Buyers Guide: Choosing A Desk Lamp

Desk lamps can light up your home office or study and today's lamps are designed with style and functionality in mind.

When it comes to choosing a desk lamp for your home office (or study), there are a few things you need to consider. Of course, the first consideration is how much natural light your study gets. If the room has a lot of windows, or overhead lighting, the lamp can be more decorative in nature; however, if you don't have much in the way of overhead lighting, then you will need to purchase a light that provides more illumination.

When shopping for a desk lamp you also need to think about how much space you have. Is your desk cluttered with files? Or do you have a large desk, with everything neatly tucked away in file drawers? Is there a computer, monitor, keyboard and printer on the desk?

If you don't have much space to work with, you may decide on a goose neck lamp. Usually these lights have a small base and provide adequate lighting. They are durable and come in different styles, colors and sizes. An added plus to this type of light is that because the neck adjusts, it can be focused on whatever you are working on.



If the lamp is for your children's room, you'll want to look for durability. There are many lights designed for kids, some of them featuring favorite cartoon characters, which could be an incentive for doing homework. Another option is a clip-on light, which is somewhat similar to track lighting, except that you can clip it on to a desk or shelf. Clip-on lights are relatively inexpensive and an excellent choice for homework because they provide good overhead lighting.

On the other hand, if the lamp is for your study and you have a large wood desk with room to spare, an old fashioned banker's lamp or Tiffany lamp may be more your style. Although these lamps may not provide as much light as other styles, they blend in well with antiques and are a warm addition to any room.

If your home office is in a finished basement, you will need a strong light. You may want to investigate one of the lamps that use halogen bulbs, as they tend to be brighter than standard bulbs. If you are in a very dark area with little direct light, you might need to pair your desk lamp with a floor lamp to better illuminate your workspace.

If you are looking to make a fashion statement, you'll want to try an accent lamp. Accent lamps tend to be conversation pieces and come in many different styles. Whether you buy a light that resembles a martini glass (complete with olive), a lava lamp or a light that looks like an egg, these lights are sure to get noticed.

If you are looking for a light that is both practical and stylish, you may want to look at a dome lamp, which gives off a good deal of light. These lamps come in different colors or brushed steel for a contemporary look. Some lamps have adjustable arms at the base, allowing you to direct light where you need it most.

If you prefer a traditional style lamp, you may want to go with a standard lamp with a lampshade. These lamps can work well as desk lights, depending on how much light you need. If you need more light be sure to choose a taller lamp, remember that the light is reflected below the shade.

Before you purchase a lamp, take a look at the details of the light. Is the on/off button easy to reach? If the light has a pull chain, does it seem sturdy? Does the lamp have a good base? Is it weighted properly so that it won't tip over easily? Is the bottom of the lamp protected so that your desk won't get scratched? How about the light bulb, is it easy to get to? How long is the cord?

Of course, you may find a lamp that just strikes a chord in you. After all, your workspace should be a place where you feel comfortable. Some people prefer to surround themselves with attractive things. If you fill your home office with aesthetically pleasing furnishings, you may find that working there isn't such a chore.

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