If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Best Desk Lamp For Reading, Writing & Studying (2021)

The best desk lamps can offer a focused bright light when you’re reading, studying, or writing, in your home office or bedroom.

 Desk lamps upgrade your space while helping you to see your reading and studying material better and reducing eye fatigue 

At the office or at home, you need a healthy blend of overhead, ambient, and task lamps; and by providing task lighting, desk lamps are an essential part of this blend.

Whether you want a workhorse like the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp or a desk lamp that is aesthetically pleasing, the desk lamp market has something for you.

After thorough research, I’ve chosen the best desk lamps for reading, writing, and studying. After going through the list, be sure to check the comprehensive buying guide in the next section.

best lamps for desk
The right desk lamp will help you keep focused and reduce eye strain while your writing your masterpiece!

Our Best Desk Lamps At A Glance

The 10 Best Desk Lamps


1. TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

Best Overall  

TaoTronics LED Studying Desk Lamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 18.94 x 5.28 x 17.2 inches |Material: Metal |Voltage: 120 Volts |Wattage: 12 Watts  

Click For Latest Price

This is exactly what is needed on a desk in a 21st-century workspace. A desk lamp that takes care of your eyes and packs some necessary add-ons.

With 5 color modes and 6 brightness levels, this desk lamp provides a light for any occasion. It also offers excellent glare-free illumination of up to 1200 lux, which is more than bright enough for reading, writing, and studying.

Using a touchpad on the base of the lamp, you can customize the light to suit your occasion: you switch colors from warm yellow to cool white and dim or brighten the lighting.  

The TaoTronics LED desk lamp comes loaded with a bunch of exciting, modern, and indispensable features. It has a memory function that helps the light to go back to your favorite light setting; a 60-minute timer; a rotatable base, neck, and head; and a USB charging port for your phones.

Pros

  • built-in wireless charger
  • Has 5 color modes and 6 brightness levels
  • Quality Build: durable full metal body & an Adjustable arm
  • Memory function 
  • 60-minute timer.

Cons 

  • Cannot be controlled by a wall switch

2. AmazLit Desk Lamp with Clamp

Value for money

AmazLit Desk Lamp With Clamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 17.63 x 13.78 x 2.01 inches |Material: Aluminum Alloy |Voltage: 24 volts |Wattage: 10 Watts 

Click For Latest Price

A lamp specially made for the desk edge. The lamp is perfect for desks in places that experience high turbulence, like yachts and jets.

It’s a no brainer! No base will hold sturdier than this lamp’s heavy-duty clamp, which has two silicone pads.

The desk lamp is as flexible as a yoga expert; three flexible joints make the light a nimble companion for your reading or writing sessions.

I haven’t talked about the light? Oh!

15.8-inch long swivel lamp head delivers an incredible 900 lumens using 10 Watts only. The lamp features stepless dimming and versatile color options which range from 3000K to 5500K.

Since the lamp doesn’t sit on the desk, it also saves you some desk space. 

Pros

  • Strong firm clamp
  • Sleek design
  • Memory and timer features
  • Long lamp head
  • Saves desk space

Cons

  • Cannot be moved around the table
  • Subtle and hard to operate hue settings

3. TaoTronics LED (Forward Beam) Desk Lamp

Best High-tech Look  

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with USB charging

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 17.32 x 12.48 x 7.64 inches |Material: Aluminum Alloy + ABS + PC |Voltage: 12V |Wattage: 12 Watts 

Click For Latest Price

The first words which came to my mind when I saw this lamp were, Storm Trooper!

The colors and angles on this desk lamp instantly made me think of those black and white space marines from Star Wars.  

Back to serious biz; this desk lamp’s status as a royal among sleek lamps is cemented by the smart touch control on the base which controls a stack of settings: auto brightness adjustment, timer, color temperature, illumination angle, and night light.

Did I forget that little knob? The lamp has an intuitive feature that gives you finer control of the lamp’s color temperature or brightness.

Don’t worry about flexibility; the desk lamp has so many adjustable joints that it looks like it can dance. 

 Pros

  • A lot of light control features
  • Excellent bright light
  • Easy to move around
  • Sleek design
  • Sturdy base

Cons

  • Knob needs a lot of adjusting to find a suitable setting

4. LEPOWER Desk Lamp

Best Gooseneck Desk Lamp

LEPOWER coolest Desk Lamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.5 x 23.6 inches |Material: ABS + Silicon |Voltage: 12 Volts |Wattage: 8 Watts

Click For Latest Price

This lamp has an intentionally simple but effective design. The slanted base is sturdy enough to prevent it from tipping over.

The ‘chassis’ is made of silicone, enabling it to have a nimble gooseneck neck that can be twisted to provide a focused light where it’s needed.

The desk lamp has 3 color temperatures (warm, natural, and white light) to choose from depending on the occasion—reading, relaxing and sleeping.  It also has a five-level touch dimming feature on the base—sliding up or down adjusts the brightness by 20%.

Pros

  • Adjustable gooseneck
  • A lot of light settings
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The brightness setting takes a lot of guesswork (since there’s no display)

5. Wanjiaone Study LED Desk Lamp

Most Multipurpose Lamp

Wanjiaone Computer Study LED Desk Lamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 4.5 x 21.2 x 4.4 inches |Material: ABS |Voltage: 12 Volts |Wattage: 10 watts 

Click For Latest Price

Aha! I might have just found you a perfect study buddy, a sleek, colorful, multipurpose buddy.

A modern organizer desk lamp that was designed to hold your pens and pencils, charge your phone, show you the date and time, and, of course, provide light.

What more could you ask for?

Well, you could ask for a lot more. Like, some colorful backlights? 

The base’s backlight colors—which are essential when you want to set the right mood for a study session—can be changed by touching the spectrum ring.

Expectedly, the gooseneck lamp is dimmable and has 3 levels of brightness, which are suitable for reading on your desk. 

Pros

  • Loads of essential accessories
  • Sleek design
  • Large pencil organizer compartment 
  • Easy to move around

Cons

  • No color temperature settings

6. CO-Z Rustic Black Desk Lamp

Most Stable Desk Lamp

CO-Z Rustic Black Desk Lamp

Style: Antique |Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 29 inches |Material: Metal |Voltage: 110 Volts |Wattage: 40 watts

Click For Latest Price

Looking for something to complement your vintage home or décor styles?

You’ve found it, click! click!

CO-Z made us a desk lamp that can sit side by side with the Classic manual typewriter, giving your desk a complete and satisfying antique feel.

The lamp stands on a heavy and sturdy 9-inch base, which prevents it from tipping over easily.

The lamp’s arm can be adjusted to a height that suits your requirement, between 25” and 29” and by swiveling the lamp head up to a 180° angle, you can change the angle of the light. 

This is another lamp that doesn’t come with a bulb.

Pros 

  • Great rustic design
  • Strong sturdy base
  • Provides focused light
  • Easy to assemble 

 Cons

  • Electrical cord too exposed
  • Doesn’t come with a bulb

7. Eye-Care LED Metal Desk Lamp

Best Metallic Desk Lamp 

Eye-Care LED Metal Desk Lamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 21.4 x 6.3 x 2.6 inches |Material: Metal |Voltage: 12 Volts |Wattage: 13 Watts |

Click For Latest Price

Modern desk lamps aren’t just lights; they come stuffed with modern features that make the lamps easy to operate and offer protection for your eyes.

The Eye-Care LED metal desk lamp comes equipped with a touch control, an auto timer, a memory feature, a quick charge USB output, and a large luminous panel.

The lamp stands elegantly on an 8.46” x5.31” base, which is sturdy and stable. The base houses the touchpad, which has a wide array of controls for an excellent light; 3 color temperature modes and 5 brightness levels. 

It’s made of aluminum alloy which makes this a sturdy and durable desk lamp.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Sturdy base
  • Wide array of light settings
  • Excellent light

Cons 

  • Limited flexibility 

8. Boston Harbor Piano Desk Lamp

Piano Desk Lamp

Boston Harbor Piano Desk Lamp

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 18.25 x 15 x 12 inches |Material: Metal |Voltage: 120 Volts |Wattage: 40 watts

Click For Latest Price

As the name suggests, these are good lamps suitable for reading the music when playing the piano.

But, if it’s good for reading Beethoven’s Fur Elise, it should be good enough for almost any other reading, right?

It is. While the desk lamp doesn’t come with a bulb, at least it allows you to choose the type of lighting bulb (warm, cool, etc..) that you think will do the job for you.  

If used exclusively as a piano desk lamp, the lamp is perfect and has a nostalgic 1930s look. It casts a light onto the music at a perfect angle and comes with a long cord, which means you can place the desk lamp a good distance away from the plug.

Pros

  • Durable metallic material
  • Inexpensive
  • Sleek design 

Cons

  • Does not come with a bulb
  • Not as adjustable as a normal desk lamp

9. LEPOWER Metal Desk Lamp

Most Lightweight

LEPOWER Metal Desk Lamp for home office

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.1 x 6.1 inches |Material: Metal |Voltage: 120 Volts |Wattage: 40 Watts 

Click For Latest Price

The LEPOWER metal desk lamp is your best option if you’re looking for a cheap, lightweight, and simple desk lamp that still has a perfect matte appearance for your modern living space.

The lamp does not come with a built-in bulb, but that is an advantage in a way; with an E26 sized screw base, it means you can get a variety of bulbs that you like. You have an assortment of choices when it comes to wattage, color temperature, and the likes.

Apart from the unlimited choice of bulbs and a flexible gooseneck, the desk lamp is so simple yet aesthetically pleasing. Any of its 5 colors can seamlessly fit into almost any living space. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Flexible arm
  • Sleek design 
  • Durable metallic material

Cons

  • Does not come with a bulb

10. Ominilight LED Desk Lamp with Swing Arm

Best Stylish Non-Metallic Desk Lamp

Ominilight LED Desk Lamp With Swing Arm

Style: Modern |Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.28 x 9.45 inches |Material: Plastic |Voltage:  11 Volts |Wattage: 4.5 watts

Click For Latest Price

This light is a blend of art and innovation. It looks like a swan that has a body made of brushed champagne-gold material and 15 LED beads for eyes.

Controlled by a one-touch switch, the desk lamp has a color temperature of 6,500K and three dimming levels.

The flexibility that this desk lamp’s gooseneck offers enables you to move your apparatus without worrying about the angle of the light.

The lamp’s base—which houses the touch control feature—is sturdy and heavy enough to prevent it from tipping over when you’re adjusting the neck.

Pros

  • Sturdy, heavy base
  • Sleek design
  • Dimmable
  • Color and brightness settings

Cons

  • Glossy finish easily attracts fingerprints and dust.

Buying guide to picking the right desk lamp

Finding the best desk lamp for reading, studying, and writing won’t be an easy window-shopping experience. That’s why you will find this section to be more than a useful and comprehensive buying guide.

What things do you need to know before buying a desk lamp?

What to look for when buying a desk lamp?

In order for you to get a desk lamp that best suits your needs, you need to ask yourself one question: why do I need a desk lamp?

Obviously you’re here because you are looking for a desk lamp which is more suited for reading and writing.

You need a desk lamp that satisfies the following touchstones, among others:

  • Provides excellent focused light with little or no glare
  • Is bright enough but dimmable
  • A multipurpose writer’s/reader’s lamp
  • Suits your home or office décor style
  • Efficiently consumes energy

 To find a desk lamp that satisfies such extensive criteria, you should scrutinize the factors below.

Type of Lamp

There’s a wide variety of desk lamps available on the market, they differ in terms of their features and functionality. Some of the most popular types are: 

  • Clip-on Lamps—these have a clamp for a base and are attached to the edge of your desk or any other compatible surface
  • Gooseneck Lamps—As the name suggests, these lamps have a neck just like that of a goose. They are very flexible. 
  • Swing Arm Lamps—Swing Arm Lamps have adjustable joints. It’s the joints that make the lamps flexible. 
  • Magnifying Lamps—These have an illuminated magnifying lens that helps you see small, fine details much better.
  • Organizer Lamps—Organizer lamps offer you a helping hand; they help you declutter a messy desk by holding your pens, notepads, and other little utensils on your desk.

Type of Lighting Source

Different desk lamps come with varying sources of light, all of them loaded with pros and cons.

LED: LEDs provide a clear and bright light. They are energy efficient and produce less heat than the other bulbs on this list.

Fluorescent light bulbs(CFL): CFL bulbs emit a high-contrasting light, close to natural daylight. The cons with this type are: (1) they are not dimmable, (2) they use mercury vapor which is a hazardous substance.

Incandescent light bulbs: These naturally have a warm color temperature. Compared to the other types, incandescent bulbs don’t live that long. They are also not energy efficient.

Halogen light bulbs: Halogen light bulbs are incandescent bulbs which are filled with halogen gas. The gas makes them more efficient and are more long-lasting than normal incandescent bulbs. 

Xenon light bulbs: Just like halogen bulbs, Xenon bulbs are incandescent bulbs, but instead of halogen, they are filled with xenon gas. Again, they outlast standard incandescent bulbs and most halogen bulbs. Xenon bulbs produce less heat than other incandescent bulbs. 

High Quality Light

The quality of light depends on color temperature, brightness, and CRI.

Color temperature (measured in Kelvins) and brightness (measured in Lumens) are important in determining the quality of light. Color temperature measures the appearance of the light—warm, cool, or white. The higher the kelvins, the colder the appearance of the light. A lamp with multiple color options enables you to choose between soothing warm colors, productivity-stimulating cooler colors.

Color Rendering (CRI) Contrast is essential when reading and studying, and geniuses came up with an index for determining the contrast rating of a bulb called the CRI. It measures how true-to-life colors look under a certain light source. 

The best bulbs’ color rendering index rating ranges between 85 and 100.

Wattage and Energy Efficiency

We measure a bulb’s power consumption using Watts. When it comes to power consumption, incandescent light bulbs consume more—have a higher wattage. Generally, incandescent bulbs go by a rule of thumb: the more the wattage, the brighter the light.

On the other hand, LEDs are energy efficient bulbs and don’t necessarily follow this ‘rule of thumb’. For example, a 10 Watt LED can emit as many lumens as a 60 Watt incandescent bulb.  Fluorescents are more energy-efficient than their incandescent counterparts but slightly less efficient than LEDs.

So, in terms of energy efficiency, LEDs are the best. 

Checking wattage is very important because a bulb that needs more wattage produces more heat—a 60 Watt will produce more heat than a 40 watt. When buying a lamp that doesn’t have an inbuilt bulb, you have to check the fixture’s recommended wattage. 

Flexibility 

Both the arm and neck or head of the desk lamp need to be flexible; a flexible stem means you have a focused, movable beam.

The most flexible desk lamps are the ones that have a bendable gooseneck; some are even capable of twisting to almost a 360-degree angle. 

You can also opt for a desk lamp that has a jointed swing arm. These are equally flexible.

Size of The Desk Lamp

There are small clip-on lamps that also have firm bases and double as desk lamps. If you have a small desk, these are perfect because they save space.

For large desks, saving space isn’t really the issue, it’s the reach of the lamp’s lights. You need a light that is tall and has a beam that covers a respectable perimeter or a desk lamp that has two outstretching heads. 

What Desk Lamp Is the Best for Eyes?

Most lamps in this article are excellent for the eyes. When looking for a good desk lamp for your eyes, you should look for an anti-glare lamp that has a good CRI rating.

Lamps that have a good light with little or no glare don’t strain your eyes when the light reflects off a screen or when the light gets into your eyes. 

And, Bulbs with a CRI rating ranging between 85-100 as recommended earlier help prevent eye fatigue because they produce a light with optimal contrast. 

Possible Uses for A Desk Lamp

Desk lamps are versatile and they have tons of uses that go beyond reading and studying. The fact that they provide task lighting means that there are endless small and medium scale tasks that one can do under a desk lamp.

Home Office or Computer Work: Desk lamps and home office are a perfect fit for 3 reasons: (1) most desk lamps provide a light that is designed to reduce glare, so you don’t have to worry about the light bouncing off your computer screen and straining your eyes (2) the light has good contrast levels which bring out colors incredibly when reading or working on something colorful (3) most desk lamps are designed to suit a variety of styles.

Studying and Reading: These are about the most obvious uses of desk lamps. A direct, focused task lighting beaming straight at your notepads, journals, and laptops help you focus on the task at hand and study longer than you would be using an overhead lamp.

Writing: Apart from providing light, desk lamps can provide motivation, especially for creative writers. Sometimes, you need the light to increase productivity; for example, white light has been found to suppress sleep-cycle regulating hormones, thereby increasing wakefulness.

Growing Plants: Yes, you read that right. You can use a desk lamp to provide light for your in-house flora. Grow lights are a bit expensive for some of us, but LEDs and Fluorescents can do an equally efficient job. You have to set the lamp’s color temperature as close as possible to natural light or buy bulbs that provide a quality natural light.  

Designing: Whether you are an architect or a fashion designer, a desk lamp is essential when you want to work on some crafty designs and work out the finer details. Such work requires a direct light that will bring out high contrast true-to-life colors and illuminate thin lines and small dots so that your end product comes out perfect. 

Handcrafting: Desk lamps provide excellent lighting for crocheting, bookbinding, sewing, weaving, knitting, and many other handcrafting tasks.

Where Should I Put My Desk Lamp?

When finding a good position for a desk lamp, you should consider two things: shadows and glare.

With the two things in mind, the best placement would be where the light is not bouncing off the computer screen and where your shadows are out of the focus area—books, writing pads, etc. If you are left-handed, place the lamp on the right and vice versa.

Place the head of the desk lamp a couple of centimeters above your screen and your’ eye line’ so that the light doesn’t get into your eyes. 

How tall should a lamp be on a desk?

When it comes to height, a desk lamp needs to be adjustable—made tall or short as per task height requirement.

But a stem should at least be 15” tall to provide a good angle. Some tasks will require something a taller stem, that’s why you need a 

What is the best desk lamp for you? 

Whether in your home office, dorm room, or bedroom, your desk needs the best desk lamp you can afford.

Not just for aesthetics, your eyes need a good desk lamp the most. You need a desk lamp that is sturdy, has a bright light, can charge your phone, and has sufficient color tweaks.

In short, you need the TaoTronics LED desk lamp, which by the way, has an impressive CRI rating above 96.

Whether you end loving the TaoTronics LED lamp or not, I hope this list of the best desk lamps for reading, studying, and writing has been helpful.

About Nancy Stearns

Nancy started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories.

She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at ActWritersBlog, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.