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Written by: Megan O’Neill – 06/26/2019

a student sitting on the bed college

When you have to move off your parent’s home and head to college, you will need to carry some essentials with you besides books and clothes. A desk lamp is one such essential item that you will need.

To help you choose the best desk lamps for college, here is a discussion of some of the things you need to consider when choosing one.

Later, you will find a list of the top 9 dorm desk lamps reviewed in terms of their shape and size, ease of installation, power mode, ease of adjustment, and more. There are designs for every budget and taste.

Not only are they affordable, but they also look great!

Find The Right Choice For Your Eyes

No college desk would be complete without the right college lamp.

Finding an excellent college lamp can create a big difference in a room’s ambiance and impact productivity. Lights specially designed for hours of studying can reduce eye strain and make it easier to stay up and focus on the tasks at hand.

The right light is essential to reduce fatigue and eye strain. Finding a practical and glare-free lamp is vital.

Did you know that switching every light-bulb in your house to LED could save up to $6000 for the life of the light-bulb?

Dorms have overhead lamps, but there will be situations where students need to study, and their roommate might be sleeping. College desk lamps add versatility, focused light and provide the best solution for roommates when it’s time for finals or late night studying.

Desk lamps available in the market are of different types. It is essential to ensure that you choose small in size, easily portable, and provide high-quality illumination.

It should be made of durable quality material since you don’t want it to be repaired too often if it is ever knocked down.

Important Considerations When Choosing the Best Desk Lamps for College

There are many different lamps available, and it depends on the student’s taste and budget.

When you’re looking at dorm desk lamps, keep in mind the various design features that are incorporated. You can look at the materials used and how heavy the lamp is and how it works.

Here are some key considerations:

1. Multi-tasking Capabilities

The best desk lamps for studying to emerge in recent years incorporate new design features that accommodate today’s students’ mobile, multi-tasking, and on-the-move nature.

When choosing the best desk lamps for college, check out for smart multi-tasking capabilities such as in-built USB chargers or even a shelf for holding cups of books.

Others still have in-built ledges or shelves into their design, thus providing valuable space for holding your keys, among other valuables. Such multi-tasking capabilities make the light more useful and help you create smart, functional spaces for living and working.

2. Brightness Levels and Temperatures

a color temperature scale showing different kelvin scales
A color temperature scale showing different light color configurations.

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a college desk lamp is the brightness levels.

LED lights make it possible to change how bright the lamp is. For example, during the day when you have plenty of natural light, you might want to use a lower light level. At night, a brighter light setting will be ideal.

Some kinds of lamps have adjustable temperatures that create a mood and are more comfortable to the eyes.

These also have various effects when you’re doing photography. People who draw will appreciate having various temperatures to choose from.

3. Moving Parts

a desk lamp with adjustable arm
Example of a desk lamp with an adjustable arm.

A good lamp for college has moving parts that turn, extend, and swivel to accommodate your task needs. Moving arms are excellent for large work areas since you can extend them to the furthest corners of your desk.

Rotating shades and stems are essential for directing the light and adjusting the beam spread as needed. To achieve direct illumination, point the shade down onto the papers or towards the ambient light wall when working on your computer.

It is also critical to have the ability to ensure that the light doesn’t glare directly into your eyes.

The desk lamp’s base should also be sufficiently sturdy to accommodate all this movement, ensuring that it is made with robust and sturdy material.

Did you know that LEDs started being used in vehicle lights in 1987?

4. Built-In Features

extra features of a lamp with clock and a charging station
Some desk lamps come with different features such as digital displays and a charger.

Others have calendars and alarms clocks built into LED light displays so that all of those things are in one convenient package.

Students will love the technology-rich features that these lamps have. Students won’t miss deadlines with lamps that have convenient calendars built into the front.

Some modern lamps have cool touch-sensitive features that turn a lamp on and off as simple as touching the base.

Others have light-up bases that will also double as nightlights. Students will enjoy lamps with adjustable colors that they can change on game days or adjust the mood in a room. They also make fantastic conversation pieces.

If you follow the tips above, you will definitely find a good quality college desk lamp that you can use throughout your college stay.

A good desk lamp is truly an investment in your academic and professional life, which is why it is highly recommended.

Top 9 Best Desk Lamps for College

Now that you know what factors to consider, here are 9 great desk lamps for college reviewed:

1. TaoTronics TT-DL16

TaoTronics TT-DL16

The TaoTronics TT-DL16 is a solid choice for a serious college student.

This modern light is available in two colors, iron-gray and silver. The durable body is perfect for creating a responsible atmosphere. This desk lamp looks professional, and it goes with any decorating scheme.

The head is adjustable and movable so you can get the best lighting. It also has 5 color modes and 6 brightness levels up to 1200 lux. The TaoTronics lamp is made from a scratch-free surface. It has a smooth and shiny metallic finish that is high quality and beautiful.

It has advanced technology features that help you set the perfect brightness and temperature for relaxing or reading.

Keep all of your devices charged with a USB charging port. The touch dimmer is convenient and easy to use.

The ability to adjust the temperatures of light is a popular feature.

The lamp comes with a 12-month warranty. It is manufactured to have a low energy cost, averaging about .08 USD. It is 12.00 watts with 120 volts bulb voltage.

Might be too big for a small space
Many useful functions
Only available in two color choices

2. OttLite LED


This lamp is an excellent choice for any college room.

It has a built-in organizer that makes keeping track of all your writing utensils easy. The LED lightbulb is set to last up to 40,000 hours for energy-efficient lighting.

Students can make good use of the adjustable brightness levels. It has three lighting adjustments with a touch-sensitive switch that is easy to use.

The lamp is also adjustable with a pivoting shade and a flexible neck. You can provide light to wherever you need it – provides the ultimate organization for any student’s desk.

It has a touch-sensitive light adjustment option.

The built-in USB port includes 5V, 2.1A USB ports so you can fully charge tablets, phones, and always stay in touch.

The organizer has a deep storage pocket, indented trays, and a divider wall to keep track of all of your office supplies.

The height extends from 12.75 inches to 21 inches and has 12 watts of power. The lamp features an extended warranty. 

Black matte lamp with organizer
Only one color choice
More than 40,000 hours of battery power
Weighs more than 4 lbs

3. Donewin LED

Gerintech white LED Desk Lamp with USB Charging Port

This 7 in 1 desk lamp helps college students stay neat and organized.

There are two different wattage choices that you can choose from 10.0 watts and 7.5 watts. It combines a touch dimmable LED desk lamp with an alarm clock, USB port, pencil storage, a touch sensor colorful light, a Fahrenheit thermometer, and a calendar with an LCD display function.

It has three levels of brightness that can be dimmed by touching it.

LED lights have a diffuser to help with eye care. It softens the light, and it prevents glare when you’re working at the desk or reading.

The USB ports make charging your devices like tablets and phones even easier. The lamp can be powered by plugging a micro USB port into it or an AC outlet.

The calendar and alarm clock are also powered by an LED light. It has a spectrum light that lets you slide your finger around it and choose from different light effects.

The light is adjustable, so you can point it wherever you need to use it. The base night light has 256 colors that change.

This lamp comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer.

Many additional features
Small size
Color light is ambient
Only one color option
Requires a lithium-ion battery

4. ACED Moon Light


This beautiful moon-shaped lamp will be a conversation piece in any college student’s room.

There are five sizes and color options available. The built-in battery lasts from 4 to 20 hours, and it takes 2 hours to charge it fully, with a standard USB charging port.

The package contains a wooden stand and a remote, as well as a lamp and charging cable. An exciting feature of this lamp is that it is made from NASA prints of the moon and high-quality materials.

The lamp has a remote control that works best with an average of 10 feet and touch control. The smart button taps on and off to change color.

With its unique feature, this lamp will bring excellent ambient lighting to any college student’s room.

As well as having 16 colors to choose from, you can also use the dim or the dark settings. The brightness is adjustable with a remote. Included is a lithium polymer battery.

You can see if it is fully charged by the indicator light– when it is red, it is still charging, and when it is green, it is fully charged.

Dimmable setting via remote
More of a ambient or decorative light
Available in a variety of colors and sizes
Has 3D printed lines
Variety of sizes to choose

5. Unique Bendable LED with Erasable Message Board

Unique Bendable LED Lamp with Erasable Message Board

This one-of-a-kind lamp and message board is an excellent gift for any first-time college student going to the dorms or moving into a new apartment.

There are a lot of possibilities with the erasable message board.

There is a touch sensor switch that controls the brightness and turns the message board light on and off. It has an ergonomically designed light holder rod that is bendable.

It has a built-in 18650 lithium battery and a red battery indicator light while it is charging. It will automatically power off when it is charged. There are three light modes with low light for a night light, a middle light, and a high light for reading.

The message board has a blue color that is good for memos, reminders, and personal messages. It is really lightweight and is a good gift for busy college students who like to keep reminders or write notes to roommates.

It comes with batteries included. This lamp is a great addition to any desk for a whimsical choice with a customizable message board.

One of a kind lamp with a message board
Only one color choice
Easy to clean
Really small lamp
Great gift option

6. Miady


This unique lamp is comfortable on the eyes with a beautiful circular lightbulb design.

It’s designed with 48 LED bulbs, which give nonflickering and natural light. This lamp is ideal for any college desk. 

The lamp has 7 light modes with a touch-sensitive sensor. You can adjust the temperature and brightness just by touching it.

The 360-degree flexible gooseneck is designed to be durable and soft. It is quiet and makes adjusting the lighting to your work area great without a harsh sound.

The ring design creates a uniform light without shadows. It will help students to study for a long time. There is a 4 level adjustable brightness and 3 color temperatures.

Another good feature of the lamp is that it is environmentally friendly and EnergyStar certified.

Power is from an adapter plug into the wall directly. Brightness levels are 10%, 40%, 70% and 100%. The color temps are 3000K warm light, 4000K warm white light, and 5000K white light.

Included in the package are 1 LED desk lamp, 1 power adapter, and 1 user manual. The light is expected to last more than 50,000 hours. The lamp weighs 1.9 lbs, and it is 7 X 7 X 11.6 inches.

It comes with a 12-month warranty so you can trust your purchase.

Unique ring-shaped light
Only available in one color
Touch sensitive power switch

7. CeSunlight Clamp

CeSunlight Clamp lamp for reading

This clip-on lamp is easy to use and transportable.

There are two color choices to pick from, either white or black.

The lamp has 3 adjustable color temperatures. Choose from warm light 3000K, warm-white light 4500 K, and white light 6500K. All color temperatures have 2 levels of brightness. In total, there are 6 illumination modes.

It has a flexible gooseneck design that is made to make seeing things clearer and more comfortable. It is infinitely adjustable for ease of positioning and selecting the angle that you want. The long-lasting LED lightbulbs will light for more than 50,000 hours.

It’s made from a combination of metal and ABS. Included is a UL certified AC adapter and USB cable. There is a 4.8 foot USB cord included as well as an AC adapter.

The unique clip and stand design make it an excellent choice for desks, headboards, workbenches, and other flat objects. The padded clamp won’t scratch the object that it attaches to, and it has an extra padded base that lets it stand on its own. You can also hang it for overhead illumination.

The lamp comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 3-year warranty.

Flexible and versatile
Might not be sturdy enough for some people
Lightweight and portable
Does not look super professional
Great warranty


AXTEE Table Lamp

This desk lamp features a classic style and many features that make it an excellent choice for any student.

It’s a good lamp because of its portability and lightweight design — ideal for students who might make frequent moves.

The lamp has three levels of brightness that are adjustable according to the user’s needs. It also has a light-up base. It’s easy to adjust the brightness by tapping on the base. The touch sensor switch has 3 levels of brightness, 15%, 40%, and 100%

The light resembles daylight with a diffusion panel that emits soft light. It’s a good quality product that comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

The lamp has a flexible arm house, which makes it easy to carry and fold. The lamp also doubles as a nightlight with the illuminated base and would be the right choice for a dorm room.

The light is made to be energy efficient. It has a power-saving LED light with about 50000 hours of lifespan. The 20% energy consumption also helps to conserve resources in comparison to an incandescent bulb.

There is a super-powered 1000 mAh built-in battery, which helps it to work for a long time. It takes about 3 hours to charge.

Simplistic design
The base will also double as a night lightbulb
Small lamp
Energy efficient
Not enough brightness options

9. USB LED Lamp


The USB LED desk lamp is available in color choices like purple, green, black, blue, pink, and white.

It’s an excellent choice for college kids because of the lightweight design and brilliant color choices. There is a built-in USB port for easy charging any devices such as phones.

This lamp has an adjustable neck for ideal light and also to save space. The lamp has a 3 level dimmer to adjust from ambient light to brighter light to focus on tasks. 

It is also Energy Star rated, UL listed 12v plug-in power 7 watts with up to 500 lumens 80+ CRI 4000 Kelvin.

The lamp is lightweight, and it only weighs 1.5 pounds. There are no batteries required. The neck is fully adjustable, and you can change the higher position and angle of the head.

This lamp has a modern design with an easy to use power button. The LED lightbulb means that you don’t have to replace the lightbulb, and it can be bright enough.

Only three levels for the light dimmer
Many different color options
It might be too small
Energy Star rated
Not very durable

Quick summary

When you’re looking for the best desk lamps for college, keep in mind:

  • The size
  • The price
  • Any cool customizable features
  • Adjustable brightness levels

Modern LED lamps offer improved versatility and better energy savings.

There are artistic and practical designs to choose from when you are selecting the right lamp for your space. 

There are brightly colored lamps as well as more subtle lamps. You can trust that they will last a long time, as LED lights can last for up to three years never turned off. They’re also up to 95% recyclable and contain no mercury.

Some lamps can also double as night lights or alarm clocks. Others include USB ports for easy charging. Find the right one for you and enjoy it.

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About the author: Megan O'Neill

Picture of the authorMegan is a professional writer with experience writing for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and more. She is interested in solar energy as well as artistic lighting. Also has experience in writing about interior design, gardening, travel, food, education, charity, and small businesses.

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