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.


  1. What's the little thing the fineal(sp) screws on to? That's the part I need.

  2. That is called a shade base or finial base per my research. When a lamp is knocked over, the clamp that attaches the finial base and screw mechanism to the harp comes loose, causing the shade to wobble and tilt. I have had this happen recently and in past. Why no one addresses this common problem is frustrating. I am goin to try to tighten the clamp with plyers before I go out and buy a new harp kit.

  3. What are the 2 tiny cylinders called at the bottom of each

    side of the harp that are loose and move up and down?

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