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Photo: Andréana Lefton
When you have a limited number of windows and overhead lights, floor lamps can reduce eyestrain and control a room’s brightness—not to mention enhance the mood and add style to a space.
In their most basic form, floor lamps consist of a base, shaft, lamp head, and shade, but the range of configurations and materials are seemingly limitless. From traditional club-style lamps to modern torchieres, there are a few key designs that are important to know when searching for the best floor lamps for your home.
We field-tested popular lamps to determine which are the best to illuminate various spaces in the home. Below are the top picks that made our list.
- BEST OVERALL: LEPOWER Wood Tripod Floor Lamp
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Syrinx 3 in 1 LED Floor Lamp
- UPGRADE PICK: WERFACTORY Tiffany Floor Lamp Torchiere
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Kenroy Home Spyglass Floor Lamps
- BEST FOR READING: Brightech Leaf – Adjustable Pharmacy LED Floor Lamp
- BEST FOR HIGH CEILINGS: JOOFO Floor Lamp
- MIDCENTURY MODERN PICK: Brightech Carter Floor Lamp for Mid Century Modern
- CONTEMPORARY PICK: Adesso Trinity Arc Lamp
- INDUSTRIAL PICK: Lakumu Industrial Floor Lamp
Photo: Andréana Lefton
Popular Types of Floor Lamps
The beauty of floor lamps rests in their design and the way they effortlessly bring light to exactly the right spot in a home. A floor lamp not only offers basic illumination but also offers different kinds of illumination. The following four categories cover the most popular and useful types of floor lamps on the market today.
The traditional floor lamp, also called a club lamp, is composed of a metal base, shaft, and lamp head that’s finished with an empire-style shade (narrower at the top and flared at the bottom). There are club lamps designed to blend in with decor in contemporary homes, like with brushed metal finishes and sleek Art Deco styling.
- Swing-arm lamp variations offer a bit more versatility than basic club lamps. They also have a metal shaft and empire shade, but the lamp head is placed on a swiveling arm. This allows adjusting it by reaching out and positioning the light for socializing, watching TV, or reading on the couch.
- Tripod-style floor lamps are set on three splayed legs instead of a single shaft. These often have tripod lamps featuring drum- or oval-shaped shades instead of empire shades. A sleek shade updates the lamp’s profile, giving tripod floor lamps a modern look and vibe.
Contemporary task lights are often sleek, minimalistic, and typically made of metal. They usually have a long adjustable shaft and a smallish metal head that can bend directly over a table surface or desk.
The light bulb, typically an LED, is extremely bright and stays focused on the spot where the head is directed. For a slightly more traditional feel, go for pharmacy-style task lights. These are made of brass or have a rubbed bronze finish. The head may be angular or rounded and is also made of metal. A pharmacy lamp can lend a historic or industrial feel to a room.
Torchieres and Beyond
Torchieres have long tall shafts with flared heads at the top. They direct light upward, so they are ideal for adding ambient lighting to a room as well as brightening dark corners. Beyond torchieres, there are a number of lamp styles that play with form and function, offering even greater versatility.
- A tree-style or candelabra floor lamp features a design that branches. From a single metal base, the lamp branches into three or more arms, each with a bulb at the end. The lighted arms may point down, up, or in multiple directions, depending on the type of lampshade.
- A tower lamp provides diffuse ambient lighting. It’s built on a long metal frame and almost completely covered with a translucent shade. Available in a range of styles, from Chinese-inspired lanterns to sculptural forms and textured materials, this type of lamp works well in corners as well as displayed prominently in contemporary settings.
- An arched lamp, named for its curved shaft, ends in a single luminous shade. The lamp head may be covered in metal or fabric, but the effect is gentle, organic, and great for shedding light over a big sofa.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Floor Lamp
The floor lamp you choose needs to work for your room and your lifestyle. Whether you wish to illuminate a dark corner or shed some light on a favorite reading nook, here are some of the most important qualities to consider before deciding on a new floor lamp.
The intended use is an important consideration. There are three basic uses for floor lamps: task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting.
- In technical terms, task lighting increases contrast rather than just illuminance, which is the amount of light radiating per square unit. For this to happen, task lights typically have an adjustable, extendable arm that holds a bright bulb directly over a work space. Just as a user focuses on the task at hand, a task lamp needs to be focused, too.
- Ambient lighting refers to the general amount of light in a room. Ambient floor lamps need to provide diffuse illumination throughout a room or in a large section of the room.
- In contrast, accent lighting is intended to create visual interest, often spotlighting a certain architectural feature or aspect of the room. How a floor lamp is designed, as well as where it is positioned, determines whether it is best for ambient or accent lighting.
A floor lamp’s base material can affect its durability as well as the decor style of a lamp. For a good-quality floor lamp, consider a solid material like nickel-plated brass. While solid metals and woods may be more expensive, they typically are more durable and remain in good condition longer.
In the case of torchieres and traditional floor lamps, the long shaft that keeps the light elevated and contains electrical wires is usually made of plated metal. For tripod-style floor lamps, the legs may be metal or wood. Lampshades can be made of fabric, metal, plastic, or glass.
Bulb Type and Brightness
Traditionally, floor lamps used incandescent (tungsten filament) bulbs. These bulbs, however, are very inefficient when compared to modern light bulbs. While initially cheap, they burn out much more quickly than alternatives like energy-efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent lamp bulbs) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes). The best floor lamp is one that accommodates these varieties, allowing you the opportunity to choose and invest in energy-efficient bulbs up front.
Lamp brightness is measured in lumens, which is the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time. These vary based on the specific bulb, but each type of light bulb has an average.
- Incandescent bulbs typically produce around 14 lumens per watt.
- CFL bulbs typically produce around 63 lumens per watt.
- LEDs typically produce around 74 lumens per watt.
CFLs and LEDs can function effectively as task lights since they can be ultra-bright without getting too hot. Thanks to new designs and softer, warmer bulb colors, these energy-efficient lights can also provide dimmer ambient and accent lighting, too.
Style and Mood
Many of the best floor lamps combine function with form. By complementing furnishings and decor, floor lamps create a sense of balance and cohesion in a room. They can also add an element of surprise or a contrasting design feature, like counterbalancing soft furnishings with a lamp that has a harder industrial vibe. Whether they match or contrast with furnishings and style, there are plenty of options to allow shoppers to be intentional with lamp design choices.
Dimmable floor lamps can alter the mood and ambient light in a room on a whim. Look for lamps that offer at least three brightness levels (100 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent, for example). Beyond a dimming switch or dial, some lamps come with a remote control to adjust brightness from a distance. To control a lamp’s settings via a smart device, consider plugging the floor lamp into a smart plug.
Size and Adjustability
In general, floor lamps are usually about 5 feet tall or more. On traditional lamps, shades that rest near eye level are optimal to reduce glare and optimize light. Torchieres are often taller, since they are designed to also illuminate the ceiling space. For reading and task lamps, there are adjustable shafts as well as extendable arms and flexible lamp heads that can be pointed in various directions.
Most floor lamps can be relocated as long as they are within easy distance of an electrical outlet. To avoid tripping hazards, make sure cords are tucked behind furniture and not stretched across a highly trafficked area.
Our Top Picks
This section includes some of the best floor lamp options that we field-tested for a range of households and lifestyles. The products range in style, function, and versatility. All of the following models are also LED-integrated or LED-compatible, extending the lifetime and energy efficiency of the lamp.
LEPOWER Wood Tripod Floor Lamp
This simple design not only fits well into midcentury modern decor but also works well with many other home decor styles such as Art Deco, boho, vintage, and upscale rustic. It’s made from high-quality wood topped off with an elegant linen lampshade. The brown cord that accompanies it blends well with the lamp, disguising it while in use. The floor lamp gives off plenty of light that disperses well throughout the room. However, the linen keeps the light from producing a glare and gives the lamp a soft warm glow.
Although the results of this lamp are amazing, we found that putting it together was quite challenging. There are many screws and parts of the tripod base that have to be assembled and attached to the light fixture. In comparison to putting the lampshade together, the base is relatively easy. Assembly time took nearly 30 minutes. While this lamp took more time to assemble than most in this guide, the quality results are worth the wait.
- Weight: 6.28 pounds
- Height: 59.72 inches
- Material: Wood, fabric
- An ideal height for floor lamps
- Beautiful design and great light dispersion
- Sturdy and wobble-free, great for homes with pets and children
- Not easy to put together, requiring a 30-minute assembly time
- Lampshade doesn’t come assembled and is somewhat difficult to put together
Best Bang for the Buck
Syrinx 3 in 1 LED Floor Lamp
Save eyes and some money with the Syrinx 3 in 1 LED Floor Lamp. It is designed to easily and fluidly transform from a 53.25-inch standing pole lamp to a 23.5-inch desk or clamp-on lamp. High-tech and easy to use, it comes with both touch controls and remote controls, including a timer.
The LED bulbs (included) are ultra-bright but adjust if and when warmer gentler light is preferred. There is a choice of five dimmable brightness levels and five color temperature settings. This white task light doesn’t take up much space, and it’s unobtrusive enough to blend into a living room or bedroom. But it would also be ideal for college dorm rooms, teenager bedrooms, or home offices.
While this product is a great price and offers an immense amount of value for the price, it has its limitations, one of them being that the cord doesn’t stretch far. Therefore, one is limited in where to display it. Also, it is not a very decorative lamp, so it most likely won’t blend in well with most home decors. Despite these minor drawbacks, we found it to be a splendid task lamp that provides an essential amount of light.
- Weight: 8.03 pounds
- Height: 53.25 inches
- Materials: Plastic, metal
- Dimmable with five brightness and color temperature settings
- Remote control included that’s easy to use
- Easy assembly in about 5 minutes
- Desk clamp adjustable and pretty sturdy
- Lamp not very tall compared to other traditional floor lamps
- Length of cord is very short
WERFACTORY Tiffany Floor Lamp Torchiere
Tiffany stained glass achieved name recognition during the Art Nouveau movement around the turn of the 20th century. Atop a 66-inch bronze-finished lamp shaft rests an elegant stained-glass shade featuring an aquamarine dragonfly design. Easy to assemble and beautiful to behold, this Tiffany lamp adds a little jeweled light and vintage charm to the space without giving up the modern convenience of choosing LED bulb upgrades.
This gorgeous lamp is well built, and the stained-glass lampshade is tantalizing to the eye. It will definitely be a statement piece in the living room or wherever it is displayed. It is also helpful that the manufacturer provides the proper bulb along with the lamp. One disadvantage is that the light switch is located on the lamp wire, which we think could be confusing for those who expect it to be somewhere on the top of the lamp. Another drawback is that the lampshade, while stunning, makes it difficult for the lamp to light up the room. But if the goal is to find a floor lamp that provides a soft glow and a remarkable touch to artsy decor, then this lamp may be a perfect choice.
- Weight: 16.5 pounds
- Height: 66 inches
- Materials: Stained-glass shade, metal, iron
- Recommended LED light bulb included
- Very beautiful, sturdy design
- Easy to assemble in under 10 minutes
- Doesn’t give off a lot of light
- Light switch is located on the plug of the lamp
Kenroy Home Spyglass Floor Lamps
Traditional does not necessarily mean boring or old-school. Case in point: Kenroy Home’s classic floor lamp. Inspired by Art Deco designs and tempered with a modern sensibility, this floor lamp features a brushed-steel finish and linen lampshade. The dual bulbs can be turned on and off simultaneously or independently to offer dimmer or brighter overall light, and the brightness level can be adjusted via dual pull chains. Each socket supports a 100-watt incandescent bulb or the LED equivalent.
Towering at 5 feet tall, this lamp can serve as a statement piece in a living room, office, or bedroom. Although it works well in traditional decor, the bronze finish also allows it to work well in a rustic decor. This lamp is very solid and sturdy. However, one disadvantage is that the pulley chains that power it on and off may detach. Aside from this flaw, we think this gorgeous lamp is ideal for those who prefer simple decor.
- Weight: 16.35 pounds
- Height: 59.5 inches
- Material: Metal
- Easy to assemble in less than 5 minutes
- Great height for a floor lamp of 59.5 inches
- Classic bronze finish
- Pulley chains may disassemble
Best for Reading
Brightech Leaf - Adjustable Pharmacy LED Floor Lamp
A reading lamp needs to save eyes from strain, but it needn’t be utilitarian; the striking shape and antique brass finish on the Brightech Leaf Floor Lamp are proof. A modern update on a vintage pharmacy lamp, this antique brass floor lamp uses its angular shade to focus 1,150 lumens (or the equivalent of 90 watts) of light onto a work space. Its thin shaft and heavy base will easily fit into a corner, and the pivoting head and swing arm allow adjusting the angle of light as needed. The touch switch also contains a dimmer, offering 100 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent brightness. The integrated LED bulb is designed to last up to 20 years without replacement.
This lamp is certainly ideal for reading but could also work well in a home office. It is also ideal for those working on tasks such as sewing or model building. While this lamp is useful specifically for stationary tasks, we found that its swivel arm may not provide the versatility that is needed to perform all tasks because the light can’t be brought closer to tasks. The intensity of the light makes up for the lack of vertical movement. Despite the lack of vertical movement, the dimmer is easy to use, and the finish of the lamp is impeccable.
- Weight: 7.81 pounds
- Height: 53 inches
- Material: Metal
- Ideal light for completing tasks
- LED light bulb included with the lamp
- Easy to assemble in less than 5 minutes
- Black exposed wire an eyesore in contrast to antique brass lamp
- Lamp not as tall as most traditional floor lamps
Best for High Ceilings
JOOFO Floor Lamp
Atop the ultra-slim profile of this 68.9-inch JOOFO torchiere, a flat round head tilts upward, bouncing light off the ceiling and surrounding walls to increase ambient light, even in large spaces. It also rotates 350 degrees, so exactly the right angle can be achieved. Settings can be adjusted via touch or remote control, including the brightness level from 100 percent to 5 percent as well as color temperature: cold white, natural white, and warm white. Thanks to high brightness, low heat LED advanced technology, and a bulb lifetime of up to 100,000 hours, it can save money, energy, and replacement woes in the long run.
This lamp is a great height for a floor lamp, standing at 69 inches. It also has a chic design. However, there are a few challenges. For one, we found that when using the light at a tilted angle, lower light levels must be used; otherwise, the intensity of the light can be blinding. Also, while using the remote is straightforward to control the light levels, we discovered that using the lamp itself to control the light levels may be a bit confusing at first. One button controls the three temperature levels and the intensity of the light, which is unlike the remote that has several buttons to control these functions. Despite these drawbacks, the floor lamp provides great illumination, is easy to assemble, and could work well in living rooms and bedrooms. It could even work well as a spotlight to highlight pieces of art on the wall when it is pivoted.
- Weight: 9.98 pounds
- Height: 68.9 inches
- Material: Iron and polycarbonate
- Lamp is a great height
- Battery for remote is included
- Very easy to assemble in less than 5 minutes
- Remote is magnetic and sticks to the lamp, making it easy to find
- Light can be too bright on high settings and on an angle
- Adjusting the light settings on the lamp not intuitive
Midcentury Modern Pick
Brightech Carter Floor Lamp for Mid Century Modern
Although the Brightech Carter touts itself as a midcentury modern floor lamp, it can fit into a variety of decor including transitional and traditional. The 65.5-inch-tall lamp comes with a 60-watt 800-lumen warm LED light bulb that gives off a soft glow, especially juxtaposed with the beige linen cylindrical lampshade. The pulley switch makes it easy to turn the lamp on and off. Its slender walnut wood and nickel base along with the soft linen shade makes it ideal to display in a bedroom or living room.
While this is a simple and easy-to-assemble lamp, there is some difficulty with the lampshade. It doesn’t come assembled, and we found that the instructions weren’t easy to understand. While some may assemble the lampshade after the first try, others may need a few attempts to get it right. Another issue with the lampshade is the Velcro used to hold it in place. Although it does look good initially, over time, the Velcro may stop sticking, which may cause problems with the way the lampshade displays. Besides the minor issues with the lampshade, the lamp overall looks beautiful and displays quite well.
- Weight: 14.87 pounds
- Height: 65.5 inches
- Material: Walnut wood, nickel, and linen
- 60-watt LED light bulb included
- Compatible with Alexa
- Easy to assemble in under 10 minutes
- Lampshade doesn’t come assembled, and instructions aren’t easy to understand
Adesso Trinity Arc Lamp
If someone wants a modern chic floor lamp in their living space, this brushed-steel arc lamp is the perfect touch. The lamp provides three times the light of a single-bulb lamp, and the arms are adjustable, making it easier to spread the light over a wider expanse. It also has a slender base that allows the lamp to fit into a small area. Although the arc design does make the upper part of the base top heavy, the base is very sturdy, supporting the lamp with concrete covered by brushed steel. Its cascading appearance may look like it will topple over, but the strong base keeps it firm on both flat surfaces and carpeted surfaces. Each of the three lamps takes a 100-watt incandescent bulb, which creates a burst of light in whatever room someone places this lamp. Fortunately, if a full blast of light isn’t desired, the light switch allows an individual lamp to turn on.
This light is undoubtedly eye-catching and provides a lot of light. Unfortunately, it is not an easy lamp to assemble. It took us about 20 minutes to put together, 10 minutes of which involved figuring out how to assemble the rest of the lamp to the base. The base is really heavy and needs to be handled with care to prevent injury. Another drawback is that this lamp is very tall, and even though it’s not impossible to display in rooms with low ceilings, it may be better suited to homes with high ceilings. Despite these minor issues, the lamp is a dramatic showpiece.
- Weight: 29.5 pounds
- Height: 74 inches
- Material: Metal
- Very sturdy, well-built lamp
- Beautiful design, more suited for corner display
- Provides a lot of light, brightening any room
- Base of the lamp not easy to assemble and instructions not clear
- May be too tall for low ceilings
Lakumu Industrial Floor Lamp
Although these lamps aren’t as bright as the ones seen outside lining a park, they resemble the look. From top to bottom, this lamp is made of black metal with an antique finish. It also comes with three unshaded Edison LED light bulbs that give off a warm glow that is not overbearing. This lamp displays well in the living room, bedroom, or even the home office. And even though it may work best in industrial decor, those with any modern styling or vintage home design may find these floor lamps fitting within their space, too.
This fabulous industrial pick is quite beautiful, but it presents some challenges. We found it to be relatively easy to put together, but we struggled a bit with the arms of the lamp. This is because they each have a small screw that holds them in place, and the screws are so small that they can easily get lost. Luckily, there are extras included. Another drawback is the light switch located on the wire. While this is perfect for the design, it may present problems for those who are looking for switches in traditional places on the lamp. Besides these few issues, it is a well-crafted lamp that provides plenty of illumination.
- Weight: 13.02 pounds
- Height: 68.5 inches
- Material: Metal
- Three LED bulbs included
- Moderately easy to assemble
- Lamp gives off plenty of light and a warm glow
- Assembly easy except for the part where arms are located
- The light switch is attached to the cord
Among the floor lamps we tested, the one that came out on top is the LEPOWER Wood Tripod Floor Lamp for its great height, traditional design, sturdy tripod base, easy assembly, and great dispersion of light. For those looking for an affordable deal, the Syrinx 3 in 1 LED Floor Lamp is a good choice for its low price and its versatility. It is both an adjustable floor lamp and can transform into a desk lamp.
How We Tested The Best Floor Lamps
One of the rubrics we used to choose these lamps included ease of use and ease of assembly. We were able to assemble most of the floor lamps on the Top Picks list in under 5 minutes. While a few of the lamps were complicated to assemble, the lamps’ quality and beauty made up for this disadvantage.
Another major factor included in testing was the ability for the lamp to illuminate a room. Some of these lamps surpassed others in their ability to light a room. However, a few weren’t ideal for lighting but would work better as ambient lights or accent lights.
One last important feature we kept in mind was height. Most lamps fell within the typical range of 58 to 68 inches tall. Those that didn’t could primarily be used as task lighting if they were shorter or used in rooms with high ceilings if they were taller. Overall, the lamps that made our list did a great job of providing the light necessary to illuminate the room to create an inviting mood or get tasks done without causing too much eyestrain.
Floor lamps can last decades and withstand a lifetime of use, which is why it’s important to carefully select a new lamp. The right size, style, and illumination are key; otherwise, a lamp may simply take up space as just decor. The following are answers to popular questions about selecting a new floor lamp.
Q. How tall should a floor lamp be?
A floor lamp is usually between 58 and 64 inches tall, which is around eye level for the average adult. Torchieres may be taller.
Q. How do you light a room with floor lamps?
To increase ambient light, place floor lamps in the corners or along the edges of a space. For task lighting like reading and knitting, position lamps near armchairs and sofas.