Torchieres were introduced in the U.S. in the early 1980s. As torchieres were considered to be an expensive, high-tech form of lighting, its popularity skyrocketed, and so did the overseas mass production of the hot new lamp. Once more and more torchieres and halogen torchieres were imported into the U.S. at lower prices, sales increased dramatically. In the year 1995 alone, 20 million torchieres were sold in the U.S.

Overview of Torchieres

During the late 1990s, torchieres were the center of attention not for their booming sales, but because they were believed to cause fires. Because of this, several types of torchieres were created to decrease fires and energy costs as well.

Today, torchieres are still one of the most widely used residential lighting sources in the U.S. The technical definition of a torchiere is a type of decorative floor lamp that gives indirect, upward lighting by utilizing a flared shade or shallow bowl-shaped fixture that is typically mounted on a 6 to 7 foot pole. The light from a torchiere hits the ceiling from an invisible lighting source and it is reflected back. While there are only a few types of torchieres on the market today, there are literally thousands of styles to choose from ranging from traditional or modern to futuristic.

Types of Torchieres

There are two main types of torchieres:

  • Halogen torchiere floor lamps
  • Compact fluorescent torchieres.

Halogen bulbs operate at temperatures that are 5 times hotter than regular incandescent bulbs. Around 96% of the energy used by a halogen lamp turns into heat instead of light. The temperature of a halogen bulb can reach anywhere from 700 to 1000��F. The good news is hotter halogen bulbs can be replaced with cooler 500, 300 and 250-watt bulbs. This reduces the risk of fire and can trim the fat off your energy bill.

Compact fluorescent torchieres use a fluorescent lamp and a 55-watt bulb to produce the same amount of light as a 300-watt halogen bulb. Compact fluorescent lamps use 70% less energy than halogen lights and they typically offer the same features, such as dimmers and three level lighting. Torchieres with "Energy Star" labels look the same as halogen torchiere floor lamps, but they operate at 100 to 200��F.

Whether you're shopping for a traditional torchiere or a sleek, multifunctional torchiere, always look for the "Energy Star" label for safety and savings.