A good lighting scheme is arguably the most important aspect of decorating and the most powerful way to define a room’s ambiance. Choosing the right types of lighting requires knowing a little something about the different purposes lighting can serve, the types of lamps and shades available, what some technical terms mean, and how to tailor a lighting scheme to your specific room and needs.
Desk lamps are generally 12" to 20" high and are used to light a specific work area. Because task lighting is the main focus, most desk lamps are designed to handle a high-wattage bulb. If you have a tall desk lamp, you will probably also need a low hanging shade; you should not be able to see a bare bulb when you're sitting at your desk or table.
Types of lighting: Lighting falls into three categories: ambient, task and accent lighting. Well-lit rooms feature a combination of the three, allowing you to be comfortable without squinting or straining your eyes. The number and types of fixtures will vary with your room sizes, décor and personal preferences.
You have the perfect lamp and you've carefully chosen a shade for it, but what kind of light bulb should you choose? You may not think much about light bulbs, but the kind you choose has the greatest impact on the overall effect and effectiveness of your lamp. Many people make the mistake of buying a light bulb more powerful than they need for a particular lamp. This unfortunately can make a lamp so intense or distracting that it is rarely used. The simple solution to this problem is to use a smaller bulb. Most table and accent lamps require no more than a 60-watt bulb, even if they are rated for something much higher. While it's very important to never exceed the recommended bulb wattage for a lamp, there is nothing wrong with using a less-powerful bulb.
Aside from wattage, there are other factors to consider when choosing a light bulb. Light bulbs come in four basic types: incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent and halogen.