Shade cradle blues

Here’s an object that was created because lamp shade manufacturers are stupid. Or, perhaps it’s the other way around. Perhaps we’re the stupid ones for buying non-standard lamp shades.

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I can understand having an old lamp that may have non-standard fittings. Given most industry started off in back yards with a little tradesperson slaving away with whatever materials he or she had to hand, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be a standard. And for the people who still have these pre-20th century lamps, there needs to be a few non-standard lampshades.

I have discovered there is an EU standard when it comes to lamps. Two sizes; a big one and a small one. This, of course, is for general standard light fittings. There are others for specific uses in various industries however, generally speaking, there’s two. Normally lampshades will have a centre ring with an insert. The insert allows it to fit the smaller sized fitting and, by popping it out, the shade will fit the larger size. It’s the perfect solution.

Now, here’s a completely non-standard lampshade with the biggest centre ring I’ve ever seen. What kind of lamp does this fit?

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This allows some capitalist genius who perceives a gap in the market, to invent the shade cradle. This means that any diameter can be catered for as long as it matches the lamp fitting.

I guess I should have measured it and gone armed with the details but, given it’s a lighting shop (and the premier lighting shop for miles around) and given I had the model AND they had an example of both shade and lamp on the shop floor, I figured they’d get it right. Needless to say, yesterday the lighting shop gave me the wrong shade cradle. It’s the small lamp fitting where our lamp is the big fitting.

I’d like to say that this will be the last time we shop at Elstead Lighting at Alton but I know Mirinda will forget this episode and see something she really, really can’t live without and we’ll be forced to shop there again. All I have to do then is remember to measure everything and have a 30 point Q&A document to take the shop assistant through before we commit to buying.

Anyway, today, through the depths of illness inspired snorting and hacking, I walked down to Homebase to see if they sell shade cradles. I had to get some other stuff so at least it wasn’t a waste of time. Homebase, where you’d normally go for your hardware needs, is gradually turning into a department store.

This is what the big retailers do. They make you shop at them because of their variety and low price point. People flock to them which closes down the little hardware stores on the High Street. Then, after a few years when there aren’t any independent shops left, the big boys stop selling the stuff that people really need from a hardware store.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the big retailers. They are just doing what they are entitled to do, the same as independent shops. No, I blame the shoppers who go to the big retailers (and I include myself). It’s like car drivers in a traffic jam complainng about the traffic jam that they have caused simply by being in it.

Of course, Homebase didn’t have one and had never heard of a shade cradle. The electrical trade shop next door said I could probably find one in Camberley. Back at home, we decided to take the lampshade back to Alton, get our money back and buy another shade from Laura Ashley…which is what we should have done in the first place.

Oddly enough, all Laura Ashley shades appear to be standard fittings.

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2 Responses to Shade cradle blues

  1. hankyoyu says:

    Well what an adventure just for a lamp shade you two do have fun.
    Love mum xx

  2. Mirinda says:

    The lamp is for your room Josie!!

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