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What Size Lampshade is Best

Here @lightenuphandmade we are often asked by customers what size lampshade would be best.

Well… it’s really an open ended question. The size of the lampshade that is best for you depends on the size of the base you are using, where you would like your lampshade to sit, whether it is for a floor or table lamp base, or if it is going to be a pendant (ceiling) shade.

To help resolve some of these questions, my gorgeous daughter Zoe (aka the LightenUp slave!) has created some helpful images.

First, lets look at the different size custom made lampshades we offer:

(Note that this image features our drum, or cylindrical shades. In coming weeks we will add a size guide for our tapered empire shades):

The next step, if you are replacing an old shade and want to order one of a similar size, you need to know how to measure the shade. The image at left shows you how to do this.

It is also important to consider the size of the lamp base you are using. Our general rule of thumb is that the lampshade should be twice the width of the widest part of our lamp base.

For example if your lamp base is 20cm at its widest part, then a 40cm diameter shade would be suitable. To measure your lamp base, see the below left.

Of course rules are made to be broken but from our experience if you stick to this general rule, the shade you end up will be in proportion to your lamp base.

If the lampshade is to be used on a floor lamp base then quite often a larger size shade is suitable – anywhere from 35 up to 50cm diameter! Similarly if the shade is to be a pendant above a dining table, a larger size is best.

If the lampshade is for use on a bedside table where there is often limited space, a smaller diameter ie. 20-30cm, is best.

In our custom order form, you will see that we include a height for each shade that work best with the diameter in terms of the proportions.

Such a lot to consider! But hopefully this will give you the tools to ensure you get the perfect size lampshade every time.

Now, head over to our custom order page to select the perfect bespoke hand-made lampshade for you.

Lampshade Size

If you are unsure of the shade size you require, please click through to our blog post for some helpful information about how to choose the right size shade.

Lampshade Types

Table and Floor Lamps

A table lampshade sits on a lamp base which is placed either on a table or sits on the floor if the base is tall. The light fitting sits at the bottom of the shade.

Ceiling Pendant

A pendant lampshade is where the shade hangs from a light fitting on the ceiling, usually above a dining table or kitchen bench. The light fitting sits at the top of the shade.

Lampshade Shapes

Drum Lampshades

Drum lampshades are the most popular as the shape is contemporary and suits many different decor styles. 

A drum shade is basically a cylinder that has the same diameter measurement across the top of the shade as the bottom.

Tapered / Empire Lampshades

Empire or “tapered shades” are more traditional. The diameter measurement of the top of the shade is smaller than the measurement at the bottom, creating a tapered effect.

We offer three different sized Empire shades.