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Published Aug. 24, 2021

Whether you work from home or from an office, apart from a good desk organizer, the right desk lamp is essential to getting the job done. The best desk lamps help you hone in on your work—even as the day wears on and you’re on that third cup of coffee. Proper lighting can reduce eye strain and keep you focused on the task at hand. 

With so many options to pick from, we selected the best desk lamps that will go easier on your eyes, optimize valuable desk space, and are designed with adjustable settings to accommodate any task. These desk lamps provide plenty of wattage to brighten your day. From high-tech picks like auto-adjusting lamps from Dyson to simplistic styles from Lite Source, there’s a lamp to suit any desktop.

They’re also an important part of your office decor. These sleek designs incorporate smart features to help you save space. So whether you’re looking to complete a modern office, cut down on glare, or reduce tech-borne bacteria—here are some of our favorite modern best desk lamps to upgrade your workspace.

How we selected the best desk lamps 

To select a range of the best desk lamps, we considered design, features, and cost. The desk lamps you see in this roundup are optimal for work environments—we avoided any bulky picks that would take up valuable desk space. We also looked for products that would reduce common workplace issues like eye strain and poor lighting. These picks are all LED-equipped for efficiency and color consistency. 

Work setups can change by the hour, so we also only recommended desk lamps that could adapt to any task. These desk lamps are all designed with adjustable brightness features, so you won’t be blinded by a too-harsh bulb or have to squint as you finish up late-night tasks. 

While some picks are more design-focused for those with an eye for aesthetics, others are equipped with phone chargers and clocks that provide added functionality. Rather than balancing office tech, you can combine the necessities in one multifunctional product. It’s worth remembering, though: extra bells and whistles don’t make up for a sub-par lighting experience. These are desk lamps first and foremost.

Best overall: Eppiebasic Architect Clamp LED Desk Lamp

No Screen Glare

Designed for crisp screen viewing and reduced eye fatigue. Eppiebasic

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Specs: 

  • 24 watts of light
  • 31.5 inches wide
  • 45-degree angle

Why it made the cut: The Eppiebasic Lamp clamps onto the edge of your desk to save valuable space and cuts down on screen glare.

Pros: Cons: 
  • Easy to install
  • Dim function stays on when powered off
  • No flickering
  • Limited adjustability
  • Flexible neck
  • Variable brightness
  • Eppiebasic Architect Clamp LED Desk Lamp

    If you stare at a screen all day, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of illuminating your monitor and keyboard without creating a distracting glare on the display. Whether you’re an architect, designer, or IT wiz, EppieBasic specializes in desk lamps that give your entire desk setup a light that makes work brighter and better. That’s why we selected this 45-degree angled LED desk lamp as our top pick overall. This 31-inch long light bar covers the width of your workspace without spilling onto your monitors. 

    It’s designed with 24-watt LED lights that are bright enough to light a multi-monitor workstation. This lamp also automatically adjusts to your workplace environment, with five dimming levels and four color temperature modes to suit your surroundings.

    If you want to create a clutter-free workspace, this pick also fits the bill. Unlike other designs, this lamp clamps onto your desk behind your monitor or laptop to reduce clutter and give you more space. The sensitive touch buttons allow you to easily control the light intensity, while the flexible silicone neck can easily adjust to any angle.

    Best value: OttLite Purify LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp

    Disinfect Your Desk

    Keep your workspace well-lit and germ-free with this sanitizing desk light. Ottlife

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    Specs:

    • 14-26 inches tall
    • 5 x 4 inch base
    • 5V USB port

    Why it made the cut: OttLite’s sanitizing technology can help eradicate bacteria in your workspace and provide wireless charging.

    Pros: Cons: 
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Phone charge function is slow
  • Vivid LEDs
  • Smaller light, less surface area
  • Flexible neck design
  • Base is small, less stable
  • OttLite Purify LED Sanitizing Desk Lamp

    It’s no secret that our tech and workspaces can breed bacteria, but just how dirty are they? Studies have shown that they’re extremely gross. If you want to keep your workplace as germ-free as possible without the hassle of daily cleaning, this desk lamp from OttLite will zap bacteria on the spot—no Clorox needed. OttLite has its own patented technology to make your desktop cleaner, simply by flipping the switch. 

    The SpectraClean technology in this desk lamp works to continuously break down bacteria, fungus, and mold while still providing you the bright light you need to avoid eye strain. SpectraClean uses light outside of the UV spectrum to effectively disinfect antimicrobials that are suspended in the air or on surfaces. This pick is also designed to mimic natural daylight with LED, so you can feel more energized and comfortable while working indoors. This modern design also has integrated wireless charging, so you can power up your phone or tablet right from the desktop. 

    If you like to move around throughout the day to keep comfortable, this lamp also features a flexible neck with a 14- to 26-inch height adjustment, so you can go from nighttime reading lamp to lighting up your desk monitor. 

    Best desk lamps for e-reading: BenQ eReading LED Desk Lamp

    Double Duty

    With an innovative swivel design and variety of light settings, this pick can suit any desk setup.

    BenQ

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    Specs: 

    • 90 cm lighting width
    • 1,800 lux illumination

    Why it made the cut: The BenQ lamp comes with adjustable settings and can easily travel from your office space to bedside.

    Pros: Cons: 
  • Sturdy build
  • Sensitive touch controls
  • Ample adjustability
  • No built-in charge port
  • Clever illumination pattern
  • High price
  • BenQ eReading LED Desk Lamp

    Your desk setup can change by the day—or even by the hour. From midday Zoom meetings to nighttime Kindle reading, your desk lamp should have adjustable settings and shape to accommodate whatever task is next. This swing-arm desk lamp has three points of articulation which lets you adjust the height and angle to create the ideal lighting, no matter the task. It’s easy to move but stays put when you get it just where you want. With options in gold, silver, and blue, this pick can suit any interior. 

    The curved head on this lamp provides less light in the center and brighter light at the edges to keep glare off of your computer display. Because of its sweeping design, it can cover a wide area with illumination without a huge light source. With the touch of a button, you can also adjust the color temperature and brightness of the light for versatility throughout the workday. The auto-dimming mode can detect your surroundings and adjust its settings accordingly, giving you the best light to avoid eye strain.

    Best desk lamps for small spaces: LumiCharge LED Smart Adjustable Desk Lamp

    Smart Features

    This pick has modern features to improve your desk setup. Lumicharge

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    Specs: 

    • Comes with 10-watt wireless charger
    • 14 inches tall

    Why it made the cut: The universal charging dock on the LumiCharge LED lamp ensures that you can charge any kind of device, with no plug-in needed.

    Pros: Cons: 
  • Adjustable light positioning
  • No battery backup to save clock functions
  • ON/OFF for LED clock display
  • Rotating charger port can be too flexible
  • Motion sensor
  • LumiCharge LED Smart Adjustable Desk Lamp

    It’s easy to get distracted and feel cluttered when your smartphone is sitting on your desk all day, especially if you also have a charger for it. That’s why multifunctional office tech, like this LED lamp from LumiCharge, can maximize your space while giving you all the innovative features you need to keep on top of work. LumiCharge’s name describes the brand perfectly — both illuminating your space and giving your devices the battery power to get through the day. 

    The LED system has three hues and 10 levels of brightness to choose from to suit any setting. For those that hate stumbling into a pitch-black room, you can opt to use this lamp’s built-in motion sensor. When the sensor detects movement in a dark room, it will light up so you don’t stub your toe in the middle of the night. If the motion-sensor function isn’t for you, the lamp comes with a sensor block so you can easily disable this feature. 

    If you’re tired of picking up your phone to check the time, this desk lamp also gives you the time, date, and temperature on its LED display. This pick also offers a convenient universal charging dock and 10W wireless charger, which saves valuable space that would otherwise be taken up by tangled cords. 

    Best desk lamp for aesthetics: Lite Source LS-306BLK LED Desk Lamp

    Contemporary Design

    This sleek, space-saving option allows you to adjust the light with a dimmer switch.
    Lite Source

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    Specs: 

    • 19 inches high by 29 inches high
    • 8 watt LED bulb
    • Lightbulb included

    Why it made the cut: If you prefer to keep tech hidden for a sleek interior, Halotech’s matte black finish gives a sophisticated look while still offering modern features.

    Pros: Cons: 
  • Pure white light
  • Slight flicker on some models 
  • Stays cool
  • Finicky dimmer button
  • Adjustable brightness 
  • Not as long-lasting as halogen version of lamp
  • Sturdy consturction
  • Lite Source LS-306BLK LED Desk Lamp

    Lite Source was founded in 1983, which has given the company plenty of time to fine-tune its tech with elegant design and sleek features. If you prefer a contemporary, artistic design over more utilitarian models, this matte-black metal pick can fulfill both form and function. Though the lamp is tall, it’s designed with a sturdy counterbalance and weighted base to keep it stable as you adjust it. The slim design also frees up valuable desk space, so you can have a well-lit workstation that still has plenty of room for all your other necessities, like work materials, printers, and laptops. 

    This LED desk lamp also offers a convenient touch dimmer switch, so you can tailor the lighting to your preference. The metal shade surrounding the 8W bulb also tilts to direct the light, so you can illuminate your keyboard, documents, or laptop without straining your eyes.

    Premium pick: Dyson Lightcycle Morph Desk Lamp

    Auto-Adjusting

    This smart option tracks light throughout the day for the optimum experience. Dyson

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    Specs: 

    • 20.5 inches tall
    • LED lifespan is 181,000 hours
    • 11.2 watts

    Why it made the cut: Dyson’s innovative algorithm uses data to pinpoint what kind of lighting best suits your environment.

    Pros:Cons: 
  • Range of light colors and levels
  • High price point
  • Automatic adjustments
  • Power button is too close to other controls
  • Minimalistic design
  • No option to turn off auto-adjust feature
  • Dyson Lightcycle Morph Desk Lamp

    This morph desk lamp tracks your local daylight to create optimal brightness that suits your space. The innovative algorithm uses your local time, date, and GPS location to create the perfect color temperature and brightness level to create a natural amount of ambient light. 

    The light can also reduce blue-light exposure in the evenings to help with eye strain and fatigue brought on by staring at your screen. You can also select the Relax or Ambient position, which instantly reduces the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to. All these high-tech features come at a higher price point than your average desk lamp, but if you’re looking for a luxury product to accentuate your workplace, this pick fits the bill. 

    Things to consider when buying the best desk lamps

    Surface Area

    Workspace is precious, so when you’re picking a desk lamp, consider how much space you have. Most modern desk lamps are designed with a smaller base to optimize your desk space while still providing proper lighting—other designs even have clamps that attach to the edge of your desk and take up no space at all. 

    Angle and Adjustability

    When lighting a work area, look for a lamp that brightens your materials without shining directly in your eyes. Monitor lamps that hover above your laptop or monitor are a great way to reduce eye strain, or you can opt for a lamp that has an adjustable head to accommodate your unique work environment. 

    Added Features

    Like most modern tech, desk lamps have gone through some serious upgrades to offer updated features that improve your workflow. From LED clocks to adjustable light warmth to wireless phone chargers, there’s no shortage of added features that can clear up valuable workspace and optimize your workday. 

    FAQs

    Q: Are LED desk lamps bad for your eyes?

    It’s no secret that dim light or fluorescent overhead lights can cause eye strain and fatigue, but what about the more modern option of LED desk lamps? One common concern is that some LED desk lamps have a very slight, even imperceptible flicker that can cause eye strain. For this reason, we recommend looking for a desk lamp that states clearly it has no flicker. 

    Q: How long do LED desk lamps last?

    LED bulbs have longer lifespans than any other bulb, which means that an LED desk lamp can outlast other non-LED options. An LED bulb can run for approximately 50,000 hours before it needs replacement—so it’s safe to say a high-quality LED desk lamp will be with you for the long run.

    Q: What brightness should a desk lamp be?

    You want plenty of illumination for your workspace, so we recommend anywhere from 450 lumens to 1,000 lumens. For anyone who has more detail-oriented tasks like crafting, drawing, or designing, a brighter bulb will better serve your desk.

    Q: What is the difference between a table lamp and a desk lamp?

    A table lamp is otherwise known as an ambient light—designed to warm up a larger space like a room or study. On the other hand, a desk lamp is a task lamp, specially designed for smaller spaces and with the aim of reducing eye strain as your work.

    Q: What is the purpose of desk lamps?

    Desk lamps are designed to reduce eye strain, fatigue, and give you light you need throughout the day. They brighten your work space and materials so you can stay laser-focused on any task.

    Final thoughts on the best desk lamps

    The right light is an essential part of your work experience, and the best desk lamps can help make your experience healthier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to make the most of a small space or create a smart workspace, our picks will help you create a space that energizes and inspires you every day.

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