Plug-in table and standard lamps can be positioned just where needed

Saturday, July 29, 2006

There’s nothing quite so attractive as a room lit by the warm, comfortable blow of a table lamp. Positioned on low sofa tables, on shelves, a chest, or a sideboard, a table lamp can be used to illuminate a collection, brighten a dark corner, or provide a pool of light for reading. Table lamps come in all shapes, sizes and styles, so it is easy to find something to suit your room. Lamps, which beam light downwards and sideways, usually fitted with a wide-based shade, are useful if you want to light a table top, or a corner.

Vase-shaped lamps wash light over the wall and ceiling, an attractive way to show off a painting or an interesting architectural feature. Tall standard lamps look best in a corner or behind a chair. A lamp with a traditional shade, or a shade which covers the top of the bulb, beams down, giving a comfortable pool of light just right for reading. Modern standard lamps are starkly stylish, adding interest to a simple, high-tech look room. Many of these lamps are up-lighters and should be positioned so that light washes a wall or the ceiling.

Floor-standing spot-lamps look best hidden behind a display of plants so that light shines through the foliage, throwing delicate leaf shadows on ceiling and walls. Before you buy lamps, look carefully at socket positions. You may need to have extra outlets installed for lamps to be positioned where you want them. Trailing cable is dangerous and tucking cable underneath a carpet or rug can cause a fire. Always have new sockets installed by a professional electrician.

A table lamp with conical shade beams light down, adding instant interest and comfort to a corner. This type of light is the ideal way to illuminate a collection of small boxes, plates or figures arranged on a table, or on a display cabinet. The perfect bedside lamp beams light over just half of the bed, so that one partner can read while the other sleeps. Lamps should be tall enough so that the light falls in exactly the right position for reading but not so that the beam hits the reader in the eye.

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