Where's my perfect bedside lamp?
January 13, 2016 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Our 2 nightstand lamps are falling to pieces and it's time to replace them. I have in mind what I want in a lamp, and I'm having a hard time finding it online. My apparently overly-picky criteria, after the click...

My criteria and their importance:

Non-negotiable must-haves:--
• about 19" high
• replaceable bulb

Really, really desirable:--
• on/off switch on base of lamp (not on the cord, and not near the bulb)

Icing on the cake:--
• under $50 each

This does not sound extreme to me, but it seems I'm the only person in America looking for this type of lamp. Many that I find with base switches have built-in bulbs and inadequate warranties--seems the mindset about material goods gets more disposable every year.

Anyway, if you've got a nomination, I'd be grateful to you for sharing it.
posted by dancing leaves to Shopping (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I forgot to add under...

Non-negotiable must-haves:--
• can take bulbs brighter than 60 watts (or LED equivalent (but true brightness equivalence, not the patently false claims some manufacturers make))

posted by dancing leaves at 5:37 AM on January 13, 2016

So much of choosing a lamp is based on appearance, which is an intensely personal judgment. Rather than selecting options for you, I suggest looking at LampsPlus, which is my go-to source. The link is for table lamps no taller than 20 inches, which has 822 hits. There's no way to refine the search by maximum bulb brightness, I'm afraid, so you'll have to check it out for each lamp you see that appeals to you.
posted by DrGail at 5:58 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe this one from Target? 24 inches high, base switch, up to 100W bulb.
posted by jenny76 at 6:02 AM on January 13, 2016

Just FYI if you're using an LED bulb you can basically ignore the max wattage requirements - you don't need to stay under that for its equivalent value, you only need to stay under it for its actual real life value, so a much brighter LED bulb will still be under a 40-watt limit or whatever.
posted by brainmouse at 6:07 AM on January 13, 2016

Lamp-building is fairly easy. If custom-assembling your own is too much hassle, you could just find a lamp that you want (that has a switch on the cord) and install a switch in the base.
posted by anonymisc at 11:55 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Check a Habitat For Humanity ReStore or hotel furniture liquidation place near you. I regularly see perfectly fashionable and functional lamps with base switches (and increasingly, outlet(s) too!) for pennies on the dollar. Bet you could find something you like at a price that sweetens the deal.
posted by ejvalentine at 3:31 PM on January 13, 2016

Base switched lamps are pretty hard to find probably because they require an extra assembly step to wire in the switch. However there was a fad for a bit for touch controlled lamps, where the entire metallic base was a touch switch. Most of them also dimmed through three levels. They were about the size you're looking for and combine with a more modern dimmable LED bulb and you have a nice package.

Also seconding that you can ignore any wattage maximums with LED. Wattage maximums are about heat and are usually there to protect plastic sockets from melting. You don't have to worry about that with LED or CFL bulbs.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:33 PM on January 13, 2016

Just in case you're still looking - I came across this Vermont Country Store Touch Lamp today and thought of this question. It's taller than you want but amazingly you can touch anywhere on the base and it will turn on/off. Takes a 100 watt bulb too and is about $75. So, not perfect but closer maybe to what you are searching for. That Target lamp that jenny76 linked to also looked very close. Good luck!
posted by belau at 7:36 PM on January 23, 2016

I recently found a cool converter thing at Home Depot or someplace. You screw it into the socket between the lamp and the bulb and it turns your ordinary metal lamp into a touch lamp that cycles between three brightnesses. It's fun to use because I have no idea how it works. It's magic.
posted by booth at 5:25 AM on May 9, 2016

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