Learning about lampshades and harps

Lighting is an integral part of the home. Often, the overhead lighting provided by the house or apartment fixtures is not enough, one must have supplemental lighting. Many times, supplemental lighting is for ornamental or decorative purposes tying a room’s look together in a pleasant effect. There can be confusion when selecting the correct lamp or lampshade. Let’s investigate this household accessory a bit further.

A short history lesson on lamps… “In 1801 Sir Humphrey Davy invented the first electric carbon arc lamp by connecting two wires to the battery and attaching a charcoal strip to the other end of the wires making charge carbon glow. Again primitive, it needed perfecting and during the 1870s, both Thomas Edison and Sir Joseph Swann invented electric incandescent lamp independently (Edison by improving the 50 year old patent).” Read more of this interesting history here http://www.historyoflamps.com/

Lampshades can be the accessories to the home much like a woman’s purse or a man’s fedora. They can be very plain and utilitarian or bring a sense of flair into a room. Lampshades can be made from several different mediums, some include fabric, paper, glass, parchment or plastic to name a few. The lampshade is usually held together with a wire frame and mounted on a base with a harp. Often, the lampshade is decorated with ornate patterns or beautiful trim. Lampshades can become very brittle and crumble after time. If you have a beloved lampshade, it is best to get it repaired at first sign of deterioration. A reputable lamp store in your area can do wonders with older items. If you are a DIY type of person., there are numerous YouTube videos that show how to clean and repair your lampshade. One item that is very used often is lampshade repair tape which can be found at your local craft or hardware store. Here is a website with very useful information about repairing your lampshade. https://home.tips.net/T003702_Repairing_a_Lampshade.html

The lampshade is attached to the lamp base by using a sturdy metal device called a HARP. The lampshade is also further attached to the harp by screwing on a finishing piece called a FINIAL. The harp fits into the SADDLE which are two slots located by the lightbulb socket. You squeeze gently at the bottom of the harp to fit the prongs into the slots. Once the harp is attached into the saddle, you screw the finial in place.

If you lose any of the components that fit the lampshade to the lamp base, these pieces are easily replaced by going to your local hardware store. There are also several online retailers that can provide any parts needed.

It's interesting how adding one bright or eclectic component to a room can change the whole look and feel of the space. Take a look at some of these creative and mood changing designs.

Play around with different designs. Often these lampshades aren't very expensive and the way it will change and brighten your living space will delight your senses and make your area seem new and exciting!


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