The Best Desk Lamp

Lite Source LS-306BLK Halotech 29-Inch 50-Watt Halogen Desk Lamp

Our Top Pick for 2016: Lite Source LS-306BLK Halotech 29-Inch 50-Watt Halogen Desk Lamp
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $111.35*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Amazingly, productivity is increased by our lighting situation. As a diurnal species, light plays a key role in our own sense of feeling energized and ready to tackle our daily grind, so keeping a well-lit workspace is actually a great way to ensure quality work and strong output. One way to keep your workspace illuminated it to use a desk lamp. There are many types of desk lamps out there, such as halogen, LED, incandescent, and fluorescent models, and each has its own benefits and pitfalls, but each provides the lighted environments that boost our workflow. With so many choices on the market today, it can be difficult and frustrating to find a model that’ll work best for you. Fortunately, we’ve done a bit of research and found some great models that will help you light your desk in a way that’s great for work and aesthetically pleasing.

Table of contents

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90 Degree Rotatable Head
Space-saving
Minimal Energy Consumption
Four Lighting Modes
Effective Task Light
Flexible Arm
Gradual Dimming Control
4-inch Metal Shade
6 Levels Of Brightness
Convenient USB Charging Port
Tilts For Directing Light As Needed
4 Unique Lighting Modes
Energy-efficient LED Lighting
Counterbalance For Adjusting The Arm
5 Year Warranty

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Lite Source LS-306BLK Halotech 29-Inch 50-Watt Halogen Desk Lamp

Lite Source LS-306BLK Halotech 29-Inch 50-Watt Halogen Desk Lamp Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $111.35*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur Gold Pick item is a very reliable desk lamp from the engineers at Lite Source, a company that has been in operation for more than 30 years. Their Halotech collection of lighting solutions is a line of lamps and fixtures that has been in production for 20 years and has garnered a bit of a reputation for reliability and quality construction. Our Gold Pick takes this tradition and adds some great features to a model that has already satisfied so many Lite Source customers.

The first thing you’ll notice about this desk lamp is its elegant, counterbalanced design. To adjust the positioning of the lamp, simply manipulate the two large cylindrical handles that enhance the modern design aesthetic of the whole device. The whole assembly for the lamp rests on a large, weighted base that is also cylindrical and sports a single on/off rocker switch. This base is attached to a vertical loop that attaches to the main arm of the lamp.

The lamp comes in three unique colors: black, white, and silver; each works well with just about any home or office décor. The silver version has a brushed metallic design that looks very professional in a office setting. Each of these is metal-comprised and feature very few plastic parts. The black and white finished models both feature a matte coating that is slightly more textured on the black version. The lamp’s hood is similarly comprised of metal and sports a dimpled top grate that allows light to pass out of the top of the hood as well as out of the bottom. Measurement-wise, the arm is 29 inches in length and the base of the structure is about six inches in width.

As a halogen lamp, this light provides color warmth in the range of 3000 degrees Kelvin, which is in the very warm range. While this is a good range for working, it’s not the best natural light simulation type on the market, so if you are looking to emulate sunlight in order to wake up and work more productively, then this might not be the lamp for you. Fortunately, the shade tilts in a variety of ways, which can actually help you distribute the generated illumination in a more directed way, which is perfect for low light work situations.

When it comes to reviews, this lamp has an 82 percent positivity rating on Amazon. This is out of 73 total reviews, and the positivity breakdown is 18 percent of the reviews are of a four star nature and another 64 percent were of a five star rating level. Most reviewers seem to appreciate the modern design notes that Lite Source used in the design of this lamp. Also, its height is highly favored as well as its very noted dependability and longevity; as a matter of fact, here is a testimonial from an owner who had this model of lamp for two decades:

“When my favorite desk lamp, which was 20 years old, failed to light, I couldn’t believe it. Where or where would I ever find one exactly like it? So, I started investigating and lo and behold, there it was on the Internet – the same lamp with some improvements – not that it needed any. I am thrilled with it. It has a heavy base, it’s very adjustable, and the improvement is that it has two settings which my former one did not have. I just love it! Thank heaven for consistency. Don’t stop producing them…I might need another one in 20 years!!!”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): The Highest TaoTronics Dimmable Touch Eye-Care LED Desk Lamp with USB Charge Port

The Highest TaoTronics Dimmable Touch Eye-Care LED Desk Lamp with USB Charge Port

View it on Amazon for $39.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerTaoTronics has been developing home solutions that are innovative for almost a decade now. In this period, they’ve produced some of the most unique home goods on the market today. In addition to their home line, TaoTronics also produces a very notable line of pet products and car accessories. This desk lamp employs some great systems and is one of the most high tech desk lamp solutions on our list.

TaoTronics’ engineers did an excellent job creating a very modern looking desk lamp that has more than a few features that make it stand out from the rest. The overall aesthetic is angular; almost every surface from the lamp’s main arm to the LED’s hood is made of sharp angled rectangles. As a matter of fact, the only rounded surface on this device is the circular base that provides weight and balance to the entirety of the desk lamp. This lamp is also the winner of Amazon’s highest LED lamp brand award; the device stands tall at almost 28 inches.

This device also has several points of articulation that allow you to move the lamp in a plethora of ways. The first point is located at the base. It is here that you will be able to pivot the entire lamp to a comfortable position. With this pivotable area, you’ll be able to achieve 180 degrees of rotation. The second point of articulation is located above the control console of this lamp; this will allow you to tilt the arm of the lamp back or forward by about 40 degrees. The next point of articulation happens at the hood of the lamp, you’ll be able to achieve another 140 degrees of up and down movement in this area, which will allow you to place the emitted light at varying degrees of height. The final point of articulation happens in this area again where you will be able to rotate the hood either 75 degrees to the left or to the right.

With so many movement options, all surfaces in the lamp’s immediate area will be able to be illuminated and fortunately, when it comes to illumination, there are a plethora of choices. As mentioned before there is a console at the base of this device, this is a touch sensitive console that has quite a few options. Firstly, as a LED lamp, you have several lighting modes that you’ll be able to choose from. These range from a set of cooler lighting modes for studying and reading, and another set of warmer, less intense lighting modes for relaxation and sleeping.

In addition to this, there is a dimmer in this section as well that has several lighting levels for you to choose from. As we exist in a world of USB charged devices, TaoTronics has also incorporated a USB charging port into the console of this desk lamp. This will provide a standard charging rate of 1a for most mobile devices, which is great as many of us keep our devices positioned on our desks while we work.

As an Amazon award winner, this desk lamp has some great reviews on their site; as a matter of fact, of the 142 reviews currently displayed on their page, a full 97 percent are of a positive, four or five star level. One five star review really takes note of the device’s versatility:

“I Love this Lamp! First off, calling this a lamp, does not do it justice, it is most suitable to call it a lighting center lol. I have it placed it on my desk, in the living room. I like that I can adjust it to different angles and heights depending on my needs.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): BYB E-430 Pro Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp

BYB E-430 Pro Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp

View it on Amazon for $99.90*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardOur Bronze Pick is yet another great LED device. Whereas the previous Silver Pick is a great choice for a student or a professional who has to do a lot of reading, this device operates well in those parameters but would also be great for an architect or a draftsman. Developed by BYB Lighting, a lighting brand that is dedicated to creating environmentally friendly LED lighting solutions, this swing arm lamp has a lot going for it.

Firstly, you’ll notice that while this device has some cool design notes like a flattened lighting assembly, it’s still very much a very barebones style lamp. It clamps onto your desk at almost any angle, though you might want to make sure that the desk is at least an inch or so thick to ensure a snug fit. Simply adjust the tightness of the clamp with the included Allen key, and you should have a secure device. You’ll be able to light a large area with this lamp because it has a maximum height of 21.3 inches.

When it comes to articulation, this device has even more points than the Silver Pick desk lamp. The first point is located on the clamp itself, where you’ll find a pivot that will grant about 80 degrees of lateral movement. The second point is right above that where a joint will allow you an additional 105 degrees of back and forth adjustment. The next point is located further up the dual jointed arm. At this elbow, you’ll be able to adjust the lamps tilt another 130 degrees or so. Next, at the lamp’s hood, you’ll find yet another joint that grants the light’s main assembly another 200 degrees of up and down adjustability. Finally, for those situations where you need to adjust the positioning of the lamp’s light output, you’ll be able to spin the hood and light assembly a full 360 degrees.

Also like our Silver Pick, this is a very high tech device. Whereas the Silver Pick utilized a control system that was housed on the base, this lamp actually controls from the top of the light’s housing. Placed atop the hood are three very intuitive buttons that allow you to select the variable lighting modes, and manipulate the dimness level of the lamp. The lighting modes include settings for 3200 degrees Kelvin, 4200 degrees Kelvin, 5200 degrees Kelvin, and a very sunlight-like 6200 degrees Kelvin. For dimness, simply slide your finger along the lighted strip and it will illuminate up to the chosen dimness level.

93 percent of the reviews for this product on Amazon are positive. 81 percent of these are five star and another 12 percent are four star rated. Here is one five star testimonial:

“Exactly what my father was looking for, now he uses it instead over room light which saves money and room is no longer hot. Thank you”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): TaoTronics Metal Desk Lamp LED

TaoTronics Metal Desk Lamp LED

View it on Amazon for $32.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThis lamp sports a great, modern design that looks like it comes from a designer showroom. While a bit simplistic in its main arm, the lamp’s hood and lighting are elegant looking and very functional. The lamp is primarily comprised of an aluminum alloy, which features some plastic accents on the hood and along its weighty base. These plastic accents fortunately don’t make the lamp feel or look cheap and actually add a sleek feeling to the device’s overall aesthetic.

The lamp pivots and tilts on its base, bends at the midsection, and has a hood that can rotate about 300 degrees or so. As it sports a weighted frame, this is the heaviest lamp on our list at almost ten pounds, though fortunately, these devices aren’t really designed for extensive portability. You’ll be able to have your light at a height of 20 inches, and since the hood is coned to generate a lot of light distribution, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the light you need. In addition to this, TaoTronics was also sure to design this device to be very friendly to eye health.

Of today’s entries, this is the one product that has the most reviews on Amazon. Of the 275 reviews on the site, 92 percent are of a four or five star level of rating’s quality. Many reviews note that it is a very large lamp that has a good weightiness to it that prevents the whole device from toppling over. Here is a testimonial to that effect:

“TaoTronic’s LED desk lamp is pretty nifty as the spring loaded joints allows for the lamp to have elasticity. Elastic bouncy joints means I can make adjustments and if anything or anyone bumps into it, the lamp does not go crashing to the ground.”


Pre-purchase considerations

Aesthetic and Space-Saving Design

There are few products where aesthetics are so important than in the world of lighting. Shades, necks, and even bases are areas of personal lighting that many an artisan has gifted with his or her own personal design notes. Desk lighting has a myriad of models that sport various designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, so you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you when you begin your search. Just remember, functionality and space-saving design is important when searching for one of these types of lighting options because having a lamp that is a nice talking point for your colleagues is great, but such a model can still take up too much physical space on your desk and make everything more cluttered on your desk. It’s always a good idea to look for models that inhabit a happy medium between looks and space saving.

Materials and Build

Many of the devices on the market today are comprised of metal; typically aluminum or steel. Many also incorporate plastic into places like the shade and the lighting controls. Since you’ll be using these lights in a situation that can have a lot of foot traffic, or in places where they can be exposed to other environmental hazards, durability certainly becomes a trait that will be in heavy demand. In order to ensure that your light lasts for a while, be sure that the neck and support of your desk lamp are sturdy enough to take a few unintended hits. Usually a dual beamed neck and haft are great indicators that the lamp won’t snap when nudged inadvertently by a clumsy coworker.

Lighting System

There are a few different lighting systems on the market today that will greatly affect how your lamp will perform its intended function. Each type of lighting has a different coolness level on the Kelvin scale. Coolness has to do with how much blue saturation there is in the light’s visual wavelength and those light sources with a higher Kelvin are closer to natural daylight. Here is how each lighting system measures operates on this scale:

Halogen Lighting – This type of lighting is usually measured at or around 3,000°K and is considered to be in the very warm range of desk lighting.

LED Lighting – LED lighting generates a warm white lighting. This typically falls in the 2,700° to 3,000° Kelvin range.

Incandescent Bulb Lighting – Also a warm lighting like LED, Incandescent desk lighting comes in at around 2,900° Kelvin.

Fluorescent Bulb Lighting – This is the lighting that is most similar to daylight. It is the type of lighting that you are most likely to see in a work environment, as a higher amount of blue stimulates people and makes them feel more awake. These operate in the very cool 4,500° Kelvin range.

Extra Features

Desk lamps can come with a plethora of extra features that sweeten the deal when you are considering making a purchase. Feature rich models can really help narrow down some final choices in a desk lamp, but beware: Extra features sometimes come with a heightened price tag.

USB Paneling – Since mobile charging is so important in our connected world, desk lamps with this extra feature are truly valuable. Usually these USBs are dedicated to charging your phone at a standard rate, though there are models that allow for fast charging as well.

Dimming Options – A more traditional extra feature, this style of desk lamp will allow you to dim the light to more relaxing levels of illumination.

Extra Lighting Modes – This is a feature found on many LED types of desk lamps. These types have several lighting modes that work under different levels of color warmth or coolness. Preset lighting modes typically have color temperature settings that are perfect for reading, studying, relaxing, or getting ready for bedtime.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Working in a well-lit situation can be a boon to your work efficiency and productivity, and to employ a truly illuminated work environment, you’ll need a great lighting source. We hope that this list of desk lamps provides you with a few great leads when it comes to finding a good source of light for your work or play. All of these products are well-designed and will grant you more than enough lighting versatility for your work, study, or relaxation periods, but if you find that these don’t fit the bill for you, take a look at our pre-purchase considerations again, and hopefully you’ll be able to find a device that will provide a truly illuminating experience.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Lite Source LS-306BLK Halotech 1 Light Halogen Desk Lamp in Black, Home Click
  2. Kathleen Chapman, TaoTronics Elune Dimmable LED Desk Lamp review, The Gadgeteer, AUGUST 13, 2014
  3. AwkwardHamster, TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp Review TT-DL13, Youtube, Jun 12, 2015
  4. Isaiah’s Reviews, BYB E-430 Professional Adjustable LED Lamp, Youtube, May 1, 2015

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