Ask the Customer Service: “I’m looking for a lamp for my kitchen, what things should I keep in mind?”

The lamps in your home and even the bulbs chosen for the lamps affect both the atmosphere and usability of the spaces. It is important to choose the lamps carefully, and this is something our skilled customer service team can help you with. Read our tips for choosing lamps – for the kitchen as well as other rooms!

Illustration of GUBI Tynell 5321 table lamp
Paavo Tynell’s 5321 table lamp is also known as the Shell Lamp due to its brass shade resembling a seashell. The lamp is now in GUBI's collection.

PEOPLE USUALLY CHOOSE lamps based on appearance, even though luminosity is just as important. The choice of lamp is affected by many practical features, ranging from the shade of light to the technical side of things, so if you have any doubts, remember to consult a professional.

This Design Stories column provides answers to some recurring questions from our customers, which may be helpful and inspirational to others, as well. We have recruited Miina Lindblad from Finnish Design Shop’s customer service team to answer your conundrums.

1. I’m looking for a lamp for my kitchen. What things should I keep in mind?

“When choosing a lamp, the most important things to consider are the purpose and place of use. You should think about whether you have more need for task lighting, ambient lighting or mood lighting. When choosing a pendant, it’s advisable to think about what you want to place the lamp over, where you want the light to be cast, whether you want one or several lamps for the same spot and how high should the lamp or lamps be hung. Usually, the best choice for a dining table or kitchen island is an effective task lamp that casts the light downward. If you are, on the other hand, looking for a ceiling lamp for ambient lighting, one good option is Artek’s A440 pendant with an opal-glass shade that diffuses light in all directions.

“You should think about whether you have more need for task lighting, ambient lighting or mood lighting.”

You can also increase the amount of light, add some character and create a nice ambiance by using a few small lamps in your kitchen in addition to ambient lighting. Also remember to note the desired cord length if you want to place the lamps close to the countertop. If you are concerned about the dimmability, installation or local voltages of a lamp, you should seek more information about the matter before making the decision to purchase.

“Where does the light go?” is a valid question when a lamp is not only supposed to look good, but also provide efficient lighting in a certain spot. It usually helps to take a look at the photographic data available on the websites of many lamp manufacturers. Finnish Design Shop’s skilled customer service team will look for answers to all your questions.”

All pendant lights >

2. How do I choose the right bulb for my lamp?

“The online product cards and installation instructions of lamps provide the basic information on the bulb, such as the type of base and wattage. If you want the lamp to be dimmable, the bulb should be suitable for that purpose.

The number of lumens and kelvins in the bulb should be selected based on the space and decor, although you can also choose them based on the intended purpose of the lamp. Lumens describe the amount of light and kelvins the color of light. Lumens, or luminous flux, are the same in all types of bulbs, so you can choose the same number of lumens when switching from a traditional light bulb to an LED bulb, for example. The lower the number of kelvins, which indicate color temperature, the warmer and yellower the light. Correspondingly, the higher the number, the colder and bluer the light. It is advisable to choose the color temperature based on the desired atmosphere, i.e., whether you want the ambiance to be cozy for lounging or energizing for working.”

All lighting accessories >

3. Can a wall lamp with a cord be plugged right in?

“Yes and no – it depends entirely on the lamp. The need for any modifications should always be checked with the manufacturer before installation. Different lamp models have various technical differences that are not always visible on the surface. For example, the adaptor or switch of the wall lamp may have been placed in a way that prevents any modifications. Of course, some lamps are easy to modify, but it’s good to bear in mind that the manufacturer’s warranty will no longer apply after the product has been modified.

“If you have any doubts about the installation of luminaires in your home, do consult a professional electrician.”

We also often get asked about the dimmability of lamps. Most lamps can be connected to a dimmer, but in that case, a dimmable bulb must also be used. All major modifications should be left to professionals. Some electrical work can be done without training, as long as you know exactly what you are doing. However, if you have any doubts about the installation of luminaires in your home, do consult a professional electrician.

All wall lamps >

Miina Lindblad of Finnish Design Shop

Miina Lindblad works as a design sales representative in Finnish Design Shop’s Customer Service team. She is currently renovating an almost hundred-year-old house, and the interior seamlessly combines the new and the old. Miina’s newest design treasure is Vitra’s chrome Wire Chair, which fits perfectly into the atmosphere of the old house.

For help with your design purchases:

Finnish Design Shop’s Customer Service >

Text: Miina Lindblad Illustration: Evi Rinkinen

Previous story
Next story

Sign up to Finnish Design Shop’s newsletter and enter a monthly gift card prize draw!

Sign up

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly