Now that you know the difference between a table lamp and a desk lamp, your next step is to navigate the plethora of options when it comes to choosing the right desk light for your space. Whether it’s a home office or a living room reading lamp, it’s important to consider several elements when choosing the right task light.


Some of the best lighting design we’ve seen in the last two years incorporate new design features that accommodate today’s mobile, multi-tasking, on-the-move professionals. When choosing a desk lamp, look for smart features like built-in USB chargers with stands or surfaces to rest the device while charging, or a shelf to hold books or cups. We’ve even seen some lights double as a hat stand. Others not only provide task lighting but also a platform or space to place objects.

Some desk lamps, like Flos’ Piani have built in shelves or ledges built into its design, providing you with a space to toss keys or other valuables. These added features make the light that much more useful and help you create smart, functional spaces in which to live and work.


Technology is another key consideration when choosing a desk lamp because you want a luminaire that will last. Indeed, a well-designed lamp that employs the latest technology features will not only provide you with added benefits but can last a lifetime.

One of the technology-related questions we get asked the most is about the difference between halogen and LEDs. The most obvious difference is one in heat output. If you’ve ever put your hand on a halogen lamp that’s been on for a while you’ll have noticed how hot they can get. This can be a hazard if you’ve got animals or young children around. LEDs on the other hand, only emit about one fifth of the heat of a halogen lamp. This means you’ll never accidentally burn yourself, but more importantly, you will also save money on your energy bill.

Perhaps the most important difference between halogens and LEDs is their longevity and energy consumption. On average, halogen bulbs only last about 2,000 hours while LED lamps typically last 50,000 hours. So if you were to use the lamp for five hours a day, you would need to change the halogen bulb about once a year, while the LED lamp would last up to 30 years! LEDs also use only about one fifth of the energy of a halogen, which translates directly into cost savings on your monthly energy bills.

From an aesthetic perspective, LED lamps provide more opportunity for unique, sleek, and modern designs. This is because LED diodes (the small flat surfaces that emit light) are so much smaller than the traditional halogen light bulb so lighting designers have much more freedom when designing the lamp itself. Desk lamps using halogen bulbs are typically bigger in size because they have to accommodate some kind of heat protection around the hot bulb.

Finally, look for added features like dimmers and timers when choosing a desk lamp. Dimmers allow you to alter light levels throughout the day and reduce glare. Timers can sense when there has been no movement around the light after a certain amount of time and shut off automatically. This helps you avoid wasting energy and losing money when lights are accidentally left on.


Consider also the accessories. Desk lamps can also be clamped to the side of a desk or onto the nearest wall. This is especially useful when you have a limited surface area to work with. The Flos Kelvin comes with optional desk clamp.

Articulating Parts

Great desk lamps have articulating parts that extend, turn, and swivel to accommodate your ever-changing task needs. Articulating arms are great for large work areas because you can extend them to the furthest corners of your desk. Rotating stems and shades are key for being able to direct the light and adjust beam spread as needed. Point the shade down onto your papers for direct illumination or towards the wall for an ambient light when working on your computer. It’s also important that you have the ability to avoid light glaring directly into your eyes. The base of the desk lamp should be sturdy enough to accommodate all this movement, so make sure it’s made with a sturdy material and weight.


Beauty & Style

Of course the look and style of the desk lamp will always a factor when choosing a desk lamp. Classic, iconic designs have stood the test of time because they look good in a variety of settings and never feel ‘dated’ as more trendy lamps often do after a few years. Lamps that have been well-designed prove their value over time, so don’t be afraid to with an iconic design from the 60s or 70s. When a lamp has been well-designed every single feature has a reason or purpose, there are no extraneous flourishes. Clean, smart, simple designs have a better chance of staying relevant in any décor and will always prove to be useful.

Finally, for desk lamps you should also consider the colour temperature of the light. What is colour temperature you ask? Learn about colour temperature and why it matters.

Come visit a LightForm lighting showroom to see more desk lamps in person.