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Table lamp with harp

Refurbish vintage table lamps with authentic parts for professional results.


Table lamps are a common type lamp used in many areas in a home. These lamps are produced in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and materials. Most use a lamp harp to support the lamp shade. These lamps, which have a harp or 3/8" diameter shade holder, use Harp Lamp Shades.
 
These shades are fabricated on a wire frame. The frame has a three-wire spider, near the top of shade, with a center ring washer. To place shade onto lamp: simply slide washer-ring fitter down onto harp post or 3/8" diameter shade holder. Secure with a lamp finial.






Measurement specifications for fabric, silk, mica and parchment lamp shades

Harp Lamp Shades Guidelines


Standardized Lamp Shades Measurements

  • Top: represents diameter across top of shade
  • Bottom: represents diameter across base of shade
  • Side: represents a straight measurement of the slant-side of shade

Guidelines for determining size of Harp Lamp Shade needed

  • Height of Lamp Shade: approximately 2/3 rds height of lamp-base. (height of lamp base: distance from bottom of lamp base to base of lamp socket)
  • Bottom-diameter of Lamp Shade: approximately 1”-2” less than lamp-base height. Bottom diameter should not exceed lamp-base height. 


Harp type table lamp less lamp shade

Guidelines for determining which Harp Lamp Shade to select

These generalizations apply to many lamps however personal taste should be the guiding influence. 

  • Height of Lamp Shade: approximately 2/3 rds height of lamp-base. (height of lamp base: distance from bottom of lamp base to base of lamp socket)
  • Bottom-diameter of Lamp Shade: approximately 1”-2” less than lamp-base height. Bottom diameter should not exceed lamp-base height. 
  • Lamp shade proportions should reflect lamp base proportions. For example: a short squat lamp will look best with a shade of similar proportions.
  • Using the same lamp shade base shape, round or square, provides a cohesive appearance.
  • If using incandescent light bulbs there should be a minimum of 3-1/2” between lamp shade and bulb to allow heat escape.
  • If the preferred lampshade size is not available, it is normally best to choose a slightly larger rather than smaller size shade.
  • Change harp height if the lampshade is sitting too high or low on the lamp.


Finding an Exact Size Replacement

When looking for a new lampshade an exact match size may not be available. It is often possible to correctly use a shade that is slightly taller or shorter. To solve this issue change the harp, which holds the lamp shade. Harps are most often 2 part which enables the height portion of the harp to be easily switched. Choose a  larger size harp if the shade needs to be raised up or a smaller harp if the shade needs to be lowered. 

It is normally best to choose a slightly larger than smaller size shade when trying to select a shade that does not match your requirements exactly.

Shade Holders for harp type lamp shades

Like the Lamp Shade but don't like how it sits on My Lamp

The lamp shade should sit at the appropriate height on the lamp. Lamp mechanics should not show. Ideally shade base should be just below lamp socket. Lamp shade should cover lamp socket but not base of lamp.

Lamp harps support most harp type shades. Most harps are detachable, made up of a bottom wing piece and top harp-shaped height piece. This enables the main harp section to be removed from the base. Changing the height of the harp most often solves the problem of the shade not sitting at the correct height on the lamp. If the shade is sitting to low on the lamp base – use a taller harp, likewise if the shade is to short on the lamp base use a shorter harp.

Harp shades are also used on 1/8 IP shade holders and some lamp socket clusters. Some of these holders offer shade height adjustment. See picture left.



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