Meteor Lights FAQ

Questions about Meteor Lights’ Lampshades and Pendant Lighting

Q.: How will your lampshade attach to my lamp?

A.: Most lamps use a detachable, hoop-shaped, two piece lamp harp assembly to secure the shade to the lamp. The harp snaps into the harp saddle (the u-shaped bracket immediately below the lamp socket).The top of the harp has a threaded finial post that fits through the washer on the lampshade ring. A decorative finial screws onto the harp to secure the shade.

Q.: How do I measure the harp?

A.: Harps are measured from the bottom of the saddle to the flat part below the finial post. Harps are available in 1/2″ increments. Most of our shades are designed variously to work with harps from 7 1/2″ to 9″.

lampshade bulb adapter

Q.: What if my lamp doesn’t have a harp?

A.: If your lamp doesn’t have a harp saddle in place, we can provide you with a clip-on
bulb adapter, which attaches to the shade and clips onto the bulb itself. The threaded
finial post on the bulb clip fits through the shade washer, and is secured with a finial.

Q.: Which lampshade styles are available as clip-on shades?

A.: Any lampshade can be easily converted to a clip-on, but the bulb adapters
work best on shades up to 13″ in diameter. If used to suspend a shade upside-down,
as on a swag or pendant lamp, the clips work best with lamp shade heights 9″ and under,
and on the smaller tiered shades.

Q.: My lamp has a huge harp. Can I still use one of your lampshades?

A.: We can make our drum lamp shades in tall sizes. As lamp shades, the tiered styles
aren’t ideally suited to tall heights, but they do work well as pendant lamps. Most of our shades,
especially the tiered shapes, are made in the post-war low-profile “mid-century/modern” style,
so for the best fit you may want to change to a shorter harp. However, in many cases
we can customize shades for taller harps. A small number of older lamps have a crimped-on harp,
in which case the upper portion is not removable from the saddle. If you have one of these older lamps
that has a crimped-on harp which is too long, please contact us for other solutions.

Q.: What if our lamp has a glass bowl around the socket, instead of a lamp harp?

A.: We can provide you with shade clips that attach to the spokes of the lampshade
ring and fit snugly inside or outside the bowl. Larger diameter shades work well with glass bowls.

Q.: What is the difference between a pendant fixture and a pendant swag.?

A.: A pendant light fixture is hard-wired to an electrical ceiling junction box,
and usually hangs straight down from the canopy covering the j-box;
a pendant swag light is a portable lamp which plugs into an electrical outlet,
and is suspended from the ceiling with hooks or hangers.

Q. What does “pendant swag lamp” mean, anyways?

A.: Pendant swag refers to a lamp whose chain or cord is draped,
or swagged, between two or more points on a ceiling. According to Michael Quinion of World Wide Words, swag is “…a word imported into Middle English from Scandinavian svagga, to sway (in fact, it’s the origin of sway as well). At first, the verb meant to rock unsteadily or lurch, but evolved into that of hanging loosely or heavily, to sag. Another sense of swag comes from the same idea — for an ornamental festoon, or for fabric fastened so it hangs in a drooping curve; this was first recorded at the end of the eighteenth century. It’s also the origin of the American swag lamp sense […], in which the lamp’s electrical cable hangs in a swag.”

Q.: What is the largest diameter shade you make?

A.: We currently make custom lamp and pendant shades up to 36″ diameter. Our largest standard drum is 18″ diameter, but we also make large oversize drums in 21″, 24″, 30″, and 36″ diameters. 21″ diameter drums shades are available as lampshades and as pendant shades. 24″, 30″, and 36″ diameter shades are available as pendant shades (for large pendant lamps). The largest standard 2-tier, reverse 2-tier, and 3-tier lampshades and pendant shades we make are 21″ diameter. The largest “atomic tier” style we make is 18″ diameter. Oversize shades do have additional box/packing and shipping charges. Please contact us for more details.

Q.: What is the material your shades are made of?

A.: We fabricate our shades from a resin/fiberglass composite developed in the mid-twentieth century.
This is the same material used on the original post-war low-profile fiberglass lampshades. Back in the day,
dye was put in the resin during the manufacturing process to attain a range of stock colors. Only plain
white is still available, so we have to individually hand-stain each shade to achieve the desired effect.

Q.: How do you get the colors on your lampshades?

A.: We use non-toxic water-based stains that we mix up as needed. Because each shade
is stained separately, colors may not match exactly from batch to batch. Therefore, if
you need a matching pair, we suggest you order them at the same time for a perfect match.
Because we mix up our own colors, we can match virtually any color.

Q.: Do you sell your parchment shade fabric?

A.: We don’t make a practice of selling our shade parchment, but we may be able to provide small quantities in some cases.

Q.: What bulb wattages do you recommend with your shades?

A.: For a 6″ diameter shade, we recommend 60 watts max; for 8″ diameters,
75 watts max; for 10″ diameters, 100 watts max.

Q.: Why don’t you have more cone shapes on your Styles page?

A: We offer more basic cone shapes in our Store. There are hundreds of possible cone
lampshade configurations using the following parameters: 4″-15″ top dia., 5″-18″ bottom dia., and 7″-16″ tall.
We can make most configurations. There are too many possible configurations for us to list — contact us
with the dimensions you need, and we’ll see if we can do it.

Q.: Where are your lamps and shades made?

A.: Our lamps and shades are stained, fabricated, and assembled by hand at our workshop
in San Francisco, CA. All of our shade components (fiberglass stock, wire rings, stains and paints,
and plastic lanyard) are made in the U.S. As time goes by, American-made electrical hardware
is becoming harder to source, but whenever possible, we use American-made components.

Q.: Do you ship abroad?

A.: We ship internationally via Priority Mail International. Due to limitations in the shipping module software,
the Priority Mail International shipping rates shown in the shopping cart are much higher than they actually are.
Please contact us directly for an accurate quote. Customers will be responsible for any taxes or duties.

Q.: How long do orders take?A.: Most orders are now taking about 6-10 weeks, or a little longer in some cases.
Depending on our workload, we may be able to meet special time considerations, so please let us know if time is an issue.

Q.: Why can’t I have my shade right now?

Each shade is custom-made to your specifications and our high standards. However, we do have some
already-fabricated shades on hand for sale in our store. Please contact us for more information.

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