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The Best Reading Lamp


After weeks of researching reading lamps and reading books under the light of top-rated reading lamps, we chose the Ominilight – Desk Lamp as our pick for the best reading lamp for desks. With three brightness settings that can be adjusted by simply tapping a finger on its base, a flexible gooseneck and a neutral natural white light color temperature of 6,500 kelvin, this LED lamp earned high scores from our testers.The Newhouse Lighting – Clip On ranked as our best bedside lamp and the Brightech – Sparq impressed as our best floor lamp for reading.

Our Top Choices

Best for Desks


Ominilight

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Best Bedside Lamp


Newhouse Lighting

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Best Floor Lamp


Brightech Sparq

See Price at Amazon

After weeks of researching reading lamps and reading books under the light of top-rated reading lamps, we chose the Ominilight – Desk Lamp as our pick for the best reading lamp for desks. With three brightness settings that can be adjusted by simply tapping a finger on its base, a flexible gooseneck and a neutral natural white light color temperature of 6,500 kelvin, this LED lamp earned high scores from our testers.The Newhouse Lighting – Clip On ranked as our best bedside lamp and the Brightech – Sparq impressed as our best floor lamp for reading.

Table of contents

Compare the best reading lamps

the three best reading lamps

ProductPriceTypeLumens (Brightness)Kelvin (Color Temperature)
1. Omnilight$$$Desk4056500
2. Newhouse Lighting$Clip-on3503000
3. Brightech - Sparq$$$$Floor20003000
4. Tomons - Swing Arm$$Desk8003300
5. KEDSUM$Clip-on2253000-6500
6. Brightech - Lightspan$$$Floor20006000

1. Best reading lamp for desks

the Ominilight reading lamp

Our testers loved the sleek and shiny Ominilight – Desk Lamp, in no small part thanks to its one-touch control: A fingerprint-sized groove in its base helps you easily find the control even in the dark. The Ominilight has three different brightness settings that could cater to different needs. The lowest setting gives enough light for you to read without bothering someone beside you. The brightest setting was quite bright but still gentle on the eyes.

Best Desk Lamp: Omnilight

The Omnilight’s one-touch control makes it easy to find in the dark, and its gooseneck feature allows you to focus the light on one particular area.

The Omnilight’s color temperature is a little cooler at 6,500 kelvins, meaning that it’s better for stimulating the brain than for reading right before bed, making it better-suited as a desk lamp.

Another great feature of Ominilight is its curved head, specifically designed to allow the light to reach further without causing any harsh shadows. The gooseneck feature makes it easy to point the light to any particular area of a desk. The Omnilight is an excellent choice for someone looking for a modern-style bedside or table lamp.

Key takeaways:

  • Touch control on the base makes controlling the lamp a breeze.
  • Brightness is adjustable with three adjustments.
  • The curved head makes this lamp easy on the eyes.

2. Best reading lamp for bedsides

Newhouse Lighting clipon lamp

The Newhouse Lighting – Clip On is a 350 lumens clip-on light that’s great for brightening up a page with its warm 3000K LED light. It has a 6-foot cord and a clip that can grip a surface up to three inches wide, which performed best when we clipped it to the edge of a desk or nightstand.

The Newhouse had a few standout features, including an exceptionally flexible metal gooseneck, a simple and easy to use switch and a strong clip complete with six suction cups for extra stability on a glass surface. While the plastic clip’s strength may make the Newhouse lamp extra stable, we needed to exert some effort in clipping and unclipping it.

Best for Bedside Reading: Newhouse Lighting - Clip On

Well-constructed with a strong clip for gripping to any surface, the Newhouse clip-on lamp also provides a warm, bright light for nighttime reading.

Overall, the Newhouse reading lamp is a great option for someone who prefers a small lamp that can be moved around to suit their needs, whether they are reading at a desk or in a bed.

Key takeaways:

  • The Newhouse’s 6-foot cord gives it an especially long reach.
  • Small and compact, the Newhouse lamp is a great space saver.
  • With a strong clip and and flexible metal gooseneck, the Newhouse stays exactly where you put it.

3. Best reading floor lamp

Brightech - Sparq floor reading lamp

The Brightech – Sparq is a unique arcing lamp that makes a big impact. Its minimalist design provides a surprising amount of coverage by throwing light from the side and overhead, thus diminishing shadows. Because of this feature, the Sparq could easily double as an efficient task and accent light.

Best Floor Lamp: Brightech - Sparq

Sleek and lightweight, the Sparq’s arching light source eliminates shadows by illuminating from above and to the side.

Another great feature is the foot button. While our testers thought it performed well placed near a couch, bean bag chair, or bed, they preferred it placed near a desk where its three brightness settings could be adjusted with a simple tap of the foot. The Sparq’s light is gentle on the eyes and made a substantial difference in lighting our testers’ desk.

Key takeaways:

  • Arcing light source provides lighting from above and from the side for shadowless illumination.
  • The floor button makes it easy to adjust the brightness between three settings.
  • Lightweight and sleek, the Brightech Sparq can be easily moved or turned.

Other finalists we tested

non winning reading lamps

Tomons – Swing Arm Desk Lamp

Aesthetically, the Tomons – Swing Arm Desk Lamp is somewhat reminiscent of the Pixar logo. It consists of a base, three different joints and an opaque hood. This is actually the only lamp on our list with an exposed bulb. While adjustable up and down, compared to our gooseneck lamps, the Tomons desk lamp has much less range of motion.

The power switch is located on the cable (which can’t be concealed) and produces a clicking noise when switched on or off. The lighting is pleasant, easy on the eyes, and the LED bulb doesn’t heat up. This is a tasteful, pleasant lamp and while it didn’t get our top pick, this is a lamp for a person who wants something straightforward and trendy.

KEDSUM – Clip On Lamp

The KEDSUM – Clip On Lamp, powered by USB, has a whopping 11 settings on its dimmer control. We were inclined, however, to use the brighter settings and found the other settings excessive. Like the Newhouse, the KEDSUN has a flexible gooseneck, and though it shook slightly during testing, it stayed secure, thanks to its sturdy metal clip.

The KEDSUM has nicely diffused and even lighting, and although it didn’t make our top pick for a clip-on reading lamp, its adjustable features makes it a good space-saving choice for a reader looking for versatility in a reading lamp.

Brightech – Litespan

The Brightech – Litespan stands a little over 5-feet tall and has an adjustable upper half. Its light is daylight bright, which our tester felt was too harsh. Our consensus on this lamp is that with its 6,000K natural-daylight spectrum white light and 2,000 lumens output, it would be better as an office or shop light rather than a reading light.

How we selected finalists to test

We consulted reviews online, searched through Reddit for considerations when buying reading lamps and discussions on LED lighting, and referred to some of the same concerns addressed in our review of the best book light. We also spoke with Arthur Smith, editor of LEDwatcher.com, about what we should be looking for in a reading lamp. We narrowed down our choices to include two floor lamps, two desk lamps and two clip-on lamps.

How we tested

bearded man reading a book with a light

After assembling our six reading lamps, we carefully inspected and noted their features. This included measuring cords, testing switches, bending flexible parts and generally assessing the quality of materials.

Over a two-week period, our group of participants tested the lamps for at least 30 minutes a night and responded to questions we provided them. Using these questionnaires, and combined with our initial inspection of each lamp, we determined the winners for three categories: best reading lamp for desks, best bedside reading lamp and best floor reading lamp.

What makes a good reading lamp?

There are three basic types of lighting:

General:  Provides an even distribution of light to a room

Accent: Shines light to draw attention to a particular area of a room

Task: Lights a smaller area where a “task,” such as reading, occurs

Reading lamps fall under the category of task lighting. Because reading lamps are physically much closer to the task at hand (in our case, books), they keep an area brightly lit to protect readers from straining their eyes in dimmer conditions.

As Arthur Smith told us: “Reading in dim light will make your eyes tired more quickly, which often results in eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision and even headaches.” The best reading lamp, he emphasized, will be the reading lamp you actually use.

When looking to make the purchase, consider your habits. Do you usually read in bed, on the couch or at a desk? Do you need a light that can move around with you?

Important features to consider

Styles: Depending on the location of where you normally like to read and what kind of aesthetic you like, you’ll be able to better pinpoint what works for you. Some lights have flexible goosenecks that allow readers to point the light in many possible directions. Other lights have clips that can grab onto a headboard. Preferences for switches or buttons, metal or plastic, or even the length of the cord are just some of the many options.

Brightness: Brightness in LED lights is measured in lumens. More mature eyes will generally need more lumens. Children can handle lower lumens around 450, adolescents and adults do well with 800 to 1100 lumens, and seniors need about 1600 lumens. Some lamps conveniently have adjustment controls for the reader to change the brightness to a range that better suits them.

Bulb Type: Every reading lamp on our list is an LED lamp. According to Arthur Smith, “LED lights aren’t any better or worse for your eyes than incandescent bulbs, but they do have other benefits that incandescents or other types of bulbs don’t. They last a lot longer than incandescent light bulbs. They also don’t heat up even when you have them on for hours. And they consume a lot less energy, meaning that your energy bill will be lower when using LED bulbs.”

Thanks to their long lifespan, the bulbs in the lamps on our list don’t actually need to be changed out. However, the Tomons – Swing Arm Desk Lamp’s bulb could easily be changed out for a different color.

Color Temperature: Just like we found in our review of the best book light, warmer lights are more soothing for the eyes while cooler tones stimulate brain activity. It really comes down to personal preference. If you are a nighttime reader and like to read before going to bed, you might be better off with a warmer light as the cooler tones could make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. On the other hand, if you are reading to study, you may just need those cooler tones to keep your brain alert.

The bottom line

Choosing a reading lamp is more personal than it might seem at first. But understanding your reading habits can help you make the investment in keeping your eyesight safe and clear and the headaches away.

Stylishly designed, the Ominilight – Desk Lamp has three different brightness levels, a flexible gooseneck that allows you to focus light on one particular spot, and a one-touch control that’s easy to find even in the dark.

The Newhouse Lighting – Clip On is our top pick for a bedside reading lamp. Its strong clip can grip to any surface, and the LED lamp provides a warm, bright light for nighttime reading.

The Brightech – Sparq is a unique arcing lamp that we chose as the best floor reading lamp. Its sleek, minimalist design provides wide coverage by throwing light from the side and overhead and eliminates shadows.

Best Desk Lamp: Omnilight

Its lowest settings give you enough light to read without disturbing anyone beside you. The Omnilight is a great choice if you’re looking for a modernist bedside or table lamp.

Bryan Vu, Editor

Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. When outside of the kitchen, he enjoys woodworking, photography, videography and figuring out how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.

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