How to Choose the Right Floor Lamp for Your Living Room

Are you looking to brighten up a dark living room in your home? Have a family room in your dingy basement that you can’t add ceiling lights to? Then a quality floor lamp is a perfect solution to your lighting needs.

Once you are ready to start decorating your living room, take a look around. Adding adequate lighting should be at the top of your to-do list. Think about the majority of the activities you will be doing in your living room. Will you be watching TV most of the time, or reading?

Or instead, will you be sitting on the couch and reading or working on your laptop? Think about how tall you would like your floor lamp. If you will be working on the couch, you will want your lamp at or below eye level to avoid a glare. Watching TV across the room? You can go a little higher with your height when shopping for your floor lamp.

The choices are endless when it comes to floor lamps these days. From bright LED lighting to Bluetooth capabilities, it is all available. With a little bit of thought before you start shopping, you can save yourself quite a bit of headache. Avoid returns, shipping, or having to deal with a less-than-perfect choice.

Questions to consider

Ask yourself a couple of questions before buying a floor lamp.

What is the purpose of the floor lamp in your living room?

Consider the main reason or why you are feeling the need of the floor lamp. What will you do with the lamp? Look at your room, and think about how you will be using it before making your purchase. This will ensure you end up with the perfect floor lamp for you.

What kind of light do you want in your living room?

As there are a plethora of styles in floor lamps, so too are there a number of lighting options.

You can choose from super bright LED lighting that can brighten even the darkest of rooms. Or you can choose a more ambient type of lighting for a small sitting area where you will be mostly reading.

Consider how you will use your room the most when you are considering the level of lighting you need.

How much light do you really need?

Consider the amount of light needed. Think about how you will actually be using your living room.

For reading, you will want lower levels of lighting and at a lower height. For brightening up a dark room, choosing a taller floor lamp with a bright LED bulb will be a better choice.

What other features are you looking for in a floor lamp?

Now a days, lighting is not the only feature of a floor lamp. There are more features available than ever before when it comes to floor lamps.

There are lamps that offer Bluetooth capability so you can dim or turn off your lights from your phone.

There are lamp stands that offer shelves with USB connectors so you can always have your phone charging and near you.

There are decorative floor lamps, and truly bright LED lamps that will brighten even the darkest family room down in the basement.

The features that you will want will be unique to you, and rest assured there is probably the perfect lamp with just the perfect features for you.

Basic floor lamp types

There are a number of different types of floor lamps available on the market today. By thinking through all your options now, you can watch for the right deal on exactly the right floor lamp for you and your specific living room.


Arc floor lamps offer a great solution for the large seating areas and sectionals. Arc has a long arm that extends like an arc allowing for you to have light in the middle of the room while keeping the lamp off to the side. This is a great option for a place behind a couch.


Usually, a wire frame making a column, sometimes completely covered with a translucent shade, sometimes only part of the column is covered. This is nice ambient lighting and can have other beneficial features such as a shelf or two.


This kind of lamp is great for precise task lighting or reading, not so great for lighting an entire room. Most Pharmacy floor lamps have an adjustable lamp head and base.


This kind of lamp has a fairly traditional design with some customization such as an adjustable height or light brightness.

Swing arm  

Just as the name suggests, the benefit of this lamp is you can swing the lighting over to your workspace rather than having to move the entire lamp.


This lamp provides a direct, downward facing light on your workspace. This can be handy if you are needing light on one detailed location, but isn’t as great if you are lighting an entire room with this one option.


one of the most popular types of floor lamps, gets its name from the fact that they look like a torch with their shade pointing upwards instead of down, like a torch.


With branches like a tree, this type of lamp is best if you are lighting multiple areas with one lamp.

If you want a floor lamp that provides ambient lighting and task lighting at the same time, consider a tree floor lamp.


Your grandparents probably had a traditional floor lamp in their living room. This is the quintessential lamp design, with a heavy base, tall column and then a traditional downward lamp shade over the bulb.

Each of these floor lamp types have their own pros and cons. Take the time to think about what you really want in your particular living room. This will ensure that you are purchasing just the right floor lamps for your room and your lifestyle.

Factors to consider before buying a floor lamp for living room

Consider the amount of light needed

At First consider the amount of light needed for your living room. The amount of light needed for your living room depends on how you will be using your room the majority of the time.

Reading lights will have a softer glow and should be at eye level when sitting. While a taller standing floor lamp will be better with an LED light.

What types of lamps are ideal for lighting in a living room?

Again, the type of lamp you will need depends on how you will be using your living room. There are so many options depending on how you use your living room. There are lamps that are perfect for reading such as the traditional lamp with low lighting and below eye level.

There are also lamps that are perfect for brightening the darkest of rooms with an LED torchiere lamp style.

Lastly, why pick between the two styles? With a tree lamp, you can have both reading lights as well as bright torch lighting.

As mentioned above, there are plenty of different types of lamps available. If you are looking for more detailed light during a project, consider the pharmacy lamp or task lamp.

You also don’t need to pick just one, depending on the size of your living room. You might want to choose an arc lamp to light the middle of the room and a column lamp to add lighting to a dark corner.

How Many Lamps Do You Need?

As mentioned above, you are not limited to one particular type of lamp. So, how big is your living room? If you have a bigger room, you will need more lamps to make sure that your room is light up enough for your needs.

Smaller rooms might only need one or two lamps. So think about how many lamps do you need? And would you like a variety of styles or keep it uniform throughout the room?

How Wide Should Your Lamp Be?

As you look around your living room and begin to measure the dimensions of your living space, consider how wide your lamp should be.

For smaller spaces, you can find a floor lamp that doesn’t have quite as big of a foot print. And for larger rooms, you might look at a tree lamp that can have many branches lighting up many different areas.

How big of a foot print can your living room handle for your floor lamp? Do you need a more streamlined design for your smaller space?

How Tall Should Your Lamp Be?

Again, when deciding how tall your lamp should be, consider how high your ceilings are before you purchase your floor lamp.

If you are lighting a family room down in your basement, it would be smart to head down and measure your ceilings. Instead of guessing the height and then finding out your newly purchased floor lamp is too tall. As the old saying goes, measure twice and order once – or something like that.

What is the average height of a floor lamp?

So, what is the average height of a floor lamp? The simple answer is you can get just about any height you want.

The general rule of thumb is that if you are looking for a floor lamp for behind your couch, you will want a floor lamp that is around 58 to 64 inches in height.

But again, when it comes to what you can order, the options are almost limitless.

Consider scale, design, color, material, and quality

When it comes to figure out your preferred style for your floor lamp, look around your home. Your floor lamp should reflect your decorative style; it isn’t just for function after all.

The scale of your lamp will depend on the size of your room; do not try to squeeze in a too tall of lamp into a small room.

You don’t want to overpower the aesthetic by picking something that isn’t proportional to everything else in the room.

For color, will a traditional black or dark brown polish be better with the rest of your living room decor?

The design and color of your lamp will be subject to your personal preference.

Do you like the traditional look in your living room? Or do you tend to lean towards the minimalism look when you are decorating?

There is a lamp for every design preference and desire. The look of your lamp will probably have more to do with your budget than anything else.

Can you afford the more sturdy materials, or would you rather choose something that is easier on the budget? This second lamp will not have the same quality of course, but it will still light your room just fine.

How to Choose the Lampshade

Picking the lamp itself is only half the decision. Next, you need to think about how you want to choose the right lampshade.

Do you want something that is sheer, or a darker tint to provide less light in your room? Again, think about how you will mostly be using your living room.

This will help you decide just how bright you want the light to be, and thus how translucent you want your shade to be.

What about Style?

Once you have decided your budget, brand of choice and measurements, the only thing left to consider is what kind of style you want for your floor lamp.

Just as discussed with the design of your floor lamp, think about what style you like in the rest of your home.  What design do you like? Do you lean towards modern and minimalist styles? Or do you love Joanna Gaines farmhouse chic?

Do you like the metal style of the industrial style for your lamp? Or would you prefer the mission shaker style made of wood?

These questions will help you narrow down the search for your lamp based on your style preferences.

Right Placement

As you are deciding which floor lamp to purchase, think about the placement within your living room.

Where is the most likely option to place your floor lamp in your living room? Will it go behind the couch for a reading light? Or, will it be in the corner brightening up the entire room?

This will help you decide just what kind of floor lamp to get.

Floor Lamp Costs

Lastly, think about your budget. Floor lamp costs can vary widely from brands to which store you choose.

By looking at all your options, you can make sure that you are getting just the right floor lamp, without breaking the budget.

After you bring your lamp home

Do you know how to take care of your lamp once you bring it home? Learning all about the proper after care for your lamp will ensure that your investment lasts a long time.

Most lamps can be cleaned with a simple damp cloth. Since water and electricity don’t mix, be sure to unplug your lamp before doing this.

Most lamp shades can be removed for a more thorough cleaning. This is especially important for tall floor lamps with an upside-down bowl shade as they can collect quite a bit of dust.

Final verdict

As you can see there are many questions you should ask before diving into the purchase of your floor lamp for your living room. You will want to think through each of these factors before you start window shopping. Especially if you are shopping online, these questions will save you time and money.

You don’t want to waste a bunch of time and money shipping the wrong floor lamp back to the store. In order to ensure you get the perfect floor lamp for your living room, ask these questions first. With these questions answered before you start your shopping, you will ensure that you pick out the perfect floor lamp for your living room.

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