How to Size a Lampshade: Quick and Easy Tips

How to Size a Lampshade

How to Size a Lampshade

Do you want to know how to size a lamp shade?

The world of lamps and lampshades increasingly dominates the market today. If you are an enthusiast, you may find it a tricky business when you explore through different types of lamp shades, its colors, sizes, and variety If you are into navigating the world of a lampshade, it may be hard, to begin with, little knowledge.

What type of lampshade would you want and how are you going to decide? You may go through every single type of product there is but it comes to be time-consuming. Lucky for you, this article would be able to help you find the right lampshade with special consideration on its size.

Some things to consider

Before measuring a lampshade, it is important to take note first some guidelines in selecting a lamp.

  • The more basic shape of the body you have on your lamp; the more styles of shades it can fit.
  • A round lamp on a square base can take a shade of a rounded top and square bottom
  • The diameter of the shade’s bottom must not be greater than the height of the body
  • Match the colors of the lampshade to the color in your room
  • Consider the wattage you will use in your lamp. The lampshade usually determines the wattage allowed in a lamp
  • You should also consider the style of the lamp when you select a shade. For example, a busy lamp should have a plain shade.

Sizing a Lamp Shade

When people shops for a new or replacement lamp shade, they always consider measurements. Lamp shades come in different sizes and shapes. It is important to be able to know how to measure such. When doing so, all measurements are listed from the distance across the top, across the bottom, the slant, and the height.

When measuring the lampshade, there are four important measurements that you need to note. These are the top diameter, bottom diameter, vertical slant, and vertical height.

Sizing Table Lamps vs Floor Lamps

Sizing a Table Lamp

To find the best size for a table lamp shade, start by measuring the lamp itself by using a tape measure or ruler. For the height, start from the lamp base u to the bottom of the rod. The bulb holder and the rod is not included in the measurement.

There are three main rules that you need to know when it comes to measuring your lamp shade. The width of the lamp shade is equal to the height of the base of the lamp. The height of the lampshade should be 2/3 the height of the lamp base. Lastly, the lampshade must be wider than the widest part of the lamp base.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. But always remember that the key here is “proportion”. The balanced dimensions of the lampshade are very vital. Your shade must be about 2/3 the height of your lamp base. The key factor to remember is “proportion”.

When your lamp shade is too tall, it will become heavier and if it’s too short, your lamp may tend to outbalance and will tip over. In order to know the right proper width for your shade, you must first measure your lamp base and multiply it by two. In the case of a round base, you can measure it straight across.

For a square base, measure it diagonally. The widest part of your shade must be at least a half inches wider than the widest part of your base on each side. When it comes to width, remember your location. If you will place your lamp beside your bed or in a busy area, choose a narrow shade to avoid flying elbow.

Sizing a Floor lamp

When it comes to measuring the size, floor lamps are usually a little trickier and more complicated. Floor lamps are usually narrow and tall. To determine its size, measure the height of the lamp base from the bottom up to the top of the bulb rod, then you will divide it by 4 to get an approximate height for the shade.

It is also critical to consider how much space you have for your floor lamps. Try to go down its size when it becomes too close to other furniture in the house.

Things to consider when sizing a lamp Shade

In addition to the size of the shade, it is also important to know what fitter type you would use for your lamp. A fitter is a component that is used to attach the lampshade to the body. There are three types of fitters and these are spider fitters, UNO fitters, and clip-on fitters.

Spider fitters are the most common type for table and floor lamp shades. Uno shade fitters, on the other hand, is typically used in smaller lamps. The shade is directly attached to the socket and permanently installed wire. Lastly, the clip on fitter is paired with small accent lamps. They directly clipped to the light bulb.

Height of the shade

Table lamp shade’s height must be approximately the height of the base (x 60%). the floor lamp shade’s height must be approximately the height of the base (x30%). Measure the shade height along with the slant.


The width or the diameter of the table shade must never exceed the height of the bases. It must be within two inches of its dimension. For floor shades, it must clear the widest part of the bulb by at least 3.5 inches on each side of the bulb.

Lampshades are usually expressed in terms of diameter. For example, a 16 inches’ shade must have a diameter of 16 inches.


Sizing a lamp can be a tricky activity. It requires time and patience in measuring and finding the right proportion that would help the lamp become a balanced one. The right sized lampshade could be of great help not only for it to become a proportionate lamp but as well as to help make your environment more attractive and architecturally balanced.

Once you’ve figured out what size to get. You can take it a step further and paint your lamp shade yourself. There are a million ways to get creative with lamps, so get started now.

1 thought on “How to Size a Lampshade: Quick and Easy Tips”

  1. Thanks for pointing out that lampshades come in different sizes and shapes, and it is important to know how to measure each. My husband and I are interested in shopping for custom-made lampshades that we can use to improve the decor of our house and at the same time create a cozier feel in the living room. We will be sure to do your tips so we can find lampshades that will fit perfectly in our house.

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