The Non-Joy of IKEA Lamps

I love IKEA, perhaps a little more than I should. There's so much I enjoy about that place: their prices, the modern aesthetics of their products, their showrooms... IKEA is my version of Disneyland. Are they a great place to purchase inexpensive, mid-quality items like chairs, dishes & bookshelves? Absolutely. Are they a great place to purchase interchangeable lamps? NO. Because I didn't know about this issue with IKEA's lamps, I'm using my blog to spread the word to any other unsuspecting consumers. All other lamp bases & lamp shades I've purchased elsewhere can be mixed and matched. This past weekend, I discovered this is not the case with IKEA's lamps. Read more after the jump.

Now, I will say this about the Swedish superstore: if you live close to one, then buy their lamps to your heart’s content. But if you live 6o+ miles from one of their stores, purchase a lamp from another nationwide department store.

When I came across the LJUSÅS SALBO lamp at IKEA, I fell in love. Its curvy base had me at hello: it’s both mod and seemed to tie in well with the Arabesque elements of my new living room decor. The lamp base also coordinated well with the milk glass collection I’ve started collecting & displaying.

LJUSÅS SALBO Ikea lamp The Decor Guru

I wasn’t feeling the lampshade, though. Why they paired this lampshade with this base is beyond me. A fuller, wider lamp shade–such as a drum–would complement the curves of the base much better. No biggie, I figured I’d have a spare lampshade in my arsenal of spare decor items.

When I got home, I eagerly took out the lamp from its box and threw out some of the packaging. I was excited to see this new piece in my living room. I placed another lamp shade onto the base, screwed in the light bulb and… nothing.

While the shade fit onto the base, it fit too far up & prevented the light bulb from being screwed in far enough. I believe this is because IKEA lamps are made to accommodate the use of the new energy-efficient light bulbs. This means their uno lampshades have a larger ring than the standard uno lampshades & include a plastic washer so their shade fits tightly.

I was mighty frustrated over this & searched the web to see if I could maybe rig up something to incorporate my shade with the IKEA lamp. *I did find this article where someone filed/shaved down the plastic to do this.) I placed IKEA’s lampshade back on the lamp and decided to just deal. But then I encountered a new problem with my lamp: after 15 minutes of use, it went out. I tested the lamp & bulb and determined it was definitely the lamp.

Quite possibly, this malfunctioning of the lamp was divine intervention. See, in my post-shopping bliss and joy over my new purchase, I unpacked the lamp & pitched some of the plastic packaging. But because the lamp was now non-functioning, I could return it without the packaging.

Phew! I had no issues from IKEA in getting a full refund, although understandably, they did question if I used the proper energy-efficient bulb. (I did, and it was proven on my receipt.)

This is the new lamp I bought from Meijer’s to replace it (and it was cheaper, yay!):

MCM mod Moroccan living room makeover glass lampbase and lampshade with rick rack trim

I love that the shape is similar to the IKEA lamp & I’m really digging glass lamps lately. They’re great to decorate with when you want one of a decent size but don’t want the room to feel cluttered. They’re simple and transparent, which gives an illusion of more space. They also have more of a timeless appeal, which means they work well with my ever-changing decorating.

It’s okay, IKEA, I still love you and we’re not gonna break up. I’m just a little wiser because of this incident.

Thanks for visiting! Let’s stay connected!

2 Comments on The Non-Joy of IKEA Lamps

  1. I discovered your entry because I am running into a similar problem with the shade issue. I found an awesome shade with too small a fitting for my IKEA lamp too. I took off the fitting and am trying to replace it with the larger IKEA fitting. So far no luck, very frustrating. Almost wish taking it back was an option (my lamp is a few years old.) Haven’t given up yet.

    • Good luck! I’ve just resigned to only buying their lighting if I truly like it and know I won’t want to replace the shade. There’s probably a way to create your own lampshade ring, I just hadn’t discovered one.

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