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Written by: Jovana Milosevic – 06/11/20

book under a table lamp

Finding a good quality reading lamp isn’t always an easy task. Because of that we created this article on the best table lamps for reading to help you choose wisely.

We’ll provide you with a variety of useful tips and guide you through the process of choosing the correct task lighting. So if you are currently on the hunt to buy an exceptional reading lamp then continue on.

When writing, doing crafts, or even performing tasks as simple as reading, we should pay attention to the light, and it’s quality.

Bad lighting could lead to eye discomfort, eye strain, and even headaches. Having a reliable task lighting is important if we want to take care of our sight.

Our Top Pick - The Best Table Lamp For Reading


The Original 1227 Mini Table Lamp by Anglepoise

Thanks to its sleek and timeless design, the Original 1227 Mini Table Lamp by Anglepoise is the most versatile and functional. It looks equally good in modern and traditional interiors. This iconic designer product is available in four different colors and would look stunning as bedside, office, or living room lighting.

Comparison Table

Here you will find our top product choices in a comparative view:

Suitable for
Light output
Color temperature
Dimming options
Pearl lamp
Living room
Boxie lamp
Home office
Dainolite 16″ lamp
Pontus floor lamp
Reading nook
Original 1227 mini lamp
Multiple spaces

How To Choose Exceptional Lighting For Reading

There are a few things to take into account when deciding on top-notch lighting. Here we will provide you with some guidelines.

First of all, let’s define the words “reading lights“.

There are three main types of lighting:

  • ambient lighting – which illuminates general areas;
  • mood lighting – that is used to create atmosphere and special effects; 
  • task lighting.

Reading lights belong to the latter. Task lighting illuminates a particular area and helps the user to perform their task easier and obstacle-free. In this case- reading.

task lighting on a desk
Task lighting - important element of every room.

There are a few important parameters to consider when analyzing a good light fixture:

  • Color of the light;
  • Light output measured in Lumen (lm) 

are two main technical characteristics of any light source.

To start with, let’s talk about light color or light temperature. The color of the light is measured in Kelvins (K). Color temperature ranges from 2700K to 6500K.

Color temperature is the ability of the light to appear different in color.

The warm white light has a value of 2700K and it should be used in libraries, home offices, etc. The 3000K light is considered to be a pleasant and inviting warm white light and can be used in homes, bedrooms, etc.

If the bulb is emitting 3500K, then the light is neutral white and is best used in public spaces, such as hotel lobbies, supermarkets, etc.

Cold-white has a value of 4000K and is to be used in laboratories, classrooms, in some retail premises, and so on. A value of 6500K is the color temperature of the daylight.

Lumen is used to describe the light output and is the second-most important characteristic of a luminaire.

Lumen(lm) represents the total amount of visible light or luminous flux.

The higher the lumen package, the brighter your lighting fixture will appear.

Intensity, and the possibility of adjusting it through an integrated dimmer, allows the lamp to be versatile and used in various circumstances. Especially when your lighting is used in the area of multiply activities, such as the living room, or bedroom.

Choosing the right technology is also something to take into account.

Although the cost of LED lights is higher upfront, these lamps are more energy-efficient in comparison to old-fashion bulbs. Replacing your halogen or incandescent bulbs with LED will, therefore, contribute to a lower electrical bill in the long run.

Best Reading Light For The Living Room

Living room is one of the main places of gathering in one's home. They should be cozy, warm and inviting, and that is why lighting plays an important role in this space. Occasionally this room has multiple functions, they are often used for crafting, socializing, watching TV, or simply reading. Color temperature from 2700K to 3000K is advisable for these spaces, while lamps should have a minimum of 300lm output. Whenever it is available, pay attention to color rendering index (CRI). Good values range from 80 to 95 CRI.

Best Reading Light For The Bedroom

Bedrooms are one of the most private places in our homes. The best way to be successful here is through light layering. This can be achieved by introducing ambient, accent, and task - or better said, reading - lighting. There are a few recommendations to follow when it comes to choosing the correct bedside lamp. Once again, warm white light in the range of 2700K to 3000K is advisable for these areas. We should be particularly careful about glaring in applications such as bedrooms. Lampshades and their correct positioning are extremely important for avoiding glare. A minimum output of 300lm is required for obstacle-free reading.

Best Reading Light For Home Offices

The European Standard DIN EN 12464-1 suggests having at least 500lx in the work area in your office, 300lx in the surrounding area, and at least 100lx in the background. These recommended values are mainly used for the large workspaces in the corporate world, but could also be applied to your own home study area. To obtain 300lx, your desk lamp needs to have an output of at least 600lm. To achieve 500lx on your work surface, your task lighting ought to emit around 1000lm. Office lighting should primarily be functional, however, it doesn't mean your desk light needs to be dull.

Best Light For Reading Nooks

Combined with the background, natural daylight, and ambient lighting, reading lighting should contribute to the feeling of coziness, comfort, and should be inviting. There are many ways to introduce versatile lighting fixtures, such as floor, table, wall lamps, pendants, and obtaining good-quality task lights. Your eyes will be grateful. Color temperature from 2700K to 3000K is recommended for reading nook areas. A good color rendering index will have the value from 80 to 95.

How To Match The Style Of The Lamp With Your Interior

Style is another important parameter to acknowledge. You can follow the link provided for more info about different table lamp styles.

Luckily enough, here you can’t go wrong. Try to match the style and design of your reading lamp to the existing room décor- or don’t. It is completely up to you, your tastes, and your preferences.

Whichever style you go after, make sure that your lamp should always be flicker-free. Your eyes will be more than grateful.

Mix and match the style.

Your choice may affect the purpose of the space in which the reading lamp will be used.

Some spaces such as home offices and bedrooms are more about functionality and receiving the right amount of task lighting.

Some others, like saloons or living rooms, are open to visitors, and therefore reading lamps need to be not just functional, but also decorative at the same time.

Desk lamps are widely used as task lighting in the home offices and small family libraries. They are usually bendable and adjustable, and one can easily modify the light source directing it on to the task area. Getting the right angle of the light is sometimes crucial.

On the other hand, table and even floor lamps are the types of lighting fixtures that are commonly used in living rooms. This category of lamps normally come with a shade. There are a variety of shades, sizes, and forms, or even materials, just pick one that seems the most appealing to you.

One of the possible cons of this classification of lighting fixture is the presence of glaring – a reflection of a strong and blinding light beam, which can lead to eye discomfort.

To omit it, position your reading lamp so that the bottom line of the lampshade is in line with your eyes. Finding the perfect spot for the light source will help against unwanted shadows.

explaining how tall a table lamp should be next to a sofa
An example of how tall a reading lamp should be next to a sofa.

When it comes to deciding on the right kind of lamp for your reading nooks, easily transportable floor and table lights are one of the best available options. Although the main protagonists in these spaces are mainly a cozy sofa, armchair, or ottoman, deciding on an elegant and good quality reading lamp is equally important.

Now we will present you with our favorite reading lamps for different home applications:

The Best Lamp for Reading in Bedroom

Dainolite 16" 6W LED

bkack dainolite brend lamp for reading in the bedroom

The 6W LED Table Lamp by Dainolite is a modern design lighting fixture and a good bedside reading lamp with an integrated LED module.

It has a life span of 30,000 working hours, which makes this table light more than practical. Despite being made of plastic, this lamp looks chic and is available in three finishing options-blue, black and silver.

The switch is integrated into the base of the lamp, and dimming options are available.

Light output is said to be 350lm, and the color temperature 3000K. The value of the color rendering index is estimated to be 80+, which is pretty decent.

Modern design
Made of plastic
30000 hours life span

The Best Lamp For Reading In The Living Room

Pear LED by Arnsberg

pearl led reading table lamp for the living room

The Pear LED Table Lamp by German brand Arnsberg is inspired by the aesthetics of mid-century modern.

This classic yet unusually designed light will blend well in any interior space. Its simplistic silhouette will fit equally well with traditionally or modernly designed living rooms or saloons. The curved and opaque glass shade will enhance any inner space, while the body is slim and made of metal.

The Pear LED lamp is available in two finishes: satin nickel and polished brass. It also comes in two sizes, being tall and short.

By having an integrated LED model, this lamp comes with a color temperature of 3000K, deliverable with two-lumen packages – 300lm for the short model and 600lm for the tall version.

Dimming can be obtained through a four-level touch dimmer. The switch is integrated into the base. 

Mid-century modern aesthetics
Too yellow light color
Four-level dimmer
Sturdy, made of metal

The Best Lamp For Reading in Home Office

Boxie Task Lamp designed by Modern Forms

boxie reading task light for the home office

The Boxie LED Task Lamp is one of the best desk lamps currently available on the market.

Designed by the brand Modern Forms, this task light possesses all the necessary qualities users could demand and at an inexpensive price as well. 

Sleek and elegant in style, it comes with a touch-pad integrated dimmer that will increase or decrease the light intensity by 10-100%. The lifespan is estimated to be 80,000 working hours. This product is long-lasting and made of metal.

The Boxie Task Lamp is available in two distinct finishes- brushed aluminum and Ferrari Red for those who want a dash of color in their study.

The lamp is adjustable and comes with a 900lm package. The color temperature is 3000K, which creates a warm and pleasant working atmosphere. It has a high color rendering index (CRI), which is estimated to be 85.

Contemporary design
No USB charger
Integrated dimmer
Only one lumen package available
Sturdy, made of aluminum
Flexible and adjustable

The Best Lamp For Reading Nooks

Pontus LED Floor Lamp by Light Source

pontus brand floor lamp for reading nooks

The Pontus LED Floor Lamp by Light Source is the light to look for when purchasing a light for your reading “den”.

Although it is on the pricier side, this lamp comes with admirable characteristics. First of all, it is made of metal, which makes it sturdy and long-lasting. The finish is done in two options- satin black and brushed nickel finish.

The lamp’s simple yet effective minimalist and sleek modern aesthetics will fit in with almost any contemporary interior décor.

This transportable lighting fixture comes with a color temperature of 3000K, which is a comfy warm white light and a 2805-lumen package. The light output of this floor light is more than impressive.

It is very adjustable and comes with a flexible head. The light beam can easily be directed onto the book surface. Dimming options are possible, the dimmer is integrated at the lamp pole.

Modern minimalist design
Weight (16 lbs)
Sturdy, made of metal
Assembly required
Flexible lamp head
Great lighting power
Very suitable for other hobbies

Other Good Table Lamps:

If you are still not completely convinced in which lamp to invest, we’ve listed four more products below, which are both decorative and functional:

1. Marceline by Elegant Decor

Marceline gold table lamp by Elegant Decor

Marceline by Elegant Decor is a reading lamp with a stunning design. It is simple and sleek, but yet very contemporary and effective. The exposed light bulb is utterly chic. It is available in three different finishes.

2. Naira by Eglo Lighting

Naira lamp by Eglo Lighting

Naira by Eglo Lighting is effortlessly transportable task light. The gooseneck is easily adjustable and has an integrated LED module. It comes in two different finishes: chrome or white in combination with metallic.

3. Illumen by Elegant Decor


Illumen by Elegant Decor has a more traditional appeal. It comes with a LED module and integrated dimmer, so you can easily modify the light intensity.

4. Banker's Lamp by Lite Source


Bankers lamp is a great task lamp for traditional interiors and room décor. Although its main purpose is to provide enough light in study rooms or home libraries, this lamp can be used throughout the entire home. It is available in two colors and two finishes.

External Sources:

About The Author:

Jovana Milosevic

Jovana Milosevic

An architecture university graduate, Jovana is a lighting and interior design specialist. She is also passionate about photography, writing, and is quite the travel bug. When she's not writing, taking photos, or traveling, you can find Jovana in a hidden café in her hometown of Novi Sad, sipping on a cup of coffee and planning her next trip.