Lamps Vs Ceiling Lights (Are Lamps Cheaper Than Ceiling Lights?)

The type of light you choose will determine the mood of your home and workspace. There are several options for lighting — the most common being lamps and ceiling lights. But which is more effective for their price range?

Lamps are cheaper than ceiling lights, are easy to move around a room, and don’t require any installation expertise. Lamps are also generally more affordable to buy in comparison to ceiling lights. Many ceiling lights also need more than one bulb, which can bump up the overall cost of the fixture. 

lamps vs ceiling lights

Regardless of whether you’re trying to liven up your restaurant or want to light up a corner in your house, this post will look at how ceiling lamps and lamps compare in terms of cost, aesthetics, and power usage. 

Lamps Vs Ceiling Lights : Which is better?

Central lighting is almost essential in every room. 

These lights can be turned on and off with a simple switch of a button when you enter the room, making it easy to use. 

What makes ceiling lights a great addition to any home is that they illuminate areas of our living spaces that don’t receive enough natural light throughout the day — if any at all. 

Ceiling lights can also add personality to a room. While furniture structures your house, ceiling lights can make the space feel glamorous, cozy, modern, or even medieval. 

Their bulbs are easy to change out, and many ceiling lights boast an incredible range of colors, shapes, and designs. This variety is appealing to anyone who loves the small details in a home that make a difference.  

What’s more, is that you also have the option of buying a ceiling-mounted fan with a light to cool down your home on those hot summer days. 

Why Use Ceiling Lights?

ceiling lights

If you’re looking for ceiling lights, the options are nearly endless. 

Generally, you’ll find ceiling lights categorized as follows: 

  • Mounted Lights
  • Utility Lights
  • Flush Lights
  • Semi-Flush Lights
  • Recessed Lights
  • LED Indirect Lighting
  • Hanging Lights
  • Chandeliers
  • Pendant Lights
  • Inverted Pendant Lights
  • Track and Rail Lighting
  • Glass Ceiling Lights
  • Metal Ceiling Lights
  • Spotlights

The categories cater to nearly every individual’s needs, from people who want functional lighting, like spotlights, to those with a keen eye for decorative lighting, like chandeliers or pendant lights. 

So, how exactly do lamps beat ceiling-mounted lights? 

What Makes Lamps Better Than Ceiling Lights?


Lamps are great to use in an interior space for various reasons. 

One of the main reasons lamps are better than ceiling lights is because they are simple to use and can be placed on any surface to brighten it. 

They can help brighten up a dark spot where you may want to do some reading, build a puzzle, or simply want to enjoy a conversation over a cup of tea. 

What’s better is that you’ll have lots of options when it comes to the level of illumination, depending on the type of lamp you select. 

Let’s look at some of the most common lamp options available and how each is best adapted to your space. 

3 Common Types Of Lamps

There are three types of lamps you can find available on the market: 

  1. Table lamps
  2. Floor lamps
  3. Desk lamps

Each lamp has its styles and levels of illumination, but what makes each light best adapted to a specific room in your home?

Which Lamp Should You Use In Which Space

Each type of lamp serves a specific purpose in homes. Some people use all three types throughout their homes, while some only use one or two. 

So, how can you use table, floor, and desk lamps in your space? Let’s discuss. 

Table Lamps

table lamp

Table lamps are usually used as a reading light, but some simply use them in their home as an element of decor that adds ambiance to a space. 

These lamps aren’t usually the most illuminating option available on the market but add a cozy element to many homes. 

Most people use their table lamps on the following surfaces:

  • On a side table next to your couch.
  • On a counter in a bar, kitchen, bathroom, or coffee station.
  • On a desk or a nightstand. 

Because they aren’t the brightest lamps available, they can also be used as a nightlight for children. 

Table lamps are usually relatively small, making them easy to place on surfaces without taking up too much space. 

These lamps also come in various styles, colors, and sizes, making it easy for every individual to find the perfect table lamp for their space. 

One disadvantage of using a table lamp is that they provide inadequate lighting for large spaces. 

Floor Lamps

floor lamp

Floor lamps are functional and decorative. Much like table lamps, they are also used as a source of additional lighting. 

Because of their size, these lamps are usually placed next to couches or large furniture pieces. 

They are great at providing additional light to a space while also adding an element of design to an otherwise lacking corner. 

Floor lamps usually have additional features making them more suitable for specific spaces.

Some of these features include:

  • Swing arms — to adjust where your light source needs to be.
  • Adjustable arms — to adapt the distance of the light source. 
  • Automatic switches — to make switching the lamp on and off an easy task.
  • Tray tables — to hold your favorite hot beverage while you’re chatting or reading. 

Floor lamps are the largest of the three lights available and take up the most space — which can be a stunning design feature or an annoyance if placed in the wrong spot. 

Unfortunately, their most prominent feature is one of their disadvantages if placed incorrectly. 

Desk Lamps

desk lamp

These lamps are very similar to table lamps, with the difference that they’re designed to illuminate a particular and small area. 

These lamps are usually used on desks to help you see what you’re working on. 

Desk lamps often have adjustable arms to permit you to move them around as needed. 

They make writing, drawing, sewing, coding, and many other desk activities an easy accomplishment. 

While they’re great for providing a functional light source to complete specific tasks, they aren’t great at lighting up an entire room. 

The other difference between table lamps and desk lamps is that while table lamps add an element of decor, desk lamps are mainly used for functional lighting. 

Do Lamps Use Less Power Than Ceiling Lights?

The simple answer? No. The amount of electricity your light consumes depends on the type and wattage of the bulb. 

The wattage of your bulb determines the cost of electricity usage. The number of bulbs per light can also define it. 

If both the ceiling light and lamp use a 60-watt globe, the electricity consumption will be the same. 

Most lamps and ceiling lights won’t have the same wattage, so it’s best to check their wattage requirements before buying either. 

Which Type Of Lighting Is Best?

There are three categories of lighting:

  1. Ambient lighting — provides light to an entire space like a hallway or kitchen but doesn’t illuminate a specific location (like a desk).
  2. Task lighting — allows you to target light on a specific area or location to aid in tasks like writing or drawing. 
  3. Accent lighting — this lighting isn’t generally used in homes but rather in exhibits. 

These lighting options also have different color temperatures, making a room seem cozy or cynical. 

Bulb Color Temperature

Apart from the bulb’s brightness, you also have to look at its color. 

Here are the five typical lightbulb color temperatures:

  • Soft white is warm and yellow, which gives a warm and cozy feeling and is often best for living rooms, dens and bedrooms.
  • Warm white is more yellowish-white and is best suited for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bright white is between white and blue tones, creating a less cozy and more energetic feel, and are generally used in workspaces or kitchens.
  • Daylight has a more bluish tone, which will maximize contrast for colors, making it ideal for working, reading, or applying makeup.

With these color temperatures in mind, you want to choose the type of light which will best suit the purpose of the task you’re completing in that area. 

There’s also been a recent surge in smart bulbs. The reason? Smart bulbs are great at allowing you to change the color of your bulb according to your specific needs. 


Deciding which light to use isn’t a simple task, especially when considering all the determining factors. 

If you’re looking for central lighting, buying a ceiling light will be your best option and will save you from using five different lamps to light up a room. 

If, however, you’re looking for localized light or want to create ambiance in a room, buying lamps will be your best option. 

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.