Any real estate agent or contractor will tell you: if you can manage to sneak built-in lighting into any (and every!) room in your home, you should. Being able to flip a switch and get all-over, over-head lighting gives any space an immediate visual appeal that can easily translate into a fast sale or even a slightly higher value on your home. But installing permanent lighting fixtures isn’t always practical or even possible, and many floor lamps don’t give the kind of illumination you might hope for. That’s why, today, I wanted to showcase a few modern floor lamps that aim to address both problems with one swift solution: tall, arched, swing-style fixtures that give you overhead illumination with a plug-in style lamp.
What’s Wrong With Floor Lamps?
Traditional floor lamps have a single straight post and are more or less person-sized. This makes them just the right size and shape to fit in a corner or comfortably next to a sofa or arm chair, providing plenty of illumination for reading or, with a brighter bulb, they can light up most of a room. But even with a swing-arm (which mostly just improves reading light) or multiple bulbs, a floor lamp can’t provide the same over-all lighting a ceiling mounted lighting fixture could. But some modern floor lamps, like this Galactic Lamp from Zuo take the floor lamp’s bulb out of the corner and put it front and center in your living room.
How Do Tall Floor Lamps Fix The Problem?
A floor lamp that has a very, very long, adjustable arm like this Alpha Lamp actually dangles your lamp over the center of your room. Now, this isn’t quite the same thing as having a ceiling mounted fixture, but it’s the best way to simply and inexpensively centralize your lighting while keeping your light switch control and without having power cords running all over your floor. With a long enough arm, you can position the lamp’s base just about anywhere along the edge of your room and still end up with the actual light hitting pretty near center.
Wouldn’t That Be Hard To Do Right?
Yes and no. At a glance, you might be worried about having a big metal arm hanging out in the middle of your room. Depending on your layout, this might be a pretty legit consideration to take into account. But most long-necked floor lamps, like this Crane Lamp from Nuevo, are designed to be adjustable in the height and angle of the main part of the lamp, as well as the height of the lamp shade, so you can adjust the arch to fit your space. With just a little fiddling, you can easily make these floor lamps tall enough to walk under if you need to, or if you’re especially tall, it allows you to place them so they hang directly over and across your sofa so you’re sure to have enough head room.
What About Visibility?
One of my first thoughts the first time I saw one of these floor lamps was that, sure, it’s great to have a light over your coffee table… but not so great to have a light in your face while you’re trying to watch TV. But it turns out that isn’t really an issue at all. Floor lamps like this Spectral Lamp are specifically designed to hang above head level while you’re sitting on a sofa, and are easy to adjust so you can make sure you won’t notice them at all while you’re on the sofa.
More Stylish Than A Swing Arm
One of the best things about these tall, arched modern floor lamps is that you can not only adjust the height, length, and angle of the light, you can also adjust the direction. Like a more conventional swing arm lamp, these floor lamps are great for spaces where you might need a little extra targeted light from time to time, like a reading chair, game table, or even an office desk. But unlike swing arm lamps which have a very limited range, modern floor lamps like this Penbrook Lamp from Dimond allow you to get the light exactly where you need it, even if the base of the lamp isn’t anywhere near you.
How Powerful Are They, Really?
It depends on the lamp, of course, but speaking generally this type of lamp uses one bulb up to 100 watts, compared to your average flush mount fixture which uses either one or two 60 watt bulbs, so approximately equivalent. If you really want to maximize your light levels, look for a fixture that uses more bulbs like this Cosmic Lamp. The wattage per bulb will be lower, but the lights themselves tend to be brighter overall. Also, it pays to pay a little extra attention to the bulbs you’re buying . Various incandescent, compact florescent, and LED lights all produce a different quality and amount of light that’s reflected more in their listed Lumens and light color than their wattage.
Make A Statement While Getting The Light You Need
In addition to providing the overhead light you could otherwise only get with complicated electrical work, very tall floor lamps also add a sleek, modern presence to your living space. The simple metal curve of the arched lamp neck is pure modern sophistication, and opting for a showier lamp shade like the one on this Plasma Lamp can turn a simple lighting fixture into a stunning show piece. This type of design is nothing if not unique, so if you’re looking for an innovative combination of lighting and design without any installation, one of these modern floor lamps is definitely the way to go.
Do you like the futuristic look of these ultra-tall floor lamps, or do you prefer a more traditional look? Is it worth the extra cost to install ceiling-mount or recessed lighting? Let me know in the comments!