I'm renting an apartment whose living room I need to light up. I currently has one lamp hanging from the ceiling, for a 4.5m x 7.5m room, and that's ridiculously insufficient (even after using an E27 splitter and two 36W CFLs for a total of estimated 4320 lumens).

My landlord is not willing to invest in/commit to ceiling- or wall-mounted lighting fixtures and the drilling and wiring they would require, so we settled on getting several freestanding lamps. Mostly they'll have to be on the floor, with one possibly on top of a sort-of-a closet.

Now, I'm a lots-of-light kind of person; but I don't want it to be in my face; I want to shine the light on the ceiling and the walls and have it reflect. I think I can use about 4 or 5 lamps overall (plus the ceiling lamp), to minimize the, shall we say, aesthetic/spatial damage (i.e. place them at various corners); and I'm thinking something like 30,000 lumens (500W of CFL power draw) should be enough (not "500W equivalent"; remember it's being covered by a shade an reflected off the ceiling). This is just a guesstimate; and I can't say anything in terms of lumens since I have no idea how much is X lumens nor how many lumens my current bulbs produce. Also, I don't mind it being LED lights instead of CFLs as long as I get my wattage.

Thus I need lamps which:

  1. Support >= 6000 lumens (100W draw in CFL)
  2. Either support multiple more-regular-size E27 bulbs (which mostly means a long and wide shade, so I can use an E27 socket splitter), or fit very large CFL bulbs (again, large shade); or some super-powerful LED layout.
  3. Are freestanding (= floor-supported)
  4. Have a fully or almost-fully opaque shade
  5. Are aimed upwards, or better yet can be adjusted to aim mostly upwards but slanting to some direction (as I'll aim them away from the middle of the room).
  6. Are high enough so that with the combination with the shade, I'll never catch a direct glance of their bulbs
  7. (Preferably) have their wiring attached to the base rather than the middle of the lamp (ech, why do they do that?)

I'm having trouble figuring out which kinds lamps would fit my bill - so I can know what I'm looking for. I've been looking at Torcheres, but almost all of them fail to meet criteria 2 and 4 and most don't even meet 6 (unless you use a flat/small bulb). Here's a typical invalid one:

enter image description here

it violates 2, 4, 6, 7.

There are task floor lamps; they often have opaque shades, but the shades are usually too narrow and sometimes not long enough. I'm also not sure how well they'll handle the larger wattage. Here's an example:

enter image description here

this violates 2, 6, 7 and very often 1.

Finally, for the on-the-closet lamp, I thought maybe one of those floor flood lights; these seem to come with the right wattages, but they seem designed for outdoor use, and I wouldn't want them to stand out so much.

So, any suggestions/ideas about the kinds of lamps I should be looking for are very welcome.

  • It is very hard to understand what you are saying due to use of "CFL watts" as a unit of measure. The unit you are looking for is "lumens". I have edited your question to use those units, based on common efficiency numbers. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 31 '16 at 23:52
  • @Harper: Sure. My apologies, Watts are what I read off of the bulbs so that's what I can describe. – einpoklum Dec 31 '16 at 23:57

You'd need sunglasses, if not welding goggles, to be in a room with 500W of LED lighting.

I like the Torchiere ("floor lamp") solution the best. There are dozens of available styles, colors, and prices. The ones in my living room have translucent plastic shades and reading lamps (also with translucent shades), handle two 150w bulbs each (plus a 60W bulb for the reading lamp). It's plenty bright with three of these fixtures with 10w (!) dimmable LED lamps installed, and you'd have to be about 6' 5" to see over the top of the shades.

Similar lamp at Amazon

I find that Translucent shades give better coverage and eliminate more shadows than opaque shades (where all the light is coming from the ceiling).

  • Well, I have... 144 W right now with makeshift floor lamps I borrowed. But remember that most of the wattage would be lost to heating up the shade and the ceiling and I would only be getting the reflection. If these were ceiling lights I could do with half of that, I suppose. As for the torcheres - when you increase the power output, it becomes annoying to have them in your sight even with the translucent shade. At least for me. But thanks. – einpoklum Dec 31 '16 at 22:42
  • Oh, also, the lamp you linked to - the second bulb fits in the secondary arm, i.e. actually it's intended for one bulb at the top, and the bottom is too low and its volume is small. And the top shade is very short, so when the large bulbs stick out of it you'll see them from an angle, if you're a few meters away, even if you're 5" tall. – einpoklum Dec 31 '16 at 22:46
  • So, if I understand, you've got 144W of actual draw on cfls. That's like 5-100 watt incan bulbs, which would seem bright to most people. Are you sure you aren't reading the 'equivalent-to-incan' text? – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 1 '17 at 0:42
  • The lamp I linked to isn't exactly the same one that I have at home, but the specification is right there:Torchiere uses 2 150-watt light bulbs; reading lamp uses a 60-watt bulb – Russ McFatter Feb 2 '17 at 14:24

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