You Know It When You See It

Here at Lux Lampshades, we believe high-quality lampshades have the ability to leave a viewer speechless with their indescribable nature.

We work with some of the most iconic interior designers in the world to make quality lampshades for hotels, designers, and private label customers. However, a common thread among all of our customers is that they find it challenging to describe a "nice" lampshade.

Can you describe a quality lampshade? What makes one lampshade worth more than another? There are many different types of lampshades available today, but there's a reason why you should buy a Lux Lampshade over any other.

 First, when choosing the perfect lampshade, you need to understand how to describe one and how to determine its value.

The colloquial expression "you know it when you see it" originated in 1964 in the U.S. Supreme Court case Jacobellis v. Ohio Justice Potter Stewart when describing his threshold test for obscenity. It's an expression where you attempt to categorize a particular event or fact, but the category is subjective. 

We believe this is the perfect expression for describing lampshades because truly, a lampshade can't be described thoroughly without flaw. Lampshades are like art and when you purchase a Lux Lampshade, you are making an investment in your decor and it will leave you speechless.

When placed in a room, the lampshade reinvents the entire atmosphere. Our philosophy of "if you change a shade, you can change a room," remains true to this day. A single lampshade has the ultimate power to dramatically influence the decor of a room.

 How To Describe A Lampshade

To define a lampshade adequately, you first need to know their respective terms. These include "softback shade," "hardback shade," "rolled edge," and there are many more, depending on the lampshade, its materials, techniques, and other design qualities. Most of these terms are unfamiliar to most, and even many designers struggle to know their meaning.        

When using the term "rolled edge" to characterize a lampshade, the shade must be designed in a particular way. This is a professional technique and can be tricky to achieve because creating neat, perfectly rolled edges is challenging. However, the finished result is flawless.

Softback and hardback lampshades are perhaps the most simple terms to understand. Soft-backed lampshades feature surface detailing, including tucks, gathers, and pleats that add significant texture to the design. This is more of a traditional design method.

Hardback lampshades feature precisely shaped, angular designs that use laminated or hardback construction. One large piece of material is typically used to get the right shape, which is usually a cylindrical or cone-like effect. The outcome is more contemporary than that of softback shades.

There are benefits to both hardback and softback lampshades. Hardbacks offer a vast range of fabric choices, so designing becomes more versatile. Softbacks, on the other hand, while adding beautiful texture to their expression, have a lighter construction and have the ability to allow more light to filter through the lampshade. This is perfect for those who want to achieve a more ambient effect in the room.

Despite all of these interesting lampshade qualities, there is one particular technique that rises above all else when describing a lampshade and its value, and that is whether or not it is hand-made.


Hand-made lampshades set the bar for high-quality lampshades. Typically, if a lampshade is hand-made, many different traditional, labor-intensive manufacturing techniques have been poured into the design to produce an impeccable result that gives it such a remarkable focal statement.

Overall, though, there are many possible considerations regarding lampshades that define its quality. What is most important is that you are buying one from a reputable brand that uses high-quality materials, passionate artisans, unique designs, and durable techniques. At Lux Lampshades, we use pure linen and silk with a variety of colorways, and there are plenty of lampshades to browse for your needs.



Lampshades are a necessary part of any lamp to add color, style, and personality to the atmosphere.

But a lampshade is much more than that, and we hope this information has helped you to understand the power a singular lampshade has in enhancing the surrounding decor of a room, as well as how it can diffuse light. 

Moreover, we hope that you have learned a thing or two about how to identify a quality, well-made lampshade which can hopefully assist you on your buying journey. The foundations behind a quality lampshade are key to understanding its value, but truthfully, you only "know it when you see it."

Take a look at our shades at Lux Lampshades.  Our design, construction, client service, and installation guidance creates a seamless shopping experience you won't find anywhere else, and we promise you will most certainly be left feeling lost for words by their beauty.