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Which desk lamps are best?

When designing a workspace, proper lighting is key to creating the ideal setting for productivity while sitting at your desk. With the right desk lamp, you’ll relieve stress on the eyes, save space and energy, and create a workflow ambiance that allows you to work comfortably and efficiently.

Not all desk lamps are created equal, however, and there are countless options to choose from. In order to find the right product for your space, you’ll need to consider size, design, features, and price range. We’ve outlined the important points here and included some product recommendations to help you decide.

What to know before you buy a desk lamp

There are several different types of desk lamps. The lighting in each of these types can vary (incandescent, halogen, full-spectrum fluorescent, LED), and what you choose will depend on your preferences and needs.

  • Bankers’ lamps are classic desk lamps that typically come with a brass base, an adjustable green-glass shade, and a pull-chain switch.
  • Organizer desk lamps are ideal for small desk areas, with a base that usually includes several small compartments for office supplies.
  • Adjustable desk lamps allow you to make subtle changes to how close your light source is to your work. Some adjustable lamps are on hinges, while others have a flexible arm that bends.
  • Tree desk lamps usually sport three or more light sources on an arm that can be adjusted however you want it.
  • Clip-on desk lamps are smaller and feature a clamp on the end that allows you to attach it to the edge of a table or desk.
  • Magnifying desk lamps come paired with a handy magnifying lens that you can use to get a closer look at anything placed on your desk.

What to look for in a quality desk lamp

When choosing the best desk lamp for your needs, there are a few key features to think about.

  • Adjustability: Be mindful of how much you need to adjust your lamp. A hinged arm will only give you a few different positions, while a flexible arm has the ability to twist and turn until the lighting is positioned just right.
  • Dimming: Some lamps offer multiple light or dimming settings. These are great lamps for when you need brighter light to work and softer light to relax or read.
  • Size: Lamp size is important to note because you want something that’s sturdy, but you don’t want the lamp to take up too much space on your desk.
  • Extras: Other features like space-saving compartments, magnifier and additional power ports can all be useful and should be considered.

How much you can expect to spend on a desk lamp

Depending on size, style, and features, the price of a desk lamp can range from $10-$75. Simple, small, basic lamps fall in the $10-$20 range. As you look for extra features like compartments or charging ports, you’ll likely spend $20-$40. Larger lamps that are adjustable and have the most features cost between $40-$75.    

Best desk lamp FAQ

Q. Can I use any light bulb in my desk lamp?

A. No. To avoid any malfunctions or accidents, make sure to follow your product’s instructions and only use bulbs that are compatible with your lamp’s power and design.

Q. Can I power my desk lamp via USB?

A. While some lamps have USB ports for charging other devices, most desk lamps are powered by plugging them into an outlet.

What’s the best desk lamp to buy?

Top desk lamp

Lighting Ever LE Dimmable LED Desk Lamp

Lighting Ever LE Dimmable LED Desk Lamp

Our take: Stylish and sophisticated, this feature-rich lamp is durable and easy to use.

What we like: A super cool design, lots of useful features, and dimmable LED light that shines nicely at whatever setting you choose.

What we dislike: Neck isn’t as adjustable as that on some other lamps.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top desk lamp for the money

AFROG Multifunctional LED Desk Lamp

AFROG Multifunctional LED Desk Lamp

Our take: Great desk lamp for anyone looking for something compact, affordable, and surprisingly durable.

What we like: Sleek design, flexible neck, charging port and adjustable LED light. A solid choice that won’t break the bank.

What we dislike: If the LED light wears out, you’ll have to replace the entire lamp.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Tomons Swing-Arm LED Desk Lamp

Tomons Swing-Arm LED Desk Lamp

Our take: Cool lamp for those who prefer style and dependability over everything else.

What we like: Flexible arm with a unique wood finish. Simple features make it reliable and easy to use right away.

What we dislike: Aside from the pleasant design, it doesn’t have any of the newer features that distinguish other lamps.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Taji Morris writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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