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The best desk lamps for working, reading & upping your productivity

Need a new desk lamp for your office? Discover the best models that will improve your workday, making it easier to read, write and complete tasks.

Published Aug 15, 2023
5 min. reading time
three desk lamps in various styles

Your workspace isn’t complete without a desk lamp. That’s because these functional (and often stylish) office accessories allow for better lighting conditions, which can ease eye strain and fatigue. 

When shopping for a new work lamp, there are a few factors to consider, including brightness, adjustability, sturdiness and size. To help you make your selection, our editors identified the best desk lamps to shop now. 

Read more: Check out the best computer desks

Explore the best desk lamps

Black desk light with LED display and phone charger
Best multi-functional desk lamp
Lococo LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger
$26.99 at Walmart
white desk lamp
Best budget-friendly option
AXX Store LED Small Desk Lamp
$15.99 at Amazon
Desk lamp with big bulb
Most stylish desk lamp
Wren Honeycome Desk Lamp
$130 at Staples
LED lamp on top of two monitors
Best-rated desk lamp
Led Desk Lamp for Office Home
$69.98 at Amazon

Best multi-functional desk lamp


  • Material: ABS+PS

  • Color: Black

  • Lamp type: LED

Pros & Cons
  • Stylish design

  • Supports color temperature adjustments

  • Offers five brightness levels

  • Reviews complain about malfunctioning wireless charging

  • Base is not quite heavy

This Lococo LED Desk Lamp is an impressive option that’s certain to win hearts. It comes with different functions, including calendar, alarm, temperature and clock, while its bright LED light has an anti-glare shade to minimize eye strain.

With three lighting modes, you can set one that suits your reading or work environment, and you can adjust the brightness level for ample lighting. The lamp also features a 10W wireless charger, which allows you to charge two devices at the same time while using it.

This smart lamp has an LCD screen for convenient operation, and the button-free design lets you adjust the light modes and brightness effortlessly. It’s foldable for easy storage and transport, and you can adjust its position with the 180-degree flexible arm and 90-degree base axis as needed.

Best budget-friendly option

white desk lamp
Photo: Amazon

AXX Store LED Small Desk Lamp

You save $1.00 (5.89%)


  • Material: Plastic

  • Color: Available in white, black and pink

  • Lamp type: LED

Pros & Cons
  • Includes phone mount and storage space

  • Adjustable neck for easy positioning

  • Adjustable brightness

  • Some reviewers say material is cheap

  • Bulb not replaceable

For a budget-friendly option, we recommend this LED Small Desk Lamp from AXX Store. We like that it's USB rechargeable, so you won't have to deal with cords across your desk while using it. Also, it has an adjustable neck — and a storage container and phone mount at the base.

Its simple design in a solid color allows it to blend with your workspace, and it's compact and lightweight, making it a great desk LED lamp for small spaces. And it boasts three brightness levels and three color modes

Most stylish desk lamp


  • Material: Metal/wood

  • Color: Black

  • Lamp type: Incandescent

Pros & Cons
  • Stylish vintage design

  • Simple to use

  • Replaceable bulb

  • You can’t adjust the brightness

  • Pricier than other options

Everyone loves a chic workspace, and nothing elevates the look of your desk like this Wren Honeycome Desk Lamp. It has a vintage look with a honeycomb bulb, metal arm and a wooden base. The lamp features a rotary switch on the base for convenient operation, and its minimalistic design is ideal if you want a less dramatic desk.

Best-rated desk lamp


  • Material: Metal

  • Color: Metallic/white

  • Lamp type: LED

Pros & Cons
  • Convenient remote control

  • Clamp design ensures stability

  • Delivers up to 25 modes

  • Only clamps to your desk

  •  Pricier compared to other lamps

This Led Desk Lamp might just be the best desk light for your office, and for good reason— it’s really feature-packed. It has dual lamp heads, perfect for those with a dual monitor setup and a remote control for selecting your desired mode.

Impressively, this lamp also has a memory function that can keep track of the last brightness level and mode you selected, so you don’t need to set it every time. Its timer function automatically shuts off the lamp after an hour to encourage you to take breaks when working.

Each lamp head can extend up to 31.5 inches to provide ample lighting on a desk with a width of 71 inches. Instead of a base, it has an adjustable metal clamp that attaches to desktops of up to two inches.

This desk lamp has five color temperatures, five brightness levels, and 25 light combination modes. It also has a reading mode and a night mode to address your unique lighting needs.

Most space-saving desk lamp


  • Material: Metal

  • Color: Matte black

  • Lamp type: LED

Pros & Cons
  • Can last up to 18 years

  • Sleek, modern and simple design

  • Durable construction

  • Can’t adjust brightness

  • Non-removable lightbulb

If you have a small desk, you can save more space with this LED 12-Inch Arden Desk Lamp. The sleek design takes up minimal space on your desk, while its adjustable gooseneck arm has a small profile and allows you to set your preferred position.

Its integrated 200-lumen LED build offers a lifespan of 20,000 hours, while the matte black finish complements most decor styles. The lamp comes with a USB cable, so you can use your laptop to power it where there’s no outlet.

What to look for when buying a desk lamp

There are several factors to consider when shopping for the best desk lamp. Here are our editor recommendations.

  • Style: Pay attention to the style of the lamp, whether it’s modern, vintage or minimalist, for example. This is essential if you’re looking for a reading lamp that suits your workspace setup and home decor.

  • Size: Depending on your desk size and setup, you’ll want something that won’t take up too much space. Get a sleek design or an option with a clamp or small base.

  • Adjustability: A good desktop lamp allows you to change the angles and position of the light depending on where you want light the most.

  • Functionality: Modern office desk lamps come with different features and functions such as time, modes, brightness levels, temperature and alarm. Consider this if you need such functions.

  • Bulb type: LED and incandescent bulbs are the typical options. Some users may find LED lamps too bright, especially if a lamp doesn’t have the option to regulate brightness.

What is the best wattage for a desk lamp?

The best wattage for a desk lamp depends on your tasks. For reading and writing, a 40 to 60-watt bulb makes the ideal pick. A 60-watt bulb will be great for computer use, and you can go up to 80 watts for detail-oriented tasks.

It’s advisable to avoid cool fluorescent bulbs, which emit a harsh light that can lead to eye strain and fatigue. If possible, pick a desk lamp that offers different modes and brightness levels, which you can adjust to suit your reading or working preferences.

Should it have cool or warm light?

Whether a light is warm or cool is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. Cool white lights in the 4000K to 6000K range are preferable for computer work or writing. This is because it offers the natural daylight range, allowing you to write or work without eye strain. Cool light is the perfect choice when you need to stay alert and productive.

Warm lights range from 2700K to 3000K, and this is what you get from incandescent bulbs. They can be good for leisurely reading, as they tend to reduce eye strain, too. However, they can also encourage tiredness as they make you feel more relaxed.

To get the best of both worlds, you can get a desk lamp that allows you to adjust the color temperature to suit your preferred level for different activities. For reference, most LED lamps are in the range of 2500K to 6000K.

Our verdict: Which are the best desk lamps?

Ready to invest in a new desk lamp to transform your at-home office? Here, our editors shout out our top picks from the roundup above to narrow down the selection.

  • Wren Honeycome Desk Lamp: This Wren desk lamp makes an exceptional pick if you want a stylish addition to your desk. It’s made of wood and metal for a chic vintage design.

  • AXX Store LED Small Desk Lamp: At less than $10, you can get this cost-friendly Room Essentials desk lamp. The lamp has a simple and chic style, which is a perfect addition to your space.

  • LED 12-Inch Arden Desk Lamp: If you have a small desk or you need to save space, this Arden desk lamp is the best pick, thanks to its sleek design and cylinder shape.

A good desktop lamp should offer correct illumination to protect your eyes and ensure a conducive environment for working or reading. It should also suit your decor style and offer different functions, such as modes and brightness levels. Take the time to compare these suggestions and pick one that suits your needs.

Prices updated on 08/15/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Written by
Odinga Fanuel

With over nine years working within media, Odinga Fanuel is passionate about sharing reliable information with everyday readers. For Smart Shopper, Odinga specializes in writing about tech products, household appliances, travel, automotive and more.

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