The 8 Best Desk Lamps of 2020

See why it's all about the lighting

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The Rundown
"The lamp has a classy yet modern look that’s both stylish and functional."
Best for Customization:
Lampat LED Desk Lamp at eBay
"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."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
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."
"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 curated list, 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 choice, the TaoTronics TT-DL16 at Amazon, is a perfect illustration of the marriage of function and design. It's bright, with adjustable color warmth and timer and night light settings, and its sleek, angular chassis blends effortlessly into nearly any decor aesthetic. It's the best desk lamp for most people and would suit any of the best standing desks on our roundup as well.

Best Overall: TaoTronics TT-DL16 LED Desk Lamp

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. 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.

Best for Customization: Lampat LED Desk Lamp

If eye-protection and personalization are your major checkpoints, then look no further than the Lampat LED Desk Lamp. 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.

Best for Versatility: BYB E430 LED Architect Lamp

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 the user’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.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Lumiy Lightblade 1500S LED Lamp

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 one watt of power is used at the lowest brightness and eight watts at maximum brightness, producing a total of 1100 lux of brightness overall.

In addition to a USB port for charging a smartphone, the lamp also has capacitive sensors that are directly incorporated into the base of the it, so it's touch-friendly. The total brightness of the lamp results in a color rendering index of 90 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.

Best Budget: Sunbeam Flexible LED Desk Lamp

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% 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.

Best Design: Pixo Optical LED Table Lamp

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.

Best for Reading: BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp

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. 

Best Cordless: Luxe LED Desk Lamp

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.

Final Verdict

The TaoTronics lamp 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, the Sunbeam Flexible LED Lamp is a fantastic deal.

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.

USB port - 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.

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.