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Know all types of lamp and their main uses

Floor lamps, pendant lamps, sconces, ceilings... What a mess! There are many types of lamps and sometimes we do not know very well which is the most suitable for each room. In this post we want to make a small summary of the main uses of each of the following types of lamps.

  1. Floor lamps

As you all know, floor lamps are those with a more or less high structure that rest on the ground and support one or more sources of lighting. There is a large multitude of models with very different shapes and sizes that make this type of lamps an element that brings the touch of style and personality wherever it is located.

Within the category of floor lamps we can differentiate between reading floor lamps and decorative or environmental floor lamps. This distinction is based above all on the type of light offered by each lamp. In the case of reading floor lamps the light is more directed and normally the structure of the lamp allows mobility to place the point of light in the way that best suits at all times, thus facilitating the illumination of a certain point or object.


Photo: floor lamp model Lua of Aromas del Campo.

On the other hand, ambient floor lamps have a more decorative function, they produce a light, as their name suggests, ambient and usually dimmer. This type of lamps are usually used, in addition to lighting, as decorative elements since they are lamps that bring great personality to the space. A floor lamp can totally change an environment and give the touch of style necessary to get the stay you want.

Photo: Berni floor lamp by FARO.

Floor lamps are usually used as a secondary point of light in living rooms, bedrooms or studios, although they are also luminaires widely used in spaces where you want to create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. This type of lamp is also used in case there are missing points of light on the ceiling or wall that prevent the installation of ceilings or sconces and require artificial lighting.


Photo: Papua FAROfloor lamp.

2. Table lamps

The so-called table lamps are those that are normally placed on top of a piece of furniture, a desk or an auxiliary table. In this case we can differentiate between desk table lamps and environmental table lamps.

Desk table lamps are those that offer a more powerful and directed light and that are used in workspaces. These are normally articulable lamps so that the point of light can be moved and adapted to the needs of each moment. There are many desk lamps of very different shapes and styles, some with a screen, others without it, metal, wood, plastic ... To choose a desk lamp correctly it is necessary to take into account several aspects such as the halo of light that is intended to illuminate, the height of the table and chair of the desk or the necessary lighting power.

Photo: Gira desk lamp by Santa&Cole.

On the other hand, ambient table lamps usually offer a more diffuse and dim light, they are usually located on top of furniture and auxiliary tables being used as a point of secondary and environmental light. There are lamps of infinite shapes and styles from the most classic with screen and made of marble and rounded shapes to the most modern with metal structures and bulb in sight.

Photo: Bliss table lamp by FARO.

Within the category of table lamps we also want to highlight the lamps for bedside tables. In this case the choice of lamp will depend on the use you want to give it. Depending on what is needed, we can choose a lamp with a more directed light or a lamp that provides a rather ambient lighting. Aspects such as the height of the bedside table, the required light power, the mode of turning on and off the lamp, as well as the possibility that the intensity of the light can be regulated, a very interesting option in table lamps for bedside tables, will have to be taken into account.


Photo: lamp for bedside table Marbre de Aromas del Campo.

3. Pendant lamps

You will find all the models there are and to have, the hanging lamps we could say that they are the lamps par excellence. Pieces that can become the central point of a living room, a kitchen or a bedroom and that bring a lot of personality to any space in which they are placed. From the most minimalist to the most ornate and of almost impossible shapes, the imagination has no limits when designing this type of lamps.

Photo: Big Bang pendant lamp by FOSCARINI.

These are luminaires normally used in dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens, however we can find more and more interior designers who bet on hanging light points to illuminate stairs or bedrooms, and even as points of light that replace the wall sconces next to the bed.

Photo: Planet suspended lamp by FARO.

Given the great variety of hanging lamps there are several aspects that we must take into account when choosing them: first of all we must consider the height at which they are going to be located, so you have to know both the height of the lamp and the cable from which they hang, on the other hand we must also know the way of fastening the lamp, so it will be important to know their weight and the material of the roof in which they will be installed. In addition we must also take into account its function, where aspects such as the range of space to be illuminated, the necessary light power or the type of lampshade will come into play. 

4. Ceiling lights

Ceilings are one of the most used types of lamps today. These are lamps that are installed directly on the ceiling and usually offer ambient and diffuse lighting. This type of lighting is ideal for integrating artificial light with natural light and is especially suitable for small rooms and low-rise spaces, in which placing a suspended lamp would be not very functional and would overload the room.

Photo: Ceiling Duo de VIBIA.

Ceiling lamps are more discreet lamps than pendant lamps, although not for that reason of less careful design. It is appropriate to choose a ceiling that adapts to the decorative style of the room and that meets the correct technical expectations. As in the rest of the luminaires, we must take into account the size of the room and the height of the ceiling to choose a ceiling with the ideal size and light power. On the other hand, we must take into account the materials used for its manufacture, since depending on the room where they want to be placed we must opt for one or the other, since a ceiling for the bedroom is not the same as for a bathroom. We must also think about the most suitable type of bulb for the space we want to illuminate and decide if we prefer halogen, LED,  fluorescent lights ...

5. Wall sconces

The wall lamps are those that are installed directly on the wall and therefore require the existence of wiring inside. Wall sconces are ideal for passage areas without too much space, such as corridors and halls, which do not have natural lighting. In addition, this type of luminaire is also usually used to place next to the bed as a bedside table when there is not much space, as well as as a reading light in living rooms when it is not possible to install a floor lamp.

There are many models of sconces, some that offer a more general light and others with a more focused light. Your choice will depend on the use you want to give to the applique. To illuminate corridors, stairs or other areas of passage we recommend sconces that give a rather diffused light so that they act as a point of general light, on the contrary if you want to install a wall lamp in a reading or work area we recommend those that have a directed light and that can move. There are sconces of all sizes and styles, as with any lamp, we must choose according to the circumstances of the space and the needs of each user.


Photo: apply Stood de FARO.

6. Portable lamps

The great revolution in recent times. Portable lamps are making their way by leaps and bounds across all designer lighting brands. More and more models are manufactured and some existing ones are reissued in portable model.

These are lamps that can give an incredible game, since we can place them without having any installation or plug at our disposal. Thus, its functionality is one of its great virtues. In addition, in no case is the design neglected and we find really spectacular pieces that we can take wherever we want and move at will. Without a doubt they are an ideal option in desktop and standing formats, since we can illuminate any corner when we need it.


Photo: follow me Plus portable lamp by MARSET.

7. The 'unclassifiable'

The imagination in the world of design lighting is endless. Designers are constantly looking to surprise and reinvent the classic lamp concept. Some with more fortune and others with less, have managed to design pieces so spectacular that we do not know where to catalog them. This is the case, for example, of the suspended lamp or Parentesi floor lamp, of FLOS, to which we dedicated our previous post. These are lamps with which to make the imagination fly and use ingenuity to find the perfect place and time to place them. Other examples are the Arrangements line of VIBIA (which we talk about in this post) or the Uto 'table lamp' by FOSCARINI. 


Photo: Uto lamp by FOSCARINI.

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