Moveable lighting for any spot in any room

Lamps are probably the most convenient source of light you'll find in the home. They can be moved just about anywhere and, depending on their brightness, they can be a main or secondary source of light. Most lamps accommodate incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Others are made for specific bulbs such as LED (light-emitting diode) or halogen. Watch out with halogen lamps, as the bulbs can get very hot - they can be a fire hazard if they're too close to fabrics such as curtains or wall hangings.

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Decorative Lamps

These lamps provide light, but only in a secondary capacity. Decorative lamps should fit in with the style of the room. That doesn't mean they have to match perfectly, though. If you find one that stands out, it can become the focal point of a room instead.

Types of Lamps

  • Pedestal - These have a rounded or square base that sits directly under the light bulb. They offer only ambient light and are chosen for their design. These are often found on end tables and are a great place to curl up with a book.
  • Desk - These lamps focus their light down on a work surface. A desk lamp with full spectrum lighting and a flexible neck is ideal for long hours of work.
  • Floor - Floor lamps can be solid or flexible and can direct light either up or down. The most popular kind is the torchiere. Torchiere accent lamps are considered uplights, meaning they direct their illumination towards the ceiling. They have a bowl shaped shade that sits under the light bulb and prevents light from being directed below it. Aside from sending light up, using these lamps is a good way to avoid glare.
  • Touch - A tough of the finger turns these lamps on and off. They are common table lamps and are good for people who have trouble bending to get at buttons or turning awkward switches.
  • Piano - If you're serious about piano playing, a piano lamp can help you see your sheet music while you play. Even if you don't play, a lamp can add elegance to the look of your piano. Piano lamps can sit on the floor, atop the piano or can even clamp onto the side of it. Look for piano lamps with dimmer switches so you can set the mood to the style of music you're playing.
  • Swag - A long chain or rope holds this lamp in place, making it one of the only lamps that can't stand on its own. Special hooks are screwed into the ceiling or wall so the swag lamp can hang almost anywhere in a room. An electrical cord follows the support chain where it plugs into a wall outlet.
  • Antique - One style of lighting that never goes out of fashion is the antique lamp. Hurricane lamps are a popular model. They can be powered by candle, oiled wick or electric bulb, but regardless of the power source they all share the same look. The lamp is covered by a glass chimney-shaped bulb surrounded by a skeleton of metal or wood to keep everything in place. The glass outer bulb was originally used to keep the flame from blowing out. Hurricane lanterns have an added top covering and handle, and can be mounted on a wall, set on a table or floor or hung from a ceiling hook.
  • Lava - These '60s staples are a groovy addition to any teenager's bedroom. A tall, thin glass container (often filled with oil and wax) sits atop a metal base that holds a light bulb. The bulb heats the glass and when the wax gets hot enough it starts to float up in blobs. When the heated wax gets to the top it cools and falls back to the bottom to repeat the process. Lava lamps produce some light but only enough to make the floating "lava" stand out in a dim room.
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