Floored by Style
There are several popular floor lamp styles that permeate the market. Though selecting the perfect style for your space is largely based on aesthetic preference, function is another defining factor, especially if you plan to move the lamp into another room or space, where unique style choices may not be appropriate. We’ve arranged the lamps below into two categories of consideration, style and function, though the two are often intertwined. For example, a tree lamp can also act as a reading lamp.
A console floor lamp is the most familiar floor lamp design, composed of a single upright pole in a round base, with a shade or globe as its bulb’s house. Though most console lamps use a single bulb, some feature two or three light sockets for better lighting, meaning increased visibility.
Torchiere lamps feature a bowl-shaped shade, usually built in to the lamp itself, to focus light upward. This design provides ambient, but not always extremely functional, light.
Two or more light “branches” along a single pole make up a tree lamp. These branches are generally independently adjustable, set into housings that can pivot and twist for optimal light direction. Because of their adjustability and the fact that each socket operates independently (one light can be on while two are off), tree lamps are extremely adaptable.
An arcing lamp has a bent, curving pole set into a base and can add an element of modernity to the room. Arcing lamps are great for placement over a couch, where someone might read.
Tray lamps are interesting style choices, but are definitely practical, especially for use in small spaces. They eliminate the need for an end table or lap eating.
Gooseneck lamps twist and bend to specifically focus the light, while swing arm lamps are triple jointed for horizontal light movement. Both are practical designs to deal with the issue of adjustability. Reading lamps generally feature a central light source and one adjustable arm.
For tasks that involve small objects or movements, a magnifying lamp is ideal. Whether purchased for professional needs or just poor eyesight, a magnifying lamp is extremely useful.
Floor Lamp Costs
Both practical and stylish designs can be purchased for under $50. Higher quality or highly decorated metals and wood will cost more, but most well-designed, quality material lamp types cost between $100 and $250. Of course, more decorative or adjustable models are available at higher prices. After prices cross the $500 threshold, they rise steeply. If you want a solid gold torchiere with a crystal bulb, this price bracket is where you should look.
The Bottom Line
Buying a floor lamp off the department store floor without a second look at its design will get you a light source, but it isn’t the strategy you should use to find the one that provides optimal lighting and truly strikes your style fancy. Look around -- endless designs are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, finishes and price ranges. If you take your time to consider size, placement, style and practicality or function, you’ll find the perfect floor lamp for your home’s illumination needs.