How to change a lampshade

Read on to find out how to change a lampshade and add the perfect finishing touch to your décor.

Updated 6 September 2019

Standing lamp and a series of coloured hanging lampshades in a living room

Key steps

  • Turn the light switch off.
  • Work from a secure stepladder underneath the light.
  • Check whether your lampshade is bulb accessible or non-accessible.
  • If the new lampshade doesn’t fit, use a lampshade reducer ring.
 

Knowing how to change a lampshade can make a real difference to a room: whether you're replacing an old and worn one, adjusting the light in the room, or showing off a pretty new lampshade that looks just right with the décor. Replacing lampshades can be a little fiddly, especially when it comes to getting the size right. Here we’ll provide top tips for changing your lampshades as well as how to fit a lampshade reducer ring if necessary. 

To maximise the light in your room, pick a lampshade in a light-coloured, thin material. For a more atmospheric light, consider deeper, warmer colours like orange.

How to fit a lampshade: An easy step-by-step guide to changing over your lampshade

From showing you how to measure a lampshade to how to remove and replace your lampshade, this step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know:

  1. It’s a good idea to first measure your lampshade to decide what size you want to buy.
  2. Measure the diameter. The wider the diameter, the more light you will get into the room. If you want to increase the light in your room, purchase a large shade than the one you already have.
  3. Check the length. Bear in mind that buying a 2-foot chandelier when you have low ceilings will mean you or family members or guests may walk into it. Choose one that looks good but doesn’t take over the room.
  4. Switch off the light switch.
  5. Get together everything you need. This includes:
    • Stepladder
    • Screwdriver
    • Your new lampshade
  6. Place the stepladder beneath the light. Always ensure it is flat and safe before climbing to reach the lampshade.
  7. If your lampshade is lightbulb-accessible, follow these steps:
    • Unscrew the lightbulb.
    • Locate the mounting screws.
    • Loosen the mounting screws with your screwdriver until the lampshade comes free.
    • Carefully place the old lampshade down nearby and take your new lampshade up the stepladder.
    • Put the new lampshade in place and tighten the mounting screws to hold it in place.
    • Replace the bulb.
    • Turn the light on to test it.
  8. If the lightbulb is not accessible, follow these steps:
    • Holding the lampshade in place with one hand, loosen the decorative nut with the other.
    • If the nut is stiff or doesn’t turn, try using a pair of pliers.
    • Take down the lampshade.
    • Place the new lampshade over the mounting hole.
    • Tighten the decorative nut in place.
  9. If our new lampshade is the wrong size for the fitting you already have, don’t panic. Resizing it is simply a matter of knowing how to fit a lampshade reducer ring. You can get these from most homeware or hardware shops. The ring clips into place on the lampshade fitting, reducing the size and allowing you to put up your new lampshade.

Knowing how to change a lampshade is one thing, but do you know how to choose the right lighting for your home? Read our guide for top tips and advice for creating perfect light atmosphere in every room.

Before learning how to remove a lampshade and replace it, keep electrical safety in mind! Never try to replace a lampshade without first switching off the light switch. 
Originally published 22 August 2019