Make sure the lamp is very near its final location.
Determine where the camera line of sight will hit the lamp, place a pointlight directly in front of the lampshade in the line of sight. The pointlight should be pale yellow or yellow-orange to simulate incandescent lighting - use pale bluish-white if lamp is fluorescent. Do spot renders to make sure the lampshade "lights up" properly and the color is OK. Adjust the location and / or pointlight color until it looks good.
If you still have trouble making the lamp look good at this point:
If light is too saturated, try reducing the light strength;
Look at the lampshade. If lampshade is not plain white or cream, you might have to lighten the shade color quite a bit or remove the texture entirely. Once you have done this, spot render and adjust the pointlight again until it looks good.
Duplicate the first pointlight, put this new one behind the lamp at the point on the lampshade that is closest to the nearest wall. This makes a realistic light flood on the wall. Do spot renders and adust color or location until the wall effect looks good.
Once you get all of this OK, you can parent the lights to the lamp and make small moves of the lamp without messing up the lights. That's it!
You can also use this technique for a bare light bulb, you might have to reduce the size or strength of the pointlights is all.
I haven't found any fire / torch props I really like, I've had to resort to painting them as postwork. But one or two well placed pointlights in the vicinity of the torch or firepot will lend realism when the light floods surrounding items. You many want to skew the color values more towards red for this usage.