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  • Lighting
  • How to bring old Reflector Floor Lamps back to life

    How to restore reflector floor lamps

    3-Arm Reflector Floor Lamps offer exceptional lighting options

    ........... as relevant in today’s world as they were in the early 1900’s.

    Diagram displaying installation of two lamp shades on reflector floor lamps

    3 Arm Reflector Floor Lamps are extremely versatile, producing a very bright light. These vintage floor lamps, from the early 20th century, have a variety of light sources offering varying degrees of illumination.  A central, large mogul socket, nested within a white glass reflector lamp shade, produces 100, 200 and 300 watts of light. This light is reflected upward, bouncing light off the ceiling to expand the illumination. Candle sockets top each of the three arms, creating a soft light. The three arms are controlled by a switch operation for all 3 sockets or each arm separately.  In addition, some of these floor lamps also have a light-up base. A fabric, parchment, mica or silk shade tops the reflector shade to complete the reflector floor lamps appearance.

    Nomenclature varies: Reflector Floor Lamps “Junior”, 6-Way Floor Lamps and 3 Arm Floor Lamps. Their excellent quality coupled with their ability to provide superior light makes them an all-star favorite, worth restoring.

    Becoming popular in the early 1920’s, these vintage 3 Arm Reflector Floor Lamps, were typically made of brass-plated metal. Arms were produced from decorative castings.  Lamp bases were often ornate, some with marble or onyx bases or hand painted designs.

    Use Two Lamp Shades on 3 Arm Reflector Floor Lamps

    Outer Fabric Lamp Shade is supported by IES Reflector Lamp Shade
    • A IES Reflector Shade goes on first, seated in shade holder, secured with three set screws. This shade, shaped like an inverted white bowl, directs light upward, producing a bright light.
    • Secondly, a large lamp shade, with a harp type fitter and v-notches, sits on top reflector shade. It is necessary to use a generous size, with a 19” – 20” base diameter, as ample space must be allowed around light bulbs, on three arms. This style, made of fabric, parchment, mica or silk, is often referred to as a “junior” shade. As the reflector shade produces a very bright light, the purpose of these lamp shades is to soften the light at eye level, making it comfortable for those seated or standing.

    Although it seems unusual to use two shades on one lamp, both shades are necessary with each preforming a specific function.


    Lamp shade with v notches to hold shade in place

    Paxton Hardware Large Floor Lamp Shades have V-notches hold lamp shade in place


    Specific Lamp Parts are required when restoring 3 Arm Floor Lamps



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