complete guide to floor lamps

Much time and thought goes into designing each room in your home. Selecting furniture for each room is a process of determining what type of atmosphere you’re trying to create and how that fits in with the theme of the house overall. Everything from the positioning of furniture to the small decorations scattered throughout a room add to your home’s ambiance, and lighting is no exception. In fact, the way that a room is lit can make all the difference in how it feels. Soft, shaded lights radiate a relaxed atmosphere while brilliant overhead lighting might make you feel more alert and motivated.

If you’re planning to incorporate floor lamps into the layout of your home, you’ll want to carefully consider the size, height, style and placement of each fixture to maximize lighting efficiency and blend the floor lamps with their surroundings. To help guide you through the process of selecting and purchasing the perfect floor lamps, read through our ultimate guide with everything you need to know.



Floor lamps are a type of light fixture that remain on the floor, rather than atop a table or mounted to the wall, and provide lighting for a room. Floor lamps can be used in nearly every type of room–from offices and game rooms to living rooms and bedrooms. Depending on how you intend to use the light, you’ll need to properly position the floor lamp to illuminate the desired area of the room. Before you begin browsing through catalogs of floor lamps, think about the purpose of the light and what you need it to illuminate. For reading areas, you will want a strong, bright floor lamp; otherwise, your eyes will become strained and the room may feel too dark and sleepy. Once you’ve determined your floor lamps’ purpose, you can begin exploring the many styles, sizes and functions available.



Floor lamps are one of the most versatile types of in-home lighting because they are available in so many styles. How you want the light to fall in a room will determine which floor lamp styles are the best options for you and your home. Learn more about the four most common types of floor lamps and select your favorite.

floor lamp types graphic

Console Lamps

A console lamp is typically what everyone pictures when they think of a standing floor lamp. It features a round base that sits on the floor with a tall pole in the middle that extends up to varying heights. At the end of the pole, there is the socket, which is where the light bulb is inserted and screwed in. Surrounding the socket area, you’ll find the saddle attached to the harp. These are the two pieces of the lamp that help to secure the shade along with the small screw-like piece at the very top called the finial. If you’re looking for a very traditional floor lamp, then a console-style fixture is right for you. The shade typically directs the light downward, which can provide lighting for a reading area or merely ambiance.


The torchiere-style floor lamp is similar to the console lamp as it also features a round base on the floor attached to a straight pole. But, the main difference between a torchiere and console lamp is that the lampshade is inverted, causing the light to filter upwards rather than downwards. This type of lamp is not intended for reading areas or any space where you need light to concentrate on something (e.g., an office area). Instead, the torchiere floor lamp provides soft, ambient lighting to set the tone of a room. If you have warm colors in your living room, this type of floor lamp can cast a beautiful light on the walls, creating a feeling throughout the room.

arc floor lamp silver

Arc Floor Lamp

A very uniquely shaped light fixture, the arc floor lamp also features a round base that remains on the ground, though this type of light usually has a slightly larger base to accommodate the unusual shape. Instead of the straight pole extending upwards, the arc floor lamp has a curved pole that hangs to one side, allowing the bulb and shade part of the lamp to hover above a specific area of a room. Most often, this type of floor lamp is used for reading or next to a desk area. The shape of the pole combined with the lamp’s ability to hang the light source directly over the area improves the quality of light and makes the illumination more direct.

Multiple Light Source

Sometimes referred to as a track tree floor lamp, the multiple light source lamp is exactly as the name describes it—a lamp with multiple lights stemming off from the main pole. Envision a standard console light fixture and then at the top of the pole, instead of merely one light bulk, there are several branches that extend from the pole providing space for additional light bulbs. The multiple light source floor lamp can come in many different variations as well. Some feature just a few light sources that are stationary and covered by small shades pointing down. Others have flexible arms at the top, which allows you to move the light source in different directions, pointing the source of illumination at whichever point you’d like. These are often useful floor lamps to have in an office with multiple desks or work areas.



room with bed and floor lamp

Selecting a floor lamp with the perfect size and height can be more difficult than you think. Before researching any floor lamp options, you need to measure the area where you think you may want to place the lamp. However, sometimes once you’ve actually purchased the item, you may decide that it doesn’t look right in the original spot you selected, so pick a few different areas where the lamp may potentially work and take measurements. Keep in mind that you don’t want the lamp to look out of place in the room, so consider the size of the floor lamp bases and shades before purchasing to make sure they won’t appear too big or too small.

To determine the best height for your new floor lamps, you can use the eye level rule, which involves taking measurements from a seated position to your eye level. This will give you an idea of how high or low you want the lamp to be depending on the purpose of the area. If you’re looking for a floor lamp to place beside a couch merely as a means of lighting, then you may want the light to stop just at eye level or below to avoid creating a glare when watching TV or using a computer or smart device. If you’re planning to get one of the arc floor lamps, the height will need to higher as the light itself will hang over the space. For lamps that will be placed beside a desk or other work area, you should also aim for the lamp to fall at just about eye level for optimal lighting.



As previously mentioned, you should have a concrete idea of your floor lamps’ purposes before you make the final decision to buy because different floor lamps are designed for different reasons. Some lamps create ambient light and set the tone of a room while others are meant to illuminate specific areas for the purpose of working. Read more about ambient versus task lighting before picking your perfect floor lamp.

selecting lamps quoteAmbient Lighting

Several floor lamp styles are ideal for the overall purpose of lighting the room. You want to select lamps that do not cause too much of a glare if you’re going to position them in a living room area where people may be watching TV or using laptops often. The standard console lamp or inverted torchiere lamp are ideal for this purpose because they provide enough light to illuminate the room, and the torchiere gives the area a unique feeling, but are not concentrated on one specific space.

Task Lighting

Task lighting requires an alternative type of floor lamp because the beam of light needs to be directed at a more specific point. Hanging or arc floor lamps are ideal when creating a cozy reading nook because the light is focused above the reading area, providing plenty of light to see without straining your eyes. Multi-light source lamps are great for office rooms because you can illuminate several different areas at once. If you find a multi light source with movable branches, this is even better as you can adjust the light to focus on whichever space you need to see.



modern living room interior white lamp shade

When researching floor lamps, you’ll notice that almost every option comes with a lampshade, but this does not mean you need to keep that shade. Sometimes, people find the perfect floor lamp base with a shade that doesn’t quite match the decor. Don’t worry, it’s easy to swap out lampshades. The key to locating the perfect shading is finding a color or pattern that matches the room and looks beautiful when illuminated. Then, you want to ensure that this decoration goes with the floor lamp’s stand. If the base and the pole are more rustic looking, you’ll want to find a shade with a country-house feel. For an uber modern lamp stand, seek out minimalistic, sleek lampshades.



Meyda Tiffany Renaissance Rose Floor Lamp

Featuring a gorgeous stained glass lampshade, Meyda Tiffany Renaissance Rose Floor Lamp is finished with a mahogany bronze coat and designed to bring elegance and class into any room. This floor lamp is shaped like a traditional console light, spreading light down from the source and giving off a soft illumination best suited for living areas or even bedrooms.

Meyda Tiffany Renaissance Rose Floor Lamp

73.25”H Tulip Torchiere

Another beautiful light fixture with a stained glass shade, the Tulip Torchiere is an inverted version of the previous lamp, sending the soft illumination upwards to create a unique ambiance. This floor lamp is not designed for reading or desk areas, so it’s best to make this a fixture purely for the purpose of lighting the room.

Perkins Floor Lamp

The Perkins Floor Lamp is available in both Siena Bronze and Satin Nickel. This open shade design allows light to flow through both the top and the bottom of the shade, which can provide some illumination for reading, though this floor lamp is likely best next to a sofa or bed.

Bacio Instalux LED Arc Lamp

Sold in Satin Nickel and oil-rubbed Rubbed Bronze, the Bacio Instalux LED Arc Lamp is a beautiful addition to a reading room with an elegant hanging appearance and metallic finish. The LED light feature is also energy efficient, helping to conserve energy and lower costs.



Hansen Wholesale prides itself on offering our customers one of the largest selections of wholesale home goods–from floor lamps to ceiling fans. Browse through our complete collection of lighting and discover the floor lamp you have been looking for.