If you’re looking for a traditional bulb lamp or something sleek and modern, we’ve got you covered. There are even unconventional options that double as a light and something else, like a wireless charger or a smart speaker. Whether you spend under $10 or over $200, a lamp purchase is a must for your desk setup.
What to Look For in a Desk Lamp
With so many different desk lamps out there to choose from, how do you make sure you’re getting the perfect one? Here’s everything you should consider before making your final purchase:
- Light Quality: The most important factor to consider when making your decision is how solid the light quality is. Does the lamp advertise a glare-free, flicker-free, energy-efficient LED light? Because you’ll be using the lamp for work, school, or other projects, you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
- Size, Style, and Adjustability: Do you want your lamp to be a prominent accessory on your desk, or do you want it to simply perform its job and otherwise be out of the way? Measuring your space to see how much space a particular lamp will take up on your desk is a must. Also, keep in mind that many lamps are adjustable, either from the lamp head or a bendable neck. Once you’ve decided where you want your lamp to live on your desk, consider whether you want to be able to easily move your lamp closer or further from your work area or whether you’d prefer a static lamp.
- Coverage: Think about how much surface area the lamp will cover on your desk. Do you want a targeted light for a specific area, or do you want a lamp that will light up your entire desk? There’s no wrong answer, but depending on the types of work you’ll be completing at your desk, one style of light may function better for you.
- Material: Desk lamps come in a variety of materials, though most will have some type of metal element incorporated either in the lamp head or the neck. If you want to save money, your best bet will be a plastic lamp; just know that it won’t be as sturdy as one made of metal.
- Extra Features: A few lamps come with extra features that aren’t necessary to the function of the lamp but add to the overall value of it. Some lamps allow you to customize the brightness or warmness of the light—this is an awesome feature if you typically work at different hours of the day or are prone to headaches from light. Other lamps also come with an incorporated wireless charger so you can easily charge your phone while you’re at your desk.
Best Overall: mchatte LED Lamp
- ✓ Fairly affordable
- ✓ Customizable brightness and color temperature
- ✓ Built-in wireless charger
- ✗ Modern aesthetic isn’t for everyone
- ✗ Some people don’t like touch controls
Mchatte’s LED desk lamp is an awesome choice for most people for two reasons. First, its minimalistic design doesn’t take up much space on your desk. Second, the small base doubles as a handy wireless charger for your phone or any other Qi-enabled device. If you need to charge another device, there’s also a USB charging port on the base.
The energy-efficient LEDs inside won’t flicker and can be customized with five different lighting modes and five varying brightness levels. Because there’s a light bar instead of a bulb, the light is broad enough to cover your whole desk. You can also adjust the light head and body until your lamp is in the perfect spot.
For most people, mchatte’s LED lamp will satisfy every need, from broad light coverage to more niche needs like wireless charging.
Best Budget: IKEA SVALLET
- ✓ Super affordable
- ✓ Made partially with recycled plastic
- ✗ Can’t customize brightness and color temperature
There’s nothing visually gripping about IKEA’s SVALLET lamp, but if all you’re after is a simple light for your desk, look no further. It’s made of plastic, with at least 20% being recycled plastic, and works well in small spaces.
Despite its incredibly affordable price, it even comes with an LED bulb! Because of the shape of the lampshade, this lamp will provide directed light—perfect if you only want to illuminate a small project you’re working on.
Best Premium: BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp
- ✓ Super customizable
- ✓ Easily adjustable
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Not everyone likes the modern look
BenQ’s desk lamp is by far the most expensive option on this list, but if you want to invest in a lamp that’ll last you a while and is highly customizable, this is the one for you. It looks quite modern with a curved light bar and lights up your whole desk an estimated 50% more than traditional lamps.
You can choose between blue, gold, and silver for the exterior color to go with your desk setup. Then, a flexible swing arm and ball joints make it super easy to move around the light bar to the perfect position. Once it’s in place, there are 13 color temperature levels (2700-5700K) and 23 brightness levels to choose from.
There’s an auto-dimming mode built-in that intelligently detects light levels around you and automatically adjusts the lamp’s brightness to an optimal level. And you shouldn’t experience any flickering or glare off your computer screens with its light bar, either.
BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp
Although a bit pricier, this LED desk lamp from BenQ lets you customize color temperature and brightness with more options than traditional lamps.
Best Clamp: Globe Electric Multi-Joint Lamp
- ✓ Won’t clutter up the top of your desk
- ✓ Has that lovely traditional lamp aesthetic
- ✓ Fairly affordable
- ✗ No light bulb included (be sure to buy LED!)
- ✗ No customization for brightness or color temperature
This lamp from Globe Electric clamps easily onto your desk, which is awesome if your desk space is precious and you don’t want to add extra clutter. Make sure your desk (or wherever you’ll be attaching the clamp) is two inches wide or less; the clamp won’t properly fit anything wider.
The lamp has a six-foot cord that gives you plenty of length to reach any part of your desk. Then, the spring-loaded arm can easily be adjusted without having to unclamp the lamp if you need to direct the light somewhere else. Also, there’s no bulb included, so be sure to buy an LED bulb for maximum energy efficiency.
Similarly, if you’re after a donut light (also referred to as a ring light) for Zoom calls or streaming, try out this clamp option from iVict. There are three color temperatures to choose from, with ten brightness levels for each color temp.
Globe Electric Multi-Joint Lamp
If you’re trying to save space, a desk lamp that clamps onto the side of your desk is your best bet, and this one from Globe Electric is pretty sweet.
Most Fun: Govee Smart Lamp
- ✓ Fun to look at with customizable colors
- ✓ Smart lamp with a companion app
- ✗ Slightly expensive
- ✗ Won’t provide focused light
If you want a desk lamp that’s a bit more fun than the traditional options, check out Govee’s Smart Lamp. As the name implies, this lamp is smart, meaning it’s compatible with the Govee Home app (Android/iOS) and Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands.
There are so many ways you can customize your lamp to fit your mood or your desk aesthetic through the app. With the Finger Sketch function, you can actually draw a unique color pattern in the app and then see it come to life on the lamp’s exterior. Or, if you’d rather stick with a preset color scheme, there are 37 different Scene modes or four Music modes to choose from.
Govee Smart Lamp
Govee is known for making awesome smart home products, and its Smart Lamp is no exception.
Best For Broad Light: EppieBasic LED Desk Lamp
- ✓ Great for large desk setups
- ✓ Customizable color temperature and brightness
- ✗ Won’t work with tall monitors
- ✗ More expensive than most of the other options
This desk lamp from EppieBasic is perfect if you’re a fan of wide light covering your entire desk instead of focused light. If you have a dual monitor setup or an ultrawide monitor, this lamp is an awesome choice as long as the top of your monitor is lower than 27.5 inches.
With flicker-free LEDs that are angled away from your screen, there’s no glare on the screen or in your eyes. There are six dimmable levels for brightness and adjustable color temperature ranging from yellow (3000K) to white (6000K).
EppieBasic’s lamp also has a few neat smart features. Whatever you last set the lamp to in terms of brightness and color temperature, it’ll remember and automatically be on those settings when you turn it on again. Then, there’s a built-in smart light sensor that detects surrounding light intensity and automatically adjusts the brightness to reduce eye strain.
Best For Broad Light
EppieBasic LED Desk Lamp
If you’re after a lamp that gives you the most light coverage for your desk, EppieBasic has you covered.
Best SAD Lamp: TheraLite Aura Bright Lamp
- ✓ Doubles as desk lamp and therapy light
- ✓ Customizable brightness levels
- ✗ More expensive than most of the other options
- ✗ No customization for color temperature
For a lamp that doubles as a useful light for your desk and a therapy light that can improve your mood, check out TheraLite’s Aura Bright Lamp. With 10000 LUX of glare-free white light, TheraLite’s lamp will boost both your mood and energy levels. There are 168 LEDs inside that can be adjusted between four different light settings.
You can adjust both the height and angle of the lamp by simply loosening the knob. Although you can use this as a simple desk light, it’s awesome that it also doubles as a therapy lamp that essentially gives you an extra dose of sunlight if you’re in a gloomy season or just need an extra boost for your mood.
Best SAD Lamp
TheraLite Aura Bright Lamp
In addition to lighting up projects on your desk, this lamp from TheraLite also boosts your mood and energy levels.