There isn’t really a specific “rule of thumb” when looking for a good quality table lamp. More often than not, you can just tell a good lamp by the way it looks and feels. A higher quality lamp is typically made with better materials, using heavier metals or stones for the base, heavier metal for the harp and finial components, and linen or a similar type fabric for the shade. There is also a good chance that there will be at least two power options or settings.
I usually judge a lamp by the shade. There are a lot of really ugly lamp shades out there that will ruin even the most beautiful of lamp bases. The key is to have the shade complement the rest of the lamp rather than overpower it.
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