For proper, everyday use ambient lighting, your typically installed light does a good job. But for a unique, low-key ambient lighting that is crucial for creating a relaxed atmosphere, floor lamps are vital.
However, creating a low-key lighting environment isn't the sole role of floor lamps. They also do a great job as a task light, complementary or additional light you might require from time to time. But floor lamps also have an aesthetic role, as they complement the surrounding space with their looks and not just the light they emit.
In this article, we'll discuss what the best floor lamps currently on the market, their style, and features are. We also included a detailed buyer’s guide to help familiarize you with various types of floor lamps, and some technical aspects, like energy efficiency.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the best contemporary and traditional floor lamps you can purchase today:
best contemporary and traditional floor lamps
Culver Modern Adjustable Pharmacy Floor Lamp
This model is made by 360 Lighting, a company that produces expressive and distinctive designer floor lamps. And since its height-adjustable, it allows you to easily customize your lighting to any space, placing it among the best floor lamps on the market.
This lamp has a slim brass plated metal construction, with an aged finish, mounted on a 10" broad round base. It's 47" – 57" inches tall, making it great for performing tasks that require focused lighting, such as handicrafts or reading.
The height is easily adjustable as the lamp features a button release mechanism, which allows you to extend or shorten the metal pole. On the top, the rectangular dome shade that focuses the light emitted by the built-in 7-watt LED light source. The LED is capable of delivering 700 lumens of brightness, with a 3000K color temperature.
This floor lamp also features an adjustable light head, with the on/off toggle switch next to it. The adjustable head enables you to place and focus the light where it’s needed, either for reading or other tasks.
Culver Pharmacy floor lamp ships out unassembled, so you'll need to assemble it yourself. The assembly is quite easy and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete.
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Brightech Mason Arc Floor Lamp
This sophisticated and contemporary arc lamp is made by Brighton Mason and features a double drum shade and a marble base. It adds elegance to whatever space you place it in, elevating many décor styles, including minimalist, traditional, or vintage style.
The Mason has a maximum height of 81", and arcs outwards to approx. 64", with a lampshade that measures 12" high, and 19” in diameter. The lamp height and arc make it a good beside-the-sofa reading light for your living room. To ensure the stability of such a tall lamp, the Mason features a 2" thick, 15" broad marble base. It's quite heavy and makes the lamp wobble-free, and safe around kids and pets.
The Brightech Mason ships out with a 9.5-watt LED bulb that provides 800 lumens of brightness, with a pleasant 3000K color temperature. The light is not dimmable but slightly diffused through a drum shade that's opened at the top and bottom for uplight and downlight effects.
You can switch the bulb for a dimmable one, as long as it uses an E26 base and doesn't exceed 150 watts of power. Also, the lamp is easily operated by a foot pedal switch, built into a 6 ½ feet long cable. It works only on 110V outlets but has no issues when used on 220V outlets with 200V-110V converters.
Brightech Trilage Arc Floor Lamp
Similar to Brightech Mason, the Trilage is also an arced lamp, but with three arced lights instead of one. With such a fantastic design and functionality, it’s easy to see why Trilage is considered one of the best floor lamps ever.
This beautiful, stylish, and versatile lamp looks great with any décor, with three suspended lampshades creating pleasant overhead light that covers a large area. The shades are suspended from three curved arms that are connected to a metal body, and a large marble base.
Each metal arm is at a different height, measuring 81", 75", and 70" tall, with 34" outward reach, and 7.5" tall burlap-styled shades. Also, each arm can be moved from side to side, enabling you to reposition the lighting where you see fit.
This unique-looking arced floor lamp has a four-rotary switch on the central pole that enables you to illuminate one, two, or all three lights at a time. This can provide a relaxed, low ambient lighting, or a light bright enough for reading.
The lamp includes three 9.5-watt LED bulbs, each featuring 800 lumens of brightness and 3000K of color temperature. It should be pointed out that Trilage weighs 33 pounds. It’s mounted on a 12.5” wide and 2” thick marble base that’s sturdy enough to prevent the lamp from ever tipping over.
Artiva Micah Floor Lamp
Artiva Micah can effectively light up your living space using its five arched heads, and a dimmer switch for better control of the light. It's an excellent match for contemporary decors, as it shows off the beauty of the simple design.
This 88" tall floor lamp features five heads that provide ward and diffused light, with adjustable side arms, enabling you to reposition the light. The rotatable shades act as filters and screens, protecting your eyes and redirecting the light, creating an enjoyable atmosphere. If you like dimmer lighting, the Artiva Micah features a full-range dimmer switch that goes from 10% to 100% of light.
The Artiva Micah comes with several options regarding the light source. You can opt for 4-watt LED bulbs, which are shipped out by default, 40-watt incandescent bulbs, or 9-watt CFLs.
The entire construction mounts on a substantial weighted base, which makes it sturdy and balanced, while preventing the lamp from tipping over. It comes in several different finishes, including jet black, brushed steel, and antique satin brass.
Overall, Micah's design, and its light control capabilities place it among the best floor lamps, since it's regarded as a perfect addition to any contemporary décor.
Marlowe Modern Floor Lamp
This next piece would look wonderful standing right next to your reading armchair, or illuminating other sitting areas. Marlowe Woven Bronze floor lamp is 60 ½ inches high, featuring a modern design, with bronze finish and double drum shade.
The lamp features a base with three vertical rods attached to it, which form the “body” of the lamp. The rods cross at the top, providing additional support for a double drum shade, giving off a feeling of traditionally handcrafted iron-working.
As we mentioned before, the shading drum has two layers – the inner shade of burlap fabric and the woven open pattern outer layer. Shade layers are separable, allowing for easier cleaning and maintenance. On the inside, the lighting hardware feature two E26 standard screw-on bases for two light bulbs whose power doesn’t exceed 100 watts. Also, the lamp features twin on/off pull chains that control individual lights.
The lights aren't included in the package but are sold separately. You can use any bulb you want to, incandescent, LED, halogen or CFL light bulb; this fantastic lamp supports all. However, light is only dimmable when using compatible dimmers and dimmable light bulbs.
Overall, the Marlowe Woven floor lamp is a nicely designed contemporary style lamp, which will pair nicely with a more rustic setting of your living space.
Ashley Furniture Signature Design Arc Adjustable Floor Lamp
Ashley Furniture allows you to enjoy the convenience of this arced lamp with three adjustable necks, focusing the light wherever you need it. It a particularly popular solution if you wish to illuminate the gatherings in the large sitting area of your living room.
The lamp itself is made of metal, featuring a black, brown, or chrome finish, so you can choose the one that suits you best. It’s approximately 7 feet tall, with three adjustable arms that allow you to spread the light out, or have it focused in one area. Neck adjustability is coupled with a dimmer switch that allows for even greater light control, making it easy to create a peaceful atmosphere.
The shades are made of mica, which is a silicate mineral of a brownish color, which gives off organic, warm, and natural hues. They're quite versatile and easy to match with a variety of home décor styles. When it comes to light bulbs, this floor lamp uses three type A incandescent bulbs with a maximum power of 60 watts.
Despite being tall and slender, the lamp weighs approximately 34lbs. Most of that weight belongs to the base, which is made in the form of a cross. In our honest opinion, this might be problematic, as the base offers insufficient support points, making the lamp easier to tip over.
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Kenroy Home Ashlen Torchiere Floor Lamp
This nature-inspired, 72" high torchiere lamp brings life and natural detail to any space it illuminates. The twisted wines and intricately stamped leaves climb from the base towards the drum shade, creating a rustically charming, traditional-style floor lamp.
The lamp features a 14” amber scavo glass shade that focuses most of the light upwards and diffusing some light through the scavo glass. This allows the lamp to illuminate the surrounding space, creating a relaxed atmosphere beautifully. For reading purposes, the Ashlen features a 6” amber scavo glass reading light, which is independently operated.
For lighting control, a 4-way switch controls both lights simultaneously or independently. They’re dimmable, provided the right light bulbs, which are 100-watt bulbs, or other equivalents. The Ashlen Torchiere floor lamp is a part of Ashlen Collection, which also includes a 51” shaded floor lamp, and a 31” table lamp. The whole collection pays homage to nature with sweeping vines and leaf shapes.
Kenroy Home Spyglass Shaded Floor Lamp
Part of the Kenroy Home Spyglass collection features a traditional feel, with a modern twist, this 70” floor lamp pairs beautifully with contemporary designs.
The floor lamp features a classic art-deco look with an elegantly modern twist and a bronze finish. It features an elegant 17" white linen shade, which contrasts with the earthy tones of the lamp's body. Classical shading allows the lamp to provide enough ambient light for a relaxed atmosphere.
The shade conceals two light sockets that can be independently operated by a twin on/off chain, supporting up to 100-watt light bulbs or LED equivalents. The sockets are basic E26 type, designed to support type A light bulbs.
This Spyglass Shaded floor lamp is a part of Spyglass Collection, which also includes a 30" Spyglass table lamp. Both lamps are available in bronze or brushed steel finish, featuring dual lights and twin on/off chains. Overall, the Spyglass Shaded floor lamp is an attractive, robust, and functional floor lamp you won’t regret buying.
Kira Home Akira Floor Lamp
The Akira multi-directional arc floor lamp provides warm lights and elegant design, regardless of the finish and color of the lamp you choose. Placing this beautiful and tall fixture behind a sofa or a couch, or next to a work desk, will surely brighten up your décor.
The entire lamp is 80" high and mounted on a 12"x1.75" base, with three 36" outward-reaching arched arms, with suspended shades. Suspended shades are all 7.5" deep, with different, 11”, 11 ¾” and 12 ¼” diameter. The lighting hardware uses three light sockets that support three 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, or CFL and LED equivalents.
Light is controlled by the included 3-way mechanical rotary switch, which is located on the central pole of the floor lamp. Provided with compatible light bulbs, the switch offers dimming capabilities, which improve lighting control.
Kira Home Akira floor lamp further compliments your living space with either antique bronze, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze finish. Overall, this floor lamp and the light it provides will look great in any room, and we recommend it with confidence.
WERFACTORY Tiffany Style Reading Floor Lamp
The last piece on our list is reserved for the beautiful, 64" tall arched antique light for your living room. The most interesting feature this floor lamp offers is its sea blue stained-glass shade, making it one of the best and most beautiful floor lamps.
The stained glass provides a beautiful combo of deep blues and greens, giving beautiful reflections on the surrounding space. It's quite substantial since it's made of glass; however, it's very well balanced, reducing the chances of lamp tipping over.
Light hardware uses a single E26 socket and works best with a 2700K LED light bulb; however, other equivalents might be used as well. The lamp is inspired by Art Nouveau design, making it a uniquely stunning centerpiece of any space it occupies. It’s 64” inch body and base are made of bronze, giving it a collection value, and elegant, antique feel.
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We aim to familiarize you with the various types of floor lamps, their styles, functionality, and practicality. Considering that floor lamps are the unsung heroes of room illumination, knowing what to look for in a lamp always pays up. In the end, you want your lamp to be practical, cost-efficient, and that its design and functionality complement the room it illuminates.
Floor lamps are indeed standalone pieces of furniture, so knowing which model to choose is paramount in matching it with the interior decor. There are three main types of floor lamps you can choose from:
Shaded lamp, also called traditional or console floor lamps, use lampshades to filter, shape and direct the light. They're several feet tall, with a broad base at the bottom, and a light source, surrounded by a lampshade, at the top. A typical shade features opening at the top and bottom, usually equal in size, though variations do exist.
The sides of the shade form shade walls, which may be lined or hardbacked. Lined shades allow a certain amount of light to pass through, diffusing and tinting some of the light. Hardbacked shades do not diffuse light, but reflects it out through the top and the bottom.
Distance between the light source and lampshade determines how much light spreads outside the shade. A wider bottom opening disperses light over a larger area, making these lamps suitable for lighting the space around a reading chair.
Torchiere lamps, unlike shaded ones, reflect the light from the source, which shines upward, with the shade having only a top opening. This way, the light is redirected upwards, and diffused, preventing it from shining directly into your eyes.
When shining towards the ceiling, the light reflects and diffuses, producing indirect ambient lighting, which is suitable for a larger space. It creates a more relaxed, intimate vibe while still effectively illuminating the room.
However, since most of the light is pointing upwards, torchiere lamps aren’t best suited for tasks that require good lighting, like reading. To combat this specific problem, some torchiere lamps have reading arms, which are downward-facing lamps that extend out to the side. Though not all torchiere lamps have reading arms, the ones that do, provide ambient lighting, and focused, downward-facing light for reading.
Lastly, there are torchiere lamps with colored-glass shading, which produces attractive colored shapes once the light is turned on.
Unlike your typical floor lamp, with a straight pole that connects the base with the bulb, arced lamps feature an arced pole, with the light on the end. They're often adjustable, featuring a gooseneck design, or some other mechanism that allows you to point the light in different directions.
Though arced lamps with shades are rare, but not unheard of, most of them focus light in one direction. They're great for lighting a small, localized space, and can be used as reading lamps. Unfortunately, focused lighting makes them ill-suited for illuminating a large area.
It’s not uncommon for arced lamps, like torchiere ones, to have several adjustable reading arms. Mostly called a tree, or an octopus lamp, these lamps allow you to aim individual arms in different directions, offering a great deal of versatility.
Design and materials:
In this section, we're discussing and reviewing floor lamps of contemporary and traditional style. In case you're unfamiliar with the basics of traditional and contemporary design, don't worry, we'll cover those too.
Traditional style incorporates several elements that combine comfort, classic design, and casual décor. It includes warm, vibrant colors, and symmetrical lines, though some curves do occur, but nothing extraordinarily ornate or ostentatious. Traditional style provides a comfortable and elegant feel, which is why it's one of the most popular styles of home décor.
Contemporary, on the other hand, encompasses a range of styles developed in the 20th century. As such, it features softened and rounded lines, tone-on-tone color palettes, and clean and smooth surfaces. Unlike function-over-form, this style focuses on both equally, incorporating eye-catching lines, neutral shades, and plenty of light.
When it comes to materials, there're no rules here. Most floor lamps have a metal construction, like stainless steel, chrome, or some metal alloys like brass or bronze. Plastic elements are often incorporated into the design, as well as glass.
Aesthetically speaking, there's a wide range of floor lamps when it comes to contemporary and traditional design. Some of these pieces are real works of art, combining beautiful aesthetics with functionality, but with a less affordable price. More on the price later.
Brightness and lamp placement:
A floor lamp needs to provide the amount of light you need, and in some cases, you’ll need a lamp that gets really bright. That’s usually the case with focus lighting, or task lighting, as it offers a suitable amount of brightness for reading or knitting. Any kind of work that requires you to see what you’re doing, with great detail.
On the other side, for some people, a floor lamp is more about aesthetics than functionality. If you're looking to make your space more comfortable and relaxing, choosing a lamp with lower brightness might help you achieve just that.
Reading and working
A reading lamp should be bright enough for you to read the small-printed letters, but not so bright that it reflects off the paper. For that reason, and light temperature between 2700K (yellow light), and 4000K (white) is ideal for writing and reading. This type of light temperature pairs really well with shaded lamps, as it provides enough ambient-suitable light.
If you're handcrafting something, with great attention to details, you'll need a lamp that provides an adequate amount of light and light temperature. For task performing, you'll need a light that's functional above everything else, allowing you to focus on the task you're performing.
Any light temperature between 4000K (white) and 6000 (bluish), will allow you to focus better. 6000K lamp emits a light that's close to daylight, boosting alertness and focus, allowing you to get your work done. This type of lighting pairs well with arced lamps, as it will enable you to focus the light to a specific work area.
The living room is a place where you relax and unwind, and a floor lamp should create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. For that purpose, a floor lamp should provide an output of a maximum of 2000 lumens when combined with other light sources. That amount of light will make your living room brighter and more energetic, especially if you use bulbs with a light temperature above 3500K.
For a more intimate and cozy ambient light, you should opt for light temperature between 2700K and 3500K. This light temperature pairs well with shaded lamps, and best with torchiere lamp types.
A bedroom is a place of intimacy and rest, so you want a lamp that can mirror that feeling. You should skip on the bright lights and high color temperature, as it can trigger your brain into the alert and awake state. Instead, you should aim for lower light intensity, not above 4000 lumens, and lower color temperature, somewhere between 2700K – 3000K.
Height and size:
The height of the floor lamp determines its ability to illuminate the space around it. The taller the lamp and the higher the light source is, the wider the spread of light will be, which is excellent for ambient lighting. Tall floor lamps are usually torchiere lamps that are 6 – 8 feet tall. Due to their height, their proportions are more substantial, which is why they're best suited for larger space.
The average floor lamps are approx. 5 – 6 feet in height, with the shade at eye-level, preventing any unpleasant glare. These are quite good for ambient lighting and perform outstandingly as a reading lamp. However, they're not as tall, and you could hit your head if you're not careful.
Short floor lamps are up to 5 feet in height, as they're mainly designed to be slightly above shoulder height when seated. They're usually placed next to a desk, a couch or an armchair, and provide lighting that's suitable for reading and performing tasks. For that matter, small floor lamps usually have more focused light, and aren't that great for ambient lighting, though some exceptions can be found.
The key is finding the right floor lamp that provides enough light without the light getting in your way, glaring hard on your eyes. Adjustable floor lamps are a good idea since you can regulate the height and light diffusion. These are great if you like to switch things up, but they have their limits when it comes to height adjustment.
Most floor lamps are narrow, and feature a relatively small, but somewhat massive base, making them easy to move around. Torchiere and shaded lamps are vertically oriented and easy to fit into surrounding space, at a convenient place. Arced floor lamps take up more space, as they don't stand upright as other lamps do.
Even though they aren't exceptionally large, or take up much space, you should carefully consider the size and placement of the lamp. A floor lamp, and lighting it provides, should complement the surrounding area, and not feel like out of place or be a tripping hazard.
Floor lamps, like other lighting types and home appliances, have an Energy Star rating. A lamp with Energy Star certification and a good energy rating can help you save money in the long run.
Being smart about how you use your floor lamp also makes a difference, as it pays to use only as much light as you need. Dimming the light or turning the lamp off when you're not using it can positively affect your energy use.
Energy efficiency also depends on your light source. Incandescent light bulbs, which are your typical light bulbs, use about 60 – 100 watt-hours of energy. Unfortunately, they have a pretty short work span of approx. 1,000 hours.
CFL light bulbs were designed to replace incandescent bulbs, producing the same amount of light with less power. Typically, a CFL bulb spends 14 – 23 watt-hours of energy, with a lifespan of approx. 9,000 hours.
Halogen lamps are an improved version of incandescent light bulbs since they're smaller and brighter. Halogen light bulbs are filled with halogen and inert gas, which increases the lifespan and brightness of the lamp. They typically use 43 – 71 watt-hours of energy and are suitable for about 1,250 hours.
The most energy effective light is the LED light bulb, which uses multiple light-emitting diodes to produce the required amount of light. LED bulb spends 12 – 20 watt-hours while providing the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. They can also emit colored light without a light filter, and have a life span higher than 10,000 hours.
On average, floor lamps cost more than a desk or table lamp. This is due to the cost of materials since floor lamps tend to be larger and taller than desk or table lamps. The price of lighting hardware and shading, coupled with decorative elements, also affect the price.
Still, the cost of floor lamps can vary, from purely functional, affordable models to expensive designer pieces. The more intricate or aesthetically pleasing designs usually cost more, but the very nature of floor lamps is to compliment the room it's in.
In the end, you should carefully consider what kind of lamp you need, and what lamp you should purchase. Especially since there are many options currently on the market, and not all of them provide excellent aesthetics and high-quality components.
Finding a good floor lamp will not only illuminate the surrounding space but also help lighten your mood.