The best desk lamps for your workspace

Shed a little light on the subject with the best LED desk lamps, ideal for all bedrooms, home offices and workspaces.

one of the best desk lamps shining on a book

by William Lobley |

The advent of the LED light has changed the power of desk lamps drastically. Due to their flexibility, LED-powered desk lights can have their colour palette and brightness manipulated at will. This is great for you, as the light can be altered to suit the time of day, working location, task and personal preference. If you're more of the gamer type, you can brighten up your set up with the best gaming lights.

Related: The best desk fans | Essential working from home tech

The ability to change light colour can make a marked difference when working for extended periods of time on any given project. Warming the colour can significantly reduce eye strain and feelings of fatigue, and changing the brightness can help reduce glare on a computer screen. Furthermore, this is even more effective when waking up in the morning to a sunrise alarm clock.

LEDs are extremely power efficient, reducing bills, your carbon footprint and the amount of heat that is produced. Basically, they can make office spaces much more comfortable. If you want to make your existing lamps in your home more exciting, you should really try a smart light bulb and stay up to date with the latest tech!

Jump to:

We’ve brought the best desk lamps together for you to help you out on your search for your next desk top companion. While LED options are very good, we’ve also included an elegant traditional brass desk lamp which will really set off your office’s aesthetic for all you old-school and style conscious types.

What to look for in a desk lamp

What to look for in a desk lamp

Before you purchase your new desk lamp, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the size of your workspace. If you’re working from home in your shared house on a small desk, then a product with a small footprint will be for you. If you’re operating from a dedicated home office or large workspace, an option with a long-reaching arm or large light head will be important. Such a lamp could also help lights reach up over computer screens and dual-monitor setups.

Secondly, you'll want to consider the type of light you would like. The vast majority of the best desk lamps are LED models. This is because LED bulbs are efficient, bright and long-lasting. However, some will find simple bright white LED options uncomfortable after long periods of use. So, picking a lamp with varying degrees of brightness and colour hue will help. Likewise, if you like to use halogen bulbs or smart LED bulbs, you’re going to want to look for an option that allows you to change the lamp’s bulb, as some products have sealed heads, meaning that you can’t get at the LEDs to swap them out.

It's also worth noting other features that may be attractive to you, like the ability to pose the lamp’s head, clamp the light to the desk surface or even gain an extra charging port through a sneaky USB output port.

The best in detail:

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

Best reliable lamp to work by
TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp
Amazon

View offer

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp is a great product for anyone who spends prolonged periods of time at their desk. The lamp is designed at every juncture to reduce eyestrain u2013 the LEDs are flicker-free and there're five colour and seven brightness settings to allow you to fine tune your working conditions.

Pros Cons
• Flicker free • Some owners say it’s noisy
• Brightness adjust • …and a bit wobbly
Specifications
Type LED 12W
Modes Five, with seven brightness settings
Power USB charging port
Head tilt/swivel 135/90 degrees
Base tilt/swivels 150/45 degrees

Miady LED Desk Lamp 6W

Great lamp for artists
Miady LED Desk LampMiady LED Desk Lamp 6W
Amazon

View offer

The Miady LED Desk Lamp features four colours and three brightness modes. The flexible gooseneck allows the head to be posed in multiple positions. The 48 flicker-free LEDs are set around an open ring which offers two benefits; first is that the ring-layout cast a wide illumination area, and second is that the open top will be of great help to any craftsperson, nail technician, or hobbyist who needs a focused and accurate light to look through.

Tried and tested by Jade Moscrop, Deputy Editor: "The spare room that I'm now working in gets pretty dark during the winter, so I wanted a light that could keep me company in the evenings. I love how this one has a flexible neck, plus loads of different settings. My favourite has to be the warmer yellow light on low, as it doesn't strain my eyes when I'm working late. It also doubles up as a great light for taking product photos which is an added bonus."

Pros Cons
• Flexible neck • Reports of power supply failing
• Ring shape • No setting memory – reverts to full brightness
Specifications
Type LED, 6W
Modes Four, with three brightness settings
Head tilt 360 degrees (gooseneck design)

ANYDAY John Lewis & Partners Tony Desk Lamp

Best classically styled lamp with modern bulbs
House by John Lewis Tony Task Lamp

View offer

This lamp is compact, neat and functional. The head and neck are adjustable, and it comes in a number of colours (Lichen pictured). The lamp takes both LED and Eco Halogen candle bulbs. A simple and effective product with a refined, classic look.

Pros Cons
• Classic look • No USB charger
• LED or halogen • No modes
Specifications
Type LED, 4W or Eco Halogen, 18W
Size H36 x W13.5 x D22cm

Eyoclean Swing Arm Desk Lamp

Best lamp for large desks
Eyoclean Swing Arm Desk Lamp
Amazon

View offer

Like many of the options here listed, this LED light provides a number of colour hues and brightness levels, and a flicker-free performance. The light head is almost 16-inches long and provides great coverage. The real strength of this light is its long, poseable swing arm. Its length makes it suitable for those with a large desk and working area, those who end to move from one area of a desk to another, or those wanting to pull the light in close to their work. The arm is held in place by a clamp.

Specifications
Type LED, 10W
Modes Colour and brightness adjustable
Tilt/swivel Three points of axis articulation
Clamp Max table thickness 1.9-inches
Pros Cons
• Posable arm • Clamp rather than stand
• Lots of modes • Owners complain of (lamp) arm stiffness

Lumie Vitamin L - Slim Light Box for Effective SAD Light Therapy

Best SAD lamp for replacing natural light
Lumie Vitamin L - Slim Light Box for Effective SAD Light Therapy
Amazon

View offer

Not so much a lamp as a panel, the Lumie Vitamin L is a slim light therapy solution, which you can take with you to improve mood, energy and focus at home, work or university. The light provided is dispersed in such a way as to mimic natural light, providing a pleasant, bright glow to work by. It produces 10,000 lux at 16cm, with a generous 20 x 28cm surface. For more information on SAD lamps, read our guide here.

Specifications
Type LED, 10,000lux
Size H28 x W120 x D3cm
Pros Cons
• Brightness • Pricey
• Soft glow • Some say it’s too bright

Anglepoise Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp

The ultimate lamp for style
Anglepoise Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp

View offer

This product boasts a classic design in a sophisticated colour with brass detailed components. The long neck of the lamp means that you can extend for more general light-spread, or lower for more localised accurate lighting. The cable is wound with fabric for that authentic retro look. The base allows for 360-degree positioning, and the well-crafted components make for smooth operation.

Specifications
Type LED, 5.5W
Size H52 x Dia.31cm
Pros Cons
• Stylish brass details • No modes
• 360 degree design • Very expensive

How long do LED desk lamps last?

According to Chicago-based light specialists Lightology, LED lights will 50,000 hours before they need replacing. So, if you use the LED light for five and a half hours per day, the bulb will last you over 25 years. On the other hand, by comparison, you’d get through about 50 incandescent bulbs in the same period.

Can you change the bulb in an LED lamp?

Can you change the bulb in an LED lamp?

Whether or not you can change the bulb in a LED lamp depends on the lamp’s design. For example, John Lewis’ Tony Desk lamp has a traditional fitting that allows LED bulbs to change with ease. However, TaoTronics lamps are sealed units with hard-wired LEDs that cannot be replaced once they fail.

However, due to the long-life LED bulbs, there are not many people who will ever need to switch out LED bulbs.

Are LED desk lamps safe for eyes?

LED lights are marvellous for many reasons, including their power efficiency, brightness and long life. However, in recent years there have been concerns over the detrimental effects of LED lighting on eyes, particularly when it comes to retina damage. There are also concerns that the blue light, a wavelength found in bright white LEDs, can interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm, resulting in disturbed sleep patterns.

These concerns are well-founded and research is ongoing in this field. Thankfully there are ways to combat these negative effects. According to medicalxpress.com, these include limiting exposure to very bright white LED light and opting for off-white colour hues. Also limiting the amount of time that you use an LED lightbulb for can be a great help. Thankfully, many desk lamp options and LED bulbs come with varying brightness and colour settings.

To sum up, there are many LED smart bulbs available that provide you with hundreds of colour and brightness options that can be controlled with Alexa and similar voice assistants, smartphone apps or set up on schedules. In particular, the Phillips Hue range is leading the market with its innovative and highly successful implementation of the tech.

Can you grow plants from an LED desk lamp?

Lamp growing plants

Light from a full-spectrum LED will provide a houseplant or with the light it needs to photosynthesis and create its food. However, it’s no substitute for the sun - even dedicated grow lights fall short of the big yellow in the sky. Much like humans, plants are far healthier if they have access to regular sunlight. To clarify, it’s best to think that artificial lights will help plants out on grey days, rather than operating as a full natural-light replacement.

William Lobley is a Deputy Editor and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Will and the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us