How to Choose Your Desk Lamp

A well-designed desk lamp is an important part of any study or work space, providing lighting for various tasks including reading, writing, studying, arts and crafts, computer work, and more.


Although bad lighting will not adversely affect your eyesight or cause a decline in vision, it can tire your eyes out and bring on symptoms of eye strain such as blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches.


Having a good desk lamp that is designed for task lighting will not only prevent eye strain, but also increase productivity and improve your mood.


Here are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect desk lamp for your work space:


Quality of light

Anika Desk Lamp

Anika Desk Lamp

As desk lamps are primarily used for task lighting, it is important to get the right brightness level. The quality of light will often depend on the type of bulb being used in the lamp.


Incandescent light bulbs do provide a bright and clear light, but LED light bulbs are more versatile and energy efficient. LEDs create a concentrated beam of light instead of a diffused one, which is great to keep the focus on your work area without any glare or stray light going into your eyes.


As for how much light you need, this depends on several factors including the type of task and your age. If you are writing on a small piece of paper, you’ll need a smaller amount of light than if you are sketching a large floor plan. In terms of age, a person above 50 years old needs more than twice the amount of light as a 20 year old.



Sara Table Lamp

Sara Table Lamp

Adjustability is a useful feature to have in desk lamps. With adjustable desk lamps, you get to control the lighting of your work space according to your immediate task requirements by moving and fine-tuning the placement of the beam.


There are various possible ways to adjust a desk lamp, including swivelling heads, boom arms, swing arms, and goosenecks. Some desk lamps come with just a few certain pivot points, while others can be twisted and moved in any direction.



Pia Terracotta Orange Desk Lamp

Pia Terracotta Orange Desk Lamp

To decide on the size of the desk lamp you should get, consider the size of your desk and the type of work that you do there.


If you have a small desk and you need to preserve as much desktop space as possible, clip-on lamps or lamps with smaller bases would be a good option. For bigger desks, go for lamps with an extra reach – like an architect or swing arm design – so they can illuminate a larger area.


The height of the desk lamp is also important. As a general rule, your light source should be higher than your head but not in direct line of sight, so that it does not glare at your eyes. Try to avoid a desk lamp that is too short, as it may not provide enough coverage for your desk, while a lamp that is too tall may give out light that is too diffused.


Light position

Addison Jade Table Lamp

Addison Jade Table Lamp

Where you position your desk lamp will determine if you are getting the best output. Firstly, as mentioned above, your desk lamp should be positioned above your head (at a 30° angle if possible), so the beam is away from your eyes. The light should also be placed about 15 to 36 inches away from your work area.


If you are right-handed, place your lamp on the left side of your desk to reduce the shadows cast across your desk, and vice versa if you are left-handed.


For those who work with computers, make sure that your lamp is illuminating the desk and the keyboard, and not causing any glare on the screen.



Arlen Antique Brass Table Lamp

Arlen Antique Brass Table Lamp

The style of the desk lamp and how it fits into your decor is another important factor to consider. While most desk lamps are chosen for their practicality and function, many would also prefer to go with a desk lamp that is aesthetically pleasing.


Desk lamps are made from several different types of materials, including plastic mould, metal, ceramic, and wood. The choice of material, like the choice of design, is completely down to your personal preference.


Other features

Floyd LED Dimmable Desk Lamp with USB Port

Floyd LED Dimmable Desk Lamp with USB Port

One thing that tends to be overlooked when choosing a desk lamp is the On/Off switch. Turning your lamp on and off should be easy and convenient, so look for switch options such as base switches, pull chains, or touch operation.


Some desk lamps also come with extra features such as:

  • A USB port that allows you to charge your mobile phone
  • A dimmer or brightness control switch
  • A date and time display
  • Bluetooth speaker


At Australian Lighting, we carry a wide range of desk lamps and table lamps to suit your home office, work desk and study space. Whether you need a clamp-on for a small desk, or a stylish one to double up as a decor piece, or a cute and colourful one for the kids’ homework desk, we’ve got you covered. Browse our full selection of lamps.