Desk lamps are a small yet important home office accessory that many don’t consider. However, having proper lighting as you work boosts your brain to be more focused and creative. Also, it avoids glare or eyestrain as you work many hours.
Although a lot of people think it’s a décor (which it is), it’s also crucial for maintaining a healthy brain and eye function.
Nowadays, desk lamps come in different shapes, designs, colors, and materials; it can be challenging to know what features to look for and where to start.
Our handy desk lamp buying guide helps you find and choose the perfect desk lamp for your home office.
How to Buy a Desk Lamp?
Desk lamps offer “task lighting” for computer work, writing, reading, crafting, studying, and more.
An ideal desk lamp should provide:
- A focused beam with the least glare.
- A clear, bright light.
- Adjustable design to easily direct the light to accommodate a range of tasks.
1. Pick the Right Size Desk Lamp
If you have a spacious desk, get a lamp with an extra reach like the swingarm desk lamp. However, clip-on desk lamps are excellent for small desks to save some desk surface space. You can use additional light sources for your home office to ensure full coverage of the desktop.
Ultimately, your light source should be higher than your head level and out of your eyes. To protect your eyes, you should never place the light in a direct line of sight.
If you put the lamp too low, then it won’t give enough coverage for your workspace. On the other hand, if you put it too high, then the light will be too diffused.
2. Look for Adjustability
Adjustable desk lamps help you to fine-tune the direction and placement of the beam for different projects and tasks to minimize glare. There are many types of desk lamps that offer adjustability like swing arms, swiveling heads, goosenecks, and boom arms.
3. Go for High-Quality Light
We highly recommend incandescent bulbs since they provide bright, clear light. Also, LED desk lamps offer an energy-efficient and versatile option. Always keep in mind these two characteristics: Color Temperature and CRI.
Color Temperature is a standard measurement of a light’s appearance. It’s often referred to as the “cool” or “warm” presence of light. LED desk lamps provide a pleasing and unobstructed view to work beneath since their color temperature range from 2700K to 4500K.
CRI (Color Rendering Index) measures how true-to-life colors look under a given light source. It is vital with desk lamps if your work involves reading and drawing. Consider getting LEDs with CRI ratings ranging from 85 and 100.
4. Consider the On-Off Switch Position
It’s best to get a lamp with an on-off switch. Some desk lamps have basic switches, and others come with pull chains.
5. The Best Desk Lamp Placement
You should place the lamp at a distance where the shadows don’t streak across your desk as you work. If you’re right-handed, you should put the light source on the left side of the desk and vice-versa.
For work involving PC or laptops, the desk lamps should illuminate the keyboard and desk without causing any glare on the screen.
When buying an adjustable lamp, make sure the arm is flexible and long enough. It’s always a great option to direct light where you want it and set it aside when you don’t need it.
6 Different Desk Lamp Materials
The materials used to make desk lamps are a bit more limited. Despite that, you still have some great options when it comes to choosing the desk lamp material.
Why is the material important?
It will influence the overall look of your home office and creativity levels. Moreover, the material has a direct connection to the quality of the lamp.
If you want to have a classic and natural look, then adding a wooden desk lamp will do it for you. It’s not that common to find wooden lamps, but they make a sleek, contemporary style.
It’s the most affordable desk lamp type to choose from when you’re on a budget. Plastic desk lamps come in various colors, but they tend to look cheap. However, you’ll always find a lamp to match your style and home office color scheme.
We highly recommend getting metal desk lamps for their sleek and stylish look. Metal always gives a utilitarian vibe as you choose a sophisticated bronze or brushed steel or chrome.
Some desk lamps are plastic but coated with metal to offer more durability at a lower price. Moreover, some desk lamps have metal parts mixed in with other less expensive materials like plastic.
It’s one of the least favorable and chosen lamps since it’s not that practical. Usually, glass desk lamps are complemented by metal to add a sophisticated look and design. If you don’t have kids and are a neat person, having a glass desk lamp will be no problem.
Finally, ceramic is a material that is commonly not used in desk lamps, but there are a few out there. Generally, the ceramic is combined with another material or is used as an accent feature.
If you’re afraid you’re going to break the lamp but is an eye-catching one, you want a resin base. Resin is a material that’s easy to mold into different shapes. Also, you can dye it into a variety of colors to match your home office theme.
Desk Lamps Styles and Designs
Think of the style or theme of your home office when picking a desk lamp style. However, we always recommend getting a classic-looking desk lamp that will look great for years. Also, a classic desk lamp style adds a super trendy, of-the-moment style to your home office.
1. Traditional & Classic
A traditional desk lamp is like the lamp used in the Pixar logo or the iconic green banker’s lamp. It never fails to add a timeless and elegant look to your home office. Usually, it goes well and blends with any type of theme you have.
Commonly, they are known for their geometric shapes, clean lines, and neutral colors. A contemporary desk lamp might be dull-looking, yet, they tend to make a bold and modern statement.
Recently, the industrial lamp has become another decor trend, and sometimes it’s called the warm industrial style. It is made of heavier materials (such as cast iron), exposed lightbulbs, and concrete, which invites them into a warm space.
If you love cast iron and looking for an industrial look, then get an industrial lamp for your home office.
4. Mid-Century Modern
If you already set up a modern-looking home office, then it’s best to complement it with a modern desk lamp. Simply, its style focuses on natural materials, minimalism, and appeals to lots of people. Modern desk lamps add a decor touch since you can choose from many designs and materials to match your theme.
5. Goose Neck
Basically, a gooseneck desk lamp features a flexible metal coil that connects the base of the lamp to the light source. This feature gives the gooseneck lamp its distinct design. It’s an ideal option to adjust the light source frequently as you work.
If you’re into having a log cabin or a country cottage look, then you should choose a rustic or country desk lamp to go with it. You can always go for a rustic look while looking modern at the same time.
Also, you can combine a wooden desk lamp with the modern home office to pull off a chic yet country look.
7. Banker’s Lamp
Finally, the classic banker’s lamp offers the most iconic look and style compared to other desk lamp designs. Nowadays, you can choose between the different shades, designs, and colors of banker’s lamps with patterned or stained glass shades.
7 Desk Lamps Types
Desk lamps are often categorized into two broad categories: those you can adjust and those that don’t adjust. Also, you can categorize them based on their power source, whether it’s battery-powered, through an outlet, or a USB port.
Desk lamps can adjust in many ways. Some might feature telescoping poles to alter their height up or down easily.
Some lamps have a swing arm, and others might have adjustable lamps to tilt the light up or down depending on your needs.
2. Swing Arm
Technically speaking, a swing arm desk lamp is an adjustable desk lamp. However, it’s prevalent in home offices as it allows you to direct the light in whatever direction you need.
Also, it allows you to bring the light closer to a complex project by swinging the arm down. The swingarm style is ideal when working on drafting or drawing projects.
3. Built-in Outlet/Charger
Freelancers tend to have several devices that need charging as they work. Some desk lamps offer multiple features like outlets and chargers.
You can get a desk lamp with built-in charging or with built-in outlet features to charge your devices anytime.
IKEA created some desk lamps with wireless charging, so you don’t even need an outlet or a charger plug to charge your phone. On the other hand, only specific phone models can accept wireless charging.
4. Clip-On Desk Lamp
If you want to save some space on your desk because it’s small, you can get a clip-on desk lamp. A clip-on desk lamp is a right choice when having limited desk surface space.
You can clip it to the edge of the desk with either a clip or a clamp. Also, you can easily remove it when you don’t need a source of light.
5. Organizer Desk Lamp
Another right way to manage your desk surface space is to get a desk lamp with a built-in organizer. That way, you can enjoy good lighting and organize your desk.
So, you can stack your pens, notepads, and other essentials you need on your desk in this organizer.
6. Battery Powered
When having limited outlets, you can always resort to getting battery powered desk lamps. Some desk lamps depend on battery use, while others rely on a USB connection to your PC. For instance, some desk lamps work by plugging them into a USB port on your laptop.
7. Magnifying Desk Lamp
A lot of tasks and projects involve little detail work, which can be challenging to see even if you have excellent vision. A magnifying desk lamp comes with a magnifying glass surrounded by a ring of light.
So, whether you’re doing delicate stitch work, working on a drawing, or assembling tiny computer chips, it provides better light and enlarges your projects.