construction of shades as there are stars in the sky. How do you choose the best one for your lamp?

There are limited “rules”, our best suggestion is to bring your lamp into one of our stores and let one of our experts’ guide you with your selection. Here you can try on many different looks and styles, just as you would in a clothing store. Even if you know the look you want, you never know if the size will fit until you try it on. Many simple modifications can be made to your lamp like changing the harp length to lower or raise the height at which the shade sits on your lamp. This is also a good time to have the wiring checked or perhaps to have the socket changed so you can use a tri-light bulb.

Shades are made out of many different materials. The most common are parchment, silk and cotton, although other materials and a variety of trim treatments will also be found in our stores.

Parchment is a thick paper, plain, coloured or with a pattern. They are generally opaque, emitting light only up and down through the top and bottom openings. When lined in gold foil they will cast a warm yellow light. Parchment shades lend themselves well to indirect lighting or mood lighting.

Silk shades give a more formal or classic look to a lamp. Whether barrel shape, bell shape, scalloped, plain or fringed, they will defiantly dress up your lamp. Silk shades are self-lined and hand sewn, therefore costing a little extra. They emit an even amount of light for general lighting as well as task lighting.

A more economical selection may be a cotton shade (flat or pleated). These shades are usually lined with a fire retardant material, and come in a multitude of colours.

After going through all the standard options, if you cannot find exactly the look you want, you can try a more creative approach and “special order” the perfect shade. We can even make you a lamp shade using your drapery or upholstery fabric, for the total co-ordination of your room.

Finally, for the finishing touch, you can also choose a new finial to top off your lamp. Again the selection is vast. A solid brass wreath, a crystal droplet or maybe a terracotta elephant would help to add the perfect finishing touch.

You should take the opportunity to view displays that demonstrate the various effects that can be achieved by using different types of lighting. For example, you can evaluate the differences between xenon, halogen, fluorescent and LED products.

Recent technological innovations have yielded even more choices for energy-conscious consumers. Compact fluorescent lighting is an excellent option for some areas, for many reasons. These bulbs are four times more efficient than incandescent or halogen. It is also important to know that quality CFL bulbs come in a range of color temperatures and the color of compact fluorescent bulbs is now equal to, or better than, incandescent.

LED lighting is also fast-becoming an excellent option for kitchens, with LED available as undercabinet fixtures and LED bulbs for recessed and track lighting. LED has the same benefits of compact fluorescent, except that the bulbs last much longer. LED is often dimmable, very energy efficient, while also being very tiny, which is resulting in some innovative and exciting new lighting options.