What size Harp Lamp Shade do I need

Table lamp with harp

Refurbish Vintage Table Lamps with Authentic Parts for Professional Results

Table lamps are a popular lighting choice for various areas in a home. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials. Most table lamps use a lamp harp to support the lamp shade. If your lamp has a harp or a 3/8″ diameter shade holder, you will need a Harp Lamp Shade. These shades are made with a wire frame that features a three-wire spider near the top and a center ring washer. To attach the shade to the lamp, simply slide the washer-ring fitter onto the harp post or the shade holder. Secure it with a lamp finial.

Measurement specifications for fabric, silk, mica, and parchment lamp shades

Guidelines for Harp Lamp Shades

Standardized Lamp Shade Measurements

  • Top: Represents the diameter across the top of the shade.
  • Bottom: Represents the diameter across the base of the shade.
  • Side: Represents a straight measurement of the slant side of the shade.

Determining the Size of Harp Lamp Shade Needed

  • Height of Lamp Shade: The height of the shade should be approximately 2/3 of the height of the lamp base (measured from the bottom of the lamp base to the base of the lamp socket).
  • Bottom Diameter of Lamp Shade: The bottom diameter should be approximately 1-2 inches less than the height of the lamp base. It should not exceed the lamp base height.

Harp type table lamp without a lamp shade

Selecting the Right Harp Lamp Shade

These guidelines apply to many lamps, but personal preference should ultimately guide your decision.

  • The height of the lamp shade should be approximately 2/3 of the height of the lamp base.
  • The bottom diameter of the lamp shade should be approximately 1-2 inches less than the height of the lamp base.
  • The proportions of the lamp shade should reflect the proportions of the lamp base. For example, a short and squat lamp will look best with a shade of similar proportions.
  • Using a lamp shade with the same base shape (round or square) creates a cohesive appearance.
  • If you use incandescent light bulbs, there should be a minimum of 3-1/2 inches between the lamp shade and the bulb to allow for heat escape.
  • If your preferred lampshade size is not available, it’s usually better to choose a slightly larger size rather than a smaller one.
  • Adjust the harp height if the lampshade is sitting too high or low on the lamp.

Finding an Exact Size Replacement

When searching for a new lampshade, you may not find an exact match in terms of size. However, it is often possible to use a shade that is slightly taller or shorter. In this case, you can change the harp that holds the lamp shade. Harps usually consist of two parts, allowing you to easily switch the height portion of the harp. Choose a larger size harp if the shade needs to be raised or a smaller harp if the shade needs to be lowered. When selecting a shade that doesn’t exactly match your requirements, it’s generally better to choose a slightly larger size.

Shade Holders for harp type lamp shades

Adjusting the Lamp Shade Placement

The lamp shade should sit at the appropriate height on the lamp, with minimal visibility of the lamp mechanics. Ideally, the shade base should sit just below the lamp socket, covering the socket but not the base of the lamp. Harp lamp shades are compatible with most harp type shades and can be detached for height adjustment. If the shade is sitting too low on the lamp base, use a taller harp. Conversely, if the shade is too short on the lamp base, use a shorter harp. Harp shades are also suitable for 1/8 IP shade holders and some lamp socket clusters, some of which offer shade height adjustment.

By following these guidelines, you can choose the right size harp lamp shade for your vintage table lamp and achieve a professional and visually pleasing result.

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