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.