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You might not think too much about your desk lamp. I mean, how different can a lamp be?
Well, actually, your desk lamp can have a big impact on your eyes. Poor lighting can cause eyestrain and headaches, while flickering lights can be disruptive to your work and can cause significant distraction.
It’s not only about the quality of the lamp, but the temperature of the lighting.
The temperature of a lamp can also have a big impact on your mood; for example, bright light can help with alertness and productivity, whereas warm light creates a cozier environment that is less harsh on the eyes.
Ideally, your light source should be adjusted to mimic natural lighting throughout the day - so brighter in the morning, and softer at night.
This is known as ‘circadian’ lighting, and many workplaces are now adopting this as scientists have found that long-term exposure to certain wavelengths of blue light can be harmful to our eyes and can have a negative impact on our body’s ability to produce melatonin.
A quality lamp will not only make your work easier by preventing flickering and allowing you to see clearly, but it can also help reduce eye strain and fatigue, enabling you to become more productive, and enjoy greater comfort levels.
Whether you’re looking for a lamp for your home office, for painting, reading, or computing, we’ve put together a list of the best desk lamps on the market that will help alleviate eye strain.
OUR TOP PICK
TaoTronics’ eye-caring desk lamp is by far one of the most highly rated on Amazon, mainly due to the endless lighting possibilities it offers, including 5 color modes and 7 levels of brightness.
This flicker-free LED is gentle on the eyes making it ideal for reading, working, or studying.
It also has a handy built-in USB port to conveniently charge your phone, and an adjustable design with a tiltable 135-degree head and 90-degree swivel.
Easily change the settings by lightly sliding your fingers along the touchpad to set the brightness level and the lighting temperature.
Best of all, this energy-efficient lamp has outstanding environmental performance and can help reduce your electricity bill by up to 75%.
- 5 color modes
- 7 brightness settings
- Flicker-free, eye-friendly LED
- Built-in USB port for charging phone
- Adjustable design: swivel and tilt lamp to direct brightness
- Highly energy-efficient and environmentally friendly
- No memory function so you have to set the brightness each time
This desk lamp combines quality and value for money, and its high ratings speak for themselves.
This LED lamp has 7 adjustable brightness levels, so you can dim or brighten the lamp to suit the task at hand.
It also has a 270-degree rotatable lamp head, a 150-degree adjustable arm, and a 340-degree revolvable base, so you can easily aim the lamp wherever you need illumination - perfect for tasks requiring attention to detail.
It also has touch-sensitive control and a memory feature for ultimate convenience.
This lamp is fitted with eye-friendly lighting in the form of a flicker-free LED with a diffused shade to provide even illumination and a non-glare light that is easy on the eyes and helps prevent eye fatigue caused by flickering.
The lamp head and lamp arm is made of high-quality aluminum, which effectively dissipates heat, protects the LED chip, and increases the overall product lifespan.
- 7 adjustable brightness levels
- 270-degree rotatable lamp head, adjustable arm, and base
- Flicker-free LED with diffused shade
- Non-glare lighting is easy on the eyes
- Heat-dissipating aluminum material
- Touch-sensitive control
- Light is white colored which may be harsh for some environments
This desk lamp from Ledgle features an LCD screen with a digital clock, date, and temperature display.
The bright LED lighting has an anti-glare shade and 5 levels of adjustable brightness for clear reading and working without eye strain.
We really like the fact that this lamp has 3 different color temperatures to choose from: warm white, natural white, and cold white, which means you can easily switch between these depending on the task at hand.
It’s also equipped with a convenient, touch-sensitive control so you can easily change power, intensity, and temperature with the button-free panel. It also has a foldable design so you can adjust the arm 90 degrees and easily direct the light wherever you wish.
It’s energy-efficient and can save you up to a third on your electricity bills. The lamp is powered by a DC cable, while the USB interface can supply your cell phone with power.
- Five adjustable levels of brightness
- LCD screen with digital clock
- Three adjustable temperatures
- Touch-sensitive control
- Energy efficient
- USB interface charges phone
- Setting the clock and temperature is a little fiddly
This LED desk lamp from BenQ is a lot pricier than others on our list, but features a unique curved head, fully adjustable arm structures and ball joints, and has a wide illumination that will light up your whole desk.
It’s also the first lamp that’s been specially designed for E-reading, perfect if you have to read a lot of dense material for your job or study.
Easily adjust color temperature and brightness with the adjustable knob, while the auto-dimming mode will detect ambient brightness and dynamically adjust to the brightness level for a comfortable work environment whether it’s night or day.
The unique design of this lamp avoids screen glare and flicker and provides a soothing light that prevents eye strain to protect your vision.
We also love the versatility of this lamp: use the optional desk clamps or floor stands to adapt the lamp to your living or workspace so you can read, write or work wherever you feel comfortable.
- The unique curved head provides 35inch illumination
- Adjustable color temperature and brightness
- Auto-dimming mode provides optimal lighting
- Reduces screen glare and flicker
- Fully adjustable arm structures and ball joints
- Optional desk clamps and floor stand
- Aluminum structure and gold coloring
- It’s expensive!
This desk light has 4 lighting modes and 7 brightness levels so it can be easily adapted to suit your needs.
The arm can be adjusted up to 180° or the base swiveled by 90° for optimized illumination, allowing you to direct the light wherever you want it.
This lamp also has a convenient USB charging port so you can easily charge your devices via the 5V/1A USB output.
It also has a handy 1-hour auto-off button which saves you electricity and money, which makes it a great option for a bedside lamp as well as a desk lamp.
The 36 high quality LED beads provide an even, soft, flicker-free light that relieves eye fatigue and reduces eye strain even after long hours of use.
- 4 lighting modes
- 7 brightness levels
- Adjustable arm and swivel base
- Convenient USB port
- 1-hour auto-off button
- Soft, even, flicker-free lighting
- Reduces eye strain and fatigue
- Low-quality build
Best Desk Lamp For Eyes Buying Guide
We’ve shown you some of the best desk lamps on the market, but you might still be wondering how to narrow down your choice and find the best desk lamp for your needs.
Thankfully, we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide so you can make an informed decision.
One of the key things to look out for in a desk lamp that won’t strain your eyes is an adjustable brightness.
Having a range of brightness levels to choose from is extremely handy for accommodating different tasks; for example, a high level of brightness is great for reading or painting, whereas a low brightness is best for night time when you don’t want a harsh light.
Generally, light can be categorized into three different “temperatures” - warm light of 2,500 to 3,000 K will help you relax and wind down in the evenings; natural light of 4,900 to 6,500 K allows the eyes to comfortably focus on work; while a cool light of 6,500 K offers superior brightness and improves overall attention.
While each of these temperatures has its benefits and drawbacks, having a range of color temperatures to choose from is helpful as the light temperature can have a big impact on everything from your mood to your sleep quality to how strained your eyes are.
You can usually distinguish the temperature of light by the color it emits, so warmer light is usually more yellow-tinged, whereas cool light has white or bluish tones.
It’s well known today that many of us spend far too much time engaged with blue light - emitted from our smartphones, TVs, and computers.
Blue light is always above 5,000 K, and exposing yourself to this before bed at night can delay sleep as it decreases melatonin production.
Many workplaces now have circadian lighting installed; during the day, the lighting will be brighter and more neutral, whereas as the day wears on the light gets warmer and dimmer - to mimic natural light.
You’ll find the same settings on your smartphone or laptop, as you can enable these to naturally turn off the blue light at a certain time.
The main point of this article is to find lamps that won’t harm your eyes. Therefore, the most eye-friendly lamps will be those that don’t flicker or cause you to strain your eyes.
This is why it’s important to consider adjustable color temperatures and brightness levels, as well as anti-glare features.
The main thing to look out for is an LED light that provides lighting described as “soft” or “gentle”, as this means it will be more even and dissipated than a harsh beam of light.
Another important aspect of a desk lamp is adjustability, as this impacts the extent to which you can direct the lamp’s illumination.
Most desk lamps will come with rotatable bases and adjustable heads, and the most superior designs may also have ball joints for increased flexibility and maneuverability.
Some lamps may also come with clips or clamps which will allow you to position the light in specific areas on your desk or computer for targeted lighting.
One thing you’ll want to consider is how energy efficient the light is, particularly if you’ll be using it for long periods of time. Thankfully, most desk lamps are LED, and studies have highlighted that these use less than half the energy of CFL bulbs and between 1/8th to 1/10th of the energy of conventional incandescent bulbs.
The fact that many of these lamps also come with a range of brightness levels is another aspect that will save you money. Some lamps also come with an auto-off feature that will switch the light off after an hour, while other designs also have built-in timers.
You may be thinking: it’s a desk lamp, so how complicated can it get? Well, when we say usability we mean how convenient the lamp is to use.
For example, does it have traditional buttons or a touch-sensitive panel to adjust the brightness and temperature? Is it easy to turn on and off, and does it remember your settings each time?
This brings us to memory. You might have a lamp with six or seven brightness settings and multiple temperature options, too, so when you select your chosen levels, do you want the lamp to have a memory feature that ensures it remembers the last settings you used?
This is probably more important for those who intend to use the lamp on a daily basis or for the same task every time. Those who will use it semi-regularly, or for a variety of activities may not require this feature as much.
Some desk lamps also feature USB ports so you can easily charge your smartphone and other devices, and others may even boast additional features such as alarm clocks or LCD panels for displaying the time, date, and temperature.
Decide how important these features are to you, as while many lamps now feature USB ports, less will offer built-in alarm clocks.
The great thing about desk lamps is that there’s a huge market for them, especially as ergonomics are becoming increasingly important as more of us work from home.
This can also make it tricky to narrow down the choice, as there are lamps to accommodate both the biggest and smallest budgets.
However, we’d say you can get the most bang for your buck around the middle price range, so consider spending about $20-$40 for a lamp that is good quality yet won’t break the bank.
The main difference between low-end and high-end desk lamps is that the cheaper ones are more likely to be made from low-quality materials such as plastic, so they probably won’t last as long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an LED desk lamp good for the eyes?
LED lamps are often the subject of discussion as some people suggest they’re more harmful than good.
In reality, they’re little different from any other type of light, however, if you get them in the form of a smart lamp, they’re far more eye-friendly as you can adjust the color temperature and brightness, so you can limit the harshness of cool or blue lighting.
Many of the LED lamps mentioned in this article are also adjustable so you can direct the light onto your work and away from your eyes.
Which kind of lighting is recommended to reduce eye strain and fatigue?
Fluorescent lighting and blue light is the worst kind of lighting, as it can cause eye strain and headaches, whereas light that is too warm or dim can create such a cozy environment that it makes us tired.
Due to this, many workplaces and individuals are now switching to circadian or daylight bulbs which mimic the natural lighting outdoors.
Therefore, the best kind of lighting for reducing eye strain and fatigue is a desk lamp that provides a range of color temperatures and brightness levels so that you can adjust these to reflect the time of day; you’ll want the lamp to be brighter during the day when you need to boost focus and productivity, and warmer in the evening when you want to reduce your exposure to harsh or blue lighting so your body can start to naturally wind down.
What lamp is best for reading?
LEDs make great reading lights, as they are a directional light source, meaning they emit light in a designated direction and therefore will effectively illuminate your reading material.
That said, it's still important to pay attention to the color temperature and brightness of your LEDs, as a light that is too bright and cool can cause eye strain and impact your sleep cycle. This is why it’s best to get a lamp with adjustable brightness and color temperature.
When you need to focus on material during the day, you can choose a brighter setting, and when you’re reading in bed at night you can dim the brightness and choose a warmer temperature so that it doesn’t impact your sleep.
It’s all about finding a level of brightness that allows you to read clearly without causing eye strain or fatigue. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the adjustability of a lamp, as being able to alter the lamp’s height and direction can optimize the illumination and make it easier and more comfortable for you to read.
Today, there are also special lamps available for e-reading, as these reduce glare and won’t reflect off the screen.