Illuminating You about Lamps
From torchieres to banker’s lamps to touch lamps, the variety is almost endless. Do Tiffany lamps appeal to you? How about a couple of lamp post placements at the end of your driveway to guide your guests, or even strung throughout the garden or around the pool so people don’t have to stumble around in the dark?
Practically all modern lamps can accommodate Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), including special designs that can perform in the place of a typical (and expensive to operate) “tri-light” incandescent bulbs. And current designs of a typical LED bulb will fit with just about any lamp design.
With the state of modern electronics, many new LED bulbs can work over voltage ranges from 90 volts up to 250 volts with no special accommodations. It is installed like a regular bulb, and no matter what the voltage is, it works properly.
Some of the current LED bulbs are designed for very specific markets such as North America where it is always 115 volts, or most of Europe where they are working to standardize all services to 230 volts. Due to politics however, they are permitting a variation of as much as 10%, thus European voltage can vary between 207 volts and 253 volts, so make sure you get a full range bulb, or never use it outside of its designated jurisdiction.
The Best Bulb
On the whole, LED bulbs are probably the most efficient, using the least electricity to generate an equivalent number of lumens of light output. Second most efficient are CFLs, whose drawbacks include a significant fraction of time of waiting before they come up to full brightness, and in many cases the presence of mercury. Because of the use of what are called tri-phosphors, CFLs can produce full visible-spectrum light or any particular variations needed.
The next most efficient bulbs are the pressurized halogen bulbs which use only 75% of the power in the conventional incandescent light bulb. Halogen bulbs can last three times as long as a traditional bulb, but need to be at least 250° to maximize the life expectancy.
Naturally there are other types, such as low pressure sodium lighting which is the most efficient for producing light, however it’s a yellow light that is not useful for many purposes. This is why you find it on traffic underpasses and illuminating intersections where color is not vital. Metal Halides require 4 minutes to start, and 10 minutes to restart after you turn them off. Many such alternate lights are problematic in domestic use.
Types of Floor Lamp
As mentioned torchieres are terrifically popular because they take up so little floor space but can provide large amounts of diffuse lighting. Since they’re focused primarily on the ceiling they virtually eliminate glare. This particular one is based on the wisteria flower and could be quite the conversation starter.
If Tiffany is more your style, a Tiffany floor lamp, which casts most of its light downward, might be just the thing. Tiffany never goes out of fashion, and is the sort of treasure that you can hand down as an heirloom to your children.
Tiffany shades are hand assembled, using the copper foil method, developed by Tiffany himself, and are comprised of a typically gorgeous selection of fine art glass.
Touch lights are extremely convenient for bedside lamps, since you don’t have to fumble for a switch to turn them off and on—just a tap can turn them on or a continuous touch can gradually alter their brightness up or down. It is the height of convenience.
With ars gratis artis comes some stunning choices, combining geometric overtones with spatial distortions. This is particularly noteworthy in the tower light design which blends attractive low key lighting for evening with a piece that resembles an art nouveau sculpture during the day.
Soft materials stretched over light frameworks, or rigid materials on substantial structures can serve as modest light sources, but can provide a focus for the room, and drive conversation simply by being eye-catching sculpture.
The Down Bridge lamp very specifically directs its light downward. This can serve a number of purposes such as a reading lamp or task lamp, and is convenient for providing lighting for a piano keyboard. Whether its name is literally derived from its frequent use to illuminate card tables, in the evening, while playing Bridge, is a matter of speculation. It is, however, useful for precisely this purpose.
Of course floor lamps come in many styles from brilliant chrome-heavy designs to catch the eye, or very artistic tripod designs, or even fascinating pole-type task lamps whose light can be sent in any direction.
Last but not least is the Pharmacy lamp, designed to be height adjustable, and to swing around to light up your particular task, or to move completely out of your way. They can be found in very plain, austere designs or extremely ornate and quite artistic statements.
Desk and Table Lamps
Naturally any floor lamp can be recreated in miniature to be complimentary and used as table lamps, establishing a theme for the room. On the other hand, they have also spawned completely unique pieces specifically for those pieces of furniture.
In the old days, banks were thoroughly littered with Banker’s lamps, with their heavy brass base and dark green shade. As an homage to those ubiquitous lights, people have designed very similar shaded desk lamps.
Some are special purpose, and some are quite utilitarian. For example spring lights and retractable designs are very useful for people that need focused light on a small area such as documents, but who also need the versatility of getting it out of the way when it's not needed.
Sometimes an individual needs to do very close work, especially if they happen to be a coin dealer or collector (numismatist), or someone who deals in postage stamps (philatelist), or even a graphic artist. That’s where illuminated magnifiers come into their own!
And there are those who just need bright, full-spectrum light to make it easier to work. Nothing prevents you from being stylish, so these LED task lights made of brushed aluminum or rich walnut wood could certainly make a strong personal statement.
And if you need a desk lamp that says something about your personality, there’s nothing wrong with a nice bold statement using something heavy and chunky; something with real substance; something that will be noticed. In that case any of this trio might be perfect.
Of course it’s not always about making a statement. Sometimes it is just the little touches and flourishes that make something special. A spot of color; a hint of expense; and (maybe) a little statement about your good taste can all contribute to making a good impression. This is where a little dash of Tiffany here and there about the room can look great. These accent lamps can really blend with other Tiffany objects in your environment to make it all come together!
Remember: Lighting is everything. Without it, you can’t see anything!