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Best desk lamp 2021: Shed some light on your workspace with these top desk lamps

Ben Johnston
30 Nov 2021
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Whether you’re working from home or sprucing up the office, these are the best desk lamps for brightening your day

Picking out the best desk lamp for your workspace used to be as simple as finding one and placing it on your desk, but these days, there’s a lot more to them than just a bulb and a switch.

As well as brightening up your nine to five, desk lamps can also boost your productivity, and are tied to several key health benefits. Add to this all of the additional functions, light colours, designs and bulb types to consider, and you end up with a wide and varied selection to choose from.

Below, we’ve collected together the very best desk lamps that you can buy right now, with options to suit all needs and circumstances. If you aren’t sure what you need from a desk lamp, you can check out our buying guide for more information. Otherwise, read on to see our pick of the best desk lamps on the market today.


The best desk lamp: At a glance

  • Best for light customisation: Slator Dimmable Lamp | Buy now
  • Best budget option: SIN&MI Flexible Desk Lamp | Buy now
  • Best high-end option: Dyson CSYS Desk Light | Buy now
  • Best classic style option: Lepro LED Desk Lamp | Buy now
  • Best with wireless charging: HONGTEYA Desk Lamp | Buy now

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How to choose the best desk lamp for you

Why do I need a desk lamp?

Assuming you work at a desk – and if not, where are you putting your new lamp? – the odds are that you don’t have optimal lighting conditions for the entirety of your workday. If you rely mostly on natural light, this will shift over the course of the day, and even overhead lighting is rarely positioned to fully illuminate your workspace.

The most obvious advantage of a desk lamp is that you will have more light to see what you’re doing, be it typing on a keyboard, or more analogue activities such as writing or drawing. That in itself is useful enough, but adequate lighting also offers a key health benefit: reducing eye strain and fatigue.

Put simply, poor lighting forces your eyes to work harder to focus on what you’re doing, leading to more rapid strain and fatigue, as well as the potential for frequent headaches. You might also find yourself subconsciously leaning forwards to better see your screen, which can cause postural pains in your back, neck and shoulders. Finally, while not as important as the above health risks, poor lighting can directly affect your productivity, as it can make you feel sluggish and tired, so picking up a decent desk lamp could save you from making more work for yourself in the long run.

What kind of light is best?

There are benefits to all kinds of lamplight, so a lot of this is going to come down to personal preference, but there are specific areas in which each type excels. First, some terminology. Colour temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale (K), with the spectrum roughly divided into three categories: warm, neutral and cool. There’s a little more on either end of the scale, but for this guide, we’re mainly interested in light that falls between 2700 and 6500K.

  • Warm (2700 – 3000K): The lower end of the scale, these bulbs will emit a soft white light, often yellow in appearance. It won’t be the brightest, so this range is usually best for a relaxing space, such as a bedroom or living room. However, if you find yourself working late, or suffering from eye strain in the day, a light in this range will go easier on your eyes and leave you less wired and more able to go to sleep.
  • Neutral (3100 – 4500K): As the name suggests, this is the middle of the spectrum, and serves as a sort of best of both worlds between warm and cool. Lights in this range are good for boosting productivity, so you’ll commonly see them used in offices and schools. They aren’t, however, best suited to late nights, as the temperature can prevent your body from producing melatonin (a key hormone associated with the wake/sleep cycle), thereby making it more difficult to sleep.
  • Cool (4600 – 6500K): This white-blue hue is everywhere in our society, including monitors, TVs, tablets and smartphones. While exposure to it can make you more productive and alert, too much can also lead to eye strain, fatigue and headaches, as well as confusing your body into thinking it’s still light outside. Again, you should avoid using lights of this temperature in the evenings, as it could hinder melatonin production and affect your ability to get to sleep.

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How much should I be spending?

The good news is that, for the most part, desk lamps will be one of the more affordable parts of your office setup. You can easily pick up a decent budget option for under £10, and it will absolutely do the job well enough. If you want something a little more stylish, or a lamp that offers additional features – such as dimming, USB connectivity or wireless charging – you could be looking at anything from £20 to £50.

On the higher end, there are plenty of desk lamps out there that cost between £100 and £500. The expensive price tag usually denotes either a designer manufacturer, particularly fancy technology under the hood, or some combination of both. While it may seem like a lot compared to others on this list, high-end options from recognisable brands are worth considering, as it’s likely that there will be a lengthy warranty included, making the price an investment in longevity.

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The best desk lamps to buy in 2021

1. Slator Dimmable Lamp: The best desk lamp for light customisation

Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon

The most attractive feature of this desk lamp is the enormous range of light settings that it offers. With five different colour temperatures, ranging from white to canary yellow, and ten brightness settings, you effectively have 50 options for finding the perfect light to suit you. Once you find your ideal setting, you can save it via the easy-to-use touch controls, allowing you to quickly switch to it again whenever you want.

As well as the touch controls on the top surface, the base also features a USB port, giving you easily accessible charging for your phone, speaker or headphones. The first arm rotates 160 degrees on the base, and the second arm has a 225-degree range of movement, so whatever angle you need the light at, this lamp has got you covered.

The only thing to bear in mind is that while a USB cable is included, a power adapter to plug it into is not, so you’ll need to have one of your own.

Key specs – Dimensions: 18 x 9cm (base LxW), 37cm (first arm), 35cm (second arm); Wattage: 6W; Material: Metal; Weight: 699g; Bulb required? No


2. SIN&MI Flexible Desk Lamp: The best budget desk lamp

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

This slim desk lamp has a lot more going for it than just a reasonable price – though that is still a bonus, of course. The flexible neck allows for 360-degree movement, perfect for reaching those awkward angles and getting the lighting exactly right. The lamp is battery powered (charged by the provided USB cable), so can be used wirelessly, giving the added benefit of portability. That being said, the battery life isn’t spectacular, with users reporting between one and four hours of use after charging overnight. For the best performance, we would recommend keeping it plugged in.

The touch controls are simple to use and offer three settings: touch once for the dimmest light, twice for the medium light, and three times for the brightest. There’s only one choice for temperature – standard white – so this isn’t going to be one you want to use too late into the evening. Still, for the price, there are a lot of features here that make it well worth checking out.

Key specs – Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 2cm (base LWH), 40cm (neck extended), 11.5 x 4.3cm (LED housing LxW); Material: Silicone; Weight: 220g; Bulb required? No


3. Lepro LED Desk Lamp: The best classic style desk lamp

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

If you think a lamp isn’t really a lamp unless it looks like it could jump on the Pixar logo, then this is the one for you. The spring-balanced swing arm has three points of articulation – one at the base, one in the middle and one at the head – so there’s a great range of movement, and the lamp is weighty enough that it’s not going to tip over when the arm is extended.

While the base itself is already discreet, you can save even more space by using the supplied C-clip to firmly secure the lamp to the edge of your desk. The clip is tightened by a simple turning screw, so there’s no need for any additional tools to install it. You will need to buy a bulb separately – an E27 screw-fit golfball bulb is ideal here, but you can also invest in a smart LED bulb, which gives you multiple hue and temperature options, as well as voice control over the bulb through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Key specs – Dimensions: 18 x 9cm (base LxW), 37cm (first arm), 35cm (second arm); Wattage: 40W; Voltage: 240V; Material: Metal; Weight: 1.4kg; Bulb required? Yes; Bulb included? No

4. Dyson CSYS Task Light: The best high-end desk lamp

Price: £200 | Buy now from Dyson

This is very much a case of paying more for a leading brand name, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Dyson is renowned for its technological prowess, from fans to vacuums, so bringing that expertise to a desk lamp seems like a winning idea. Inside the modern design, this lamp features heat pipe technology that, according to Dyson, will keep the eight LEDs cool enough to last up to 144,000 hours, so your investment should last you a long time.

The arms have a wide range of movement horizontally, vertically and through 360 degrees, and the touch-sensitive dimming controls will remember your last used setting, meaning you can find your optimal setup and return to it easily. If there are any problems, you get a 35-day return period as standard, and a two-year guarantee on parts, so you can be sure that your money will be well spent.

Key specs – Dimensions: 65 x 17.7 x 52.7cm (HWL); Wattage: 12W (in use), 0.3W (standby); Colour temperature: 2700K; Material: Metal; Weight: 6.2kg; Bulb required? No

Buy now from Dyson


5. HONGTEYA Desk Lamp: The best desk lamp with wireless charging

Price: £23 | Buy now from Amazon

While quite a few desk lamps offer a USB port for charging, the number that also offer wireless charging is considerably smaller. This LED lamp from HONGTEYA is one such option, offering both a USB port for connecting your devices and a pad on the base for wireless charging. The arms have a vertical range of 180 degrees and can swivel in a 270-degree arc, allowing plenty of scope for finding the right angle, while also giving the option of tucking it away for neater storage.

On the customisation side of things, the simple touch controls give you the choice of five colour temperatures, ranging from 3000 to 5500K, as well as five brightness settings. You can also set a timer for the lamp to automatically switch itself off after either 30 or 60 minutes, which is perfect for those late-night reading sessions.

Key specs – Dimensions: 18 x 11cm (base LxW), 39cm (first arm), 32.5cm (second arm); Wattage: 5W; Voltage: 220V; Colour temperature: 3000 - 5500K; Material: Plastic; Weight: 744g; Bulb required? No

6. Frideko Vintage Table Lamp: The best desk lamp for striking design

Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

Have you ever looked at your regular old desk lamp and wished that it looked more like a steampunk robot? Me too. With its unique, iron pipe design, Frideko’s vintage lamp looks like it could scratch that itch. Light on features, the main attraction of this lamp is the personality that it will add to whatever room it’s placed in, with the high-quality metal design making it an instant conversation piece.

While this lamp should fit any screw-thread E26/E27 lightbulb, if you want to really complete the look, consider pairing it with a retro Edison bulb, as their warm light and intricate filament design are the perfect match for this vintage-style lamp. You can even get smart Edison bulbs that can be turned on/off or dimmed remotely, either with a mobile app or by voice control via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWL): 32 x 18 x 18cm; Wattage: 60w; Voltage: 220v; Material: Metal; Weight: 2.27kg; Bulb required? Yes; Bulb included? No

7. Wanjiaone LED Desk Lamp: The best desk lamp with an office caddy

Price: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

This is a great choice for keeping your desk organised, especially if you have a lot of stationary to corral. The base of this lamp doubles as an office caddy, with a well for storing all your stationery, a large time and date LCD display on the front, and LED mood lights on the sides. The latter can be set to any of 256 colours via a touch wheel, or you can opt to have it cycle through the gradient for background atmosphere lighting.

Rounding out the office support is a USB port on the back of the base, giving convenient charging access for all of your devices. The light has three brightness settings, adjusted by the touch-sensitive controls, and the silicone gooseneck is flexible enough to reach most angles, ensuring that you’ll always get the light you need.

The only thing to note with this lamp is that, while the light itself is powered via a standard plug, the LCD screen requires batteries to work. The manufacturer does include batteries, but some users have reported a very short lifespan, so expect to change them out within the first month.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWL): 53.9 x 12.7 x 13.2cm; Wattage: 10w; Material: Silicone; Weight: 780g; Bulb required? No; Batteries required? Yes; Batteries included? Yes

8. Paladone Batwing Posable Lamp: The best desk lamp for lighting up the dark knights

Price: £32 | Buy now from Amazon

If your office is a little stringent on adding personal flair to your desk, Paladone’s posable Batwing lamp is probably low-key enough to fly under the radar. The arm of the lamp has three points of articulation, giving you a wide range of movement for finding the best angle, and the light emitted is in a narrow cone, which is perfect for precision work or late-night reading.

As well as preventing Gotham’s criminal element from overrunning your desk, this lamp is also designed to save the world at large. This is achieved by the use of breakdown plastic, an organic additive that claims to help plastics decompose (at the end of their lifespan, it won’t just disintegrate on your desk), thus keeping them from clogging up landfills.

Like many other USB-powered lamps, this one provides a cable, but no wall adapter, so you’ll need to have one of your own before you’re ready to take back the night.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWL): 35.6 x 15.2 x 25.4cm; Wattage: 10w; Voltage: 5v; Material: Plastic; Weight: 1.23kg; Bulb required? No