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Let There Be Light: Overhead Illumination or Lamps?

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The great lighting debate continues

At Curbed HQ and in the homes of Americans across from coast to coast, a battle rages on. Citizens in favor of the all-encompassing illumination provided by overhead track and spot lighting flip switches on the moment they enter a room.

Meanwhile, the romantics among us, worried about whether or not the light is suited to the task at hand—and whether or not it flatters a room's occupants—reach for floor and table lamps instead, fumbling in the dark to find the right knob or floor-pedal control.

In talking to our colleagues and listening to our readers, who decried certain lighting styles in the comments section of a recent Decor Rant on the subject, we've found there's a pretty wide gulf between those who would prefer to sweep into a room and have overhead lights go on automatically (as so many lights do these days), and those who'd rather have a range of options set on side tables and tucked in corners for turning on and off at will.

This editor is in the corner of the task lamp-ers. Overhead light is almost always harsh and deeply unflattering. And bulbs meant to help circumvent this issue (like the controversial Edison bulb) can actually work against you, providing too little illumination to really make switching on overhead lights worth it.

And then there's the fact that a good table or standing lamp can contribute to a room's overall style and ambience. Yes, there's the ever-present arc lamp (digitally immortalized by the folks at the Unicode Consortium, the emoji governing board), but there are less expensive, less ubiquitous options, too, like this PoMo-inspired table lamp from Blu Dot or this Ikea floor option that looks pricier than it is.

So, where do you stand? Are you the type that likes a good task lamp? Do you prefer to any overhead light to none at all? Do you have a good strategy for combining the two approaches? We want to hear about! Vote and sound off in the comments.

Which Lighting Styles Do You Love and Loathe? [Curbed]

The Edison Bulb: Illuminating Trend Or Overexposed Lighting? [Curbed]

All Interior Design coverage [Curbed]