Guiding Light: Tips on Lamps |

Guiding Light: Tips on Lamps

Jura Koncius(c) 2007, The Washington Post

Lamp tips from Judy Selis, assistant manager at Gaylord’s Lamps and Shades in Chevy Chase, Md.:• If your lamp needs a new shade, bring the lamp with you to the store.• Every style of shade makes a lamp look different. There are no wrong choices, as long as it is in proportion to the base and the hardware doesn’t show.• Replacing a harp (the thin metal piece that supports the lamp shade) can make a huge difference in the look of your lamp. Harps are available in 6- to 15-inch sizes. If the shade hangs too low, it covers your base. If it is too high, it exposes the electrical hardware. So keep an eye for proportion to choose the right size harp.• A good lampshade should last six to eight years before looking tired and worn.• Try not to use a bulb that is more than 150 watts. It will shorten the life of your shade.• If a small lamp is being used for security and left on 24 hours a day, use a 40-watt bulb to save energy, and to save the shade.• Never use a vacuum attachment to clean your shades. Use a soft brush.• A finial makes a nice finishing touch to the top of a lamp.• Always remove the plastic wrap from a new shade. (No kidding. Some people leave it on for years, according to Selis.) It is designed to keep the shade clean in transit only.

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