Floor Lamps: An Affordable Way to Brighten Up a Dark Room

When you sell your house what’s the first thing a realtor does when they show it to a buyer? They turn on EVERY light. Most of our homes look too dark. Everyone wants a light, bright feeling home but not every room has large windows and natural light. Floor lamps can brighten up a dark room and make a small room look larger.

Floor lamps allow you to get tons of light without adding overhead lights (which are expensive). Great lighting is one of the most important design elements in every room. See the best floor lamps updated for 2023 below.

Floor lamps allow you to get tons of light without adding overhead lights (which are expensive). Don’t let the fact that your room doesn’t have giant windows, like the ones you see in magazines, make your room feel dark.

brighten up a dark room with floor lamps

If it’s not possible to add or replace hard-wired lights to brighten up a room, floor lamps are a great option. They can add a ton of light. Floor lamps don’t have to sit on a table or a desk, they can quietly light up the room just standing in a corner. And they are really affordable.

A floor lamp can make a really big statement about your style because they are BIG. Choose one that complements your unique design. Their large size often means they hold multiple bulbs or higher wattage bulbs. Floor lamps can really bring plenty of light to every room, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, even kitchens.

What’s the best place to put a floor lamp?

Floor lamps work in so many spots (read more about how to style floor lamps here) all over your home. You can’t put them out in the middle of a room, but they work tucked in these spaces:

  • Next to a sofa or chair
  • Standing alone in a dark corner
  • Next to a bed or beside a small nightstand (if you don’t have room for a table lamp)
  • Beside a desk
  • Next to a mirror for maximum impact
  • Beside any table or cabinet

A well-lit room should have three light sources, not including the natural light from a window. Most rooms have some type of overhead lighting, source number one. To make a room look warm and inviting you need two more. Take a look at your room and see where the dark spots are. If you can’t count three light sources, you need a floor lamp.

See this example – it’s a dining room with no recessed lights. It looks light in the morning, but at night you need all the bulbs you can get. There’s a chandelier, a table lamp and a floor lamp. Read more about finding the budget friendly chandeliers here.

how to brighten a dark room

How to Brighten A Dark Room on a Budget

Floor lamps come in all styles and budgets. I stick to handful of sources for lighting to avoid spending hours of time online shopping. My favorite floor lamps are from Ballard Designs (especially on sale), Pottery Barn, IKEA (for the biggest bargains, but not the most light) Target, Etsy, and Amazon.

See the three tips for getting a floor lamp with lots of light.

Statement Floor Lamps

If you are looking for a floor lamp that makes a statement, take a look at these. They do a lot more than just provide light. These lights are large and more like a piece of art than a lamp. They can be the focal point of a room.

I choose every product I review. I may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of the product links, See the full disclosure.

Arc Floor Lamps

This style of floor lamp is a great option over a chair, couch or in a reading nook. These lamps are large enough that they can add height to small spaces and act like a sculptural element in the room. They can also meet your lighting needs at a desk or a home office that requires light for a specific task.

  • IKEA Ranarp Floor lamp – I love the affordable price on Ikea Light fixtures but you have to be sure that they take standard incandescent bulbs. Some Ikea lighting is only made to work with the bulbs they sell.
  • Cantilever Drop Pendant Floor Lamp from Target (less than $100)
  • Overarching Floor Lamp from West Elm – Comes in three finishes, antique brass, bronze and nickel. Wait for a sale on this one.
  • Target Arc Floor Lamp (less than $100)- A simple modern floor lamp.
  • Easton Iron floor lamp – wait for a sale on this one. Comes in two finishes, antique brass or bronze. It holds two bulbs.
  • James Floor Lamp from Ballard Designs – This lamp has a very heavy metal base. It is a really warm light. Ballard has lots of floor lamps if you have a more traditional style, watch for sales.

Pillar Floor Lamps

These lamps are a bit more bare bones, they are basically just like table lamps with a longer base. This type of floor light may not make as much of a statement, but can still add lots of light to a room and can often hold a higher wattage bulb than a table lamp.

  • Britech Jacob reading and floor lamp – This lamp comes in multiple finishes, black brass and satin. It has enough bulbs that it is great for bringing lots of light (and won’t use much energy if you use LED bulbs). It feels almost like a standing chandelier.
  • Britech Mid Century Floor lamp – This lamp has tons of style at a great price.
  • Kayne Floor Lamp from Lamps Plus
  • Weston Window Pane Floor Lamp from Target – This lamp also comes in a desk top version and three finishes, black, nickel and brass.
  • Wood Floor Lamp from Ballard Designs – This is a very traditional style of lamp. It comes in two finishes, black and natural.
  • Ambiore Floor Lamp – What’s different about this lamp is that the shade is adjustable. You can use it with the shade straight light a regular lamp or tilt it. It comes in black with a gold shade interior.

Tripod Floor lamps

Tripod floor lamps have a bit more heft to them than the single pillar lamps so they can take up more space in your room. These examples all have a drum shade, but there are options with a cone shaped-shade.

They tend to have a more modern look to them and fit right into mid-century modern decor. Tripod lamps are more expensive than other styles of floor lamps. Look for these if you have a budget of more than $100 (with the exception of these affordable floor lamps below).

  • Wood and Brass Tripod Lamp from Target – This lamp can fit into so many different style rooms. I hope you go to Target’s web site and scroll through the photos for this lamp, you will want to buy it and it’s priced very reasonably. Lamps Plus has an almost identical lamp that is twice as much. It also comes in a nickel finish. PS this is not a sponsored post.
  • Black Tripod – This one has an unusual black shade, which looks cool but will reduce the light output.
  • LEPOWER Wood Tripod Floor lamp – This lamp is a real bargain and comes in two wood finishes.

Torchiere Floor Lamps

A torchiere lamp is not meant for lighting specific areas. The light is aimed at the ceiling so they can light up an entire living area because the light reflects off the ceiling. They are inexpensive.

If you need lots of light, especially if you have high ceilings they can be great. Here are a few budget-friendly modern torchieres. If you can find one with two lights in one fixture, those are the best choice.


Look around your room and see if a floor lamp would be the answer to brighten up your space. Do you have three light sources in every room? If not, try adding one floor lamp and see what a difference it makes. You can read more about how to style a floor lamp. I hope this helps you the next time you need a light bulb. learn more lamps and lighting,

When you go to purchase a lamp be sure that the shade is included in the price. Sometimes shades are sold separately and they can be hard to match in scale if you don’t buy with the lamp. If you have a favorite floor lamp, share it in the comments.

how to brighten a dark room

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  1. Thank you! Please, which of these types of floor lamps provide more light? I want to buy one or two for a studio to complement the ceiling and wall lights because even if there´s a big glass door all over the wall it is very dark.

    1. Blanca,
      For an office setting that needs lots of light the, and not so much directed light or project light, torchiere floor lamps can provide lots of light. They shine light up. If you have a specific finish you like I recommend searching “brass torchiere” or “black torchiere”. Make sure you get one that takes a larger wattage bulb like 110 or 150. Wayfair has lots of reasonably priced options. I hope this helps.

  2. tamra kamalesh says:

    Thank you so much, great and helpful article

  3. I’m finding new lamp for my room. Thanks for sharing this post. It inspires me a lot 🙂

  4. Great info Andrea – I hadn’t thought about lamps, but you’ve made the confusion of lighting totally easy. I’m going lamp shopping soon! 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Mark Holmes says:

    My wife said she wants to buy a lamp for her bedroom. He is a very demanding person and above all he likes beauty. She said she prefers lights that are soft and colorful. I think the “Arch Floor Lamps” will fit into our current room divider. I like its design, it makes my room look more modern.
    Another point that speaks for these light sources is their fascinating design. And since they often go well with furniture, they are the best choice for decorating a room.

  6. I love arc floor lamps, they’re just design pieces by themselves and gives a room so much style

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