How to choose the perfect desk lamp

Newark desk lamp from Jim Lawrence

Lighting and home furnishings company Jim Lawrence gives us guidance on choosing the perfect desk lamp…

When you think the average person spends 5 hours a day sitting at a desk, you can see how important choosing the right desk lamp can be. Whilst it’s important to have a stylish workspace, it’s vital to make sure you have plenty of light to avoid eyestrain.

Points to consider when choosing your perfect desk lamp:

1.   The primary role of a desk lamp is to light up your workspace, although they are also important for helping you concentrate by focusing the light to one place, creating a working environment to help you avoid distractions.

2.   Consider how much natural light the area is subject to. If there is little natural light available, choose a lamp with a large shade to allow plenty of light to fall on the desk area. Conversely, if you work in a well-lit area, you may be able to go for a more decorative lamp, choosing something more stylish that may not necessarily give out a huge amount of light.

3.    Choose a lamp with a tall stand for a wider illuminated area, or for a more intimate glow, go for a smaller, shaded lamp.

4.    Because the quality of the light is so important, consider the bulb you choose. LED bulbs are best for task lighting as, although the light feels very similar to halogen lighting, they last longer and use less energy.

5.    It may seem obvious, but you also need to consider the size of your workspace. So if you need to light a large area, try a bigger light, perhaps even one with two shades to double the intensity of light. Whereas for a more intimate space, you could downsize to a smaller, more direct spotlight.

6.    A particularly popular style of desk light includes the type that can clip onto the side of a surface. This can be a particularly useful feature if you can’t afford to take up too much space, or for architects and artists whose workspaces are characteristically slanted.

7.    Desk lamps also need to be sturdy and functional, so look for those with wide bases so as not to topple over. Likewise, if the light has moveable parts, make sure these are working properly.

8.    It can be useful to have an adjustable desk lamp in order to move the light source according to the task. This style will usually need a direct, bright light in order to be effective.

9.    Choose a style to suit your room, creating an attractive workspace to help keep you motivated.

10.   A final consideration is again to do with how your lamp looks. It must complement the room’s colour scheme. Consider a neutral colour such as gold, silver, white, or black. Alternatively, you could choose a brightly coloured lamp to add charisma to your workspace.


Jim Lawrence have over 30 table lamps in their range. They are available in different finishes, including the unique verdigris or delicate ivory. Their Newark desk lamp (shown above) uses an innovative new LED module and dispenses with traditional bulbs altogether. The module means there are no heat issues, whilst the lamp lasts about 50,000 hours longer than a normal bulb. Additionally, the consumption of power is less than that of an ordinary incandescent. www.jim-lawrence.co.uk

Other suppliers

And for other desk lamp manufacturers, go to the comprehensive list of companies in the Lighting  category on The House Directory. You can also source Antique Lighting as well as Vintage & Industrial Lighting on our website.

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