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Three Things to Think About When Buying a Desk Lamp

LED desk lamp lights up a big table with tablet and coffee

A good desk lamp is an essential tool for a productive office or study room. When looking for a new one, we usually center our attention on its aesthetic properties, but desk lamps are more than bare decorations.

Initially, buying a desk lamp may not seem like a critical decision. However, eye discomfort after working under inadequate lighting shows that proper illumination is crucial.

Poor lighting in the workplace has a damaging effect on our physical and mental health, causing headaches and fatigue. By providing the right illumination, desk lamps create a better working environment without stressing and straining our eyes. After learning the importance of proper desk lighting, you must be wondering: how do I choose the best desk lamp?

A great desk lamp must have the correct brightness, the right balance of function and adjustability, and include the necessary features that are best suited for your tasks and space. There are three key features you must consider when looking to buy a desk lamp, so let's talk about them in detail.

1. Illuminance

If you want to judge the quality of a lamp’s lightning function, illuminance serves as the best indicator. Measured in Lux (Lx), illuminance estimates the total luminous flux on a surface, like a table or wall. However, how many Lx does a lamp need to illuminate a desk properly? Reading spaces where the use of computers is prolonged should have 500 Lx as a minimum light level. However, the average Lx in desk lamps only reaches about 250. If you want to know more about brightness in desk lamps, check out our article What is brightness? What are its impacts?


No flickering is a must when looking for the best lamp. Flickering is a rapid and repeated change in the brightness of a light source over time. The light then seems to shake and be unsteady. Changes and fluctuations in voltage supply cause flickering and intensity varies depending on the type of lamp and ambient light levels.

Why is light flickering critical when choosing a desk lamp? Constant exposure to flickering lights has a negative impact on the human body. It causes headaches and migraines, eye discomfort, and negatively affects productivity and focus. So, how to select a desk lamp with no flickering? To mitigate the hazards of flickering lights, flicker-free LED bulbs are the best option. Desk lamps with flicker-free LEDs are intended to solve the concerns about eye fatigue and other health issues associated with flickering.

No Glare

A good desk lamp must provide effective glare reduction. Have you noticed the feeling in your eyes when looking into an intense light, like the sun or vehicle headlights? That sensation is known as glare, and it may cause eye strain.

Functional coverage of light and a diffusion panel are essential when looking to buy a glare-reducing desk lamp. Diffusion softens the brighter spots while some form of functional coverage prevents direct visibility of the light source. Additionally, selecting an adjustable design is crucial to minimize glare as it allows changes in the light direction.

Low Blue Light

Looking at a computer screen or device that emits high intensity blue light for prolonged periods can contribute to what is known as Digital Eye Strain. But what is blue light?

Light can be visible or invisible to humans. Blue light (which includes the colors blue, indigo, and violet) is the most potent visible light. This type of light disperses with tremendous ease. Thus, it complicates our ability to focus and reduces contrasts, by that causing eye strain. In general, shortwave blue light can be extremely aggressive when it reaches the human retina, and may cause adverse effects on your eyes.

But don’t worry, because if you want a new desk lamp that protects your eyes from blue light you only need to focus on two features: 1) choose a desk lamp with an LED bulb that does not emit high intensity blue light and, 2) get a desk lamp with a color temperature adjustment function. This way, you do not need to worry about the hazards of blue light.

Wide and Even

The orientation of the light beam is also a vital aspect to consider when buying a desk lamp. A light beam can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical light beams spread light evenly in all directions while asymmetrical light beams shine light onto a specific area. The ability to direct light only to the necessary part of your workspace, big or small, allows you to focus on what is important and helps reduce glare as well. Additionally, focused light does not disturb other people near you. Always go for asymmetrical light that can provide a wide and evenly-distributed illuminance. 

BenQ LED desk lamp on a office table with a BenQ monitor
2. Adjustability

The second crucial point when considering buying a desk lamp is the level of adjustability of its design. It should be possible to change the direction of the light beam and to adjust brightness intensity and color temperature. Your desk lamp should provide you the lighting exposure that perfectly suits your daily tasks. 

Lamp Head/Arm Adjustability

If the design of a lamp is rigid or inflexible, getting the right lighting to perform your tasks can be more challenging. When working, you need the freedom to move the light into different directions and positions. Thus, a lamp equipped with a flexible arm and movable head is your best option.

Adaptable Color Temperature

Color temperature describes the level of warmness or coolness the light displays. Warmer light means lower color temperatures, while cooler light indicates higher color temperatures. Excellent LED desk lamps have extra features that allow you to change the perceived color of the light. You can select the color temperature that best suits your activities anywhere on the spectrum of warm white, natural white, and cold white.

Why should you care about the adaptability of color temperature? Well, a desk lamp with adaptable color temperature lets you choose the most suitable mood for diverse projects. If you want to transform your space into a comfortable and relaxing place to read, you only need to set your lamp to a warm white color. If you need to concentrate, change to a cooler temperature. Otherwise, you might be stuck with a desk lamp that only creates one kind of environment for very different tasks. 

Auto Dimming Function

Are you looking for more advanced LED lamp features? Auto dimming is a technology used by LED lamps that identifies ambient light intensity and dynamically adjusts the brightness of the lamp to create an adequate environment. This feature also lets you forget about changing the color temperature, as the lamp automatically adjusts that as well. You can find an example of this technology in the BenQ WiT e-Reading Desk Lamp. It includes an ambient light sensor that detects environmental illumination and adjusts to match it, creating a more comfortable work environment.

BenQ screenbar LED on a monitor with warm white light on a desk
3. Desk Size

Finally, before buying a desk lamp it is essential to recall the size of your workspace. Identifying the dimensions of your desk relates to the size of the desk lamp in which you want to invest. Large desk spaces with PC monitors require more illumination; therefore, a bigger desk lamp is necessary. Conversely, small spaces need more practical illumination sources. Be very careful about this aspect and check all the size options available. 


A good desk lamp must offer you the correct illumination and a high degree of adjustability. These two aspects enable superior and personalized performance, surpassing any traditional desk lamp. A desk lamp with an LED bulb is always your best option. It offers higher brightness, glare and flicker reduction, and lower blue light levels. 

All the advantages of an LED lamp combined with ergonomic design give your space better light contrast and distribution while protecting your eyes. The BenQ WiT e-Reading Desk Lamp Series offers the optimal combination of illumination technology with total eye comfort. It does not matter if your work surface is large or small, there is a BenQ WiT e-Reading Desk Lamp to meet all your needs. You can select from the WiT e-Reading Desk Lamp for large desks and big work surfaces, the BenQ WiT e-Reading Desk Lamp Genie for medium sized desks, or the BenQ WiT e-Reading Computer Screenbar for limited workspaces.

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