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What are the Different Types of Globe Lamps?

By Miranda Fine
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several types of globe lamps. Globe lamps include any lighting fixtures that incorporate round spheres of glass into their design. Indoors, globe lamps may be mounted ceiling fixtures, freestanding floor lamps or table lamps. Outside, globe lamps are used as streetlamps and for illuminating other outdoor areas. Globe lamps may incorporate single, multiple spherical or ovoid glass shapes and use clear, frosted or opaque glass.

Perhaps the most common type of globe lamp is the mounted ceiling fixture. Most homes have at least a few of these fixtures where a rounded, oval or spherical bubble of glass covers a light bulb screwed into a socket mounted on the ceiling or wall. The glass globe has an outer lip that extends out from the opening for the light bulb that is used to attach the globe to the ceiling or wall mounting, usually with screws. A related type of globe lamp is the hanging chandelier. These are typically hung over a dining table and come in many different designs. Two of the most common designs are a single hanging sphere, or several small globes and bulbs that evoke candles.

Another type of globe lamp is the freestanding floor lamp. These lamps may feature globes as the light source, or as a design element in the base of the lamp. Lamp bases are usually made of wood or metal with spaces for glass globes, which may or may not illuminate. Often, these lamps feature a single globe at the top of the lamp that can adjust to different light intensities. Other designs use a tree-like design featuring multiple globes extending from a branching metal base.

Globe lamps are common as table lamps. Like floor lamps, they can feature illuminated globes in the base as well as the top of the lamp. Globe lamps were a popular Victorian design, often featuring a lighted base and painted or colored glass. Contemporary designs often feature clean lines and simple shapes. Other globe table lamps feature hand-blown, multicolored glass or illuminate a map globe of the world.

Street lamps are often globe lamps. They often feature one or two spheres of glass atop a metal column or pedestal. Globe lamps are especially common as street lamps in older parts of cities, or installed to enhance an urban street front area. Streetlamps may use yellow or white glass globes, depending on local codes and attitudes toward light pollution. Globe lamps are also commonly used to illuminate other outdoor areas, such as hotels, parks and walkways.

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Discussion Comments

By wavy58 — On Jun 06, 2012

@Oceana – I like chandelier globes. I have one in my dining room over the table. I like how it catches any bugs that might try to make their way down to the food.

I have to clean out the globe every few months, and I always find dead bugs up there. It's opaque, so you can't see them from the outside.

I also have some hanging globe lamps in the living room. They extend from rods of different lengths from a metal strip attached to the ceiling. Each globe has a round hole in the bottom, and this is where I reach in to change the bulbs.

By StarJo — On Jun 05, 2012

My street is lined with globe lamps. They are about seven feet tall, and the poles resemble regular street lights. One globe sits on top of each pole.

I live in a small town, and most of the businesses close at night. So, we don't really need bright street lights to illuminate the area.

The light from the globe lamps is enough to light the path for people walking home. My friend walks home after dark every night, and she feels safer since the city installed the globe lamps. You can't see details, but you can see all that you need to make out while walking.

By Oceana — On Jun 05, 2012

My aunt has some cool antique globe lamps. One has different colored pieces of glass fitted together to form a small globe on top of the stand, and the other is in chandelier form.

The standing globe lamp puts off just enough light to read by. It gives the room the feel of an old library. I feel like there should be a fireplace in the room to add to the effect.

The chandelier globe is also made of glass, but it has a floral pattern and only a few slightly different colors. The flower pieces are a mahogany color, and the background is a creamy yellow. These colors dampen the intensity of the light.

By cloudel — On Jun 04, 2012

I have seen some glass globe lamps that have the globe encircling the stand rather than the light bulb. These lamps usually have the typical round lamp shade that fans out toward the bottom.

I actually prefer the globe lamps that have the globe around the bulb, though. I think that glowing orbs look so cool. They remind me of the moon.

I have a glass globe lamp that has a frosted light blue globe around the bulb. When I turn it on, it emits a soft light that is almost spooky. It is a good nighttime lamp.

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