How to Choose the Best Desk Lamp for Your Desk November 07 2014, 1 Comment

Everyone needs a desk lamp. Whether you’ve got a fully outfitted home office or a simple desk for your laptop to use in the evenings, these lamps are a necessity that some people may underestimate. Without a good desk lamp, your eyes can get strained, causing annoying symptoms such as fatigue, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache and even the occasional double vision. Thankfully, there are plenty of practical and stylish desk lamps out there which will maximize the amount of light at your work area and minimize reflection and glare. To help you choose the best desk lamp, we’ve described four different situations and the desk lamps that best goes with them:

1. The Casual Work Space

What: You mainly use your desk for entertainment and the occasional work in the evenings. It’s got your computer on it and you sometimes read something at your desk.

Best desk lamp: Seeing as a lot of light already comes from your computer screen, you don’t need a very bright lamp. You can go for a traditional small desk lamp, but seeing as you don’t need a lot of light you could also consider a more decorative table lamp. They aren’t designed as task lighting, but may still provide enough light for the casual tasks you want to perform at your desk. If your desk is very small, a clip-on lamp can help you to save space.

2. Home office

What: You do all or a lot of your work at home behind a computer, but you also do a considerable amount of off-screen reading. Your desk has your computer on it, as well as other stationary. On or near your desk are cabinets which contain work-related documents and books, amongst others.

Best desk lamp: Although a lot of light comes from your computer screen, you also need a good reading light for the off-screen reading you do. It’s important to get a home office desk lamp with a shade, so you can direct the light as such that it doesn’t reflect in the computer screen. Again, a small or clip-on desk lamp may do, although make sure it is bright enough for reading. Alternatively you could use pendant lights, but make sure they are placed low and next to the screen so they don’t reflect of it.

3. Arts & crafts work place

What: You use your desk for arts and crafts or a similar activity – either for a hobby or as a profession – and perform various detailed tasks on a relatively large area.

Best desk lamp: This type of work requires you to have plenty of light. Since there’s no computer screen that can reflect it, you can easily hang one or more medium or large-sized pendant lights above your work place to provide ample lighting. Especially if your desk is large, a wide dispersion of light is needed. However, a desk lamp with adjustable arm such as the Superlux lamp is also extremely useful. You can move them closer and further away as you need more or less light for especially precise work.

4. Study

What: You use your desk to study for school or for personal reading and tasks such as household administration. You do lots of reading behind your desk, and perhaps also computer work.

Best desk lamp: This situation is similar to a home office, although you’re likely to do a lot more reading behind this desk. A desk lamp that is low but bright is your best option, so you can ready without risking glare or reflection of the computer screen. A Fluro lamp for example is excellent for this purpose, but really there are lots of suitable models around. A desk lamp with adjustable arm can also work, if placed in the right position. The latter has the added benefit that you can also place the light higher when your computer is turned off. If there is no computer, higher and less flexible lamps such as tripod desk lamps are also an option.

Finally, if you’re unsure where to place or hang your desk lamp, a good rule of thumb is to place the lamp shade about 40 cm above the desk, opposite the hand you write with. This will prevent reflection and glare, which both can cause eye-strain. If you have a computer screen, place the desk lamp about 50 cm from the screen, so that the light source comes in from the side, below eye level.

Were you happy with our tips on how to choose the best desk lamp, or do you have some of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below!