9 Best Reading Lamps


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3 months ago

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Whether you read for work or pleasure, if you spend a lot of time craning your neck and squinting at the page, you know how invaluable a good lamp is. Especially if you are vision-impaired or struggle with old eyes, a good lamp will make your life a lot easier.

Not all reading lamps are built the same, though. Getting the right amount of light at the right angle can make a huge difference in whether you’re casting a shadow on the page or have light reflecting off the gloss of a magazine. Because of these things, certain features make the best reading lamps stand above the crowd. Adjustable necks? A must. Dimness settings? Gotta have them. 

If you’re a reader or you need direct light on whatever project you’re working on, then check out this list of the best reading lamps, chosen by usefulness, customer reviews, and adaptability.

Best Reading Lamps

Dimunt LED Floor Lamp

dimunt led floor lamp

The thin rim around the longer 15 Watt light gives you a wider cast of light than other lamps like this one. If you’re sensitive to certain kinds of light, you can adjust the color temperature and the dimness on a continuous slider. Obviously, its adjustable neck gives you more control of the angle and height of the lamp, but its weighted base makes it easy to adjust the neck one-handed. Its couch-height touch panel makes it easy to turn on and off and adjust, but the remote control gives you a range of over 50 feet, so you don’t have to crawl out of bed when you remember you left it on. As a testament to its appeal, Dimunt boasts a perfect 5-star rating, plus you can score this versatile floor lamp at a great price.

BenQ Genie E-Reading Light LED Desk Lamp

benq genie e-reading light led desk lamp

Readers who abhor glare will love the BenQ Genie lamp. Not only does the unique bent LED allow for a 150% wider cast than other lamps, but its smart ambiance detection automatically adjusts the light to reduce glare. If the automatic adjustments bother you, you can create your own brightness and temperature settings. What is most unique about this lamp is that it’s designed for E-readers more than for paper readers. Backlit e-readers don’t provide sufficient light to avoid eyestrain, so the self-adjusting LED will prevent glare but provide enough ambient light to prevent strain. The BenQ Genie is best for desk readers who spend a lot of time looking at screens while they read, but it might also appeal to readers who worry about glare on other paper materials.

FIMEI Floor Lamp

fimei floor lamp

Two adjustable circle lamps with eye protection make area light and direct light easy, adaptable, and all under your control. The upper area light is actually two bars of light that rotate independently, meaning you can point it in two directions, while you still have the smaller, bendable reading light to cast over your shoulder. The FIMEI also has dimness on a continuous slider and 4-step temperature control. The touch panel gives you independent control of the reading lamp and the headlamp, and the remote control has a distance of 10 meters and can fit into the lamp pole for safe-keeping. If you find your favorite function and setting, don’t worry about having to find that careful balance again when you turn it off, because this guy has memory. It will return to its previous settings when you turn it back on. This lamp is ideal for people who only need to light a small area but want to add a little bit of style to their reading corner.

HutHomery Desk Lamp

huthomery desk lamp

Book lovers, prepare to be amazed. This Book Lamp is actually a lamp in the shape of a book. While you can lay the lamp on its back for 180 degrees of warm light, the magnets on the back of the cover allow you to have a full 360 degrees of light. When not in use, you can fold the lamp back into a closed book shape, and as it’s a USB plug, this lamp is great for travel, studying, and impressing your friends. Because of the wooden covers, it stands well on its own and is heavy enough to stay open on its back. With its limited light range, the HutHomery is best for desk readers who don’t want to disturb their roommates with bright, bluish light.

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

glocusent led neck reading light

While not a traditional lamp, this adjustable light is perfect for readers who need direct light that won’t hurt the eyes or cast a shadow onto the page. This rechargeable, bendable reading light also has three color temperature modes. As an ultra-portable option at a low price, this reading light is great for travelers, crafters, and readers who need direct, uninterrupted light.

Swing Arm Lamp

swing arm lamp

This desk lamp is not infinitely flexible, but its movability and sturdiness make it a great option for people who work at a desk often. Its clamp will keep it firmly secured to the surface you’re working on but make it easy to move to new areas. As a swing lamp, it can move horizontally to adjust where the light shines on the surface, but its multiple joints allow you to adjust how close the light sits to the reading material and at what angle it points. Its continuous dimness slider and temperature control make it versatile for bedtime reading as well. If you are using it for your bedtime reading, you can also enjoy a 10 or 40-minute auto-off timer. This lamp is best for those for whom desk space is a hot commodity and may need to fold up the lamp, but is adaptable for all kinds of readers.

Vekkia Rechargeable Book Light for Reading in Bed

vekkia rechargeable book light for reading in bed

Available in three colors and great for close-up lighting, the Vekkia rechargeable light clamps directly to the cover of the book. Many book lights that clamp to the cover of the book slide around or aren’t secure because of the size of the cover compared to the tightness of the clamp. Vekkia’s solution to this problem is to add an adjustable pad to create a more stable fit. The pad itself tilts to accommodate smaller and larger than typical fits. Easy to adjust and simple to use, it also comes with three warm light brightness settings, and with the flexible arm, you will have no shortage of direct light on the page. Enjoy up to 60 hours of reading on one charge. This lamp is best for traveling, reading with roommates nearby, and readers who need direct light that won’t shine in your eyes.

Headboard Reading Lamp

headboard reading lamp

Simple, affordable, and easy to use, the headboard reading lamp from The Vermont Country Store is a favorite for bedtime readers. Slip it over the top of the headboard, and you’ll still have plenty of clearance for your heads and pillows; however, the pull string allows you to reach a lazy arm up to turn it off when you’ve reached your reading limit. There’s no tricky installation, no remotes, no buttons, and no bending or adjusting, but if you just need a little bit of warm light on your book while you’re winding down for the night, this lamp is perfect for you.

The Reader’s Brightness Zooming Bed Lamp

the reader’s brightness zooming bed lamp

Don’t have a headboard but would still like an over-the-head light for bedtime reading? This may be your solution. An easy-to-install, lightweight sliding stand features two bendable lights that operate independently. Adjustable lampshades allow you to make the beam wider or narrower. This lamp is great for couples who like to read or craft in bed without disturbing a partner, and the brushed steel finish and minimal design make a beautiful addition to the areas above the bed or the couch. As one of the pricier options on this list, the Reader’s Brightness Zooming Bed Lamp is best suited for all kinds of readers and crafters, but especially for those who want to add a minimal, modernist touch to their home and who are willing to spend a pretty penny for attractive lighting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which light is good for reading yellow or white?

Studies have shown that cool, white lights enhance concentration and learning retention, making cool light best for research, study, and work. Yellow light, or warm light, is more relaxing and won’t cause insomnia, making it best for nighttime, recreational reading.

What wattage is best for reading?

The general consensus is that 40 watts may be enough for younger eyes, but 50 to 100-watt bulbs will provide better light for adult or elderly eyes. Anything more than 100 watts or less than 50 may be hard on your eyes for long-term reading.

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