Ideas + Advice


What Is a Buffet Lamp?

Buffet lamps, also called candlestick or console lamps, are tall light fixtures that provide a pleasant ambiance in any room. The lamp base, which is long and thin, may reach anywhere from 32 to 36 inches in height. It features a pull chain and is topped off with an accent lamp shade that's no larger than 12 inches in size. Here's a closer look at buffet lamps and what makes them special.

What Do Buffet Lamps Look Like?

One factor that makes buffet lamps stand out is their versatility. Apart from their tall height and accent shades, buffet lamps don't share much in common — you'll find everything from dark bronze, antique brass buffet lamps with black shades to elegant, crystal buffet lamps with off-white shades. There are even smaller versions called buffet or console table lamps, which are under 30 inches in height and generally found on end tables or nightstands. To better understand the unique appearance of buffet lamps, let's break down what they're made of.

Base Materials

There are several materials that can be used to forge the base of buffet lamps, including the following:
  • Brass
  • Crystal
  • Mercury glass or clear glass
  • Acrylic plexiglass
  • Polished nickel
  • Wood

The base material will influence the lamp's external appearance and weight.

Lamp Shade

Every buffet lamp is topped with a shade that helps cast its subtle, incandescent lighting. Here are some popular lamp shades:

  • Drum shades: These shades are symmetric and cylindrical (resembling a drum).
  • Fabric shades: These shades are made of thin fabric and used to soften lighting.
  • Linen shades: These shades, also called Roman shades, are typically opaque and beige.

The lamp shade will impact the overall appearance and lighting capabilities.

Light Bulb

There's no single bulb type you must use for buffet lamps. In general, you should choose a bulb that's 75 watts or fewer. The 75 watt bulb maximum is ideal if you're using your lamp to light up an entire space. However, if you're aiming for accent lighting (which is used to highlight certain objects), you should go with a lower wattage.

What Are Buffet Lamps Used For?

What makes buffet lamps great is that they can go pretty much anywhere in your home. Here are some popular uses for this lamp style.

Buffet Floor Lamps

Large, stand-alone buffet floor lamps integrate well in the following areas:
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Home office
  • Home entryway
  • Next to seating areas
Ultimately, a floor lamp can go in any area that needs more lighting. You could also use it to glam up a room and boost the aesthetic value.

Buffet Table Lamps

Introduce some extra lighting to any room by placing a buffet table lamp on the following:
  • Dressers
  • Bedroom tables
  • Side tables
  • Kitchen tables
  • Desks
If one lamp isn't enough lighting, consider buying a table lamp set (or a set of two buffet lamps) to prop on your table top.

How Do I Pick a Buffet Floor or Table Lamp?

Not only do buffet lamps provide excellent lighting, but they're also aesthetically pleasing and serve as great home decor items. If you're struggling to pick a buffet lamp, focus on your precise preferences. Do you need a strong lighting solution for your home's entryway? A brass buffet lamp is a wonderful way to welcome people to your home. Do you need some subtle accent lighting for your bedroom? A small, buffet desk lamp might be right for you. The possibilities are endless!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.