If your job involves spending a prolonged amount of time staring at a computer screen then you’re probably well aware that can cause a lot of strain on your eyes.
Having the right type of lighting in your office can help combat this, as well as improving energy levels, boosting morale, reducing the chance of headaches, and ultimately help you work more efficiently.
The goal to achieving the best office lighting for computer work is knowing what type of light you should go for and where you should position it within the room for the best results, which is exactly what this article is going to take a look at.
We’ve reviewed five of the best office lighting options for computer work and compared them for you to consider.
We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide that should help you find out what’s going to be the best choice for you and your space, and this will go through each of the most important features that you should consider when thinking about your decision.In a hurry? Don’t wait any longer for that lightbulb moment to spark - light up your work life with the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick is this TaoTronics LED desk lamp, perfect for the PC worker who wants a flicker-free light. It isn’t going to strain your eyes on top of staring at a screen for a number of hours, and it effectively brightens without negatively affecting your eyes or your sight.
One of the best things about this light is that you can fully customize it to your office space for the perfect ambiance using one of the 5 color mode combinations or by adjusting through each of the 7 brightness settings to reach the desired level of illumination for the room.
It does more than just light up your desk, as this lamp has a convenient USB port that allows you to keep your phone or devices nearby while you’re charging them as you work. However, this doesn’t detract from the amount of light the lamp is able to give out.
The environmental impact is minimal thanks to the energy-efficient LED bulb which can reduce your energy consumption and therefore your bills by up to around 75% without having to compromise on quality.
You also have the ability to adjust the direction of the light tilting the head up to 135-degrees or swiveling it by 90 degrees. Even the base can be adjusted, tilting down by 150 degrees or swiveling 45 degrees, so wherever you want to position it, it’ll go.
- Reduce your energy bills by up to 75% as it’s super energy-efficient
- Position it in any location thanks to the adjustable design
- Charge your mobile while you light up your computer office with the USB charging port that’s built into the lamp
- You can choose from multiple colors and brightness levels
- Be aware that the head of the light isn’t that tall so it may fall in the direct line of your computer monitor
If you’re looking for office lighting that is going to stand heads above the rest - literally - then you might also want to check out the Miroco LED floor lamp, as this is another great option for offices where you’ll be carrying out computer work.
Alternatively, it also doubles as a desk lamp with a low weight of 4.8 lbs.
You can light the space appropriately as there are three different colors to choose from, including warm white, natural white, and cool white, as well as five different levels of brightness, which increase from 20% to 100% in 20% increments.
The 12-watt LED bulb can last for over 50,000 hours and it’s super energy-efficient, although you can take this even further by utilizing the handy 1-hour timer that automatically turns the light off. It provides 1,815 lumens of brightness so you can easily illuminate any office space.
This light is great for computer work as you can adjust the flexible neck so it sits at the exact height you require, so you can position it wherever you like in relation to your screen for the best lighting effect.
The head can be tilted up to 30 degrees in any direction and there’s a 5ft cord so the placement of the light isn’t limited to placement near a plug socket.
- You can adjust the light color and brightness for computer work or if you’re doing something else
- Energy-efficient and long-lasting
- Perfectly capable of lighting up your computer office space as it produces 1,815 lumens
- The clips provided for keeping the cord in place and out of the way are flimsy and don’t stay on very well
Next up, we have the TW lighting IVY LED desk lamp, another great option for computer users who need to upgrade their office lighting.
It’s a seriously versatile source of light, as it doubles as a charging port with a built-in USB outlet for your phone. The USB cords are not included, however, so you will need to purchase these separately.
The ability to decide the precise position of the light by adjusting the flexible neck means you won’t have to struggle to make this lamp fit in with your current office space, as you will be able to mold it to the shape that best suits your exact needs.
While it won’t save you as much as some of the other lamps on this list, the TW IVY LED desk lamp is still energy-efficient to the point where you’ll be saving up to 65% of the energy you would consume with other types of lighting, as it draws as little as 3 watts of power.
The only other area that lets this lamp down slightly is the fact that there’s less flexibility in terms of the light itself.
It features a 3-level dimmer which does mean you can decide between ambient or more purpose-specific lighting, but you can’t change the 4000 Kelvin light temperature or adjust the brightness beyond using the dimmer.
- It will have no trouble lighting medium-sized computer office rooms as it can produce up to 500 lumens
- You can trust in its reliable performance as it is Energy Star rated and UL listed
- It allows you to charge your mobile device nearby at the same time as illuminating your workspace
- USB cords not included
The next light we looked at is another option for the floor of your office, standing between 42 and 53 inches tall depending on the height you set it to.
You can also adjust the gooseneck so you can point the light beam in the direction you need for your computer work.
This is one of the brightest options we’ve included, so it’s perfect if you need to light a larger space or for intense illumination, but despite emitting an incredibly bright 850 to 950 lumens, it only consumes 12 watts of electricity so it’s not too energy-hungry.
It’s also a really safe option which is great if your office space is at home and you have children, as the base is weighted so that the chance of the light falling over is drastically reduced.
You won’t need to worry about the bulb burning you or heating up too much either as the LEDs remain cool to the touch even after extended periods of use.
Interestingly, the LED bulb is actually built into the head of the lamp and secured so that there’s no chance of it coming loose, but this also means that you won’t be able to replace it.
With a 15 to 20-year estimated lifespan, you won’t necessarily need to anyway.
- Adjustable and easy to assemble
- It comes backed by a 3-year product warranty with a commitment to customer satisfaction
- The weighted base prevents instability or the lamp toppling over
- The built-in LED bulb will save you money on your energy bills as it’s highly energy-efficient
- Can’t replace the bulb as it’s secured into the head of the lamp
The last light we looked at was this multifunctional LED desk lamp that comes equipped with a wireless charger or a USB charger outlet port for your smartphone devices.
The lamp will do more than just brighten your computer office space, and it’s designed with functionality in mind so it's easy to use, as well as being foldable which allows you to save on space.
There are a whopping 25 brightness settings to choose from with 5 lighting modes and 5 different brightness levels, and this can all be controlled by a simple tap on the base of the lamp as it features sensitive touch control.
If you’re concerned about shutting down your computer and forgetting to switch the light off as you leave, the automatic switch-off function has got you covered as you can set it to turn off after a 30 or 60 minutes delay.
For anyone whose eyes already struggle with the strain of staring at their computer, this light is an ideal choice thanks to the eye-caring technology that’s built into it, and there is no flickering in the light’s beams that could damage or distress your eyes.
You can also dim the brightness at night to minimize eye fatigue.
- Excellent dual-purpose lighting option thanks to the two different charging methods
- Multiple lighting modes and brightness options so you can set it to suit different needs
- It produces a warm, natural color that is easy on the eyes to prevent unnecessary strain
- Doesn’t take up too much space on your desk
- The focus on charging draws away from the light’s ability to a small extent
- Wireless charging is only compatible with select phone models
Best Office Lighting for Computer Work Buying Guide
When designing a home office or revamping your office workspace, lighting may not seem like the most exciting part of a renovation project, but it’s surprisingly important when it comes to computer work, especially if you have a limited amount of natural light to work with.
So, here are some of the key things you need to factor into your decision.
The Height of the Light
The taller the light is, the more it’ll illuminate the room and the better you’ll be able to see. Larger desks or workspaces will benefit more from this, as you will cover more ground with the light’s beams meaning you’ll be able to brighten a bigger area with just one lamp.
It also means you won’t have to fork out for the costs of installing expensive overhead lighting.
On the other hand, smaller desks may only need a lamp with a short arm to cover your entire working area effectively. Desk lamps are designed to sit on your desk… obviously, whereas floor lamps are meant to be placed… you guessed it, on the floor.
But what is the best placement choice when it comes to computer work?
Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on your current set-up and the size of your computer desk as we’ve discussed above, but it also largely comes down to personal preference and where you prefer your lighting to be positioned within your office.
The placement of your light source will determine how much you actually benefit from it, and this will likely depend on the size and shape of your lamp.
But you should definitely think about location in terms of more than just where it can be placed, focusing instead on where it should be placed.
For computer work, having a light located directly behind you is always going to be a bad idea. Instead of brightening your screen and desk area, this will actually just cause an irritating glare to sweep across your screen and make it harder to see your monitor.
There are also the shadows to consider, as where your light is located will determine the type of shadows that are cast if/as you pass in front of the beams.
This can even just mean typing - if you’re left-handed, for example, you may notice your light casting a shadow from your left arm could end up causing a shadow if you position the light on the right.
If it’s not going to shine bright, then it’s not going to be all that beneficial. With that being said, if it’s too light, then you’ll also run into problems. Lamps or shades can be a great way to disperse light rather than focus it in one place, creating an overall brighter environment.
In terms of how bright a bulb you should be looking for, this really comes down to how big the space you’re trying to illuminate is. Larger areas will obviously need more light as there is a wider area to cover, whereas smaller spaces can get away with lights that aren’t quite as bright as there isn’t as much to brighten.
Some of the higher-end office lights which will be more suitable for computer work will have adjustable brightness levels that allow you to alter the amount of light being put out depending on the natural light in the room and your preference in general.
There has also been some recent research into the effects that very bright white LED lights can have on your retinas and the extent to which it interrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which in turn can lead to disruptive sleeping patterns.
A light with adjustable brightness is therefore a good idea if you’re concerned about eye health.
No, we don’t mean how hot it gets! Although you should always be careful with lightbulbs because they do tend to get warm the longer they’re switched on and producing light for. In this case, though, we’re actually referring to the color temperature of light.
This is just as much of an important consideration as the brightness level is, even if it is one that comes down to personal preference more than standardized recommendations.
In general, lower temperatures give off a more yellowish light, but it gets cooler the higher up the scale you travel. Here are some rough markers for you:
- 2700 to 3000K - warm white light
- 3500 to 4100K - cool white light
- 5000 - 6500K - natural light (mimics daylight)
For computer work, you’d be best off with a light that produces brighter white-based hues somewhere along the higher end of the temperature spectrum.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does lighting affect productivity?
Not only can poor office lighting affect physical and mental health, but it can also change the level of productivity that you’re able to achieve throughout the day.
Poor lighting can cause drowsiness, headaches or migraines, mood swings, or generally low productivity.
Why is fluorescent lighting so bad for you?
Fluorescent lights are known to cause headaches, migraines, and eye strain, so it’s no surprise that more people are switching to LED lightbulbs.
Is night or dark mode better for your eyes?
There are advantages and disadvantages to using a night or dark mode setting on your screen, be it your computer or mobile phone.
They’re obviously less harsh on your eyes which causes less strain, but they can also cause the pupils to dilate more as they absorb a wider amount of information.