BEST DESK LAMPS | NOVEMBER 2017
There are a variety of desk lamps on the market, almost too many to choose from. But don't worry, depending on your needs, there’s a lamp out there for you. The ReviewLab team sifted through hundreds of desk lamp choices to provide you with a list of the best options. We looked at many different models with a variety of features to pick out our favorites. The team researched dimmable options, lamps with a variety of color temperature settings, compact travel-sized lamps, as well as desk lamps with useful memory functions. Whether you’re looking for a functional desk lamp or an aesthetically pleasing model, the buying guide below will provide you with tips on what you should consider before making your final purchasing decision. The individual desk lamp reviews will aid you in narrowing down your choices before you buy. Read more about our methodology.
The TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp is a great option for anyone looking to spruce up their desktop environment. If you’re looking for a desk lamp that’s affordable but that also offers a variety of features the TaoTronics unit may just be the right pick for you.Read full review.
We chose the KEDSUM LED Lamp for our budget pick because it’s highly affordable but also comes packed with features. With a rechargeable battery, USB port, and easy touch-controls, it’s perfect for those who want a quality desk lamp but might also need a light for reading or travel purposes.Read full review.
Desk Lamps BUYING GUIDE
If you’re going to be purchasing a lighting unit for your desk, it’s important that it fits with your design aesthetic. The look of a lamp is just as important as whether it has a bevy of features. Many people purchase a desk lamp solely based on this factor, so it’s not something to be ignored. There are a variety of desk lamp styles from antique to modern. The size and footprint of the lamp are others aspects to take into consideration and they are closely related to design. Modern lamps tend to be sleeker and take up less room. Take stock of your current desktop layout and think about what kind of desk lamp would fit within your space.
If you’ll be using your desk lamp for different tasks it’s important to check if the unit brightness can be adjusted easily. If you are simply using it to provide a bit of extra light in your space, a simple on/off and low brightness option should suffice. But be aware that there are many lamps that have so much more to offer! Units vary in the level of light they provide but generally range from 3-7 levels of brightness.
Depending on the way you’ll be using your desk lamp, it may be important to consider whether a unit can provide different lighting temperatures. Some units will offer as many as five different color variations. Warmer color temps provide the perfect light for evening reading and are easier on the eyes. Light temperature is also very important for those working on tasks or hobbies that require accurate color depiction.
Make sure that you take into account a desk lamp’s ability to be shifted and angled so the light can be directed as needed. Some desk lamps can only be adjusted in one direction. Many lamp heads can be shifted at least 90 degrees. Some units also have an adjustable support arm and those with the greatest customizability have heads that can be tilted side to side.
Generally, desk lamps are very affordable. You won’t find anything on this list that will break the bank. The devices range from $15 to $30. Even the cheaper units will have many useful features like brightness settings and auto-off timers. USB-Powered units tend to be the least expensive so they’re great for traveling. Usually, the most expensive desk lamps are made with more durable materials or have been designed more for their aesthetic than function.
FULL product reviews
We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.
The overall winner of desk lamps is the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp. It’s an attractive looking unit with a variety of features that won it its place on our list. It’s easily adjustable, dimmable, and can even change color temperatures. The touch-sensitive controls are intuitive to use, and the LED device also happens to be energy-efficient.
Why We Recommend It
- Seven brightness levels make this one of the most versatile units available. In addition, the unit can easily be dimmed with the use of its touch-sensitive base.
- Five color temperature options are available with the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp. The unit’s color temperatures vary from 2700-6000K.
- The included USB charging port allows users to charge devices easily. If your outlet is too inconveniently placed, you’ll have no trouble charging your Smartphone or tablet. No need to duck down under your desk to find a hidden outlet.
- Highly adjustable construction ensures that you can direct the light as needed. The head of the unit rotates and the arm of the lamp moves up and down.
- Lightweight base is a little bit too light and may shift when adjusting the light position.
- On/Off requires the user to touch and hold and is a bit annoying when wanting to switch off the light in a hurry.
- No memory function means that you cannot simply turn the light back on and automatically have your favorite brightness and warmness selected.
The KEDSUM LED Lamp comes with a lower price tag and is compact in size but that doesn’t mean it’s featureless. Its handy rechargeable battery makes it perfect for those who don’t want to mess with annoying electrical cords. It also works equally well as a bedside reading lamp.
Why We Recommend It
- Three brightness options and various color temperature options make this compact lamp extremely versatile. The color temperature options range from 3000K to 6500K.
- Built-in rechargeable battery with up to a 5-hour lifespan means that you can use this light on the go. It’s perfect for those who prefer to change locations when working. Keep in mind, the life of the device depends on the brightness chosen.
- The USB port allows users to charge their devices via the lamp and the unit can itself be charged via USB.
- Compact and portable design makes this lamp a perfect travel companion. It also makes it a great choice for those who have limited desk space or who want to minimize the footprint of added peripherals.
- Unit has no memory function is a little bit of a shame since it can do just about everything else.
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Best Cordless Desk Lamp
A cordless lamp is the best option if you’re planning on moving your lamp from room to room. Cordless units will come with a power adapter for charging and are usually compact enough to be easily transported. They’re great for those who need a light for reading or other tasks that are not necessarily always done at a permanent location like a desk.
The Lustrat Cordless Lamp takes up less space atop of a desk thanks to its compact design. It also happens to be a portable unit since it’s cordless. The rechargeable battery lasts a long time so you won’t run out of power between working and reading. The unit is perfect for someone who wants to be able to move their lamp around and not have it relegated to one corner of their desktop.
Why We Recommend It
- Fully adjustable gooseneck makes it easy to direct light where you want it.
- 10-hour rechargeable battery life makes this unit one of the longest lasting. You won’t have to worry about charging between working at your desk and relaxing while you read.
- 3 brightness settings allow the user to adjust using simple touch controls to ensure the light remains easy on the eyes no matter the time of day.
- Compact and portable means that you can easily move the lamp around your desk. This makes it perfect for users with large desktops. Alternately, you can take the Lustrat Cordless Lamp with you while you travel as well.
- Lacks the ability to change color temperature. This may be problematic for users with sensitive eyes. Warmer light temperatures are optimal for nighttime use.
Best Dimmable Desk Lamp
If you’ll be using your desk lamp for various tasks or at different times you’ll want to be able to easily adjust the brightness of the unit. When it gets dark out, you’ll want to easily be able to dim your light. If you’re reading in bed, you’ll want to be able to control how brightly lit your book page is. Many dimmable lamps also give the user the ability to adjust light warmness to make using the lamp easier on the eyes.
The Vont Dimmable LED Desk Lamp is a touch sensitive unit with a sleek and simple design. The lamp has a sturdy base so it won’t easily be knocked over. It also comes with a handy auto-sleep timer, which is perfect for readers or those who simply forget to shut their lamps off when not in use.
Why We Recommend It
- 5 brightness levels are available with this unit. The lamp can be dimmed using convenient touch controls located on the arm of the device.
- 4 different light modes are also available and can be selected via touch on the arm of the unit. Modes include: reading, study, relax, and sleep. These modes essentially adjust the color temperature of the light source.
- Auto-sleep timer allows the user to opt for the unit to shut off automatically after 1 hour.
- USB port gives people the ability to easily charge their devices via the lamp.
- No memory function is available with this lamp but the 4 light modes allow for convenient adjustment of color temps and are smartly labeled for easy selection.
- Only pivots up and down which limits the ability of the user to direct the light source. May not be suitable for users who require precision lighting for work or hobbies.
Best Memory Desk Lamp
A memory function is a welcome feature for lamps with a lot of different settings. If you using your desk lamp to do precision work like drawing or sketching, you’ll likely want your device to remember its last chosen settings. A memory function will allow you to shut off the lamp and turn it on later with the brightness and temperature settings recalled.
Along with its handy memory function, the Mulcolor LED Desk Lamp also comes packed with other features. It has a variety of color temperatures, a sleep timer, is highly adjustable, and can easily be dimmed. It’s a great all-around desk lamp with an attractive design.
Why We Recommend It
- Dimmable so you don’t have to worry about bright light hurting your eyes. The unit also has a variety of color temperature options ranging from 2700K to 6500K.
- Convenient memory function allows users to turn the lamp off and back on without losing the previously selected brightness and warmness.
- 1-hour sleep timer helps you save energy -- and won’t annoy your spouse. If you find yourself forgetting to shut off lights, make sure to select the timer mode and the lamp will remember for you.
- Easily adjusted in a myriad of ways. The lamp head adjusts up to 180 degrees and the base arm can be moved 90 degrees.
- No USB port which means you cannot charge your devices via the lamp.
- Not cordless so the lamp is not easily moved from room to room and you’ll likely need to find a permanent place on your desk for it.
Best USB-Powered Desk Lamp
A USB-powered desk lamp allows the user to power the device by drawing power from a laptop or computer. Generally, these lamps are smaller and take up less room than traditional desk lights. Their smaller size and easy charging capabilities mean that they are perfect for travel or camping. It’s important to choose a unit with a decent amount of battery life to get the best out of this type of lamp.
The Swiftrans LED Clip Lamp is easily clamped to your desk to leave room for you and your work. The USB-powered lamp doesn’t even need to be near an outlet since it’s USB powered, you can plug it into your computer or laptop USB port without having to find a suitably placed outlet. The unit also happens to be highly adjustable thanks to its gooseneck design.
Why We Recommend It
- Clamp design means the LED lamp doesn’t take up much room so it’s perfect for those with small desks or workspaces.
- Powered by USB so you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet. It’s perfect for those who work on to the go. If you need an extra light source and have your laptop handy, just plug in and go.
- Easily adjusted gooseneck ensures that light can be directed accordingly.
- Simple controls consist of an on/off button and low setting. This makes the unit a paired down option for users who don’t need fancy brightness settings and light color options.
- The fact that this lamp only has 2 brightness levels may feel a bit bare bones to some. For others, this means the unit is simple to use.
- Lacks variety of color temps which means that you don’t have the option to select warm light. Users with light sensitivity may prefer a lamp that provides warmer light for evening or nighttime work.
- Not cordless even though the unit is small. It still needs to be plugged in via USB.
- No extra USB port so you cannot charge your Smartphone using the LED Clip Lamp.