Lamp Shade Information

Measuring Shades

The way we measure a lampshade is using the 3 dimensions, the distance across the top, across the bottom and the height, straight down the side.

So, for example a 250-430-280 shade is 250mm (10″) across the top, 430mm (17″) across the bottom and 280mm (11″) down the side.


Shade Types

When you are looking for a replacement shade the options can sometimes seem confusing. This guide is not exhaustive, but through it we hope to answer most questions.

There are a number of “types” of shades used on lamps, and as hanging shades. The two main categories are “hard back” or laminated shades, and “soft back” or handmade fabric shades. From the outset it needs to be said that all lampshades are “hand made”, the laminated shade has a high level of machine work in its construction, but is still constructed and finished by hand.

Laminated Shades are the more popular shade type, offering a contemporary look. Typically, a laminated shade is straight sided (the top and bottom measurements are the same) or tapered (the top dimension is smaller than the bottom).


The most common construction for a laminated shade is a fabric bonded to a card or poly backing, glued to a wire frame. The edge of the shade is typically “rolled” around the wire (called a rolled edge) or a “cuff” of the fabric is made and attached to the bottom edge (called a cuffed edge). The majority of our laminated shades are “rolled edge” as we think this looks the neatest.

Handmade or soft-back Shades are the other main category of lampshades we offer, and are by and large more traditional. The standard, most simple, shape is usually referred to as the “empire” shade. This shade is a simple “waisted” shade made from panels of fabric, cut on the “bias” and sewn together to form the shape of the shade. This is stretched over the frame, sewn or glued into place. Most of these shades are lined, and have a “cuffed” edge. The straight “empire” shade can be given a different look with a scalloped frame.


Shade Fittings

The way that shades attach to the lamp base is often the area of greatest concern when you are selecting a replacement shade “will it fit on my base?”.

We are going to try to cover the most common here;

The “standard” type fitting – where the lampshade has a “shade ring” which fits onto an E27 or B22 lamp holder, held on by the lamp holder “skirt”. The majority of our shades are designed to fit onto an E27 (Edison Screw) lamp holder, and are supplied with a “lamp shade adapter ring” to allow them to be fitted onto a B22 (Bayonet Cap) or E14 (Small Edison Screw) lamp holder.


The “shade harp” type fitting – where the lamp base is fitted with a wire “harp” and the lampshade sits on this harp – secured with a “finial” which is usually decorative.


Shade “recess” is the only other important consideration. The “recess” is the distance from the edge of the shade to where the shade fits on the lamp. There are a number of “recess types”, illustrated below to assist you to identify them, but the most common on tapered shades is the dropped harp (DH) and on drum shades it is the standard harp (SH). Most of our shades have a “recess” of 4cm, making them suitable for most lamps.

lampshade-dropped-harp lampshade-standard-harp

For more information on lampshades, and tips on selecting the best shade for your application – contact your nearest Andrews Light Up store.