The 8 Best Desk Lamps of 2021

See why it's all about the lighting

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
The lamp has a classy yet modern look that’s both stylish and functional.
Best Energy Saving:
Lumiy Lightblade 1500S at Amazon
The LED light bulbs mean just one watt of power is used at the lowest brightness and eight watts at maximum brightness.
Best for Customization:
Lampat LED Desk Lamp at Amazon
The Lampat includes a USB charging port and an automatic 30- to 60-minute timer.
Best for Versatility:
BYB E430 Architect Lamp at Amazon
There’s a memory function for separate lighting modes and six different dimming modes to help suit any mood.
An exceptionally good desk lamp for the price.
The elegant LED light produces a pleasantly warm glow.
BenQ incorporated zero flicker technology for a flicker-free experience that won’t harm your eyes or induce fatigue.
There are six different levels of brightness and three light modes incorporated into the 360-degree customizable design.

The best desk lamp is flexible, bright, and looks elegant perched on virtually any table or desktop. For our roundup, we chose options that would fit in office environments as well as they would in a home setting, and selected a broad gamut of design and style aesthetics so that, regardless of your personal taste, there's a lamp on our list for you. Our top choices are marriages of function and design. So whether you have a standing desk, are looking for something to fit in with your specific home decor, or really just want bright light, check out the best desk lamp options below.

Best Overall: TaoTronics TT-DL16 LED Desk Lamp

What We Like
  • Attractive modern design with glass touch panel

  • Memory, timer, and favorite functionality

  • USB port for charging

What We Don't Like
  • Quite heavy

  • Bottom arm is difficult to rotate

  • Expensive

This TaoTronics lamp is your desk’s best friend. It has six levels of brightness and five different light temperatures (2700-3000K warm white, 3000-3500K soft white, 4000-4500K natural light, 5000-5500K daylight and 6000-6500K cool white light), plus it can reach up to 1200 lux, making it TaoTronics’ brightest lamp yet. And thanks to its Advanced Memory setting, you can save your favorite temperature and brightness setting, so you can quickly flip on the perfect lighting, whether you’re reading a book or typing a report.

The lamp has a classy yet modern look that’s both stylish and functional. Our expert tester noted that the base, head, and neck are all rotatable, so you can adjust to all angles depending on your activity. Conveniently, the base also has a USB port to let you charge up your mobile device while burning the midnight oil.

Lights/Brightness: 1200 lux | Color Temperature Range: 2700-6500k | Color Modes: 5 | Adjustable: Yes

"By holding down the favorite button on the touch panel, the lamp will store the exact color and brightness level." Eric Watson, Product Tester

TaoTronics TT-DL16 LED Lamp

Lifewire 

Best Energy Saving: Lumiy Lightblade 1500S LED Lamp

Lightblade 1500S
What We Like
  • Four color modes, each with a dedicated button

  • USB port for charging devices

  • Foam padding on the bottom

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Plastic design feels cheap and flimsy

  • Highly reflective surfaces

As LED lamps continue to grow in popularity (thanks to their energy-saving benefits), the Lightblade 1500S is a superb combination of looks and performance with an omnidirectional pivoting head that enables complete control over the direction of light. The LED light bulbs mean just 1 watt of power is used at the lowest brightness and 8 watts at maximum brightness, producing a total of 1100 lux of brightness overall.

In addition to a USB port for charging a smartphone, our reviewer discovered this lamp also has capacitive sensors that are directly incorporated into the base of it, so it's touch-friendly. The total brightness of the lamp results in a color rendering index of 93 CRI (color rendering index), which is just below the 100 CRI product by natural sunlight. The CRI itself helps determine the lamp’s ability to accurately display any desk-based objects full color underneath the lamplight.

Lights/Brightness: 1500 lux | Color Temperature Range: 93 CRI | Color Modes: 4 | Adjustable: Yes

"Its plastic design, puts it firmly in the budget category while offering slightly superior arm rotation and attractive touch buttons on the base." Eric Watson, Product Tester

Lightblade 1500S LED Lamp

 Lifewire

Best for Customization: Lampat LED Desk Lamp

BYB E430 Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp
What We Like
  • Great price

  • Four color modes, each with a dedicated button

  • USB port for charging devices

  • Foam padding on the bottom

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic design feels cheap and flimsy

  • High reflective surfaces

If eye-protection and personalization are your major checkpoints, then look no further than the Lampat LED Desk Lamp. Our expert reviewer confirmed that it features four lighting modes and five levels of brightness which can be adjusted via touch-screen controls. The LED bulb skillfully mimics natural light and boasts a color rendering index of more than 90, meaning it illuminates color with almost true-to-life accuracy. It’s also energy-efficient and offers a 25-year lifespan.

Physically, the Lampat also provides a good amount of flexibility and maneuverability. The arm bends forward up to 40 degrees, the lamp head has an adjustable tilt of up to 140 degrees, and it rotates up to 180 degrees. Additionally, the Lampat includes a USB charging port and an automatic 30- to 60-minute timer.

Lights/Brightness: 530 lumen | Color Temperature Range: 2500-7000k | Color Modes: 4 | Adjustable: Yes

"The Lampat serves up a decent choice for the budget desk lamp shopper with its four-color mode options, five brightness levels, and handy touch panel." Eric Watson, Product Tester

Lampat LED Desk Lamp

Lifewire / Jordan Provost

Best for Versatility: BYB E430 LED Architect Lamp

BYB E430
What We Like
  • Sturdy, durable swing arms

  • Modern touchscreen controls with a minimal design

  • Slide bar for brightness dimming

  • Includes Allen wrenches for adjustments

What We Don't Like
  • Lighting modes are cycled with a single button

  • Touchscreen buttons are located on the top of the LED panel

  • Expensive

The swinging desk arm of the BYB E430 LED desk lamp offers a functional lighting that’s uniquely and solidly designed. Featuring a highly adjustable clamp that can be attached to the edge of any desk, there’s a memory function for separate lighting modes and six different dimming modes to help suit any mood. The incorporated touch panel helps adjust each of the lighting and dimming modes, while the 144 included LED bulbs use 80 percent less energy than conventional bulbs, which allows for a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours.

Beyond energy-efficiency, BYB took great effort to help protect our reviewer's eyes with an innovative light guide panel that helps prevent light flickering and harmful glares. Ultimately, this design feature means a less fatiguing experience overall.

Lights/Brightness: 1000 lux | Color Temperature Range: 2700-6000k | Color Modes: 4 | Adjustable: Yes

"Even among swing arm lamps, the BYB E430 is among the most expensive options you can find."Eric Watson, Product Tester

BYB E430 LED Lamp

Lifewire 

Best Budget: Sunbeam Flexible LED Desk Lamp

Sunbeam LED Desk Lamp
What We Like
  • Great price tag

  • Three levels of dimming

  • Rotating head and flexible neck

  • Sturdy base

What We Don't Like
  • Single button interaction

  • Some reports of turning on by itself

With an incredibly attractive price tag, this little adjustable LED light from Sunbeam is the perfect budget desk lamp. Press the single button to turn the lamp on or off and cycle through the three levels of dimming: full brightness, half brightness, and a "night light" mode that is only 5 percent brightness. The lamp head rotates and the neck is super flexible so you can position it however you need it. The base is surprisingly heavy for such an inexpensive item, ensuring that it won't tip over no matter how you angle the lamp.

The eight LED bulbs last 36,000 hours and the whole thing is guaranteed to operate for at least three years from the date of purchase. That alone makes it a pretty great deal, but the quality build, additional dimming features, and adjustability make it an exceptionally good desk lamp for the price.

Lights/Brightness: 280 lumens | Color Temperature Range: 4000k | Color Modes: N/A | Adjustable: Yes

Best Design: Pablo Designs Pixo 17" Desk Lamp

PIXO Optical 16.5" Desk Lamp by Pablo Designs
What We Like
  • Simple and functional design

  • Green-friendly material

  • 50,000 hour lifespan

  • Built-in USB charger

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The design of the Pixo Optical LED Lamp strikes a fine balance between simple and functional, but with a fun, quirky silhouette. The frame is made with 97-percent recyclable materials: top-quality aluminum for the arm and polycarbonate for the lampshade and base cover. The Pixo boasts a high level of mobility, with a 180-degree arm tilt and 360-degree rotation in both the arm and the shade.

The elegant LED light produces a pleasantly warm glow, and the battery offers a remarkable 50,000-hour lifespan. It’s also energy-efficient, with a max consumption of 6W per use and features a full dimmer switch. Finally, the base includes a built-in USB charger, and the platform itself functions as a holder for your phone or other small objects. Also, for the best fit for your home’s carefully crafted color scheme, the Pixo comes in six different colors (including azure, black, and white and brass) and is sure to bring a bit of flair to your desk space.

Lights/Brightness: 325 lumens | Color Temperature Range: 90 CRI | Color Modes: N/A | Adjustable: Yes

Best for Reading: BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp

BenQ
What We Like
  • Supports 50,000 hours of use

  • Flicker-free technology

  • Built-in ambient sensor

  • Mood lighting tones

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

BenQ’s dedicated e-reading and reading LED desk lamp is the perfect addition to the office of any engineer, architect or even for students with late-night study habits. The inclusion of BenQ’s lighting technology offers LED panels that are good for more than 50,000 hours or eight hours a day of lighting every day for the next 17 years.

Beyond lifespan, BenQ incorporated zero flicker technology for a flicker-free experience that won’t harm your eyes or induce fatigue. The built-in ambient sensor offers multiple different touches on the control ring to automatically detect the brightness level of a room and adjust brightness accordingly. When it comes to positioning, the ball-joint base helps you to find the angle you need for the best reading experience. 

Lights/Brightness: 1800 lux | Color Temperature Range: 2700-5700k | Color Modes: N/A | Adjustable: Yes

Best Cordless: Luxe LED Desk Lamp

Luxe
What We Like
  • Wireless design

  • 18 settings, 6 brightness levels, 3 light modes

  • Certified for 50,000 hours of use

What We Don't Like
  • Uses micro USB cable

  • Variable battery recharge time

Skip the cords once and for all with the Luxe wireless LED desk lamp that provides up to 40 hours of continuous light before requiring a charge. With a total of 18 unique settings, there are six different levels of brightness and three light modes incorporated into the 360-degree customizable design that's capable of rotating, twisting, and bending.

Additionally, the LED panels feature 28 built-in LED lamps that will last for more than 50,000 hours of use. The lithium-polymer battery supports anywhere between 3 to 40 hours of continuous runtime with just three hours of charging via the included charging cable. Add in one meter of fall protection and you’re looking at a durable lamp that’s both attractive and long-lasting.

Lights/Brightness: 150-200 lumens | Color Temperature Range: N/A | Color Modes: 3 | Adjustable: Yes

Final Verdict

The TaoTronics lamp (view at Amazon) we highlighted as our top pick is a great choice for nearly everyone, with way more features than you'd expect from an average desk lamp and a great design blend of simplicity and elegance. If you're looking for a simple solution, however, and want to save some cash in the long run, the Lightblade 1500S (view at Amazon) is a high-quality choice that has great energy-saving potential.

About Our Trusted Experts

Eric Watson has five years of experience reviewing consumer tech and games. He specializes in accessories, lighting, and mobile devices, testing numerous lamps on this roundup.

FAQs

What's up with this weird bulb? Can you replace it?
Most desk lamps have replaced old-fashioned incandescent bulbs with LED fixtures which have a number of advantages over their older counterparts. They last much longer and are more energy-efficient, meaning you likely will never have to replace them. Also, some bulbs can be adjusted for brightness and temperature based on your preferred lighting environment. These bulbs can still be replaced but are often specific to the kind of lamp you're using, so make sure to check your lamp's specifications before ordering a replacement.

Do LED bulbs get hot?
Another fun benefit of the widespread adoption of LED bulbs is the amount of heat they give off compared to old-fashioned fluorescents which is low to virtually non-existent. LED bulbs will get a bit warm to the touch after prolonged use, but don't present the same hazard as older models.

Will any of these lamps help with Seasonal Affective Disorder? (SAD)
SAD can be used to describe a multitude of symptoms stemming from a general lack of sunlight that most people experience during the winter months when some people can get as little as 7 hours of sunlight. These symptoms can be even worse for people with office jobs. To help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, the Mayo Clinic recommends a lightbox that projects a minimum of 10,000 lux, the relative equivalent to exposure to full daylight. Unfortunately, even the brightest LED bulbs fall far short of that mark at around 500 lux.

What to Look for in a Desk Lamp

Light Color

You’ve likely heard about the dangers of blue light and the damage it can do to your skin and eyes—which is why it’s especially important to pay attention to the color of light coming from your lamp. Many lamps allow you to customize their light color, from blue to white to a warm yellow or orange, to ensure the type you’re working with is healthy. Some lamps come with a night mode that lowers the brightness to 5 percent so you can find your way to the bathroom without tripping. The inclusion of flicker-free technology on higher-end models give you evenly distributed light at 50-60Hz.

USB Port and Charging

Many desk lamp models come with built-in USB ports. If you don’t have a convenient port or outlet to charge your phone nearby, consider buying a model that has one included. This also eliminates the need to have extra-long cords that tangle up and make everything appear messy. You can also get wireless lamps that can be topped up with micro USB or USB-C, and some even have a wireless charging pad built into their base for additional charging options.

Style

You’ll be looking at your lamp every time you’re at your desk, so it makes sense to choose a model that reflects your personal taste. A lamp’s design also affects its functionality: Some desk lamp styles are cordless, which is very convenient if you need it to be portable or don’t have a convenient outlet available. You'll want a lamp that's flexible and versatile, so consider how much adjustability you need. A 360-degree head can let you rotate and cast light wherever you need, though a lesser swing of 150 degrees might still cut it if you plan to have it just on your desk.

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