Lampshades 101 : Back to Basics

Lampshades 101 : Back to Basics

How do lampshades attach to the lamp? 

The standard American lampshade is usually equipped with a spider & washer fitter, often times in a brass or nickel finish. The washer sits on top of either a harp or a post and is secured by a finial

Lampshade Fitter Diagram

What is a harp? 

A harp is a piece of metal that attaches at the base of the lamp socket and sort of looks like an upside down "U". The lampshade sits on the top piece. Sometimes lamps are setup with a post, rather than a harp. 

Lampshade Harp Diagram

Lamp Post Diagram

What about really small lampshades - like for a chandelier?

Lampshades 6" and smaller usually come with candle-clip fitter (rather than the washer & spider) which allows them to clip directly onto the light bulb. These are ideal for wall sconces and chandeliers. 

Candle Clip Lampshade Diagram

How do I measure a lampshade? 

It is important to know all three dimensions:
Top x Bottom x Slant
9" Top x 14" Bottom x 10" Slant

Lampshade Dimensions Diagram

What is the right size for my lampshade? 

A good rule of thumb is that the lampshade should be approximately twice the width of the lamp and about 1/3 the height. This is just a suggestion. We are big believers in the "it just looks right" method. 
Lampshade Proportions Guideline Diagram

Wait - I followed the rules but it still does not look right. 

Does your new lampshade look too short or too tall? Try adjusting the hardware so that it sits lower down (or higher up) on the lamp. For instance - swap out the lamp harp, or if possible, adjust the mechanism on the post. The difference between all wrong and the perfect fit might just be a new harp. Harps come in a range of sizes and we are happy to send them to you.


Still not sure? 

We speak lampshade and would love to hep! A text message or an email with a photo of your lamp and shade is a great place to start.

Talk 401-847-0228
Text 401-450-5706