A desk lamp provides supplemental lighting to make it easier to read or review documents, work on a computer, or pay bills. An LED desk lamp uses 90 percent less energy than an incandescent lamp while offering the same kind of task lighting. Energy-efficient LED bulbs also have a longer lifespan than other types of bulbs and can potentially last for 20 years or more.
LED desk lamps can offer a very bright light that can simulate daylight, some are dimmable, and many LED desk lamps also offer a variety of color temperature options. These desk lamps come in a number of sizes and styles to accommodate different spaces, and many offer flexible heads to allow users to position the light in an optimal location.
There are even more features to consider when shopping for a desk lamp for an office space. Keep reading to learn about key considerations to help you find the best LED desk lamps to suit your needs.
- BEST OVERALL: JUKSTG Eye-Caring LED Desk Lamp
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DEEPLITE LED Desk Lamp with Flexible Gooseneck
- BEST WITH SMART TECHNOLOGY: BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp – Desk Lamp for Monitors
- BEST FOR EYE HEALTH: JOLY JOY Swing Arm, LED Desk Lamp with Clamp
- BEST WITH USB: TW Lighting IVY-40WT The IVY LED Desk Lamport
What to Consider When Choosing the Best LED Desk Lamp
When shopping for an LED desk lamp, there are a wide selection of types, sizes, styles, and lighting options to consider, and taking time to prioritize what is most important should help simplify the search. Below are some of the most important features to consider in a quality LED desk lamp.
With several different types of desk lamps available, one of the first things to do before beginning a search is to determine which type best suits your needs. The types of desk lamps include the following:
- Swing arm: Swing arm desk lamps have a long arm segmented into different sections. A hinge connects each section and allows users to adjust the lamp into a variety of positions and angles to find the ideal location for each lighting need. The total length of the arm can vary based on design, but it is typically between about 22 and 40 inches long.
- Adjustable: Adjustable desk lamps are also called gooseneck lamps. They feature a flexible neck that bends into different positions to angle the light to the desired location.
- Organizer: Organizer desk lamps feature one or more compartments on their base to hold pens, pencils, note pads, or other small items.
- Clip-on: Clip-on desk lamps have a clamp, rather than a free-standing base, which allows them to be clamped on to the edge of a desk. They typically have a swing arm or an adjustable design so the light can be positioned where it is needed.
- Magnifying: As the name implies, magnifying desk lamps have a magnifying lens that can be paired with the light from the lamp to make it easier to view fine print, sew, crochet, paint, or repair and assemble small objects.
- Banker: Banker desk lamps offer a classic design. They typically have a brass stand and a green glass lampshade.
Take into consideration the available space on a desk to help select a desk lamp that is appropriately sized. Some desk lamps have a larger footprint than others and will take up more space on a desk. The size of a standard desk lamp will vary based on the design, but the base is typically about 5 inches across and most designs are around 15 inches tall. If a workspace already holds numerous desk accessories and is tight on space, a clip-on desk lamp may be more suitable.
In addition to considering how much space the base of the lamp will take up on a desk, the arm’s length also affects whether it will be able to offer light on all the areas of the desk. If a desk is deep or wide, choosing a desk lamp with a longer reach may be beneficial.
Many LED desk lamps plug into a wall outlet and are powered by electricity. Other LED desk lamps are cordless and battery-powered. Think about how you plan to use the desk lamp to determine which is right for you.
AC-powered or electric desk lamps are an optimal choice for those who plan to leave the lamp in one location. With an electric lamp, there is no need to worry about the battery dying while working or remembering to plug the lamp in to recharge the battery.
However, battery-powered desk lamps offer the benefit of being cordless. The lack of a cord can help prevent a desk from looking cluttered. Cordless lamps also could easily work during power outages, and in different locations around the home.
Brightness and Color Temperature
Finding a light that is bright enough for your needs is important. Brightness is measured in lumens. The greater the number of lumens, the brighter the light. While reading or writing tasks usually require about 450 lumens, up to 1,100 lumens may be needed for more intricate tasks such as needlework, making model trains or cars, and painting. Some desk lamps allow users to adjust the brightness setting, which can increase the functionality of the lamp.
In addition to paying attention to the brightness of each desk lamp, also consider the color temperature. Measured in a Kelvin scale, color temperature describes the coolness or warmth of the light. Cooler light can stimulate the brain and is often ideal for providing optimal task lighting to reduce eyestrain. Warmer light is soothing and can be a better option for use in the evening. Choosing a warmer color in the evening also results in less blue light exposure since too much blue light before bed can have a negative impact on sleep.
Dimmable vs. Fixed Lighting
Some LED desk lamps offer dimmable brightness settings or a fixed brightness level. There are pros and cons to consider for each option.
Fixed lighting requires no adjustment, and there’s no need to worry about changing the level for different tasks. However, with fixed lighting, there may be times when a desk lamp seems either too bright or too dim for a task.
Dimmable or adjustable desk lamps offer a choice from a few different brightness options. This allows customizing the lighting to the ideal level whether working on a computer, reading a book, studying, or completing another task. Dimmable desk lamps often offer at least three, if not more, brightness levels. A downside of dimmable lamps is that it can lead to frequently adjusting the setting, which could become tedious.
There are more features included with some LED desk lamps. Charging stations, USB ports, smart technology, and touchpad controls may be included in some options.
- Charging stations: Some desk lamps offer wireless charging stations where users can place their smartphones to recharge them.
- USB ports: USB ports are included in the design of some desk lamps. Smartphones, tablets, or other devices can plug into the lamps and be charged by them.
- Smart technology: Some desk lamps offer connectivity with smart home personal assistants. This can allow users to control the lamps using their voice.
- Touchpad controls: Rather than pulling down on a cord, flipping a switch, or turning a knob, some desk lamps feature touchpad controls. Simply tap the base of the lamp to turn it on or adjust the brightness or the color setting.
Our Top Picks
The following products were selected based on the various features outlined above. Based on each category, these are some of the best LED desk lamps that can illuminate a desk while also adding style to an office space.
This contemporary swing-arm LED desk lamp from JUKSTG offers numerous adjustment angles to provide ideal lighting for most situations. The upper part of the arm rotates up to 180 degrees, the lower part of the arm flexes up to 75 degrees, and the base swivels up to 90 degrees. In addition to the many options for adjusting the angle and position of the light, users can also choose from multiple lighting modes and brightness levels. Use the touch pad to choose one of seven brightness modes ranging from 15 to 100 percent brightness. Four lighting modes are available: daylighting, cool lighting, warm lighting, and sleep lighting.
The bulb in the lamp offers flicker-free light to protect the eyes and reduce eye fatigue. This desk lamp also features a one-hour auto shut-off to reduce electricity if the lamp accidentally gets left on when not in use. A USB charging port is integrated into the design of the lamp to allow users to charge their smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
- Numerous adjustment angles possible
- 4 lighting modes and 7 brightness modes
- USB charging port included
- One-hour auto shut-off
- Not as portable as other options
Those looking for a desk lamp that allows for customization without costing a fortune may consider the DeepLite LED Desk Lamp. The gooseneck design offers 360-degree flexibility to reposition the light as needed. The ultra-flexible design of the neck also means the head can be folded down to make the neck more compact for travel. This lamp is battery-operated and cordless, which is another benefit for individuals who need to be able to move the lamp around or transport it to another location.
The base of the desk lamp has a USB charging cable to offer easy charging through a power bank, a laptop, a USB adaptor, or other compatible device. There are three brightness settings and touch-sensitive controls on the base for easy adjustment between the different settings. The LED bulb in the lamp offers 400 lumens when set to the highest brightness setting. This desk lamp also does not flicker.
- Gooseneck flexibility of 360 degrees
- Three brightness levels included
- Cordless and compact design is good for travel
- Easy-to-use touch-sensitive controls
- Battery requires recharging
The BenQ e-Reading LED desk lamp offers an innovative design that is able to sense the amount of ambient light in a room. The lamp then alters the brightness to the ideal, glare-free setting for the space. This model is up to 150 percent wider than many other desk lamps on the market and offers a 35-inch coverage range compared to a standard desk lamp’s 24-inch range.
This swing arm lamp offers multiple adjustment options. It features ball-joint torque springs with friction control to allow users to adjust the angle of each of the three sections to their ideal position. The LED light boasts Zeroflicker technology to offer even light distribution to reduce eyestrain. The LED panels are dimmable and designed to provide up to 50,000 hours of lighting.
- Automatically senses and adjusts lighting
- More light coverage than standard desk lamps
- Angle of light is adjustable
- Provides up to 50,000 hours of light
- Modern design may not fit with some décor
This swing arm desk lamp from Joly Joy features a flicker-free LED bulb. This bulb allows for more even light and reduces glares, halos, and shadows to protect the eyes and prevent eyestrain. The lamp also has a reading mode setting that offers optimal lighting for reading. Users can set a 10- or a 40-minute timer, which is helpful if using the lamp on a bedside table and reading before sleep.
This clip-on light doesn’t take up much space on a desk. It features a swing arm design crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy that allows users to customize the angle and position of the lamp to meet the needs for each task. The desk lamp also offers a 40-inch reach to illuminate a large area on a desk. Dim the brightness and adjust the color temperature to meet the demands of different tasks.
- Eye-care reading mode
- Automatic shut-off timer
- Clip-on design takes minimal space
- Illuminates up to 40 inches
- Desktop or table needed to clip the light to
The built-in USB port on the base of this desk lamp from TW Lighting makes it easy for individuals to charge a phone, a tablet, or another device as they work at their desk. This desk lamp’s gooseneck design allows users to twist and turn the neck in different directions to customize the direction and angle of the light.
Choose from three brightness settings ranging from ambient lighting to task lighting. The task lighting setting offers 500 lumens to help individuals see clearly. A touch sensor switch on the lamp’s base makes it easy to switch between the different brightness levels as needed.
- USB port included
- Three brightness levels
- Flexible gooseneck design
- Easy-to-use touch-sensor switch
- No auto shut-off included
When looking for a top LED desk lamp, the JUKSTG Eye-Caring LED Desk Lamp is one of the best on the market. It offers a variety of light and brightness modes, includes a USB port, and has an auto shut-off.
For those looking for a more modern design and the benefits of a lamp that automatically senses the ambient light in a room to adjust its output, consider the BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp – Desk Lamp for Monitors.
How We Chose the Best LED Desk Lamps
These recommendations for the best LED desk lamps include a variety of styles and helpful features that serve the lighting preferences needed for different kinds of work completed at a desk. In addition to the types of desk work, we also considered lighting needs for different times of day, the size of the area that a lamp lit, and the adjustability of the lamp to light different parts of the work surface.
In evaluating the field of LED desk lamps, we considered the type, size, power source, brightness and color temperature, dimmability, and tech features to narrow down the options to lamps that stood out among the competition. Among the favorites, features like multiple lighting modes, dimming, anti-glare, included USB charging port, and auto shut-off stood out. The desk lamps that are included on the list are some of the most popular and best functioning on the market.
While searching for the best desk lamp, you may still have a few lingering questions. Below are answers to some of the most popular questions about LED desk lamps in office spaces.
Q. How many lumens do I need for a desk light?
The tasks you perform at your desk can impact the ideal number of lumens needed. Typically, 450 lumens is sufficient for reading, writing, or general work. For more intricate tasks, 800 to 1,100 lumens may be necessary. Age also can impact how many lumens are needed. In general, younger individuals have better eyesight and may not need as many lumens to see clearly as a person who is a bit older.
Q. What is the best light color for a LED desk lamp?
Ideally, an LED desk lamp should offer adjustable light colors or temperatures. Full-spectrum LED light that simulates the sun is generally best when working during the day, while warmer light with less blue wavelengths is often recommended for working in the evenings.
Q. How long do LED desk lamps last?
The lifetime of an LED lamp can vary based on how long it is left on each day. Many LED lamps are rated for 25,000 to 50,000 hours of use, which means they could last for more than 20 years.
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Deirdre Mundorf is a freelance writer who most enjoys writing in the home, family, and pet niches. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science degree is Psychology and spent the first 11 years of her career as an elementary school teacher. After the birth of her first child, Deirdre left the teaching profession to become a stay-at-home-mom. However, it wasn’t long until she rekindled her former passion for writing and took up freelance writing. When not writing, Deirdre enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling.