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The 6 Best Desk Lamps of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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While the perfect workspace would have ample natural light that would illuminate your desk all day long, the reality is that most of us need a desk lamp to help brighten our work areas. An appropriate lighting source is key to maintaining productivity and reducing eye strain while you work, and the best desk lamps will help keep you comfortable (and on task) throughout your workday — and even into the night, if needed.

We consulted with three experts — an ophthalmologist, an ergonomist, and an engineer — and tested various lighting options to find the best desk lamps available. Our top pick is the BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp, which is highly adjustable and tall enough to use with desktop computers. For a more budget-friendly choice, the IKEA FORSÅ Work Lamp costs just $28 and has a wide range of motion and sturdy design, but you will need to purchase a light bulb separately. 

Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches home products. For more home office recommendations, check out our guides to the best standing desks and best ergonomic chairs.

Our top picks for the best desk lamps

Best overall: BenQ e-Reading LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp – See at Amazon

Best budget: FORSÅ Work Lamp – See at IKEA

Best for small spaces: Honeywell Foldable Modern Desk Lamp – See at Amazon

Best for eye strain: Dyson Solarcycle Morph – See at Dyson

Best with phone charging: LumiCharge II – See at Amazon

Best looking: Gantri Aim Task Light – See at Gantri

Best overall

BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp

Sporting a modern design, the BenQ e-Reading LED Swing-Arm Desk Lamp provides wide light coverage, a large range of motion, and adjustable brightness and temperature settings.

The BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp recently got a new look: an updated version of this LED desk lamp comes in three attractive matte finishes and boasts a sleeker body design. It’s also compatible with several accessories, including a desk clamp and floor extension stand, for extra versatility. However, the updated BenQ lamp still boasts the same great functionality as the original version, and it remains our top choice among the desk lamps we’ve tested.  

The BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp can easily be arranged above a full-size computer monitor as it extends vertically up to 30 inches, making it significantly larger than the other best desk lamps we tested. The lamp’s head is mounted on a ball joint so that you can pivot it in any direction, and the arm rotates 360 degrees at the base, making this lamp extremely versatile. Despite its somewhat complex design, the lamp was quick and easy to set up and adjust.

Sporting a modern design, the BenQ e-Reading LED Swing-Arm Desk Lamp provides wide light coverage, a large range of motion, and adjustable brightness and temperature settings. These features make this our favorite pick out of the best desk lamps we tested.

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Its “smile-shaped” head is just over 15 inches long and casts wider lighting coverage. It easily illuminated my whole workspace, which is around 48 inches wide, and I rarely needed my usual overhead light. The light produces an impressive 1,800 lux on its brightest setting, and its LEDs provide flicker-free lighting to prevent eye strain. Although it was the heaviest lamp we tested, I was never worried about it tipping over, even as I adjusted the arms, as the base is sturdy.

The BenQ lamp has 22 brightness settings and 13 temperature options that adjust with a knob and can be mixed and matched—the most of any of the best desk lamps we tested. This lamp also has an ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness to suit your environment automatically. (I sometimes had to tweak these settings, but not by much.) It also has a special e-reading mode that’s brighter at the sides of the lamp’s head and darker at the middle, and it proved effective for reducing glare when I was reading on my computer screen.

Best budget


The FORSÅ Work Lamp has a sturdy metal construction, and its architect-style design offers a wide range of motion.

The best option I tested for an inexpensive desk lamp was the FORSÅ Work Lamp from Ikea. It’s technically an architect lamp, a style easily recognizable by its multiple hinges along the arm and more concentrated task light. In addition to the turquoise color I tested, it’s available in beige and a shiny nickel-plated option.

Unlike most of the lamps I tested, the FORSÅ required a bit of assembly — I had to attach the arm to the base, set up the springs that control its movement, and connect the dome that holds the lightbulb. Additionally, this lamp doesn’t include a light bulb, so you have to purchase an E12-style bulb (often called a chandelier bulb) separately. 

At around $30, this stylish architect-style lamp offers a wide range of motion, but the bulb is sold separately and has limited brightness and temperature adjustability.

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While it took a little more effort to set up, the FORSÅ is impressively sturdy once it’s all assembled. The base is heavily weighted, so I was never worried about it tipping over, and I loved that the lamp has three hinges that let you move it into virtually any orientation. Of all the lamps I tested, this one offered the most range of motion. 

For testing, I outfitted the FORSÅ with a standard 40-watt E12 light bulb with a “soft white” hue (2,700 K). I assumed it would create a fairly narrow field of light due to its domed shade, but the lamp lit up a surprisingly large area. It provided enough light for my whole desk surface, and it was ideal for both task work and general computer work. The dome also helped to prevent eye strain, as it keeps the light bulb covered so you’re not looking directly at it. 

The one major downside of this lamp is that the brightness and color temperature aren’t adjustable. It has a simple on/off toggle switch on the power cord for operation. However, as a workaround, you could outfit the lamp with a smart E12 bulb — such as this one from Philips Hue — which would allow you to dim the light and change it to virtually any color.

Best for small spaces

Honeywell Foldable Modern Desk Lamp

The Honeywell Foldable Lamp has a compact base for smaller work areas with LED bulbs that offer adjustable brightness and color temperatures.

The Honeywell Foldable Desk Lamp offers a wide range of functionality in a compact form, making it well-suited for smaller desk setups. The base of this sleek lamp is just 2-by-4 inches, and it has one fixed arm that extends up from the base and a second arm that hinges up and down 180 degrees. The lamp retails for about $40, making it another budget-friendly option, and it comes in three finishes. 

Because this lamp is only around 13 inches, it wasn’t tall enough to use with my desktop computer, but it was great for working on my laptop. It has one simple dial that controls all its functions — if you press the knob down, you can choose between the three light temperatures, and twisting the dial in either direction will turn the brightness up or down. To turn the lamp off, you have to press the dial down for a few seconds. It’s easy and intuitive to operate. 

This lamp has a compact base that’s just 2 inches wide, and it offers adjustable brightness and lighting temperature.

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The Honeywell lamp has a frosted piece of plastic over the LED nodes to diffuse the light a bit, but I still found that the lamp caused eye fatigue at higher brightness settings, especially if I was working for long periods. However, I was able to prevent it from bothering my eyes by turning the brightness down or angling the arm away from my work area a bit more. 

In terms of special features, this desk lamp has two USB charging ports on top of the base: one for USB-A plugs and one for USB-C plugs. I liked that they’re easy to access (some lamps have these ports hidden on the back of the lamp), and they came in handy when I needed to charge my phone during the day.

Best for eye strain

Dyson Solarcycle Morph

The Dyson Solarcycle Morph automatically adjusts its brightness and light temperature throughout the day based on your precise location, helping to reduce eye strain.

Few lamps with auto-adjusting dimmers came up in my research, but the Dyson Solarcycle Morph (formerly the Lightcycle Morph) met our criteria for testing. This Energy Star-certified smart desk lamp automatically adjusts its warmth and brightness throughout the day based on your exact location.

During testing, I was impressed that the lamp optimized its settings to suit my environment, and I never experienced any eye strain. Its near-constant micro-adjustments happen every 60 seconds. However, you have to give the Dyson Link app permission to access your location for the lamp to do this.

The Dyson Solarcycle Morph automatically adjusts its brightness and light temperature throughout the day based on your precise location, helping to reduce eye strain.

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The Dyson Solarcycle Morph has the sleek, modern design you’d expect from the brand, though I was surprised at its 7.7-pound weight. The vertical stem of the lamp offers a 360-degree range of motion, and you can also twist the upper half of its horizontal arm to point the light sideways or upward for ambient lighting. When the arm is placed back over the lamp’s base, it lights up the stem, creating a gentle ambient light that reduces blue light.

You’re able to adjust both the lamp’s warmth and brightness from the top of its arm, but frankly, these controls are a bit finicky to use. I found it significantly easier to adjust the lamp via the Dyson Link app, which allows you to save custom brightness and warmth settings for specific situations and even your age. The Solarcycle Morph also automatically turns itself off and on when you leave and enter the room.

Best with phone charging

LumiCharge II

The LumiCharge II boasts both a universal phone dock and wireless charging pad.

A few lamps that we tested — including the ones from TaoTronics, Pablo, and LumiCharge — come with the ability to charge smartphones. Of the three, the LumiCharge II stood out. It has various charging methods, including a wireless Qi-enabled pad, universal phone dock, and USB port. 

The LumiCharge doesn’t require any setup, and it has an adjustable arm with an impressive range of motion. The stem offers 145-degree rotation, and the arm itself can be tilted 120 degrees up or 90 degrees from side to side. The lamp contains LED bulbs covered by a plastic diffuser that help reduce the harshness of the light. During testing, I adjusted the lamp to my preferred brightness levels with no issues, and it never caused any eye strain or other discomfort.

The LumiCharge II is one of the best desk lamps for wireless charging.

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To charge your phone, this lamp has a “charging dial” in the base that you can rotate and access lightning, micro-USB, and USB-C chargers. You can also place your smartphone on the wireless charging pad, though it only worked when I removed my phone case. 

The LumiCharge II has a few other interesting features, including a digital display on the arm that shows the time, date, and temperature. While the idea has potential, I found the display to be frustrating to program and old-fashioned in appearance. The blocky, retro numbers seemed out of place. The lamp also has a cheap, plasticky appearance, despite costing over $100.

Best looking

Gantri Aim Task Light

The Gantri Aim Task Light will be a statement piece on your desk, thanks to its contemporary 3D printed design.

Throughout the course of testing, I discovered that most desk lamps are either good-looking or functional — not both. The Gantri Aim Task Light was the only product that fit both requirements, offering a stylish design that will make a statement in your office while still being functional for everyday use. 

This lamp has a unique contemporary design that’s 3D printed from sustainable planted-based materials, and the whole thing is made to order and assembled in California, so delivery can take up to 30 days. To my surprise, you’d never be able to tell it was 3D printed. The exterior is perfectly smooth and free from any seams or lines. The arm of the lamp rotates smoothly around 360 degrees, and the lampshade can be tilted back and forth to angle the light toward your workspace. Or if you just want subtle ambient light, the lamp’s head can sit on top of the base to gently illuminate the area. The light is a bit bulkier than others, though, so you’ll need to have plenty of space on your desk for it. 

This sleek 3D printed lamp is a statement piece for your desk, and it’s also impressively functional.

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The Aim Task Light has a control panel mid-way down the power cord, and a slider allows you to adjust the brightness of the lamp to your preferred level. While using the lamp, I found that the diffuser that’s positioned over the light bulb helps reduce eye strain, especially later in the day. The light does have a fixed color temperature of 2,700 K, but you can change the bulb as needed, swapping it out for a different color or replacing it if it burns out. (Many LED desk lights don’t have replaceable bulbs, which means when they burn out, the lamp is essentially useless.) 

While the Gantri Aim Task Lamp is our top pick for a stylish desk lamp, the Anglepoise Type 80 Desk Lamp was a close runner-up. It has a sleek contemporary form that’s less bulky than the Gantri, and it comes in several trendy matte finishes that will add a fun pop of color to your desk. The height of the Anglepoise lamp makes it well-suited for larger workspaces, but it did cause a bit of eye strain and isn’t dimmable, which is why the Gantri ultimately edged it out.

What to look for in the best desk lamps

The Dyson Solarcycle Morph pairs with your phone and automatically syncs its light output based on geolocation.

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Buying the best desk lamp might not seem like a complicated task, but there are a number of features you’ll want to look for when selecting the best for your needs.

Range of motion: All of the experts consulted for this guide agreed that it’s important for lamps to be adjustable, and the larger the range of movement, the better. McGowan said lamps should have “the ability to be positioned to exclude glare on the work surface, keyboard, input display, computer display, or other equipment.” A wide range of motion also allows you to move a lamp’s light source closer to paper or other objects when needed. 

Base: The best desk lamps come in various shapes and sizes. One of the coolest things about design is that you can purchase a desk lamp that seamlessly fits into your routine. If you have minimal desk space, try a lamp with a clamp base that can attach to your desk, headboard, or kitchen table. If you’ve ever wondered why some desks have a hole in them it is actually for a desk lamp so the wires and base can slip through the bottom to be hidden.

Brightness and color temperature: Extended computer use can cause eye strain, but proper lighting can help minimize the effects. “Having the appropriate color spectrum has been shown to benefit our sleep/wake cycle, contributing to fatigue and eye strain,” said Bert. Look for a light with brightness settings and different light temperatures, allowing you to adjust the color spectrum throughout the day.

LED: LEDs are long-lasting, don’t get overly warm, and are often adjustable for brightness and color temperature (more warm or cool). For the most natural-looking light, look for a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI), between 85 and 100. 

Energy efficiency: If you’re using a lamp all day, an energy-efficient model can help save you money. Luckily, most of today’s best desk lamps use LED bulbs, which consume less energy and last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs. You may also want to look for a light that is Energy Star-certified, which must use 90% less energy than traditional models using incandescent light bulbs. 

Additional features: Many desk lamps offer additional features, including phone-charging capabilities. If you’re looking for a model that can charge your phone, make sure it’s compatible with your particular phone model — some only work with the latest iPhones and Androids.

How we tested the best desk lamps

We tested nearly a dozen desk lamps, taking into account range of motion, brightness levels, ease of control, and appearance.

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I’ve been a product reviewer for four years now, so I used my experience testing household products, including lamps, to develop a comprehensive testing methodology. I also consulted various experts, including Benjamin Bert, MD, an ophthalmologist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center; Blake McGowan, director of ergonomics research at VelocityEHS; and Matthew Thorpe, a senior sales engineer at Fagerhult Lighting in London. 

With their advice in mind, I came up with several essential features to evaluate, and from there, I was able to determine which of the best desk lamps to test. When testing these desk lamps, I considered several key factors, including their range of motion, brightness levels, and ease of control. I used each one in my home office for at least two full consecutive workdays.

Desk lamps FAQs

Are LED desk lamps good for the eyes?

LEDs can be harsh on your eyes when not diffused. “Bare LEDs are an extremely bright point source — lots of light from a very small space — so look for a well-made fitting that will control the light with a diffuser,” says Thorpe. 

What are the disadvantages of LED lamps?

LED lamps tend to be more expensive than those with replaceable bulbs, and it can be difficult to replace built-in LEDs at the end of their life cycle. 

Which bulbs are the best for a desk lamp?

A dimmable LED light is the best bulb choice for a desk lamp. Since they are energy efficient and long-lasting, they are eco-conscious and worth investing in.


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