Floor Lamps to Raise Your Ambient Lighting Game

I can’t emphasize enough how important lighting is to any home. While it may seem like there are too many options to light your space, each has a unique purpose that can’t be replicated with alternatives. Floor lamps, for instance, have a larger size, durability, and plug-in range that makes them excellent choices in places with awkward corners and hard to reach nooks.

Clear Up Your End Tables and Nightstands

No room ever seems to have enough table space, so pick a lamp that doesn’t even go on the table (by Mackenzie Collier Interiors)

The biggest and best feature that all floor lamps share is right there in the name: they stand on the floor. That means they don’t take up table space like other lamps, making them ideal when you want an added light source but don’t want to sacrifice precious surface space. In a room where tables are in short supply (or high demand), a floor lamp can give you the lighting you’re missing while still letting you actually use your table space. Bonus: you won’t accidentally bump into or knock over your lamp when you reach for a book, remote, or drink.

Add Lighting Without Rewiring

Kochi Blush Floor Lamp, TOV-G18265 by Tov Furniture

Unlike many more permanent types of lighting, you don’t have to do any electrical work to set up a floor lamp. As long as you have an outlet in a room, you can set up a floor lamp – which makes them a great option for rental spaces that are low on built-in lighting, but that you can’t modify or upgrade. To get the same convenience as built-in or overhead lighting, hook up your floor lamps to an outlet controlled by a light switch; you’ll be able to flip them all on and off at once – or individually. Let’s see an overhead light do that! Better still, lamps aren’t permanent fixtures, which gives you the freedom to move them around if you ever want to redecorate.

Take Your Light Further

Melini Swing Arm Floor Lamp 28106 from Uttermost
Melini Swing Arm Floor Lamp 28106 from Uttermost

Floor lamps are also great for bringing light to a small or awkward space, like behind your couch or next to a reading nook. A simple extension cord will let you put a lamp almost anywhere in a room for targeted lighting that you can’t get from overhead lights. If you’re hoping for a reading light that doesn’t take up table space, look for ones with adjustable heads or swinging arms. These will let you direct light to where you need it no matter the task. Or, if you’re really short on space, you can even find floor lamps that have tables built in – a perfect two-in-one for a small reading nook.

Making Mood Lighting

Mood lighting is vital if you want to wake up or wind down without jumping straight to daylight bulbs (by Ziger|Snead Architects)

Floor lamps can be a stand-in for all-over lighting or ceiling mount lights, especially in a smaller room, but they don’t have to be. They’re also great mood lights. Sometimes bright, overhead lighting isn’t quite what you’re looking for, say in the morning or evening when you’re waking up or winding down. Floor lamps – especially ones with three way bulbs – can give you softer, gentler light either to build ambiance in a dark space, or supplement low natural light. For me, I get the most use out of my floor lamps on movie night, when a low-light setting keeps me from being in the complete dark without shining a glare on the television.

A Floor Lamp is Stylish Too

Arena Marble Base Floor Lamp, TOV-G18160 by Tov Furniture

Remember, while floor lamps have lots of functional applications, they’re also distinctly stylish, too. You can find floor lamps in a mind-boggling range of styles, from elegant and traditional to sleek and modern to just about any novelty look you can imagine. That means floor lamps can be an important decor piece as well as a lighting fixture. A novelty lamp can help bring out a theme in a room, while even changing out a lampshade can breathe new life into your existing setup when you redecorate. So remember that not only will you have more flexibility in where you put your light, but a whole new way to bring out your sense of style.

Floor lamps are an easy solution to a badly-lit home, and an affordable one at that. If your overhead lights aren’t quite reaching the spot you want or giving you the right ambience, you may just be a floor lamp away from your ideal lighting.