We carefully researched 30 desk lamps before choosing 11 of the best to test side-by-side and bring you this comprehensive review. A good desk lamp is an essential mainstay for any home office or bedside, and our testers made sure to test each model's adjustability, lighting coverage, and features to help you find the lamp that best suits your needs. Whether you're looking for something sleek and bright, classic and dimmable, or something with extra features like charging ports or touch control, we've got you covered in our round-up of best desk lamps.With so many lighting options on the market, it can be difficult to find the best products to illuminate your home and office. Luckily, our experts meticulously tested the top products available so you can find home goods like floor lamps, LED strip lights, and outdoor string lights with ease.
Our Top Picks
Although seemingly simple in design, the MLambert 3-Color in 1 LED Desk Lamp has many features that make it our top pick. Its more classic look isn't as sleek and modern as some of the other lamps we tested, but our testers loved this lamp for its many adjustability features. With two arms that are connected by a hinge, the MLambert can easily change height up to 26-1/4 inches. The head itself swivels 350 degrees and up and down 90 degrees, allowing you to customize this lamp to accommodate your different lighting needs. This lamp also has a dimmer function as well as the ability to cycle easily through three color modes. A USB port tops off the list of features, as we could always use an extra charging port on our desk.
Our only gripe with this lamp is that it is advertised as a non-flicker light, but when our testers recorded it with slow-motion video, there was an obvious flicker. Most lights do flicker, however, so this is not a huge issue, but if you are close to a lamp like this for long periods of time, you may feel the effects.
The EppieBasic LED Desk Lamp not only wins our award for most light coverage, but is also one of the most modern, attractive, and thoughtfully designed lamps we tested. The long LED bar is ultra wide-spanning 31.5 inches across and can illuminate an entire desk. The LEDs themselves are angled at 45 degrees to thoughtfully illuminate your desk and keyboard without bouncing light off your computer screen and creating glare. The touch buttons allow you to change brightness and color temperature, and there is an additional automatic light-sensing feature that will adjust the lamp based on the ambient light in the room. We love this desk lamp for use at a serious workstation where you plan to spend hours in front of the computer and prefer bright, wide light coverage over a more directional light source.
However, this lamp can only be attached to a desk via a clamp and only fully tightens on surfaces a half-inch to 3.4 inches thick. We also noticed that the flexible neck wears out over time and will eventually struggle to stay at its highest point. Our model still managed to remain fairly tall, albeit a bit droopy. Despite these flaws, our testers really liked the functionality and design, rating this lamp highly among the competition.
When it comes to getting the most value out of one of these appliances, it's hard to beat the Lampat LED. This model comes equipped with light-up buttons on a minimalist body with five brightness levels and four lighting modes. We're happy the designers thought to include a 1-hour auto-off for those times when you're too tired to remember to worry about the light. This model has a 5V/1A USB charging port that can be very useful for charging various USB-powered devices.
The Lampat is a bit difficult to get adjusted to the perfect spot — the recoil preloaded into the elbows seems to be a bit much to deal with compared to other models. Still, considering the features and settings, we think it's hard to top this model at this low price.
The best thing about the LEPower Metal Desk Lamp is its simplicity. This model offers a decent degree of malleability and is easy to use. Its pleasantness stems from its lack of extraneous features, ports, touch controls, and the fact that it uses basic household light bulbs. It's also fantastic for the designers to incorporate heat dissipation holes into the lamp head's upper side. This model is very compact — with a 5-¾-inch diameter base and a maximum height of 18-⅛ inches. Overall, we found the LEPower to be very easy to operate.
We did discover that the LEPower is shorter than many of the other models in our review. If you want maximum vertical flexibleness out of your lamp, this is not the one. The LEPower Metal also casts some relatively coarse shadows thanks to its traditional bulbs, and it lacks variable light settings. If you want a more customizable model, it will make sense to go with a higher-end product. That said, if all you're looking for is a simple light source, we think the LEPower is a solid choice.
For those that prefer a clamp-on style desk light over a lamp with a larger footprint, we recommend checking out the Globe Electric 56963. Its large clamp opening should fit the vast majority of desktops, and it's a straightforward system to operate and mount. This model can extend to a maximum height of 32 inches, making it perfect for projects that require extra space. The spring-assisted articulating elbows on the 56963 make it notably easy to adjust with one hand. This lamp also has an extra-long 6 ft cord that reduces the potential need for an extension cord to get it positioned in your workspace.
However, the Globe Electric lacks touch controls, a USB plug, adjustable light levels, or colors. There's also no getting around the fact that this lamp is enormous — this is one of the bulkiest models that we've gotten our hands-on. That said, if you're in the market for a clamp-style desk or workshop lamp, it's hard to beat the simplicity and adjustability of the Globe Electric 56963.
If you're looking for a desk lamp that offers wireless phone charging but don't want to ding your funds, check out the Mchatte LED. Not only does this budget model have a large charging pad, but it also has five different color settings and ten levels of brightness. For those that tend to forget to hit the lights at the end of the night or are looking to conserve power, you may find the timer to be particularly useful. The Mchatte also has a USB-A port on the base's backside for charging devices that aren't wireless enabled.
Although the Mchatte LED appears to have a similar design to other models in our review, we found that the lamp head does not tilt, so if you need to articulate your light horizontally, you're going to have to look elsewhere. We noticed that the LED wireless charging indicator light is always on while a device is on the pad. This isn't a big deal, but if you're the type that prefers complete darkness to sleep, this model may not be the best choice for a bedside table. Shortcomings aside, the Mchatte LED is the way to go for an affordable lamp with wireless charging capabilities.
If you're looking for a small portable lamp, look no further than the NovoLido Rechargeable. This model has an internal rechargeable battery, so you can use it wherever you'd like. We are big fans of the flexible neck that allows you to aim the beam of light directly where you need it most. We found the NovoLido to be particularly useful on smaller desks. It has a phone stand to keep your device both facing you and out of the way, and the pen holder aids in workspace organization that much more.
We were not impressed with the length of the charging cable included with the NovoLido. If you plan on keeping it permanently plugged in, you may need an extension cord; otherwise, you're going to be charging this model fairly often. Although this lamp is very compact and light, it is very easy to knock over and doesn't feel like it has the most solid construction. Flaws aside, if you're in the market for a rechargeable lamp, we think the NovoLido is an excellent choice.
We love that the iVict Clip-On LED has so many different light settings — it features ten different brightness levels combined with three different light temperature settings. This light should easily suit your illumination level, setting needs between the warm light, warm-white light, and white light options. It's also highly portable and would easily fit in a briefcase or messenger bag along with your laptop, which makes it an excellent choice for those who are always traveling or working on the road.
Out of all the desktop clamp models in our review, we found the iVict Clip-On LED to be a bit unstable. We are also not thrilled that the controls for this device are on the power cable. More modern models have all of the controls bundled up on the unit itself using a touch management system. The lighting produced by the iVict is relatively weak at its brightest setting. This would not be the best choice for the main office lamp, but it might make sense to be used as a reading lamp positioned next to a comfy chair.
The TROND LED is a decent clamp-style desk lamp. We like its flexible pipe neck and integrated memory with a three-level dimmer. This product is not made to be clipped onto books — it is a full-sized task lamp. It's great that this model has three different brightness levels. We measured this lamp with lux ratings of 200, 440, and 761 in its various settings.
We would've liked to have seen a bit more padding on the clip to protect the desk. It's also a bit awkward to hold the power button down for so long to turn this model off. The detachable 92-inch cord might seem like a good idea on paper, but realistically the cord connection adds more parts and more things to lose.
It's very cool that the JUKSTG 14W LED has four different lighting color options. We also like that it has seven different dimming levels to best match the given situation. Touch controls are always a plus, and we are fans of the 1-hour time off mechanism that helps keep your power bill low. This device also has multi-angle adjustments for optimized lighting on the lamp head, the elbow, and the foot.
Sadly, we found many flaws with the JUKSTG 14W LED. First, it has a cheap feel to it overall — this lamp seems delicate and poorly constructed. We also noticed that this model's controls are nearly impossible to read due to the light's glare. This model seems to get unusually hot — be careful when moving it around. It's also a bit awkward to move in general. There isn't much to grab onto, and the lamp tends to want to fold in on itself. We found it tricky to get the knobs tight enough to keep the JUKSTG from collapsing.
The Simple Designs LD1003 is your run of the mill, bare lamp. We appreciate this model's small footprint — its circular base is only five inches in diameter. The LD1003 has a neck that is easily flexed into the desired position, making it a good choice for those who are continually adjusting their lamp.
Unfortunately, compared to modern-style versions of these products, the Simple Designs doesn't seem quite up to date. This appliance lacks any touch controls, USB hubs, or wireless charging capabilities. It uses standard bulbs, which might be ideal for some people, but at GearLab, we prefer LEDs that last longer and consume less energy. The LD1003 showed up to the lab looking pretty thrashed — ours arrived banged up and dirty. Despite its flaws, we think that the Simple Designs LD1003 is still a decent choice if you want the most elementary design in a desk lamp.
Why You Should Trust Us
To evaluate desk lamps, we created a team composed of our senior research analyst Austin Palmer, one of our strongest tech product review editors, Ross Patton, and desk lamp enthusiast and review editor, Miya Tsudome. Austin has tested hundreds of products at GearLab since the inception of the company and is no stranger to what head-to-head, unbiased comparison means. Ross has been in product research & development for more than ten years, and with a formal education in environmental science, you can bet that he is no stranger to lab practices. Miya has tested a wide variety of products for GearLab, ranging from wireless keyboards to book lights, and therefore has a keen sense of what makes or breaks a good desk space accessory. Ross's education, coupled with Austin's experience and Miya's gear sense, makes for the perfect no-holds-barred evaluation of desk lamps.
We flicked, switched, twisted, and adjusted these products for many, many hours for weeks. We carefully looked into the various light colors, brightness settings, and extra features that each model offers. We used a laboratory-grade light meter to measure luminosity units and subjectively judged each model's usability level. Finally, we carefully measured the amount of adjustability each model can offer you for the most in-depth desk lamp review possible.
Analysis and Test Results
Our analysis is broken into three individual metrics, which are thoroughly outlined in the sections below. We looked into the degree of adjustability and the size of the area each light can disperse light, then carefully inspected each model's extra features.
The days of fixed lamps are in the past — we like the idea of being able to bend, flex, and adjust our lighting source into the perfect position for the task at hand. To test this metric, we looked at the degrees of twisting and turning that each lamp's various joints, pivots, and elbows were capable of fine-tuning to and subjectively judged how difficult each one is to customize.
Our favorite clamp-style desk lamp in the adjustability department is the Globe Electric 56963. This model features two spring-assisted elbows and a third pivot on the lamp head. With a total maximum height of nearly 3 feet, we think this lamp would make an excellent choice for those with large desks or large documents such as maps or blueprints. Lastly, its extra-large clamp makes it a perfect choice for nearly any desk or workbench.
For models with a foot rather than a clamp, we like the MLambert with its sturdy, weighted base. This model is also easy to adjust, with a simple twist of some wing nuts at the joints to loosen and tighten the arms so you can move them to your preferred angle.
Offering ever so slightly less adjustability than the Globe Electric and MLambert models is the Lampat LED. This model's head twists 70 degrees in either direction, the entire arm rotates 90 degrees either way on the base, but the body only adjusts by 40 degrees. The Mchatte LED rotates 85 degrees either way on the base, and the lamp head folds to 225 degrees, but the head does not tilt.
Finally, if you're looking for a basic, traditional model that still offers a bit of adjustability, we recommend the LEPower Metal Desk Lamp or the NovoLido Rechargeable. Both of these models feature a flexible neck that can be bent and twisted into an array of positions. While anything but traditional, the EppieBasic also features a simple, flexible neck, but our testers noticed it drooping from the weight of the LED bar after a period of time.
Coverage & Lighting
To score this metric, we used our expert panel of judges to subjectively assess the brightness, softness, or harshness that each lamp was able to produce. We also looked carefully at each model's various color and power settings. Lastly, we used a laboratory-grade light meter to get some hard data on the amount of illuminance each lamp can emit.
The EppieBasic LED Desk Lamp is the champion of this metric, with its 31.5-inch long LED bar that can illuminate your entire desk or workstation. With a touch of a button, you can adjust the brightness or light color. This lamp also boasts an automatic light sensor mode that will adjust to the optimal light intensity for your work environment. The beauty of this light is that it takes up little space on your desk by clamping to the back, and the long LED bar fits nicely over your computer or over your workspace, providing adjustable, full coverage light.
The Lampat LED Desk Lamp is a close runner-up to the EppieBasic in the coverage & lighting department. We love that this model offers four different light color options: reading, studying, relaxing, and sleeping. In addition to the color options, it also has five individual brightness settings, so you can set your lighting to the perfect ambiance and a night light on the side of the lamp head for when the main bulbs are not in use. When we broke out the light meter, we were very impressed with the Lampat LED. At its highest setting, this model achieved 1715 lux.
We appreciated the coverage of the MLambert even though it doesn't hold up to that of the EppieBasic model. With its round head, the light it produces is slightly more directional than that of the lamps we tested with long LED bars. This light also produces some sharp shadows, which can be distracting. But overall, our testers still thought this light was plenty bright enough to be a great desk accessory.
We found that the Mchatte LED offers plenty of light to illuminate a keyboard, book, or small workspace, but it is not nearly as bright as many models with a lux rating of 450.
As far as clamp-style versions go, we are fans of the Globe Electric 56963 coverage. Thanks to its large degree of adjustability, specifically regarding height, it is easy to set it to light up a larger area. This model lacks any adjustable settings, and the level of brightness will entirely depend on the type of bulb you get. If you know that you don't need a super bright lamp, the NovoLido Rechargeable still gets the job done.
To gauge features, we carefully inspected each model and tested all of the framework's bonus bits that the designers thought to add. There was a significant degree of variance between the desk lamps in this metric as some lights have one simple switch, while others have touch controls, USB ports, and even wireless charging capabilities for your phone or other Qi-enabled devices.
If you're looking for a model that provides several light color tones & brightnesses, wireless charging, and a timer, check out our favorite budget model — the Mchatte LED. Having a timer is great for energy savings when you leave your desk and forget to turn off your lamp, and the wireless charging feature makes keeping your phone powered up easy and cord-free.
The EppieBasic lamp lacks any USB ports or wireless charging capabilities, but our testers liked its automatic light sensor that adjusts the lamp based on the ambient light in the room.
For those looking for a slightly simpler version that still offers a few extras, we recommend the Lampat LED. This model has light-up buttons that make it easy to determine which mode you are using. The Lampat also features a 5V/1A USB port and the capability to set a 60-minute timer. The MLambert also has a few helpful features such as a USB port, three color modes, and touch control.
The main benefit to purchasing the NovoLido is that it is rechargeable. As a bonus, it is also designed to hold pens and works as a cell phone stand. For those looking to charge a device with a USB cord, this model also acts as a power bank.
Some people are only looking for a bare desk lamp with no frills or added controls. We recommend the LEPower as a model with a base or the Globe Electric 56963 for a clamp-style version if this describes you. Both of these models have a simple switch with one setting, so you won't have to learn how to control yet another electronic device.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our comprehensive desk lamp review. You now can purchase the perfect model for you and your needs, whether you are looking for maximum brightness, the most bells & whistles, or the best budget option. It is our goal at GearLab to offer our readers the utmost degree of professional advice, so come on back and visit us anytime you're faced with a daunting purchasing decision.
— Ross Patton, Austin Palmer, and Miya Tsudome
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