Do you have one room in your home or apartment that is always dark? Most houses, especially older ones don’t have enough ambient lighting. There is sometimes a lack of overhead lighting and not enough plugs. Try using one of these four tips for a light source in a dark room using floor lamps.
First, choose a standing floor lamp that uses more than one bulb. Second, go for floor lamps that accept high wattage bulbs. Third, get a floor lamp that bounces light off the ceiling or other reflective surfaces. Fourth, choose the right type of lampshade. If possible, avoid lamps with dark shades, directed spotlights or task lamps, which are not as good lighting a whole room. I’ll explain more about each of these below and give some of my favorites that meet some, or all of these criteria.
Best Multi-Bulb Floor Lamps
If you choose a floor lamp that takes 2-3 bulbs, it’s a great choice and gives plenty of light. It’s almost a substitute for overhead lights. Think of it like a tall lamp or an overhead light on a stick. These are going to be more expensive, but you get a lot more light.
Watch out for multi-light fixtures that only take a candelabra bulb (the kind with the skinny neck). Candelabra bulbs DON’T have high wattage, 15 to 40 watts, which is not a lot of light for a dark space. Many multi-bulb fixtures only take a fluorescent bulb, which gives off very blue light.
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- This three arm lamp from Pottery Barn takes 3 – 100 watt bulbs and it has light-colored lamp shade. That’s tons of light. It is an excellent choice for providing plenty of light to any living space. A similar lamp at Target costs much less and while it’s a good floor lamp, the total wattage of all bulbs has to be below 100. It comes with 800 LUMEN LED bulbs (which is equal to a 60 watt bulb). This is an example of how you have to check the details.
- This multi-bulb lamp from West Elm only holds a 40-watt bulb, but it has 5 lights.
- This brass floor lamp takes TWO 100 watt bulbs and has a nice modern design.
- Bronze arc floor lamp also takes two 100 watt bulbs.
Best Lamps That Bounce Light Off Ceiling
If you want to get more light into a room, bouncing it off the ceiling or any reflective surface, is a great way to do that. The light shines out the top of the lamp. This is not my favorite style of lamp, but it serves a purpose. This has the bonus of spreading the light around the room more than standard lamps, that just lights the immediate area around it.
- This brass torchiere holds a 150-watt bulb.
- This iron torchiere also holds a 150-watt bulb and has a pretty glass shade. You don’t have to use an Edison-type bulb.
- This black torchiere is simple and basic, which is what I like about it. It could blend into any room and it holds 150-watt bulb.
- This modern floor lamp takes two 75-watt bulbs. One shines out the top and one out the bottom.
Why Spot Lights Aren’t As Good For Dark Rooms
There are lots of spotlights out there with multiple bulbs, but generally these types of lamps are really meant for task lighting. For example, you shine the spot down on a reading nook. They may not be the right floor lamp as they don’t light up an entire room, but are designed to provide light for a specific task.
Here are a few examples, of what I mean by a spotlight.
- This cute nickel spotlight has three lights, but they are all very directed. The large spot takes 100 watts, which is pretty good.
- Brass multi-light floor lamp. This one is better for lighting tasks.
I hope these rules give you a few key things to look for if you are looking for lighting options for a dark room. Maximum wattage is king! If you’re using LED bulbs, that is Lumens instead of watts.
learn more lamps and lighting, check out these posts that cover all the details to make sure you get the right lamp for your space. Want to learn more about regular incandescent bulbs vs LEDs?