Shapes and Sizes
An empire shade is a shade that has a top diameter that is shorter than the bottom diameter. Usually the top diameter is about half the size of the bottom. These shades have a straight slope from the top to the bottom. Empire shades are popular. They go well with most light fixtures.
- Bell Shades
A bell shade is a shade that also has a top diameter that is shorter than the bottom diameter. However, this shade has a curved slope from the top of the shade to the bottom.
Washer-type shade (Spider Shade Fitter)
This type of shade fitter, usually has 3 rods leading to a center ring. This center ring goes over the top of the lamp harp. The shade is secured to the harp by tightening the finial to the threaded rod on top of the finial.
Chimney shade Fitting
This type of shade has a recessed inner ring. The ring is usually about 2 1/2". This ring fits over a glass lamp chimney.
Uno Shade Fitting
This type of shade fitter is used for lamps who's sockets are facing down. The fitter also has an inner ring. Usually about 1 1/2" threaded. This ring is secured to the lamp at the body of the socket.
Clip-on shade Fitting
The clip-on shade is used mostly for small lamps. This shade fitter comes with two wired circles secured at the top of the shade. These wired circles clip on to the light bulb.
Hardware to Make Shades Fit
Shade risers are adapters that go on top of a lamp harp. They raise the height at which the shade sits at.
Lets say you have a clip on shade. You can use a socket extension to raise the height of the bulb, which in turn raises the height of the clip on shade.
If you find the shade you want, but the fitting doesn't go with your lamp, don't pass up the shade. You can use adapters to turn washer shades into clip-on; washer or uno shade into a clip-on; uno shade to a washer shade; clips that allow you to use any uno or washer shade on a lamp with a reflector bowl.
Materials for Lampshades
Hard shades don't need any support structure. Typically the top ring and bottom ring are held together by the hard material the shade is made of. Usually vinyl or paper, hard enough to hold the rings together.
Soft shades are usually made of fabric. They require top and bottom rings. They also require a support structure. Usually wire going from the top ring to the bottom ring. The fabric is then stretched over this structure.
Opal glass or milk glass is a white glass that has translucent properties. When used as a shade for a light fixture, it glows.
Shapes and sizes of glass shades
Student shades (Rayo Shades)
- Made in Opal glass, cased glass and pressed glass
- Made in plain colors and hand painted designs
- Common sizes are from 6" - 10"
Tam o' shanter shades
Tam o' shanter shade got its name from the Scottish style hat. Just like the hat, the shade has a bulge near the middle of its design.
Dome shades are similar to student shades. The difference is that dome shades are bigger. The diameter of these shades usually starts at 14".
Globe shades are sized at about 3" - 14". They are open on top and on the bottom. At the bottom of the shade there is a flange that sits on a ring called the fitter. These shades are normally made with opal glass or frosted glass.
Ball shades are similar to Globe Shades. The only difference is that ball shades don't have a opening for the chimney. These shades are normally used hanging upside down.
These are bowl shaped shades. They normally rest on a 4" fitter. Frosted glass is very common for these shades.