Editor's Picks

Editor’s Picks: Cool + Colorful Desk Lamps

When it comes to the daily grind, there are certain necessities to keep you on task and productive. A computer, distraction-free space, desk, and sufficient lighting are just some of the basics to a productive workday. But just because these pieces are practical and functional doesn’t mean they have to be dull and boring. Even the humble desk lamp can add a pop of color and personality to your workspace.

Don’t believe me? Well then, take a look at these fun, colorful, and functional task lamps to help get you through those late nights at the grindstone.

Quattro LED Task Lamp

Quattro LED Task Lamp by Robert Sonneman, from SONNEMAN

Bold and flexible, Sonneman’s Quattro LED Task Lamp’s cheerful yellow base and red lamp housing give this desk lamp a modernist vibe. In addition to its looks, this lamp provides glare-free light, so you won’t be blinded as you adjust it to the perfect angle. The progressive LED technology means that this task lamp won’t raise the room temperature, so you can remain cool and calm while you strive to meet your deadlines.

AJ Table Lamp

A post shared by Louis Poulsen (@louispoulsen) on

Originally designed in 1960 by Arne Jacobsen for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, the AJ Table Lamp from Louis Poulsen has a striking silhouette. The shade can be rotated until the light is directed right where you want it. Available in ten different shades (my personal favorite is the rusty red), this design icon is a perfect addition to your desk.

Z-Bar Mini Gen 3 LED Desk Lamp

Z-BAR Mini Gen 3 LED Desk Lamp from Koncept Lighting

At first glance, the Z-Bar Mini Gen 3 Desk Lamp looks like a complicated contraption. But once you start to use it, you discover an incredibly flexible and elegantly designed task lamp. The lamp spins in its socket, can sweep from side-to-side and rotate to point in any direction. And if all that flexibility wasn’t cool enough, you can control the light intensity with a unique dimmer strip. Either slide your finger along the strip to the desired illumination for a gradual change, or just touch anywhere along the strip to jump to the selected setting.

Excel Table Lamp

Excel LED Desk Lamp by Rich Brilliant Willing, from Roll and Hill

Combining oak wood and LED technology, the Excel LED Desk Lamp gives a traditional desk lamp design a modern update. I love the marriage of materials in this design along with the large lamp shade that pivots just enough to provide direct and ambient illumination.

Flo LED Desk Lamp

Flo LED Desk Lamp by Foster & Partners, from Lumina

The Flo LED Desk Lamp is a minimalist’s dream come true. A very simple, yet elegant silhouette allows this desk lamp to stand out without overpowering your desk. A simple pivoting arm supports the tubular style lamp that rotates 300 degrees to direct the illumination to the exact right spot. A perfect marriage of form and function, Flo’s range of colors was developed specifically for it and the finishing is done by hand. Personally, I am in love with the cyan version of Flo.

Type 75 Paul Smith Desk Lamp

Type 75 Desk Lamp – Paul Smith Edition One by Sir Kenneth Grange, from Anglepoise

Anglepoise reinvents their classic industrial style task lamp in a collaboration with Paul Smith. These additions to their Type 75 Desk Lamp dress the familiar design in primary colors to add a bright, colorful splash on your desk. Offering all the form and function the Type 75 Desk Lamps are known for, the Paul Smith additions are fun and unexpected options to light up your workspace.

THIN LED Task Light

THIN LED Task Light from Juniper Design

If you liked the slender design of the Flo but want a little more reach and flexibility, then the THIN LED Task Light is just what you’re looking for. Sleek and slender components give THIN a very striking presence. Designed to provide plenty of light without cluttering up your workspace, THIN comes in a cheerful red-orange and other finishes.

Mod 548 Table Lamp

Mod 548 Table Lamp by Gino Sarfatti, from FLOS Lighting

If you’re looking for a desk lamp that’s truly out of the ordinary, the Mod 548 Table Lamp will fit the bill. A unique space-age design and bright color options give this lamp style straight out of the future. Offering reflected and diffused light, the light is adjustable and uses an LED multi-chip light source.

What We Do Counts Desk Lamp

What We Do Counts Desk Lamp from Ingo Maurer

Whether you’re looking for a laugh or unavoidable reminder, the What We Do Counts Desk Lamp has got you covered. Inspired by comics and graphic art, you can customize the familiar speech bubble with whatever strikes your fancy using the included dry erase marker. Direct the energy-efficient and eco-friendly LED light where it’s needed while enjoying some inspiration at the same time.

Pixo Table Lamp

Pixo Optical Table Lamp by Pablo Pardo, from Pablo

I saved my favorite task lamp for last. Merging technology and modern design, the Pixo Optical Table Lamp took into account all the electronics we need to plug in and charge today. The base of Pixo features a USB charging port so you can just plug your phone in within easy reach and charge while you work. Using an LED light source, the arm and head easily rotate so you can aim the light anywhere you need. I just love the sleek profile of this light, and I’m not alone in thinking it’s a winner since it won a Red Dot Design award for Best Product Design and Innovation. Only problem is I can’t decide if I like the Glow, Azure or Orange color best!

In addition to the fun and colorful lamps featured here, be sure to check out all the rest of our great selection of modern desk lamps.

Nicole Tatem

Nicole Tatem

Nicole is the Sr. Site Merchandiser for Accessories, Kids, and Textiles at YLiving. She is obsessed with great design in all forms with a special love for jewelry, wine bottle labels, and tableware. When she’s not exploring the many museums and art galleries of the Bay Area, Nicole spends time looking for and visiting obscure and unusual destinations (locally and abroad) while practicing her photography skills.

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