Lamp Lighting Guide

Lamp Guide

Table Lamps, Desk Lamps, and Floor Lamps are an easy way to add style and ambiance to your new or already existing interior; or even exterior lighting space. Does your space look and feel a little dull? Maybe you have a hard time getting ample light when sitting down to do tasks like reading, working, or studying. Maybe there is no “in-between” light setting that you find comfortable for any given event and the timing of the day.

Before looking to add ceiling lights or any other lights that require an electrician to work on your home or space…why not add a simple lamp into the mix!


There are three main categories of lamps, and each has many use cases in which they are designed and intended to be used.

Desk Lamps

Desk Lamps are typically used for what they are named for, a desk. Depending on the setting, choosing a desk lamp should primarily focus on functionality. Choosing a desk lamp may have more emphasis on the adjustability and switch/control system offered. Another feature is having a built-in outlet for the lamp if that is something you find important.

Table Lamps

Table lamps can be used in any room or setting. For instance, adding a low-profile buffet-style lamp to your hallway or entryway table is a nice way to add elegance and detail to your space. Table lamps in living spaces almost always add to the equation for lighting optionality and overall visual appeal. These are what make a room unique and homey, so coordinate with your room’s design.

Floor Lamps

Floor Lamps allow for a lot of design options and functionality use cases! There are typical floor lamps and oversized floor lamps that up a space's modern appeal. These are great for reading/focus lighting in one seated area.

Lamp Options

There are some options when it comes to lamps and what they offer besides the light you need them for.

LED integrated:

Many do not want to worry about light bulbs anymore, and integrated options are a great way to do so. To look for a lamp with an integrated LED light source, simply look for lamps that do not have sockets. Many integrated and LED-natured products come with warranties! Many of these will be modern.

Dimmer Switch:

Dimming is an important feature for most people, why? Lighting is not just off/on anymore, whether you’re hosting an event, relaxing, matching the time of day, or just want less or more light for any given circumstance…dimming is a must for these reasons! Dimming for lamps specifically is usually built into the control system…which leads us to our next topic!

Switch Location and Switch Type:

Everyone loves convenience and user mindfulness in design. Choosing a lamp with easy “on/off” switches and buttons is an important feature that some just get stuck with when a lamp is purchased. There is no universal switch system on lamps it depends on the model. Table lamps and desk lamps traditionally have switch systems on the socket by either a turn switch or a pull switch. Floor lamps offer the same options but also sometimes use a floor switch where you can step on a button to turn the fixture on and off. Another common switch that also has a dimmer built-in is the wheel switch, built into the chord. More modern lamps have front-facing switch systems that look like a traditional on/off flip of a switch.

Touch Sensor Controls:

A new feature with lamps of all categories is a touch sensor switch. You can tap and move your finger as if you were touching a touchscreen phone, which we are all accustomed to doing! There are different configurations on how this works but it is a new popular feature often on modern lamps. This is built into the lamp and is often very minimal from a visual point of view.
Often it goes:
Tap “on”, and tap for desired light setting…that’s it!

Built-in outlet:

Lamps with built-in outlets are simply convenient for people wanting to plug in something like a laptop, phone charger, or anything else that may need power/charging while using or…not using the lamp.

“Old Fashioned” 3-way bulb:

With more modern control systems and switches, this is not as typical anymore, but for socket-based lamps, a 3-way bulb is still a thing! Select the wattage and voltage your lamp specs call for and if the socket supports this type of bulb. You will simply have three lighting intensity options and you modify this by the switch that is built into the socket!


Depending on the allotted budget, whether starting out with a new space or amping up an already existing space, there are a couple of things to keep in mind among functionality being #1. Usually, lamps come as an afterthought or are not really budgeted in a home “Lighting Budget.”

The price of lamps can fluctuate depending on materials, source (brand), LED integrated or not, and the options we discussed above. Originality, handmade aspects, and uniqueness can also cause price fluctuations. Just know if you are going to spend $50 on a lamp from Target, Walmart, or a random seller on Amazon…the features may not be up to par in comparison to research. Check for warranties, return options, and reviews from other buyers.


Choosing the right size lamp whether it be on a table or floor is highly important. Find the maximum height you can comfortably add to the space. The only thing from a width standpoint is the shade (if there is shade) and sometimes the base body. Shades sometimes take up more space than intended. Visualize and place your lamp(s) in the spaces you desire, do not guess.

For a floor lamp, think about how and why you are placing that lamp there. If it is adjustable make sure your space will allow it to move around freely without interfering with walls, other lamps, furniture, or anything else that could obstruct your lamp's ability to move. Desk lamps should be wary of how much space it will take up, plus how much light can be dispersed over the intended table/study area.

There is a lot of freedom with lamps, size is highly important so make you measure your area!

Why Butler?

We offer tons of options for table lamps, floor lamps, and desk lamps for all spaces online and in our showrooms! Our lighting showrooms have countless lamps to look at in person. Often lamps are more realistic to buy in person because you want to see and touch what you are buying and you want to make sure it has those options you desire! Some may not have access to a showroom, allow us to walk you through or collaborate with you on what exactly you are looking for and why you are looking for it!

Lamp Guide FAQs

When looking to buy a lamp, it is essential to take into account several key considerations. These may include: the size and style of the lamp, the type of bulb you want to use, the brightness and color temperature of the light, the intended use of the lamp (e.g. for reading or general lighting), and the power source (such as battery or electrical). Other factors to consider might include the cost of the lamp, as well as any ongoing energy expenses like electricity or battery replacements. Additionally, it is important to evaluate the lamp's durability and ease of maintenance, as well as its design and aesthetic appeal, to ensure it fits with the décor of your home or office.

Yes, you can use an LED bulb in just about any socket. There are no “compatibility” obstacles. The only obstacle is having a dimmer that is properly matched with your LED bulb. Other than that there is no reason any light fixture cannot use an LED bulb.

There are several important features to consider when choosing a lamp, including its size and shape, the type of bulb it uses, the type of light it provides, and its level of adjustability. Other factors to consider include the overall design and style of the lamp, as well as its intended use, such as task lighting or ambient lighting. Additionally, you may want to consider the material the lamp is made of and the ease of maintenance and cleaning. Taking all of these features into account will help you select the best lamp for your needs and preferences.

The average rated life of a lamp can be influenced by a number of factors, including usage patterns, Environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and dust can impact the performance and lifespan of a lamp. Usage patterns, like how often the lamp is turned on and off and how long it is left on each time, can also affect its rated life. Finally, compatibility with the fixture is important as using a lamp that is not designed for a specific fixture can result in increased stress on the lamp, reducing its rated life.

The right lamp for you will depend on several factors, including your personal style and the purpose of the room. Here are some things to consider when selecting a lamp:
Room Function:
Consider the primary purpose of the room where the lamp will be placed. For example, if it is a reading nook, you might want a lamp that provides more direct light. If it is a decorative accent piece, you might want a lamp that adds visual interest.
Ensure the lamp you choose is proportional to the size of the room and the furniture it will sit on. A small lamp might be suitable for a small side table, while a larger lamp might be more appropriate for a large desk or a floor lamp.
Consider the overall design style of the room and choose a lamp that complements it. For example, a modern lamp with clean lines might look out of place in a traditional decor.
Light Quality:
Consider the quality of the light the lamp provides. Do you want a bright, white light or a warm, amber glow? You might also want to consider the level of brightness and adjustability of the light source.


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