Not only are floor lamps more versatile in the traditional tasks assigned to desk lamps, but they also have distinctly different uses. Since a floor lamp illuminates both above and below, they are ideal for sitting rooms to both illuminate the room and the area where people are engaged in conversation. With the option of designs from gaudy to very minimalist, a lamp can be added to a room either as a stylistic addition or simply as a lighting upgrade.
Torchiere. This type is among the easily recognizable varieties of floor lamps. Torchieres are also called torch lamps and were already being used in Europe even as far back as the 17th century. The lighting source then were wax candles that were mounted on tall stands made of metal or wood. Today's version, of course, can be of any lamp type (wax candles, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent light, halogen bulbs, etc.) and any stand material (wood, metal, plastic, composites, alloys, ceramics, etc). Torchieres usually take up only a small space in the room, are shaped unobtrusively, and provide well-diffused lighting by radiating the lamp beams towards the ceiling. For these reasons, torchiere lamps are highly sought after by building owners who intend to optimize limited spaces or project a minimalist style in the interior design.
For those who are into something a little more modern there are lots of styles to choose from. Whatever your style preference though, you need to consider whether or not the lamp you are getting will fit your room. For example if you are looking for a table lamp for an end table, the height of the lamp should be such that it provides ample light to the area. This is dependent on the height of the table in relation to the couch, loveseat or chair next to the table. A three inch tall lamp would not only look silly if there is a 6 inch height difference, chances are it will not light anything. Typically, you should have 18-24 inches clearance from the bottom of the lamp shade to the arm of your furniture. This doesn't flood the entire room with light, but it will insure that you light more than the magazines on the table that you won't be able to read in the dark.
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