How To's

How to Pick a Reading Lamp

When it comes to picking the right reading lamp, there’s a lot more at stake than the look of a room. Eye strain, headaches, and other discomforts can be the result of improper lighting. Luckily, they can be easily avoided with the right fixtures.

To pick the right lamp for reading, consider the setting. Are you in bed? At a desk? Sitting in an armchair in the corner of the room? Each situation calls for a unique lighting setup. But regardless of the fixture, you’re looking for the same thing in every case: bright light directed at your reading material. (For some nitty-gritty tips on selecting the right bulbs, check out this handy guide on the website).

Add a dimmer to transition from reading to resting, and keep in mind that unless someone is trying to sleep next to you, it’s best to have evenly distributed light in the room, in addition to the focused reading light, in order to avoid eye strain. This is as much the case with backlit screens as it is for old-school books.

Reading in Bed

If you like to read in bed, you have several options. If you have a bedside table with a big-enough surface, a contemporary table lamp with a lampshade that directs light downward like the AJ Table Lamp is a good option.

Desk Lamp | Reading Lamp | YLighting
AJ Table Lamp from Louis Poulsen

If you don’t have a table, or can’t spare the surface area, consider a wall-mounted option—ideally one that angles and offers directed light. The Tolomeo Mini Wall Light or the FlexiLED Wall Light seen below offer a lot of flexibility so you get just the right amount of light focused on your task or reading materials.

Desk Lamp | Reading Lamp | YLighting
FlexiLED Wall Light from Contardi

Reading on the Sofa or Armchair

If you like to read on the couch or in an armchair, a floor lamp with a moveable, adjustable head that provides direct illumination is key.

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Z-BAR Gen 3 LED Floor Lamp from Koncept Lighting
Desk Lamp | Reading Lamp | YLighting
Mod 265 Wall Sconce from FLOS Lighting

Or consider a counterweighted wall-mounted fixture like the Mod 265 Wall Sconce which provides similarly directed light.

Reading at a Desk or Task Area

Desk Lamp | Reading Lamp | YLighting
Original 1227 Task Light from Anglepoise

And if you’re reading at a desk, a task lamp is your best friend. There are myriad options, but our favorites are those with a little personality, like the Original 1227 Task Light or Gravy LED Desk Lamp.

Desk Lamp | Reading Lamp | YLighting
Gravy LED Desk Lamp from Koncept Lighting

Whether in a bright, glossy color, chrome, brass, or an unexpected combination of colors and materials – think of it as a functional tabletop sculpture.


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