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12 Unexpected Table Lamps That Won't Break the Bank

Lamps skirt the line between “decor” and “necessity.” After all, most rooms tend to have at least one overhead light. You can get away with not having any lamps if you really wanted to.

But lamps at eye level, not overhead, provide a much warmer (not to mention more flattering) light. Besides making your space cozier, they also are a way to add personalized touches to your home that are still functional. Once you start adding lamps to tables and desks, however, you may find it hard to stop. Here are 12 lamps that will keep you inspired and won’t break the bank:

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Night Owl Cottage Accent Table Lamp

While ostensibly designed for childrens’ rooms, the all-white design of this owl lamp make it a fun-but-sophisticated lamp option for adults too.
Graphic: Shep McAllister

An animal lamp seems like something destined for a child’s room, but keeping it all-white makes it feel, if not exactly sophisticated, then at the very least whimsical in a way all ages can appreciate.

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JONATHAN Y Gemma 19" Glass Bell LED Table Lamp

The transparent glass base of this lamp from Jonathan Y lets you see the power cord running up to the bulb, which is a unique look, if not for everyone.
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Clean and minimalist, this lamp from Jonathan Y adds visual interest without making your space feel more cluttered. While the base might be too large for a bedside table (especially if you use it to store your reading material and candle), it would go great on a dresser or sideboard.

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Light Accents Iris Table Lamp

The size of this globe lamp makes it great for a bedside table, and it’s bright enough to read by as you get ready for bed.
Photo: Amazon
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Globe lamps are great for adding a bit of warm ambient lighting, and the small footprint makes it ideal for places regular table lamps wouldn’t make sense (in a bookcase, for example). It’s also bright enough to read by if you wanted it for your bedside.

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Globe Electric Pendant

You can plug this pendant light into a normal outlet, then use hooks (sold separately) to hang it wherever and however you’d like.
Photo: Amazon

Pendant lights can be an alternative to table lamps when surface space is at a premium. But if you’d rather not figure out how to hardwire one, this is a clever workaround. The wire is designed to be seen. All you have to DIY is a few hooks in your ceiling to get the light to the height you want. This is especially good for areas that need more light but aren’t close to outlets.

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Catalina Lighting Rose Gold Modern Desk Lamp

Rose gold and marble? So trendy! This desk lamp is best paired with an Edison-style bulb to complete the look.
Photo: Amazon
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Metal plus marble is having a moment. The slim design of this Catalina Lighting desk lamp also makes it a low-footprint way to add lighting to your workspace, bedroom, or living room.

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BRIGHTWORLD Moon Lamp

It’s a lamp. That looks like the moon. You can also adjust its color temperature, but the fact that it looks like the moon should be enough to convince you.
Photo: Amazon

Bring a bit of celestial flair into your space. This adjustable moon can go from “reading light” to “celestial glow.” If you like the vibes of a salt lamp but question its efficacy, this is for you.

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SOTTAE Modern Ceramic Geometric Lamp

This SOTTAE Modern Ceramic Geometric Lamp is small enough to fit on a nightstand, but has plenty of personality.
Photo: Amazon
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Most sculpted ceramic table lamps tend to be bigger, making them harder to use on smaller tables. This mini size has the same big personality, just in a smaller package. (It’s about an inch taller than an iPad.)

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MJ PREMIER Table Lamp

A battery-powered lamp like this one is great for spaces where outlets aren’t easily accessible.
Photo: Amazon

A battery-operated light, this is another “go anywhere” option for tight spaces, wall shelves, and bookcases. No need to worry about an outlet or unslightly cables.

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Light Society Hylight

Industrial lighting shapes will never go out of style, but this table lamp gets a chic upgrade with a brass arm and multiple color options.
Photo: Amazon
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The classic industrial shape of task lamps makes them forever in style. This one gets an upgrade with multiple color options color and extra-wide lamp head.

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Novogratz x Globe Table Lamp

If you like midcentury modern decor, this table lamp should fit right in in your home.
Photo: Amazon

Mushroom lamps are another classic of MCM style that still feels fresh, not overdone.

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Matte black lamps absorb light, rather than reflecting it, giving this table lamp from Rivet a totally unique look when turned on.
Photo: Amazon
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A monochromatic, matte black lamp feels striking. If your room already has black accents like frames and pillows, it can tie things together. But even if you mostly just have richer or darker hues, this can ground a color scheme.

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Tomons Wood Tripod Lamp

This lamp takes a tripod design more commonly seen on floor lamps, and moves it to your table. It even comes with an LED bulb.
Photo: Amazon

Tripod floor lamps are a classic, but what about taking them up to the table for a slightly different take on the trend?

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About the author

Marshall Bright

Marshall Bright is a freelance writer in Nashville, TN.