Other Tips & Design Ideas

What Type of Floor Lamp Gives the Most Light? (6 Types)

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


what type of floor lamp gives the most light

In interior decor, lighting plays a vital role. It’s what highlights your room’s most appealing parts while allowing less desirable details to stay hidden. It also has a hand in setting your space’s overall ambiance.

Serving both functional and decorative purposes, floor lamps are an ideal choice for living room. However, you’ll need to be mindful of what type of floor lamp gives the most light, as some products might be too dim for your liking.


Brightest Floor Lamp You Can Choose for Your Room

In general, floor lamps are divided into three main categories based on their main purposes: task, ambient, and accent lighting. As the last one is mainly for decorative purposes, I’ll focus on the first two, which are generally the brightest.

Lamps For Task Lighting

1. Arc Floor Lamps


With their signature curving arms, arc floor lamps are excellent as reading lamps because they can comfortably reach over your sofa. While they might take up space, these options are great both as main and secondary light sources.

Despite being lamps that light up whole room, these modern fixtures are very easy on the eyes. You can also find adjustable designs so that you can change their height to your liking.

Another point in these lighting sources’ favor is their alluring design. And as they often go with furniture, they are the primary choice for living rooms.

Due to how bright they are, arc lamps might consume quite a lot of energy. In addition, their selling prices usually aren’t cheap either, so you should make sure the one you buy can’t be knocked over easily.

2. Boom Arm Floor Lamp


Another ideal light source for reading is the boom arm floor lamp. They are similar to arc floor lamps in that they can reach over your sofa or your table to give you better lighting to focus on your task, making them excellent office floor lamp choices.

The fundamental feature that sets boom lamps apart from their arc counterpart is their adjustable arms, so you can maneuver them wherever you want. Thanks to this, they’re also available as one of the brightest table lamp.

Don’t mistake boom arm lamps for adjustable gooseneck lamps. While they may look somewhat similar, the latter don’t have such a far reach—however, you can adjust their height. As such, they’re ideal as bright room lamp fixtures as well.

On the downside, boom-arm high wattage floor lamps can sometimes feel shaky, so you might want to be picky regarding what product you’ll get.

3. Pharmacy Floor Lamps


A fantastic floor lamp that gives off a lot of light, pharmacy lamps can fit in your home just fine despite their name. Specifically designed for directed lighting, these lamps are your best choice if you don’t care much for aesthetic values.

If you overlook how limited pharmacy floor lamps can be in terms of styles and design, you’ll see that they can be excellent task lighting in almost any room. In addition, you can adjust their heights or spin the lamp in multiple directions to suit your needs.

These lamps are also favored due to how easy it is to adjust their brightness level. Thanks to this, you can comfortably focus on your work rather than worrying about the bright glare from the lamps.

Lamps for Ambient Lighting

1. Standard Floor Lamps


It’s impossible to go wrong with the standard choice. One of the brightest floor lamp – IKEA and many other retailers offer them, standard models are a safe option you can always fall back on, especially considering how multipurpose they are.

Given how these illuminants can cast lights in multiple directions, they’re best as ambient lights or the general source of brightness in a place. Therefore, you’d see standard floor lamps placed in the room’s edge or corner.

These lamps are also suitable for task-oriented purposes such as reading or working. This will require you to place the lamp near you for better illumination, so you might want to pick one around 60 inches tall.

2. Floor Standing Uplighters (Torchieres)


Also referred to as a torchiere floor lamp, uplighter floor lamp designs are extremely popular due to the sheer brightness they can provide. Most torchieres are designed to resemble a torch, which explains why their name sounds like that.

Whereas conventional lamps shine from up high down to a lower place, a floor standing uplighter does the opposite—beaming lights upwards. The lights are then reflected from the ceiling, thus creating a bright room with a pleasant ambiance.

These high intensity floor lamps are also favored because they don’t take up too much space. As these lamps are generally taller than the average person’s eye level, they offer excellent glare protection as well.

A popular variation of the classic torchiere is the low-level floor uplighters. However, they might not be ideal as the main light source, as their main purpose is drawing attention to a decor piece, such as sculptures, plant pots, or artworks.

3. Tree Floor Lamps


The identifying characteristic of tree floor lamps is the several arms stretching from the main body, giving the impression of a tree. These “branches” are all equipped with individual light bulbs to provide better brightness.

What makes these lamps stand out is their adjustable branches, meaning that you can freely move any arm around to suit your needs. While this might sound like the makings of task lighting, tree floor lamps are actually better as ambient lighting.

The only downside to these lamps lies in their hefty build, making it harder to move the lamp around on your own. Their large design also means that only spacious places can accommodate such a huge lamp to light up a room.



How to choose a bright floor lamp?

As I’ve already pointed out, lamps are designed to be task, ambient, or accent lighting. Determine what purpose you require the lamp for. Keep in mind that a well-lit room usually requires at least two of these types.

Pick the lamp’s height depending on its purpose. Task lighting should be 60 inches tall to be slightly above your shoulder when you sit. In contrast, ambient lighting needs to be over 6 feet.

You should also pay attention to the color temperatures and light output. Whereas the former can set the room’s mood, the latter is what determines how bright the lamp will be.

How to make floor lamps feel brighter?

  • The light bulb should be compatible with the lamp and at its max luminosity.
  • If possible, go for LED lights, as they’re far brighter and also more energy-efficient.
  • Cool white bulbs are best for a bright and vibrant room.
  • Except for task lighting, lamps should be placed in unoccupied areas of the room, such as an edge or corner.
  • Avoid placing task lighting behind you as it’ll create shadows.
  • Rely on mirrors and other reflective surfaces to bounce off light.
  • Go for light-colored ceilings, as they can better bounce off lights, especially if your lamp shines upward.
  • Switch to brighter or less opaque shades to allow more light to pass through.

How many lumens does a room need?

This depends on what room you’re talking about. For instance, a 100 sq. ft bedroom only needs roughly 1000 to 2000 lumens. However, a 100 sq. ft workspace, which requires brighter lighting to focus on your task, will call for 8000 – 10,000 lumens.

To calculate how many lumens a room needs, simply multiply its square area with the requirement for foot candles. This means the bigger a room is, the more lumens it’ll need. Let’s look at some examples below:

Room (100 square feet) Recommended Foot Candles Lumens (per 100 square feet)
Living Room 10-20 1000-2000
Kitchen 30-40 3000-4000
Bathroom 70-80 7000-8000

Where to place a floor lamp for the best results?

Again, this depends on what type of lamp you’re dealing with.

  • Task lamps are to be placed next to your chair (or table), but make sure they’re not directly behind you to prevent shadows. Depending on whether you’re a lefty or righty, place the lamp accordingly (opposite to your dominant hand).
  • Ambient lamps are best suited for corners or the room’s edge.
  • Accent lamps, such as low-level floor uplighters, are usually placed near artworks, plants, fireplace mantles, pianos, or other decorative pieces in the room.


Overall, when it comes to what type of floor lamp gives the most light, you can either go for ambient or task lighting. However, you should combine these two together to achieve the maximum effect.

It’s also wise to combine multiple layers of brightness, such as table lamps that give off a lot of light, ceiling lamps, wall scones, etc., to make sure the room is well-lit.

Hopefully, after this guide, you’ll be happy with how bright your living space is.

5/5 - (2 votes)