What is a Torchiere Lamp? Is it Best Suitable for Your Space?

  • Home Decor 101
  • Posted by: amy-golden
  • May 3, 2024

When starting to find a lamp to adapt to decorative ideas, many people are exposed to the term “Torchiere lamp” for the first time and may wonder “What is a Torchiere Lamp”? or “Is it suitable for my spaces?” This article below will help you a lot!

What is a Torchiere Lamp?

To answer the question “What is a torchiere lamp?” Let's find the definition of a torchiere lamp in retrospect in the 17th century. Torchiere originally came from the French word “torchère”, indicating a lamp initially designed to hold candles that made its shape look like a candelabrum or a torch.

The iconic shape of a torchiere is an elegantly long body, reaching to the ceiling, curving upwards outwards in various styles. That means each torchiere lamp design is so unique. In the 18th century, with the advent of electricity, people redesigned torchiere into electricity lamps and torchiere became the most popular type of floor lamp at that time.

These lamps gained popularity in the United States during the Art Deco era in the 1920s and 1930s. They were created to be both utilitarian and elegant, with sleek, modern designs and decorative components like glass shades or metal accents.

First answer for the question “what is a torchiere lamp” is the remarkable height. (source: pinterest)
First answer for the question “what is a torchiere lamp” is the remarkable height. (source: pinterest)

Nowadays, modern and vintage torchiere lamps are one of the most favorite floor lamp options for homeowners or interior decorators. 

Features of Torchiere Lamps

Here are some of the important features that differentiate Torchiere Lamps from others:

The height

What makes torchiere lamps unique is their impressive height. Each torchiere is typically at least 5 feet (about 10 inches or 152cm) tall and may be higher depending on the design for different spaces. 

The vertical designs

Torchiere lamps are famous for their vertical designs, allowing them to spread lights upward the ceiling and create diffused illumination. This special characteristic is the key factor that makes the torchiere most preferred by soft and cozy interior designers.

The wide range of  styles and designs

There is a wide range of torchiere lamp designs to adapt decorative intentions or styles. The designs are varied by these main factors: body, base, bulb types, lampshades, and materials of these parts.

The slender form

As a unique feature of torchiere lamps, the body of torchiere lamps is tall and slender, upward-facing, filling the room with illumination and avoiding harsh shadow. Because of the considerable height, the bases have a solid construction to cover up the weight of the body. Furthermore, some torchieres have a modifiable weight base to help users select extra stability options.

The materials

Due to a wide array of styles, materials of bases and stands are diversified too. Vintage torchiere lamps often have bases and stands made from wood, brushed gold, steel patina, or antique brass while modern ones have these parts in brushed aluminum, platinum, stainless steel or durable resin. 

The bases need to be solid and stable. Some bases have weight adjustable options. (source: pinterest)
The bases need to be solid and stable. Some bases have weight adjustable options. (source: pinterest)

The bowl-shaped shade

Based on the original design, a bowl-shaped shade at the top is also another remarkable point that makes a difference in torchiere lamps. This type of lampshade is a special decorative element, distributing light facing the ceiling, providing ample illumination.

An iconic bowl-shaped shade is one of the main factors of a torchiere lamp (source: pinterest)
An iconic bowl-shaped shade is one of the main factors of a torchiere lamp (source: pinterest)

The illumination effects

The sparkling light from this lamp depends on diverse materials of the lampshade,  including metal, glass, alabaster, acrylic or plastic resin. Designers also add some patterns, textures, color such as galaxy and scalloped stained glass to suit different styles.

The wide range of bulbs

Moreover, the light from torchiere lamps can vary by using intention with an array type of bulbs such as: halogen, fluorescent, incandescent, LED and CFL bulbs. Besides flexibly choosing types of bulbs to suit your needs, you also can create the spaces with suitable brightness by adjusting dimmer switches or individual bulb controls. 

Modern torchiere lamps also incorporate some functional uses by adding some parts as USB ports, book shelves or adjustable arms. These convenient features make torchiere lamps more useful for multiple purposes beside lighting and decorating. 

Some features above can partly answer the question “What is a torchiere lamp?”. Are you finding this type of lamp interesting and suitable for your space? Next, we should learn a little about the history to understand why torchiere lamps are a precious interior design over time.

Modern torchiere lamps are elegant and luxurious. (source: google image)
Modern torchiere lamps are elegant and luxurious. (source: google image)

History of Torchiere Lamp

As the definition of “torchiere” at the beginning, most people could guess that this type of lamp was first invented in France. That’s true! The word “torchère” means “tall candelabrum”, indicating a type of floor lamp that appeared in France in the late 1800s.

The initial bulbs of the torchiere were real candles. Then, with the advent of electricity, these candles were replaced by bulbs. In the 1930s, torchieres had become a more popular option due to their efficient light source. After that, the torchieres directly imported from Europe, were famous for their halogen bulb because of their saving energy ability from the other type of floor lamp in 1987.

However, people found out that halogen light bulbs could bring some significant dangers. They make a fire or burn flammable materials within seconds due to their construction of exposed hot bulbs within the inverted shade. Till today, people have to pay high attention to safety concerns when using halogen torchiere lamps such as keeping them away from curtains or cloths.

Be careful when using halogen light bulbs due to their high heat radiation (source: pinterest) 
Be careful when using halogen light bulbs due to their high heat radiation (source: pinterest)

Fluorescent bulbs were a perfect replacement to solve this problem. They were not only safer, but also more durable. They were known to last almost five times longer than halogen bulbs which meant they were more money-saving.

In the technology age, there are more different kinds of bulbs or designs have been created, adapting to various aesthetics and tastes of owners. Interestingly, most vintage torchiere lamps which have candles instead of bulbs are sought after and costly by antiquaries and retro aesthetics homeowners.

Pros and Cons of a Torchiere Lamp

Torchiere lamps have both benefits and drawbacks (source: designtoscano. Com)
Torchiere lamps have both benefits and drawbacks (source: designtoscano. Com)

We can know more about “What is a torchiere lamp?” by looking at the table below, revealing what are pros and cons of the torchiere.

Pros Cons
  • Vertical design maximizes floor space
  • Indirect lighting provides comfortable illumination for long periods
  • Provides task lighting or ambient light
  • Complements various décor styles
  • Saves money with LED bulbs
  • Built to last with high-quality materials
  • Top-heavy design may be a tipping hazard in homes with pets or children
  • Primarily provides upward lighting, not ideal for focused tasks
  • Needs space away from flammable materials and curtains
  • Can emit significant heat, especially with incandescent bulbs
  • Exceeding bulb wattage recommendations can be dangerous
  • Specialized bulbs may be challenging to find
  • Height can make cleaning bulbs and shades inconvenient

Different Styles and Designs of Torchiere Lamps

Torchiere lamps are highly applicable for diverse purposes. Here are  eight famous types of torchiere lamp with their special features and uses. Let’s figure out what your destiny lamp is.

Types of Torchiere Lamp Features Use
Task Torchiere Lamps

Task torchiere lamps

  • Adjustable arms or lampshades are easily strained to anywhere
  • Incorporated with a directed light source
Suitable for focused or directed Illumination purposes
Torchiere Table Lamps

Torchiere table lamps

  • Commonly small and not tall
  • Be attached or put on a table
Suitable for small and tiny spaces
Torchiere Lamps with Reading Lights

Torchiere lamps with reading lights

Additional reading lamps are attached on the stand of the torchiere lamp Useful for many tasks such as: illuminating the whole room, reading, and working
Adjustable Height Torchiere Lamps

Adjustable height torchiere lamps

Having adjustable height options or telescopic poles Flexible customized height to suit many uses and spaces
Multi-Light Torchiere Lamps

Multi-light torchiere lamps

  • Easy to customize lighting levels or effects
  • Having multi-light bulbs
Suitable for adjusting brightness or creating light effects
Tiffany-style Torchiere Lamps

Tiffany-style torchiere lamps

  • Shades are made from intricate stained glass
  • Having an artistry and craftsmanship vibe
  • Inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany
Having colorful illumination that suits cozy and classic spaces
LED Torchiere Lamps

Led torchiere lamps

  • Having LED bulbs with many colors
  • Energy efficiency and durable
  • Environment friendly
Lighting and decorating in modern spaces
Traditional Torchiere Lamps

Traditional torchiere lamps

  • Classical and elegant 
  • Inspired by antique torchiere lamps
  • Bases are typically made from ornate metal
  • Lampshades are typically made from stained glass or frosted
  • Decorating for vintage spaces
  • Creating a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere.

Practical Uses and Placement of a Torchiere Lamp

Beside the lighting effect, Torchiere lamp is a lamp furniture that is suitable for most spaces due to its elegant shape. Here are some placements that you can consider to put your torchiere lamps on.

Living Room


The most common placement of Torchiere Lamps is in a corner of the living room, providing overall ambient lighting. The bowl-shaped shade bounces lights off the ceiling, filling the living room with warm and inviting illumination.


Illuminating and decorating the room with welcoming warm light, especially in the evening. It can serve as a primary light source or complement other lighting fixtures for a layered lighting effect.

The picture describes what is a led lamp positioned in the living room (source: pinterest)
The picture describes what is a led lamp positioned in the living room (source: pinterest)



Placing the torchiere lamp in the corner of the bedroom or near a reading nook or near bed to provide soft, indirect lighting for relaxation and reading.


Utilize the torchiere lamp as a secondary lighting option for creating a cozy and calming ambiance in the bedroom. Its upward illumination will help to avoid harsh direct lighting that can disrupt sleep.

What is an accent lamp for bedroom spaces? (source: pinterest)
What is an accent lamp for bedroom spaces? (source: pinterest)



Position the torchiere lamp near your workspace, angled away from the desk to avoid glare and shadows on the work surface. Ensure that the light is not directly in your line of sight to prevent eye strain.


Providing overall ambient lighting in the office spaces to reduce working stress and create a comfortable working environment. Moreover, it helps diminish eye fatigue.

Minimalism style of torchiere lamps makes the office more luxurious (source: pinterest)
Minimalism style of torchiere lamps makes the office more luxurious (source: pinterest)

Entryway or Foyer


The cozy and welcoming light from torchiere lamps is the key reason why it is very suitable to position near the entrance or in a corner of the foyer. The upward light can help accentuate architectural features or artwork in the area.


Utilize the torchiere lamp as a decorative element that adds visual interest to the entryway, while also providing functional lighting for navigating the space.

Torchiere lamps are suitable for most corners including entryway or foyer (source: pinterest)
Torchiere lamps are suitable for most corners including entryway or foyer (source: pinterest)

Dining Room


Position torchiere lamps in a corner or against a wall, away from the dining table, to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere. In addition, to lessen the high risk of making fire, remember to check regularly that they are not very close to flammable objects.


Provoking eating appetize by using the torchiere lamp to provide soft, indirect lighting in the dining area during meals or gatherings. Therefore, it can contribute to a relaxed and inviting ambiance for entertaining guests.

Cozy light makes dining room more pleasant (source: pinterest)
Cozy light makes dining room more pleasant (source: pinterest)

Reading Nook or Relaxation Area


Place the torchiere lamp near a comfortable chair or sofa, angled towards the seating area, to provide indirect and soothing lighting for reading or relaxation.


Utilize the torchiere lamp as a dedicated reading light, creating a cozy and focused environment for enjoying books or engaging in quiet activities.

Cozy light from a torchiere lamp makes reading spaces more comfortable (source: westelm. Ca)
Cozy light from a torchiere lamp makes reading spaces more comfortable (source: westelm. Ca)

Safety Considerations for Torchiere Lamps

Here are some notices that you should pay attention to when using Torchiere lamps:

  • Keeping torchiere lamps out of reach of children and pets: Due to their remarkable height, torchieres may fall if children or pets touch them heavily. 
  • Minimizing the radiation heat from torchieres: Use proper bulb wattage and notice heat management.
  • Being careful with fire risk:  Pay attention to safety policy from manufacturers, not placing torchiere lamps near curtains, not hanging clothes on the lamp.
  • Being careful with the risk of tipping over: Use proper weight bases and place them at the corner to reduce the risk of tipping over.
  • Paying attention to power input: Switch off the lamp when leaving the room or going to bed and learn how to rewire a lamp correctly.
  • Cleaning: Regularly  clean to detect dangerous problems soon.
  • Checking for frayed or damaged cords: Frequently inspect cords of lamps to make sure there’s no sign of fraying or damage; Immediately unconnect to power source and call for professional help if you cannot solve the problem.

Hope the article  “What is a torchiere lamp?” can meet your satisfaction and help you find out the most suitable ones for your spaces. If you need more information about other types of lamp, please visit our website.


Where is a torchiere lamp commonly used?

Torchiere lamps are popular for their unique designs and ability to create a warm atmosphere, which matches many homeowners' tastes.

Are torchiere lamps out of style?

Both antique and modern torchiere lamps are sought after by aesthetic designers and homeowners. There are many torchieres crafted in the 18th century that have very high prices. So, torchiere lamps will never be out of style.

Are torchiere lamps energy-efficient?

To reduce energy consumption, LED and CFL bulbs torchiere are such wonderful solutions without sacrificing light quality.

Are torchiere lamps safe to use in children’s rooms?

To avoid unknown accidents, torchiere lamps should not be used in children’s rooms. Moreover, we should position them in adults' eyes to manage safety.

Can a torchiere lamp replace overhead lighting?

Despite having the ability to create diffused illumination filling the room, torchiere lamps can’t replace overhead lighting. They should be used in conjunction with other light sources.



I work as a freelance blogger in Seattle, Washington. I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years. I'm interested in anime, resin art, and mechanical keyboards.


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