The rule of thumb is the same for any task lighting, whether it's a table lamp on your nightstand or a floor lamp by your favorite reading chair, a sconce over the bathroom vanity or a pendant over the dining room buffet: "You want the bottom of the shade at about the height of your chin when you're using the light," says Bruce Yarnell, an architectural lighting designer in Shawnee, Kansas. That way you're not looking up at the bare bulb, and the light is shining on your work surface. So figure out where your head will be when you're lying in bed reading, sitting in your club chair, or cutting pie at the buffet, and plan the height of your light accordingly. If you and your spouse are very different heights, don't set paired lights at mismatched heights. Do what's always best in a marriage: "Compromise and go for the middle ground," Yarnell says.