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How To Choose Lighting Replacement Glass

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Practical and decorative, glass light shades help you to control the light in your home to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere. However, glass shades can be broken easily, leaving you with a light fixture that is dangerous and visually unappealing.

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Whether the shade of your light fixture has been damaged, or you simply want to update your style, our guide can help you find the perfect lighting replacement glass for your home.

What Style of Replacement Glass Should I Choose?

  • Art Deco

The 1920s Art deco style lighting is seeing a revival because the distinctive bold, geometric designs blend well with modern home décor. Look for white or frosted hexagonal or cube glass shades for a contemporary twist on a vintage look. Or try a lampshade with a hand painted curved fan pattern to make a dramatic statement and pop against a neutral color scheme.

Ceiling Fan Fitter Shade
Empire Pendant Shade
Arrowhead Textured Glass Shade
Rectangular Fan Fitter Shade
Stained Glass Shade
  • Modern and Contemporary

Modern and contemporary replacement glass shades feature clean, minimal lines as seen in cylindrical or bowl-shaped shades. To add a splash of color to a neutral or monochromatic room, try a sleek modern shade with a frosted interior and an exterior painted in a single bold color.

Minimalist Drum Pendant Shade
Glass Bowl Pendant Shade
Clear Glass Drum Pendant Shade
Minimalist Drum Wall Sconce
Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Glass Sphere Pendant Shade
  • Industrial

Industrial style glass shades highlight the metallic hardware of your light fixture and are often accompanied by a classic Edison bulb. Showcase your modern industrial light fixtures with a simple, clear glass globe.

Smoke Glass Industrial Pendant Shade
Small Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Small Glass Cone Pendant Shade
Industrial Glass Bowl Pendant Shade
Smoke Glass Industrial Pendant Shade
Industrial Glass Empire Cone Pendant Shade
  • Traditional 

Traditional replacement light shades have distinctly ornate designs that are inspired by historical eras. Tiffany style lamps feature luxurious leadlights and floral designs that blend well with low-lit rooms and dark hardwood furniture. Hand-blown glass shades in floral or bell shapes also make a stunning addition to a traditional home and reflect the soft curves found in many classical pieces of furniture.

Decorative Glass Pendant Shade
Ornate Decorative Ceiling Fan Fitter Shade
Tiffany Glass Ceiling Fan Bowl Shade
Ribbed Bowl Pendant Shade
Clear Hammered Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Diamond and Jewel Recurve Glass Bowl Pendant Shade

Which Shape Lighting Replacement Glass Do I Need?

The perfect shape for your replacement glass lampshade should coordinate with your light fixtures and the room décor. You also need to consider how the shape impacts the types of light bulbs you can use, as narrow shapes may not leave enough space between the shade and the bulb for safety. Some popular lighting replacement glass shapes include:

  • Bell

Bell-shaped shades can either have a straight or slightly curled-out edge. For modern and contemporary homes, choose straight edge bell shades for an uncluttered, minimal light fitting. If you live in a traditional or country style home, the curled details of the edges make a subtle style statement that blends well with your aesthetic.

Simple Frosted Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Decorative Glass Pendant Shade
Traditional Style Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Clear Hammered Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Seeded Glass Bell Pendant Shade
Thurston Glass Bell Lamp Candelabra Shade
  • Flower

Flower-shaped replacement shades are best suited to traditional or transitional homes as the ornate structure can detract from the clean angles of a modern home. Look for hand painted shades or varieties that feature multi-tonal frosted glass to accentuate the floral theme.

  • Hurricane

Hurricane shape lampshade is bulbous toward the base then taper at the center before flaring out at the top. This is a traditional style of lampshade used on kerosene lamps. However, they can add a subtle vintage touch to your room, and you can show off their stunning curved design as hurricane wall sconces.

  • Globe

Globe shades are a versatile style that suits all types of interior design. They are also suitable for use with a variety of bulbs due to the wide diameter of the shade. Choose a frosted style globe shade for more ambient lighting or keep the look clean and bright with a clear globe shade.

Colored Glass Sphere Pendant Shade
Simple Glass Sphere Pendant Shade
Minimalist Glass Sphere Pendant Shade
Orange Shaded Glass Sphere Pendant Shade
Amber Opaline Glass Globe Pendant Shade
Baseball Styled Globe Pendant Shade
  • Bowl

Bowl style shades are another popular and versatile style of shade that can either be used as a hanging pendant or fixed upright to give the look of faux recessed lighting. As they do not cover the entire bulb, they tend to emit a brighter light and a best-suited for use with low wattage bulbs or in rooms that have little natural light.

Patterned Glass Bowl Lamp Shade
Contemporary Amber Glass Bowl Pendant Shade
Opaque Glass Bowl Lamp Shade
Sandstone Glass Bowl Ceiling Fan Shade
Elegant Glass Ceiling Fan Bowl Shade
Elegant Ornate Glass Bowl Lamp Shade

How Do I Find the Right Fitter and Size of My Light Shade?

The fitter is the part of the lamp that connects the glass shade to the fixture. It is essential to match your glass replacement shade to the fitter to ensure the fixture is secure and reduce the risk of the shade falling. There are three types of fitters:

  • Fixture 

Fixture-type fitters are the most commonly seen style in hanging light fixtures, pendant lights, and pan lights as they use a series of small screws to attach the shade to the holder, which has a slightly tapered edge. The tapered edge is designed to fit glass lampshades that have a small lip, which helps the screws to lock the shade in place when tightened.

  • Straight

Straight fitters are used for lampshades that are placed in the upright position, such as wall sconces. This type of fitter does not feature any screws but relies on a snug fit between the shade and the fitting to secure it in place. However, this means that you need to choose a shade with the same precise dimensions as the fitter.

  • Screw

Some fitters may have a helical ridge that corresponds to ridges on the base of the lampshade that allows the lampshade to screw directly into the fitter. This creates a strong and secure fastening and does not leave any gaps between the fitting and the shade to prevent dust, debris, and insects from finding their way inside the fixture.

To find the correct sized shade for the fitter on your fixture, measure the interior diameter of the fixture to the nearest ¼". There are five standard lighting replacement shade sizes 2¼", 3¼", 5", 6", 10".