12 Best Table Lamps For The Living Room

Most living rooms function as a multi-purpose area in a home. They can be used for entertainment, dinners, and for studying or working. A well-lit living room will have a lighting setup that can include both overhead lighting and table lamps to give the room the best illumination. If you are wondering how to choose the best table lamp for your living room, you've come to the right place. We've done the work to gather up the best table lamps. 

There are several table lamp options available for you if you are in the market for a new way to add a bit of light to your living room. Once you decide on the color and the shade that you want the lamp to have, you're halfway there. Here are some of the best table lamp options for your living room:

  1. Buffet table lamps
  2. Accent table lamps
  3. Tripod table lamps
  4. Candlestick table lamps
  5. Task table lamps
  6. Novelty table lamps
  7. Swing-arm table lamp
  8. Gooseneck table lamp
  9. Clamp-on table lamp
  10. Banker table lamp
  11. Magnifier table lamp
  12. Organizer table lamp

Having the right lighting in your living room can help bring it to life. Whether you choose accent, task, or ambient lamps for your living room lighting, the important thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules. It's really about personal preference. Continue reading to learn more about the types of table lamps that you can pick for your living room.

A Scandinavian themed living room with blue and white sleeper sofas, floral curtains, and hardwood flooring, 12 Best Table Lamps For The Living Room

12 Best Table Lamps For The Living Room

Elegant living room with beige carpeted flooring, red sleeper couch, and a fireplace on the background

There are so many locations where you can place a table lamp. Options include on top of work desks, end tables, coffee tables, and mantels. When shopping for a table lamp, you'll find that they are versatile and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit any decor.

1. Buffet table lamp

Buffet lamps can offer a unique touch to your living room if you are someone who wants to add a bit of elegance to your decor. These lamps are usually positioned in pairs and placed at the end of serving tables, consoles, or sideboards. If you are someone who loves to have a nice dinner party, these may be the perfect tables for your living room.

For the most part, buffet lamps tend to be thin and tall, which prevents the shades and bases from taking up too much room, creating more space for you and your guests. They offer soft lighting for the most part, but you can definitely ramp them up with a higher wattage bulb if your living room needs it. Overall, buffet lamps can create a welcoming atmosphere and add ambiance to your living room.

See these buffet lamps on Amazon.

2. Accent table lamp

Accent lamps help to provide ambient light and a visible sense of style to your living room decor. While the functionality of the light can help to illuminate the living room and make it more visible, the main purpose of these lights is often to complement the interior design theme of the living room or add a bit of flavor to it.

You can use accent lights to add character to your living room and you'll be surprised at how it can immensely affect the aesthetics of the entire layout. You can infuse accent lamps into your living room by choosing ones that have eye-popping colors, interesting textures, or lots of curves to help them stand out.

See this accent lamp on Amazon.

3. Tripod table lamp

These small lamps can be positioned on desks, end tables, and coffee tables to add a touch of lighting and maybe a bit of modernity to your living room. Tripod table lamps can also add a sense of style to your end table decorations.

See this tripod table lamp on Amazon.

4. Candlestick Table Lamp

Candlestick lamps are thin and tall, similar to buffet lamps. They can serve as a great alternative to table centerpieces or vases. They are wonderful space-savers and can go on top of coffee tables, end tables, or dining tables to add a decorative touch.

See these candlestick lamps on Amazon.

5. Task Table Lamp

A task table lamp is one that can be easily adjusted to focus on a project at hand. It's standard to have two pivot-points that make it possible to move both the arm and the lamp head. Task lamps could also have flexible necks, allowing the lamp head to move freely.

See this task lamp on Amazon.

6. Novelty Table lamp

Novelty lamps entered the scene about 40 to 50 years ago and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. These lamps come in several shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.

They are very easy to find online or in antique shops. Their distinct character can definitely help to break the ice when you have dinner guests over. Common novelty lamps include Himalayan salt lamps, globe lamps, animated lamps, and stone lamps.

See this Himalayan salt lamp on Amazon.

7. Swing-arm table lamp

Swing-arm lamps aren't technically "table" lamps, as they adhere to the wall. However, they can be placed right above tables for quick lighting if you are looking to catch up on your latest book or have a quick meal on the living room sofa.

These lamps can be positioned in multiple directions, they're rotatable, and they can swing downward and upward to provide light in any direction. You can also position them between chairs, as they are fairly mobile--and they can be folded up when not in use.

See this swing arm lamp on Amazon.

8. Gooseneck table lamp

These lamps are similar to swing-arm lamps as they can be maneuvered in any direction to provide flexible lighting. Gooseneck lamps usually come with a hardware kit that allows you to install them on the wall above your desk or end tables.

See this gooseneck lamp on Amazon.

9. Clamp-on table lamp

Clamp-on lamps contain a vise-like mechanism that can be placed on the corner of your desk or table, to provide a reliable light source at a short distance. They can help you to save desktop space and are perfect for working on small projects after dark.

See this clamp-on lamp on Amazon.

10. Banker table lamp (aka Piano lamps)

Piano lamps have been around for centuries and are known for their horizontal cylinder shade, brass stand, and pull chain. These conveniently-sized lamps can go on end tables, desks, or, you guessed it, on top of your piano.

See this lamp on Amazon.

11. Magnifier table lamp

Magnifier lamps have a magnifying glass in the middle of their lighting fixture. They are very useful when working on projects that require precision assembly or a close inspection of bite-sized components.

See this magnifier table lamp on Amazon.

12. Organizer table lamp

Organizer lamps contain small storage compartments at their base in which you can house pens, pencils, paper clips, and other common desktop items. Not only are they a great space saver, but they are also relatively inexpensive and convenient.

See this organizer lamp on Amazon.

Should Table Lamps Match In The Living Room?

Luxurious modern living room with gray colored curtains, gray sectional sofas, gray dining tables and chairs

Table lamps do not have to match in your living room. Again, there are no rules when it comes to choosing table lamps for your living room. However, there are certain ways that you can go about choosing table lamps that will create a cohesive decor in your living room.

For example, if your living room has a lot of modern elements and furniture, you may want to choose table lamps that have sleek and contemporary designs, and perhaps even vibrant or bright colors to complement the room. When looking for table lamps, it helps to think about the color schemes, material, and lampshade style that will work best for your tables.

For even more information on matching lamps, read this post: Should All Lamps In A Room Match?

How Do You Choose A Table Lamp For The Living Room?

If you are unsure how to start the process of finding the right table lamp for your living room, here are a few things for you to consider before heading out to the store or shopping around online:

Determine the best size

The size of the lampshade will determine the look that you are going for and the size of your tables. It can be helpful to measure your end tables, dining table, or desk to determine how much space you want to allocate for the table lamp beforehand. Be sure to add 18 inches for the width of the shade of the lamp.

Read more about lampshade sizes here: How Big Should A Lampshade Be? [By Lamp Location]

Determine the shade style

The shading style of the lampshade is one of the most important considerations to note when looking for a table lamp. The shade of the lamp, for the most part, is what gives it character and makes it stand out.

Do you want a lamp with a vibrant shade or one that easily blends with the rest of the colors in the room? Do you prefer a transparent shade or one that is darker, to make the room appear warmer? These are things to think about.

Choose a lightbulb

The type of light bulb that you choose for your table lamp will depend on the functionality of the lamp. The most common wattage is 60 watts. You should also decide if you want to use LED light bulbs to help save on energy. Be sure to look at the comparable lumen ratings to determine the right lumen output.

If you are someone who likes to change up the mood in the room at the drop of a dime, you should also consider dimmable light bulbs for your table lamps.

How Many Lamps Should You Have In A Living Room?

A retro inspired living room with gray and blue sofas, and end table with a lamp, and a fireplace on the side

The number of lamps that you need in your living room will depend on a few things. First and foremost it will depend on how many you want in your living room. Do you want a well-lit living room that has lots of bright lights? Or do you prefer your living room to be more laid-back with soft ambient lighting to create a more relaxing atmosphere?

For the most part, table lamps will suffice for a normal size living room, which is about 330 square feet. You can also mix table lamps with floor lamps to shake things up a bit. For example, you can have two table lamps flanking the couches, and two floor lamps on either side of the room. The sky's the limit.

What Type Of Lighting Is Best For A Living Room?

Being that living rooms can serve multiple purposes, the ideal lighting should be adaptable to several activities. For example, the lighting should be bright enough for reading, everyday activities, and cleaning-- especially if you don't have a lot of natural lighting coming into the room.

However, if your living room is mostly used for relaxing, gaming, or watching television, then ambient lightings such as dimmable sconces, track lighting, and table lamps may be a better option to create a more relaxed mood and to keep the glare off your television set.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has provided you with enough information to help you determine what type of table lamp will work best for your living room and how to go about choosing the right one. Best of luck!

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