How Tall Should Console Table Lamps Be?

Console tables are a great way to add additional lighting to your room! They add surface space that you can add lamps to, but you may be wondering how tall those lamps should be. Well, we've researched the topic in-depth and have some tips and suggestions for choosing the perfect height of your console table lamps. 

The height of your console table lamp depends on your console table's location and the purpose of the lamp. Your console table lamp can range from 4 inches to over 30 inches. The height of your lamp will vary on whether it is for:

  • task lighting
  • mood lighting
  • decorative lighting

We've given you a broad range for how tall your console table lamp should be, but keep reading as we discuss the varying ranges in respect to the lamp's purpose. We'll go over when you might want a shorter lamp and when you might want to use a taller lamp.

console lamp with black shade on top of a table against a white wall, How Tall Should Console Table Lamps Be

How Do I Choose A Table Lamp?

Choosing a table lamp can be exciting! There are so many different styles and designs to choose from, but how they look shouldn't be the only thing you consider. You should think about the purpose of your lamp and whether you need it for more than just a decoration. We mentioned above that task, mood, and decorative lighting are some lamp purposes you should think about, and we will discuss each of these a little further. 

Task Lighting


When we use the phrase task lighting, we are talking about lights used to do something that requires direct light, such as reading. If your console table is against the back of your sofa and you plan on using the lamps for evening reading, you will want to use a lamp that is tall enough to provide the necessary light but not too tall that you can't reach it to turn it on from a seated position. Use a lamp that is 24 inches - 34 inches tall.

Tip: The base of the shade should be around eye level when you are seated.


While console tables in the entryway of your home have many purposes, if the first thing you do when you enter your home is turn on the light so you can see to put up your keys, purse, or jacket, you'll want to put a light large and bright enough to do this. 

If your entryway console table is more for decoration and you need some ambient light to help guide you through, smaller lamps will be adequate, around 10 inches or less. 

Click here to see Small Table Lamps on Amazon.

Mood Lighting

room interior with red wooden commode, mood lighting provided by a table lamp

If you wish to create some ambient light in your room, smaller to medium-sized lamps are a great way to do this, or consider using buffet lamps. Buffet lamps are usually on the taller side, around 32-36 inches tall, but are a great option for console tables because of their thin, slender design. 

Click here to see a 34" Metal LED Lamp on Amazon.

Decorative Lighting

If your lighting is just for decorative purposes, this is where you have the most freedom with the height of your lamp. When decorating a console table, you should have an assortment of decor with different heights. You can achieve this with lamps, vases, or other ornamental pieces. 

Focal Point

One way to decorate a console table is by adding a large focal point. You can use a canvas, a mirror, or a huge lamp. Don't be afraid to "go big or go home!' Consider using a lamp that is above 30 inches tall with a wide decorative base to really attract the eye. 

Click here to see Ania Modern Table Lamp on Amazon.

Smaller Lamps For Accents

If you have large vases or canvases on your console, you might want to choose smaller lamps to not distract from those. Smaller lamps are also a great way to highlight sentimental decorations like framed photographs. You can even use small non-traditional shaped lamps like a lantern or sphere to add ambient light and warmth.  This rattan ball lamp measures only 7 inches in height and also doubles as a decorative object when not in use.

Click here to see Rattan Ball Round lamp on Amazon.

Does Lamp Height Include Shade?

When you purchase a lamp that comes with a shade, if the height is listed as "total height," this will include both the shade and the base. The lamp height is measured from the bottom of the lamp to the top of the lamp and lets you know exactly how much space it will take up. 

If you're wondering how big your lampshade should be, check out our other blog post: How Big Should a Lampshade Be? [by Lamp Location].

Do Table Lamps Have To Match?

You may be wondering whether table lamps have to match. Ultimately, you are the designer in your home and can choose whether or not your table lamps match, but we do have some suggestions and examples to show you below!

Same Two On A Table

If you will have more than one lamp on a table, the easiest way to decorate is to have them match each other. After all, there's a reason lamps are so often sold in sets of two! 


Symmetry is a common way to decorate when it comes to interior design. It helps create a sense of calm and stability, and you'll often see symmetry being used when decorating with matching table lamps on the same table. Having an equal amount of space between objects creates balance. 

However, this isn't mandatory, and there are some cute ways you can incorporate two different lamps on the same table. 

Mix & Match

If you choose to be adventurous and have more than one lamp on the table and don't want them to be the same, try to choose lamps that contrast each other. Pair a large lamp with a smaller one or use two very different styles. For example, pair a traditional style shaded lamp with a bronze desk lamp or another non-traditional lamp like a salt rock lamp. 

Click here to see the Himalayan Glow Natural Pink Salt Lamp on Amazon.

Matching Floor Lamps And Other Lights In The Room

Your table lamps do not have to match your floor lamps or each other perfectly, though you can often purchase table lamps and floor lamps as a set. They should supplement each other either by similar design or color so that your entire look is cohesive. 

Not Matching Each Other

modern living room with mismatched floor lamp and table lamp

In this modern living room, the table lamp and floor lamp do not match perfectly but are tied together because they match other colors in the room. 

Matching Shades

modern living room with matching shades of table lamp and floor lamp but different bases

In this living room, the shades match, but the lights have different bases. 

Matching Bases

modern living room with matching bases but different shades for table lamp and floor lamp

But in this living room, the opposite is true. The bases match, but the shades are different. 

As you can see, you have creative freedom when it comes to your home, and you can mix and match however, you like. Lights can be the same, similar, or drastically different as long as they match some other part of your decor, and for more reading and ideas on this topic, check out Should All Lamps in a Room Match?

Final Thoughts

We've given you lots of tips and ideas for choosing table lamps for your console table, but the main thing to consider is what you want their purpose to be! Once you've decided on that, you should have an easier idea of how tall the lamps should be, and then you can narrow down your design options! Happy Decorating!

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