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The best desk lamp for your home library

Which desk lamp for your home library is best?

If you have a home library, you probably do a lot of reading. But even if you don’t, you may still want to have a desk lamp for all the things you do when seated at a table or desk: read, write, study, go online, pay bills and more. If you don’t have a good desk lamp when you do these things, you may constantly strain your eyes, especially in low light.

Your two main considerations for desk lamps are form and function. What your desk lamp looks like is a matter of personal taste and your existing decor often guides your choice. Function is about how well your desk lamp does all the things you want it to do. If you're looking for a tall desk lamp that moves easily and turns on and off with a touch-sensitive dimmer switch, the Lite Source Halotech LED Desk Lamp is an excellent choice.

What to know before you buy a desk lamp for your home library

The big difference between a table lamp and a desk lamp is that a table lamp typically features diffused lighting up, down and to the sides, so it illuminates large areas of a room. A desk lamp features more narrowly focused lighting that aims downward so you can concentrate on the tasks at hand in light that makes it easy to see what you're doing. A desk lamp is also adjustable so you can direct the light where it can do you the most good and often features different levels of intensity.


Your choices of styles are nearly endless, from traditional and modern to artsy and industrial, and so on. Desk lamps are made of wood, metal and plastic and can be tall, short, adjustable or fixed in a single position.

Temperature and mood

Lighting is often described as having warmer or cooler temperatures. Warm lighting is for relaxing and cool lighting is for activities where you need to be awake and alert. For desk lamps in home libraries and offices, look for models that have the higher numbers that indicate they're on the cool end of the light spectrum.

  • Warm lights: These are more yellow in color because of where they are on the color spectrum between 2,000-3,000 K. The K stands for Kelvin, a scientific temperature scale used to measure light on a scale from 1,000-10,000 K. Desk lamps with warm lighting usually feature incandescent and halogen bulbs.
  • Cool lights: These are more blue in color, are generally brighter than warm lights and reside above 6,000 K. Desk lamps with cool lights are usually powered by LEDs.

What to look for in a quality desk lamp for your home library


The more adjustments your desk lamp has, the better you can tailor your lighting to fit any situation. Look for adjustment mechanisms that are secure and stay in position without sagging or drifting.

Lighting levels

The more choices of lighting levels you have, the more you can suit the mood of your lighting to the task at hand.


Big desk lamps overwhelm small desktops and small lamps look tiny on a big desk. Desk lamps with small footprints take up less space on any desktop.

Charging stations

In today’s hyper-connected world, we have lots of electronic devices that need regular charging. When your desk lamp has charging ports, you can keep your smartphone near you while working at your desk in your home office or library.

How much you can expect to spend on a desk lamp for your home library 

Small and simple desk lamps cost $20 or less. Adjustable desk lamps cost between $20- $40, and above $40, you'll find desk lamps with more lighting modes and fast wireless charging.

Desk lamp for your home library FAQ

If I don’t have a home library, why would I need a library desk lamp?

A. If you don’t have a home library, you may still have a home office or a desk or even a chair where you read, write, go online or pay your bills. A good desk lamp works well anywhere you need focused light.

How important is adjustability in a desk lamp?

A. The ability to change angles and move the light up and down or from side to side allows you to customize your desk lamp to any situation. Make sure the one you choose is easy to adjust and stays in the position without drooping or sagging.

What is the best desk lamp for your home library to buy?

Top desk lamp for your home library

Lite Source Halotech LED Desk Lamp

What you need to know: The counterbalanced arm of this 25-inch tall desk lamp moves easily and stays in position.

What you’ll love: The energy-saving, 8-watt LED bulb included has a 3,000 K color temperature and is controlled by a touch-sensitive dimmer switch. The weighted base keeps the lamp in place no matter how you adjust the light.

What you should consider: Some minor assembly is required.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top desk lamp for your home library for the money

Globe Electric Swing Arm Desk Lamp

What you need to know: This classic design has a spring-balanced swing arm that's easy to adjust for height, angle and direction.

What you’ll love: It's a small footprint desk lamp that takes up very little space on your desktop. The on/off switch is big and round and mounted on top where it's easy to reach. The lamp comes in matte black, white, rose and mint.

What you should consider: The medium base, 60-watt bulb is not included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

AFROG Multifunctional LED Desk Lamp With Wireless Charger

What you need to know: With its five lighting modes and five levels of brightness, you can set this lamp to whatever your comfort level is.

What you’ll love: This multifunctional desk lamp allows you to dose off with the 30/60-minute auto timer. You can also charge your electronic devices in the same place as you’re using them with the unit’s fast wireless charger and USB port.

What you should consider: Some users claim the charging station can be finicky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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