A floor lamp is a tall standing light fixture that is designed to provide supplementary lighting for the ambient or task layer of light. Floor lamps also find their role in accent and decorative lighting. When a room calls for a visually comfortable light source to brighten up your reading nook, an accent piece to balance a lighting scheme, or a decorative element to reinforce a decor theme, floor lamps combine form and functionality to fulfil the functional lighting needs and drive the exceptional design of any living environment. Floor lamps can be positioned in the corner of a room, behind a seating area, or in whatever part of the room they're needed without occupying the nightstand space of a bedroom or the tabletop space of a living room. The versatility and portability of a floor lamp allow flexibility in both illumination and style.
A Lamp Itself Can be a Work of Art
Floor lamps, at their most basic, are decorative fixtures that emits a purposefully controlled spread of light for a specific area. What differentiates residential lighting from technical or architectural lighting is residential lighting serves a dual purpose: not only does it contribute to the lighting layers, but also enhances the look of the space as a design element. Adding decor, beauty and style using floor lamps is the most prominent consideration for most consumers when making purchasing decisions. A masterfully composed floor lamp provides a unique decorative element and a sense of drama that can really complete the look of your thoughtful room theme. The conversation piece adds a striking visual presence to rooms while showing off your personality and individuality. Floor lamps are a favorite for interior designers because this type of lamps is created with blurring the boundaries between art, design and function in mind. Their artistic emphasis is to create thought-provoking designs, sculptural forms and tasteful details that lend a coordinated design aesthetic to a space.
Creating Inviting Ambiance with Poetry of Light
All floor lamps, whether steering you toward the more decorative side or serving primarily as task lights, are designed with the deliberate intention to convey the poetry of light. The addition of an exceptional floor lamp will literally make your decor shine and reward the space with a fascinating ambiance. Floor lamps that direct light upward create a balanced effect throughout the space. A directional floor light enhances the beauty of a room with its delicate downwards lighting which is typically achieved using a lamp shade. Rather than completely blocking light, the lamp shade of a floor lamp is usually designed to allow a small portion of light to be screen or filtered. This additional layer of soft illumination creates a subtle, intimate glow that captivates. A floor lamp is not meant to light up a space only, it also celebrates the spectacle of light itself with an artistic ambiance.
Visually Comfortable Illumination
Though they are not intended for reading intensive applications, floor lamps do not afford compromise in illumination quality. When they are placed close to beds, chairs and sofas to provide task lighting, floor lamps should provide adequate illuminances for various tasks to be completed as the desired speed with accuracy and safety. The delivered illuminances for task lighting range from 300 lx (30 fc) to 500 lx (50 fc). However, high illuminances need not be applied everywhere in localized lighting applications for residential spaces. Lighting has many psychological and physiological impact beyond mere task visibility. Uncomfortable luminance ratios which exceed 3:1 between a task and immediately adjacent surroundings will create adaptation difficulties for the eye. This makes people emotionally very unpleasant. Hence it's necessary for the floor lamp to have dimming capability to address different illuminance requirements. Because portable lighting may be close to the user, special care should be taken to avoid discomfort glare. Adjust height floor lamps are recommended to avoid unobstructed views of bare lamps.
A basic floor lamp consists of a weighted base which sits on the floor and provides stability, a tall pole which raises the light source higher, a light source that can be either a light bulb screwed in electrical socket or an integrated LED module, a light shade that shield the light source from direct views, and a switch to turn the lamp on and off or adjust the brightness level. Floor lamp bases can come in iron, brass, wood, marble, ceramic, or glass. The base which is the heaviest component of the lamp is commonly circular. However, tripod lamps don't have a heavy base but use several legs to keep the fixture balanced. The pole can be vertical, angled, or in the form of an arc. Floor lamp poles are often equipped with adjustable options so that the height and/or angle of the fixture can be easily adapted to any illumination requirement. A foot lamp may be operated via a foot-step switch, pull chain switch, touch sensor switch, rotary switch, or in-line switch.
Lamp shades make a big visual statement and contribute to visual comfort. Although some modern style floor lamps take away lamp shades and control light distribution with integrated optical lenses, lamp shades still play an indispensable role in the aesthetical presentation and optical control of a floor lamp. Designed in bell, drum, cylindrical, round, empire, square and other custom shapes, lamp shades shield your eyes from harsh glare and narrow the directions in which the light emits. Floor lamp shades come in various material options including fabric, glass, paper, plastic and ceramic. Fabric shades allow some of the light to pass through the fabric, which cause the shade itself to glow with a pleasant look and decorative flair. In rooms illuminated primarily by floor lamps, shade translucency is vital to visual comfort. Fabric shades make it possible for floor lamps to provide horizontal illuminance that improves luminous adaptation. Frosted glass shades and colored glass shades are also used. Frosted glass shades are mostly used in uplights and small downlights. Art glass shades are an excellent way to inject intriguing colors into your rooms. Metal shades give off an industrial motif but they completely block the light from traveling through the shade and cause a high luminance ratio if no ambient light is provided.
Types of Floor Lamps
Floor lamps are a great addition to any room because bring ambiance, style and class indoors without taking up too much space or requiring complicated wiring and installation. These lamps stand gracefully and charmingly beside couches, chairs, tables, beds and other furniture or alone in a bare corner, out of the way of traffic. A wide range of floor lamps in various designs and functions give you a choice of ways to enhance your decor and invite a pleasant ambiance to a cozy corner.
A torchiere floor lamp is an ambient light fixture that directs light upwards to the ceiling with the goal of creating a soft, shadowless light in a room. Torchiere lamps have glass or plastic bowl-shaped shades that enable the lamp to produce sufficient horizontal illuminances for a balanced composition of light. As a well-established design of floor lamps, torchieres have its own artistic nature that is embodied in different styles ranging from modern to traditional. These floor lamps can double as decorative statement pieces to complement interior layouts.
Club floor lamps
Also known as a standard or traditional floor lamp, a club lamp is a pole top floor lamp that mounts the light and shade on the top of the straight pole rather than on an extended arm or arc pole. Semi-translucent drum shades which direct light downward and diffuse the light for soft illumination are characteristic of these lamps. Through clean shapes and classic forms, club lamps convey a comforting ambiance particularly suitable for living rooms.
Arc floor lamps
An arc floor lamp is characterized by an arched pole at the end of which a light with a drum shade gracefully hangs to illuminate downward. An arch floor lamp stretches way up and over a space such as a seating area or somewhere that people can make use of the localized light without placing the lamp close to the task area. Arc lamps are best suited for a space that lacks an overhead fixture or corners where the light can arch over a table or sofa. Its beautiful arching silhouette evokes a more organic and elegant feeling.
A tree floor lamp is an accent piece that features a central stand with multiple lights branching off the stand in different directions and/or heights to provide directional or ambient lighting. With their sleek array of branches and multiple lights, tree lamps make an attractive centerpiece and lends a modern designer look to any room.
Tripod floor lamps
A tripod floor lamp has a trio of legs that create the sturdy base for this lamp. The tripod nature of the lamp develops an architectural appeal that enhances the look of a bland corner. The tripods take up a significant amount of space and are typically placed in a sizeable empty corner.
Pharmacy floor lamps
A pharmacy lamp or swing arm lamp is created to accommodate reading tasks with the pivotable light swinging out to an extended position. Swing arm lamps have a very ergonomic and functional design that allows you to direct light wherever you need it most.
Tiffany floor lamps
Tiffany lamps get their distinction from their Art Nouveau style shades which are made of beautiful stained glass with intriguing design patterns such as geometric, floral, or curved. The decorative light breathes life into a room with a striking graphical impact and colorful display.
Light Source Quality
Floor lamps, as of this moment, extensively use light bulbs to deliver light and visual impression. Incandescent light bulbs is recognized as a light source which boasts excellent spectral quality and emits light over many wavelengths, similar to the sun. Although moving to LED lighting results in significant savings in energy and maintenance costs, an unexpected problem is poor light quality as a consequence of the industry's strategy of sacrificing quality for cost. It's virtually impossible to find SMD based LED bulbs with light quality approaching that of incandescent and halogen bulbs. Most of the LED bulbs come with an 80 CRI, as opposed to the 95 CRI of incandescent bulbs. A low CRI means deficiencies in rendering some of the colors critical in bringing out the beauty of illuminated items. These LED bulbs fail to harnesses the power of the red wavelength (R9) to deliver the ultimate color quality that does not mute colors in food, artwork and skin tones.
Not only are LED bulbs poor in color quality, they may suffer flickers because of the extremely simplified driving scheme. Sunlight has no flicker, and incandescent lighting produces minimal flicker because they are thermal radiators. High efficiency ripple suppressors are usually not present in low cost LED drivier circuits. Large ripples in the DC current provided to the LED load will cause flicker and other visual anomalies which are typically invisible to the eye but can induce eyestrain and fatigue under prolonged exposure. Besides the vulnerable driver circuitry, LED bulbs on their own do not have sufficient heat sinking capability. Poor thermal management leads to phosphor degradation and consequent color shift toward the higher end of the spectrum. In the worst cases, blue light hazard which is known to accelerate the onset of macular degeneration will be triggered.
A Word to Fixture Designers
Solid state lighting differentiates itself from legacy lighting technologies in that it calls for spectrally optimized LEDs, tight management of electrical current and consistent control of LED junction temperature. The light quality of consumer grade LED bulbs is literally deteriorated beyond what we could have ever imagined. It is therefore imperative for fixture designers to develop a complete lighting solution that includes high quality LEDs, high performance drivers, and high efficiency thermal management systems. Don't leave the fixture end-users exposed to low CRI, flickering, and even photobiologically risky light emitted by the dirt cheap LED bulbs. Furthermore, with IoT and smart lighting on the rise, floor lamps need to be adapted to the technological advances. Sophisticated lighting features such as tunable white and dim-to-warm lighting, which are obviously impossible for light fixtures that still use light bulbs, demands complex system integration.
In the world of floor lamps there are loads of options that bring style and sophistication into a home. We've pulled together some of the best floor lamps to help you catch up. This is a continuously updated list. (Disclaimer: We're not affiliated with any beneficiary of the external product links in this article.) This is a continuously updated list. We welcome product suggestions from those who take pride in building compelling value into their products. (Owners of products listed here are authorized to use our badge to promote your achievement. Please include a link to this page for listing verification.)
Foscarini Lumiere XXL
Lumiere XXL: A fine, generously-sized blown-glass diffuser makes the Lumiere XXL floor lamp suitable both for reading and for interior lighting. A very trendy color choice with – alongside classic white – grey and brown which appear pleasantly cold when the lamp is switched off, and fill up with warmth when it is on.
Foscarini Giga Lite
The large diffuser of the Giga Lite floor lamp, in an innovative mixture of fiberglass and carbon threads which creates a luminous graphic effect, is suspended from a thin, extending steel rod.
Luceplan Costanza Friends of Hue
Always in the avant-garde of research and technological innovation, Luceplan presents its most iconic lamp, Costanza by Paolo Rizzatto. Costanza is supplied with a Philips Hue bulb and bridge that, together with the use of a smart device equipped with the Hue App, make it possible to reproduce all the tones of white light and the full color spectrum, allowing for custom lighting depending on a user's needs or mood.
Luceplan Lady Costanza
The telescopic stem and 360° rotation on the base give Lady Costanza elegant poise and flexibility, allowing the user to easily adjust the height and direction of the light. The extraordinarily limited weight of the structure and the handle on the base facilitate movement.
Louis Poulsen PH 4½-3½
Louis Poulsen PH is designed based on the principle of a reflective three-shade system, which directs the majority of the light downwards. The shades are made of hand-blown opal three-layer glass, which is glossy on top and sandblasted matte on the underside, giving a soft and diffuse light distribution. PH 4½-3½ Glass Floor is a member of the three-shade family. The first shades were made of metal with a painted undersurface, such as white, gold or silver depending on whether diffuse, warm or cold light was desired. Glass was later introduced for the three-shade system. In addition to the downward-directed light, glass lamps illuminated the room. By using a design based on the logarithmic spiral he achieved even distribution of light over the entire curve of the shade. This even light distribution, together with the diffuse reflection through the glass, made it possible to control glare and shadow. Each shade reduces the amount of light equally, due to their distance from the light source.
The diffuser in opaline blown glass—whose surface is scanned by the repetition of slight vertical cusps that vanish at the extremities—is combined with a wooden or aluminum structure, making Lita a product with a forceful material character. A timeless and evocative object that combines the crafts tradition with technical research, seductive in its way of matching visual and tactile sensations.
Torii: Big scale brings a bold presence to the confident style of 50s and 60s modern luxury. A time when all seemed possible and “bigger was better” promised a tomorrow of power from bright color and the simplicity of sheer size.
Sonnemana Arc Shade
Arc Shade extols the beauty and high functionality of modernism when a design is distilled to its purest, simplest essence. The linen shade enables light to shine upward as well as downward, and a small-profile rounded base allows furniture to be placed in front of or over it. The slender neck can rise to nearly eight feet before serenely balancing over key living areas. Arc brings artful beauty and ideal illumination to your modern space.
Bloom's superelliptical shade form is inspired by the gentle dynamic flow of paper lanterns. Its glorious lit effect is the result of transparency and light. Two contrasting materials—a finely perforated mesh core and frosted blown glass, combine to project a soft focus texture onto the inside of the shade. Combined with the contrast of a matt black floor stand, Blooms distinct character is evident both in its on and off state, creating a versatile, value for money floor lamp.
Clizia is a series of shapes fit together to create a perfect balance of reflections and transparencies. The lamp has taken note of natural forms, resembling a cloud that captures the first changing rays of morning sun, or a treetop filtering a play of light and shadows. All of the available versions marry aesthetics with functionality, featuring a magnetic anchoring system, connecting them to the ceiling (for the suspensions and applique) or the metal base (for the table and floor lamps). Clizia transforms a space into a landscape without overwhelming it.
In a land kissed by the sun, nature, colors and artisan expertise bring life to highly expressive pieces dense with archetypes, including Flora, the collection inspired by the Monstera Deliciosa plant. Sixty petals surround a satin sphere illuminated from its core. The petals’ shiny finish, to which we have added gun-metal grey, is achieved through an innovative aluminum vaporization system that creates an evocative play on light, seemingly stolen from the sun at its zenith.
Slamp Tam Tam
Tam Tam floor lamps feature a central pole to which either one or three colorful, rotating lampshades are attached. These luminaires are great for lighting intimate interior spaces, such as living rooms, offices, or reading nooks. Users can mix and match the color and number of lampshades to suit the aesthetic of each atmosphere, each interior and every need.
A playful study of reflection, designer Dodo Arslan took inspiration from Italian flatware manufacturer sambonet and created a fixture composed of a range of spoons from the smallest teaspoon to serving spoons which magnifies the reflective quality of this shape. The result is an installation that creates a “galaxy” effect of seemingly endless light.
The Warm floor lamps are a Ramos & Bassols design for Vibia. This line compliments the other various applications, table lamps and pendant lights belonging to this collection. The Warm floor lamp is made in four different finishes: screen shade, matt lacquered red aluminum shade, matt lacquered dark brown aluminum shade and lacquered matt white.
Design is concealed in the details of ModoLuce Disk: just incline the tilting metal disc inside the lampshade and the beam of light changes. One simple touch and light is liberated into space, to create ever new, unexpected atmospheres.
Foscarini Gregg Mix&Match
Gregg’s shape is reminiscent of a large pebble, its surface polished by the water. Made of hand-blown glass, this floor lamp is part of the Mix&Match System and is available in 2 sizes and 3 colors that can be combined in a flexible way, to define and coordinate the lighting of diverse environments.
Tom Faulkner AVA
Incorporating a slice of ingenious visual trickery, AVA floor lamp is a genuine showstopper. Featuring two tetrahedrons balanced on top of each other—their center of gravity precisely positioned to create a strong and stable platform—the metal base appears as one piece that has been twisted in the middle. This simple but intriguing geometrical form catches the eye and provides a sense of subtle drama, without overpowering the rest of the room. The AVA floor lamp is available in a selection of our standard and specialist finishes. Please note that height does not include lamp shade.
Rotaliana Flow Glass
The blown glass diffuser of Flow Glass features thin rings in relief that create a geometry similar to that of oriental paper and bamboo lanterns, while reproposing the Flow lamp image.
Haberdashery Dawn to Dusk
The Dawn to Dusk range is designed to evoke the memory of the rising and setting sun and the transition from deep, rich reds and orange, into peach hues then through to the white light of midday. The floor lamp gives you the opportunity to lift the sun from below the horizon and place it in the sky. Dawn to Dusk provides an iconic design statement through its minimal aesthetic and is an exploration of new ways to interact with light.
Pulpo Stellar Grape
Raised up above the clouds on a simple black or champagne powder coated steel base, the stellar grape floor lamp will shine across your interior universe. A grouping of star-like spheres mixes frosted acetate illumination with a textured ripple. These handblown glass spheres offer the perfect mix of elegance and mystery for the rest of your interior to orbit.
The concept of Alba starts with a very simple element: the designer’s imagination was inspired by a drop of water – which she puts to use in different ways, depending on the model. References to the world of nature, with soft shapes contrasted with square lines, together with the use of a satin brass finish, combine to create Alba, a family with a strong visual impact.
Cini&Nils Sesta Terra
Luminaires for interiors with traditional dimming controls and Casambi from the Sestessa family, featuring a stepped and sinuous shape. Sestessa terra emits indirect and reflected light. It is available with different lighting sources and in-line dimmer.
A floor lamp with indirect light for interiors, with a sensory dimmer for managing switching on and off and controlling light intensity by simply moving a hand or holding it still in the vicinity. Passepartout is in a matt gold finish and a matt-colored structure, a polished chrome finish with a diamond-finished structure, or a matt black or white finish with a diamond-finished structure and an upright in a matching color. The luminaire's high CRI guarantees respect for color perception.
Snowball is a modern take on the classic Bauhaus lamp, revealing how the Futurist and Cubist styles of the Interwar period continue to appear contemporary today. The lamp’s metal stem is anchored to a streamlined base comprised of rectangular shapes, rising upwards to hold a lampshade made from frosted glass at the top. The lampshade rests in a disc-shaped plinth, balancing the strict angles of the base with a perfect, round globe that emanates soft light. The lamp’s streamlined, minimalistic design complements a wide variety of interiors, with its strong geometric shapes adding a distinctively masculine element.
Rotaliana String XL
The aluminum structure of String XL is supported by a base with cast–iron ballast with a colored elastic cord that compensates the movements. A touch dimmer is built into the lower arm and the head, which features a polycarbonate diffuser, shields the direct light of the LEDs and is adjustable.