BUYING GUIDE FOR BEST DESK LAMPS
We've narrowed the market's enormous variety of desk lamps down to an astounding top five. In doing so, we left out a few classics.
Our shortlist includes no traditional banker's lamps, no anglepoise lamps, and no purely decorative lamps.
It's not that there's anything wrong with these types of lamps, but modern lighting offers so much more -- different light levels, features that reduce eye strain, and elements that actually produce a healthier environment.
Top 5 Best Desk Lamps On The Market
SIZE, STYLE & FLEXIBILITY
None of the lamps on our shortlist are purely decorative, but good design is still important. Our philosophy is that smart, unobtrusive task lighting is best. Size is important, both in terms of space required and light produced. It's also nice to have a lamp that can be positioned easily.
LIGHTING TYPE & FUNCTIONS
Light sources have come a long way since the invention of the incandescent bulb. It's not just about brightness anymore. The type of light you use can affect your ability to concentrate, your general sense of well-being, and your environment.
In this section of our ratings, we discuss the additional features that make each product on our shortlist a standout product. For example, some lamps provide a place to recharge your cell phone!
Our five finalists cover a range of prices. In this part of the ratings, we look at each package as a whole. Use our cost and performance assessments to decide which lamp is best for you.
Most Recommended Desk Lamps: Detailed Reviews 2020
1. oxyled® q3 ultra-thin portable
Good desk lamps don't get much more unobtrusive than the OxyLED C2 Eye-Care. It's not overly small -- the base is about 6.5 inches square and it's just under 11 inches tall -- but it is very slender and free of unnecessary lumps, knobs, and buttons. The manufacturer claims it's one of the thinnest LED desk lamps in the world, and judging by the dozens of others we've looked at, we see no reason to argue. Being black, it should go pretty much unnoticed in most environments. Flexibility comes by way of the OxyLED's "goose neck", which can be bent into a variety of positions and will stay where you put it.
When searching for a desk lamp, you might come across the terms "Lumens" and "color temperature." Lumens refers to brightness. Color temperature is a bit more complex, but you could look at it as a way of measuring how much like daylight a particular kind of lamp is. Incandescent bulbs (ordinary light bulbs) produce about 2,800 degrees Kelvin, halogens around 3,200 degrees Kelvein, fluorescents around 4,500 degrees Kelvin.
Sunlight at noon is 5,800 degrees Kelvin, and your computer monitor is around 6,500 degrees Kelvin. LEDs are a bit of an oddity in that they can be anything from 2,700 - 7,000 degrees Kelvin depending on the type. Many experts say that a desk lamp's color temperature should be as close to natural sunlight as possible because sunlight releases serotonin -- the "feel good" chemical in your brain.
There's enough technical detail provided for the OxyLED C2 Eye-Care Desk Lamp to make your head spin. Confusingly, the manufacturer describes the product in terms of Lux rather than Lumens. (Lux is light intensity over a particular distance -- and means nothing to most people!)
The OxyLED's temperature (CT) is 5,000 to 5,500 degrees Kelvin, so it's in the preferred daylight range. In real terms, what you have is a nice, bright panel that gives good light over a reasonable area (rather than sharply focused lighting). It's flicker-free (as are all LEDs), which is easier on the eyes. This particular desk lamp provides three different light levels, so you can choose to tone it up or down depending on the task at hand. LED life is an impressive 50,000 hours.
A nice little bonus with the OxyLED C2 Eye-Care Desk Lamp is that it's portable. You can use it plugged in, or you can charge it up and take it anywhere. Being a low-voltage LED lamp, you should get enough of a charge to make this a useful feature -- though how long the charge lasts will vary depending on the brightness setting you choose. Owners have differing experiences with this. One owner got 40 hours of lamp use from a single charge; another owner was only able to get 15 minutes of lamp use no matter how long he charged it.
List price for the OxyLED C2 Eye-Care Desk Lamp is [amazon_link asins='B00HVA0BL0' template='PriceLink' store='beastslivepro-20' marketplace='US' link_id='668445da-19f5-4e8f-9c94-9b4fe8f13e13'] -- a terrific offer for a visually appealing light source. Unobtrusive yet effective, the OxyLED would make a great addition to any room in the home. The LED is glare-free and long-lasting, the lamp offers tremendous flexibility, and its portability is a definite plus.
A compact, portable LED lamp. The highest quality for the least amount of money.
2. Sunlight Desk Lamp Natural Full Spectrum Sun Light
We think the Sunlight Desk Lamp offers the kind of design that polarizes opinion (if you'll excuse the pun). It's certainly a popular lamp, but its "sci-fi" appearance won't be to everyone's taste. With a base that's 4 by 7 inches and a height of 19 inches, it certainly makes a statement. Rather than a flexible shaft, it offers a more traditional series of angled and rotational linkages for directing light. This lamp can be positioned anywhere you need it, but the process of positioning it requires a bit more elbow grease than the cordless OxyLED.
Lights of America, the manufacturer of the Sunlight Desk Lamp, markets this product for consumers who want lighting that is as close to daylight as possible.They claim that their product provides a "full-spectrum sunlight simulation," which is difficult to argue with (because it's more marketing than science), but its energy-efficient, compact fluorescent bulb does produce 6,500 degrees Kelvin and the equivalent illumination of a 150-watt incandescent bulb, so it's in the ideal CT range and delivers plenty of brightness. Bulb life is around 10,000 hours.
The Sunlight Desk Lamp's star attraction is its low-voltage fluorescent bulb. The bulb may not have the life expectancy of the LED models on our shortlist, but unlike a LED light, it is replaceable. (Current cost for a replacement bulb is eight to ten dollars.) In other words, you won't have to throw the whole lamp away when the light source burns out.
The Sunlight Desk Lamp costs only Price not available -- a budget value, indeed. The focus on recreating realistic daylight has made this a particularly popular model, and it's the only product in our ratings that extends your investment with a replaceable bulb. As good as this lamp is, it's not without its detractors, most of whom report problems with the touch switch failing to work properly.
An appealing, low-cost lamp that offers full-spectrum lighting.
3. TaoTronics® Elune Dimmable LED
If you're interested in trends, the sharp-angled, rectilinear TaoTronics Elune Desk Lamp delivers the most up-to-date style. This lamp exudes a clean look that suggests quality and precision. At 2.5 x 7 x 18.5 inches, it's of a fairly average size, and while it's flexible enough for most, it doesn't offer the near-infinite range of poses provided by the OxyLED or Sunlight desk lamps.
The TaoTronics Elune Desk Lamp is a LED-powered lamp that produces a variety of color temperatures (ranging from 2,000 to 6,5000 degrees Kelvin). Owners select a "mode" based on the mood setting they desire.
The lowest temperature mode is called "Sleep." There are also "Relax," "Study," and "Reading" modes to choose from.
Each of these modes offers a different type of light, and within each mode, you get five different brightness levels. Indeed, the TaoTronics offers a tremendous range of lighting options! Expected life of this model is around 40,000 hours, and as with the OxyLED, Saicoo, and Jebsens, these are important numbers because LEDs are not replaceable. To put that in context, this Taotronics lamp would last about four-and-a-half years if it were used all day, every day.
In addition to its multiple lighting options, the TaoTronics Elune Desk Lamp features another trick or two to tempt you. Accessed from the touch panel near the base is a timer function. Simply press the button and an hour later, the lamp will turn itself off. You can't vary the time, but it's a very useful feature for those who sometimes fall asleep while reading (particularly in bed). This desk lamp also has a USB port -- very convenient for charging your phone or tablet computer.
Right now, you can get the TaoTronics Elune Desk Lamp for [amazon_link asins='B00APAQSP6' template='PriceLink' store='beastslivepro-20' marketplace='US' link_id='694a0f1e-7ed3-447d-bdc6-44ae0aa24f46']. For the money, you get a contemporary task lamp with good flexibility, an excellent range of lighting functions, and some valuable additional features. Not surprisingly, it's a very popular model. One or two owners had issues with the controls, and a few liked the design but found the build quality a bit suspect. However, most of the owners we surveyed had only good things to say about it.
A highly sophisticated desk lamp with a myriad of user-friendly options. The best buy on the market.
4. Saicoo® 10W LED Eye protection Multi-function Desk Lamp - best desk lamp for eyes
The Saicoo Multi-function Desk Lamp's design, construction, and flexibility are similar to that of the TaoTronics Elune. At around 6 x 8 x 17 inches, it has a notably larger footprint than the Elune, but in real terms, it won't take up any more space. It's the lamp's big light source that really makes an impression, looking more like a medium-sized tablet computer than a light bulb! For some, it might be a bit imposing, but if you want an area bathed in light, the Saicoo Multi-function Desk Lamp could be just what you're looking for.
The commonalities between the Saicoo Multi-function Desk Lamp and the Taotronics are more than just physical; each lamp's approach to illumination is quite similar, too. The CT of the Saicoo has a slightly narrower range (running from 2,700 to 6,500 degrees Kelvin), but like the TaoTronics Elune, the Saicoo offers four modes -- each with variable brightness -- delivered by low-energy LEDs. This means that the Saicoo 10W LED is great for both general use and as a task lamp (because you can accurately match light conditions to the requirements of what you are doing).
Like the TaoTronics Elune, a USB port is provided in the base of the Saicoo Multi-function Desk Lamp. Apart from the visually subtle, one-touch controls in its base, however, this model offers no other outstanding features. The Saicoo's focus is its sleek look and large light panel; the majority of owners choose this lamp because they are enthralled by its unique design.
The Saicoo Multi-function Desk Lamp costs [amazon_link asins='B00LZPB7OC' template='PriceLink' store='beastslivepro-20' marketplace='US' link_id='cf8fca2a-9178-45dd-95b5-fff7a0f85595']. Throughout these ratings, there have been aspects of the Saicoo that almost mirror those of the TaoTronics. The real difference between the two -- and the feature that sets the Saicoo apart -- is the big LED panel that casts a particularly large pool of light for a lamp its size. If this is the type of lighting you need, the Saicoo is a terrific choice. The overwhelming majority of owners we surveyed had nothing but positive things to say about their purchase.
A unique lamp with a fantastically large light panel.
5. JEBSENS Z6 Daylight White Giant Eye-care 12W LED Desk Lamp
With a name like the Jebsens Daylight White Giant Desk Lamp, it comes as no surprise that this is a sizable unit. Dimensions are given as approximately 5 x 13 x 21.5 inches, but those figures don't really tell you what a huge reach this light provides! The style is fairly traditional, but the lamp itself features sleek, modern touches. As for adjustability, the rotational joint's close proximity to the bulb means that this is another lamp on our shortlist with a near-infinite scope of possible poses.
With a color temperature of 5,000 degrees Kelvin and three levels of brightness, the Jebsens Daylight White Giant Desk Lamp is aimed squarely at those who need to illuminate a fairly substantial work area. It's an LED lamp that matches the life expectancy of the OxyLED at 50,000 hours. Although it doesn't have the mood lighting element of some of our other finalists, the Jebsens has the flicker-free, eye-care credentials of the others and is ideal for those who use large desks, drawing boards, or worktables.
12W LED DESK LAMP
The Jebsens Daylight White Giant Desk Lamp doesn't have much in the way of additional features. This lamp has no stand; it must be clamped to your working area. The reason for this is fairly obvious. Given how far it can reach, the Jebsens Giant lamp would need an impractically large base to prevent it from keeling over. The size of your desk or drawing board shouldn't be a problem, though, as the Jebsens' clamp can accommodate anything up to two-and- a-half inches thick.
The Jebsens Daylight White Giant Desk Lamp sells for Price not available. It costs a good deal more than the other lighting solutions we've rated here, but it's very competitive for a task light of its type. The Jebsens LED Lamp Pro offers a modern interpretation of a classic design frequently used by draftsmen and architects, and it's the perfect solution for those who need to shed light over a large working area.
A couple of owners told us they thought the construction could have been better, but most found that it did exactly what they expected of it.
Expensive, yet competitively priced. A task lamp for larger work areas.
BEST OF THE BEST
Our extensive selection process cut hundreds of desk lamp contenders down to a final top five. After some intense research, we arrived at our choice for the Best of the Best desk lamp: the TaoTronics Elune TT-DL01.
The Elune manages the difficult trick of making a great impression without being too obtrusive. You might initially notice its contemporary, angular design, but then you move on to appreciate its actual functionality.
And what a range it has! While it lacks the extreme flexibility of a goose neck task lamp, the Elune will bend as you need it to. When it comes to lighting, the Elune really shines. Four modes allow you to set different color temperatures -- otherwise known as "ambiance" -- to suit your needs and your mood. Each mode includes five brightness choices, which means you've got 20 lighting solutions in all. The Elune can also be programmed to turn itself off if you fall asleep or become otherwise distracted, and it has a convenient USB port so you can charge your phone or tablet while you're working or reading.
For a reasonable price of [amazon_link asins='B00APAQSP6' template='PriceLink' store='beastslivepro-20' marketplace='US' link_id='9b5b2e07-7877-4acc-8793-15d76853d7da'], the TaoTronics Elune offers you a stylish, environmentally friendly, low-cost LED light source. Not surprisingly, it's an extremely popular product on the commercial market. Not everyone loves it; some thought component quality could be improved, and a few had difficulty with the soft-touch controls. However, the Elune's critics are vastly outweighed by those who are impressed and delighted by its reasonable price and wide range of appealing features.
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
All of the desk lamps on our shortlist are affordable, but there is one that stands out as the best value for the money: the OxyLED C2.
For very little cash, you get a subtly designed desk lamp that will fit in with most surroundings. This lamp delivers impressive functionality on a budget. In terms of the kind of light it provides, it's close to the "real daylight" optimum, and on top of that, it offers three brightness settings. The 50,000-hour LED life is the longest of any of the lamps on our shortlist, and it delivers the flicker-free, low eye-strain benefits that you would expect from that kind of light source. Also, it's portable. You can plug in the OxyLED while you're working, then move it over to your favorite chair for relaxing and reading.
You might expect that a budget desk lamp like this would have numerous complaints about quality or functionality. That isn't the case. One or two owners found the on/off button a bit temperamental, and a few would have liked it to hold its charge longer. In general, however, this lamp is highly praised. More than one buyer said "This lamp is perfect!" which is about as good as user comments can get!