3 Areas to Place Your Desk Lamp for Optimal Lighting

Jan 28 2022
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Indirect lighting is really important for anyone who does a lot of work on a computer screen to help avoid eye fatigue etc. I love my little desk lamp that we keep by my computer, it helps gives my eyes a break and lets me turn the brightness down on my monitor. It makes a HUGE difference. Not just the lamp itself though but soft glow bulbs can help a lot as well. There’s a lot more options out there these days!

Small office tips and tricks! I love my "none" office even though carving out a space in our mudroom/entryway/dining room was not the easiest!
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

More people currently prefer using desk lamps over overhead lighting for various reasons. However, for optimal performance of desk lights, you should know several things. While there is a lot of searching to do, you should identify the key factors to consider when buying a desk lamp and where to place your desk lamp for better lighting. This guide highlights the best positions for placing desk lamps for various applications.

Best lighting position for a home office

Below are general rules to consider when choosing desk lamps for your home office:

  • Assess the quantity of natural light entering your home office during the day. Natural light is pleasant and easy on the eyes
  • Use a task desk light on your office to illuminate the immediate workspace
  • Take advantage of ambient light to set a good mood in your office. This could be white light or any other color to set a good tone.
  • Avoid fluorescent light as it is generally unpleasant, can cause fatigue and migraines.

Generally, the best desk lamp position for a computer desk should illuminate your mouse, keyboard, and notebook without shining light directly to your eyes or computer screen. This provides an optimal light and improves workflow while reducing glare.

An adjustable desk lamp is best for these situations, as you can change the position of the light. You will need some adjustments if your workspace has two monitors. To avoid glare, shadows, and uneven lighting, it is best to use a swing-arm desk lamp. These lamps distribute light evenly across the work desk without directing the light to the monitors.

Best lighting position for bedroom

Whether you need a bedroom light for reading, relaxing in bed, or dozing, perfect lighting comes in handy in creating a relaxing and soothing bedroom atmosphere.

Generally, bedroom desk lamps, also called bedside lamps, are specifically task lights. If you intend to do some activities that require some light in your bedroom, such as working, reading, or applying your makeup, consider laying your task lights well. Bedside desk lamps or low-hanging pendants on both sides of the bed can work well.

Regardless of your bedroom activity, you should choose the right bulb for your bedroom desk lamps. Specifically, you should consider the color and brightness of the bulbs.

Best lighting position for living rooms

Unlike fixed lights, living room lamps are portable, available in different colors and styles. They provide great versatility and improve your living rooms’ aesthetic appearance. As for the placement, your living room lamps should accommodate the rooms’ activities while enhancing the color scheme and existing furniture.

The placement of living room lamps varies, as you can place them on the table or the floor. For instance, if you are reading or writing, place the lamp at the end of the table. Place the lamp beside or behind the television to minimize contrast if you are watching.

If you’ve shopped around, you might have noticed that some desk lamp designs are quite pricey. However, you don’t have to incur these expenses to enjoy the benefits of a desk lamp. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or not, you can learn how to make your own desk lamp using these simple steps.

How to maximize desk lamp light

Unlike overhead lights, which illuminate the room from the ceiling, desk lamps direct light to specific focal points, be it the keyboard, book, or workspace. Consider the following to get the best from desk lamps;

  • Buy an adjustable desk lamp – Desk lamps with adjustable angles provide unmatched light customization. You can direct your light beams to where you want to be illuminated by simply adjusting the arm, neck, or swivel without moving the lamp.
  • Choose the right size of desk lamp – Desks provide a limited amount of space, which you also need for your activities, such as writing, working, or art. Therefore, you should ensure that your desk light of choice provides enough illumination without taking up a lot of space. Alternatively, you can choose a desk lamp that clips to the edge of your work desk to save your workspace.
  • Bulb type and wattage – Choosing a good desk lamp isn’t limited to form and functionality. You should also consider the amount of light produced by the bulb. For this, you should again consider how you intend to use the lamp. If you are using it for décor, a lamp with low wattage is enough. For reading and other activities, go for a bright lamp.

Should a desk lamp be in front or behind the computer?

Placing your desk light either in front or behind your computer can cause problems. Shining bright light on your computer screen can cause shadows, contrast issues, and glares. Similarly, placing a light source behind your computer screen can shine directly to your eyes, causing glare.


Finding the perfect position for your desk lamp is important if you want to brighten your home. Lighting experts recommend balancing your light sources to include natural light, overhead light, and a desk lamp close to your immediate workspace.

I love my little desk lamp that we keep by my computer, it helps gives my eyes a break
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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