Thursday, September 15, 2016

What Is A Lamp Finial?

Lamp finials set on top of a lamp harp and hold a washer fitter shade to the top of a lamp. Any specialty lamp shops often offer a variety of unique lamp finials. It is an easy way to change the look of a lamp or give it a little more flair.

They are often decorative or ornamental but can also be plain. A large finial would be 4 inches and a small finial would be about 1/2 inch.

Small Antique Bronze Lamp Finial

Large Resin Lamp Finial
Finials screw on the top of a lamp harp. Most all finials are tapped 1/4-27F thread just like the top of a lamp finial. Some specialty lamps have a cluster and their finial could be a 1/8IP or 1/4-27F tapped thread.

Finials are made from a variety of materials. Most finials are cast metals like steel and brass. Other finials might be made from resin, wood, and acrylic. Sometimes finials have multiple materials like when a glass prism sets on a metal base.

Glass Cube on Nickel Base Lamp Finial
Using a finial base, you can make a custom finial out of almost anything.

Cup Shaped Nickel Plated Finial Base

6 Prong Oil Rubbed Bronze Lamp Finial
Next time you are looking at your decor with contempt consider easy changes like new lamp shades or a different lamp finial.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What Is A Lamp Harp?

Lamp harps are the mechanism that holds the lamp shade on the lamp. If you are changing a lamp shade, chances are good the lamp harp will need replacing too. Shades must rest on a lamp to hide the bulb and give you access to the socket switch. 

The harp height should be considered when replacing a lamp shade but do not let it keep you from getting the shade you want. Harp range in size from 4 inches to 15 inches and like shoes come in 1/2 sizes.

Nickel Plated Lamp Harp
Harps usually have a metallic finish in brass, nickel, bronze, and antique brass. Most harps are made of steel with a metal finish. Some boudoir lamp harps are solid cast brass.

Solid Brass Boudoir Lamp Harp
For typical lamp harps the harp connects to the harp base. Some older harp bases are narrower and will not seat a new harp. All harps are sold with a matching base, so the old harp base would need to be replaced. Harp bases are mostly standard width  and slip a 1/8IP lamp rod. Other options include wide harp bases, a center hole that slips 1/4IP lamp rod, and harp bases designed for plastic sockets with ring

Brass Plated Harp Base

Harp Base on Phenolic or Plastic Lamp Socket
Harps should be locked in the base and securely seated. The locking couplings are designed to hold the harp to the base even if the lamp is tipped on its side.

Harp Properly Seated In Harp Base

Locking Couplings Engage
For more information about lamp harps check out this How To article on Fabric Shades.