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Help! I have a lighting dilemma

Lighting. Surely the easiest thing in the house to update, right? Well not quite, actually. With the choice of hundreds of bulbs, all with their own unique properties, choosing the best light and bulb can get pretty complicated. And let’s be honest - which bulb to choose isn’t exactly a conversation topic you’d likely raise with your friends. Fortunately, we’re here to geek out about lighting so you don’t have to. We have a team of lighting experts, ready to answer all your bulb / shade / watt related niggles. We quizzed you to uncover your most-asked lighting problems - and we’ve solved them below.

1. My shade is designed to show off the bulb. But standard bulbs look pretty ugly in it... Which bulb should I use?

Have you considered vintage filament bulbs? These are actually modelled on early Thomas Edison versions and have clear glass so you can see the pattern of the element within, and they’re beautifully decorative. The glow is much warmer than standard bulbs - a bit like candlelight so it’s very flattering (ahem - bedrooms). The downside, however, is that they aren’t particularly energy efficient. And because of that, they’re being phased out of production, which could explain their resurgence in popularity. If their energy rating is a deal breaker, there are LED versions of this bulb.They have a brighter glow, but still have the elegant-shaped glass and patterned filament. Look no further than our Starkey Collection, which pairs the naked bulb trend with a classic vintage inspired style.

2. I love the trend for triple-head lamps and I want one in my bedroom. But with 3 bulbs, won’t the light be too strong? What bulbs do you recommend?

3 x 20 watt bulbs should be just the ticket. They’ll be bright enough for bedside reading but still subtle, so they won’t spoil the mood. If you’ll mainly be using the light for reading, swivel the shade into your reading nook. But if you want very dimmed lighting to add a little romance, swivel one of the shades against the wall. The options with these kind of lights are more or less endless - which is why they’re so popular. Check out our Austin Collection to mimic this in demand trend.

3. Is there such a thing as an attractive, energy efficient bulb? I haven’t found one. I really want to be energy efficient but they’re just not very pretty.

We hear you. Sometimes it’s like you have to choose between design and the environment. There is an exception though, in the form of Plumen low-energy light bulbs. These decorative bulbs have an unique loop-to-loop design that’s so striking, you could actually have a cluster of them with no shade if you wanted. The 001 bulb is the most well known, and there are are plenty of lights designed specifically to accommodate it. Like these Rehm, Temple and Plume pendant lights.

4. I have a frosted wall lamp. But when you switch it on - you can see the element shining through the glass. It really spoils the look. What should I do?

Use a CFL bulb. It doesn’t have a filament like traditional bulbs, so it won’t show through the glass. They’re energy efficient too, so you won’t need to worry about replacing them for a long time.

5. I have your Broadway Star Lamp. Whenever my friends come over, they always comment on it. Is there some way I can make more of a feature of it - for the holiday season?

Absolutely. This stunning lamp is one of our customers’ favourites and with good reason - it’s decorative and a real statement piece - all while delivering a lovely, soft glow. But if you want to make it really stand out, the way to go is with coloured light bulbs. They’re surprisingly easy to find through our good friend Google.

The Broadway takes E14 screw-in bulbs, which you can find in rainbow colours, and they don’t shine too bright so you can still have that atmospheric party glow. Give it a try. It’s a bit like being at the funfair, but more sophisticated. Another recommendation: mulled wine.

6. I have a large front room. My current light looks piddly and lost within it - I need something with more gravitas, that will light up the whole space. Any suggestions?

Have you seen the Bronx floor lamps? On the website, they look like traditional table lamps, so you’d be forgiven for not realising their ample size. But don’t be fooled, they’re actually huge. 5 feet 8 inches when fully extended. If you want to make an impact in a large space, then Bronx is your guy.

There’s the Chicago lamp, too. Not quite as tall as the Bronx, but just as impactful. The design’s modelled on an old Hollywood studio light, and it gives any neutral space instant presence.

All both styles need is a standard 40w bulb. Both shades are lined with reflective surfaces, so you get the most out of a single bulb - even in large rooms. Clever, yes?

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