- First off, when a lamp is on a side table next to a sofa or chair, the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you're sitting down -- or 40-42" from the floor. Too high a lampshade will cause glare; too low a shade will result in too little light;
- Next, when a lamp is on a bedside table, and it's used for reading, the bottom of the lampshade should be even with your shoulder when you're sitting up in bed -- or about 20" from the top of your bed;
- And finally, if you're using a floor lamp for reading or for work, the bottom of the shade needs to be at eye level. If your lamp is too tall, and you're having trouble making this work, move the lamp about 10 inches behind your shoulder to reduce the glare.
(Source: Canadian House and Home, Summer 2006)