Lighting design rules: Table lamps for the table. The best options that suit everyone


If you work from home, everyone needs a good table lamp. Therefore, before buying, study this question to do everything correctly.


Lighting affects the character and mood of our homes, and table lamps universally complement any lighting scheme. They are suitable for imparting directing light or illuminating cozy corners of a home office or reading room. You can use the lighting as an object of art. Here is a guide to choosing a table lamp for school and work — including both practical and design considerations.

What is the table light for?

The most obvious use of a luminaire for a table is the practical task area lighting, that is, the lighting of the desired area, so that you can see what you are reading or typing (or, if you are in a retro look, write with a pen).

Practical task area lighting

But from the perspective of interior design, they can be used for accent lighting or general lighting in a room.

For example, if your workplace is in an open layout, and not in a profile office, you will use a directional table lamp to emphasize an ornament or a function. Or by lighting in the room, table lamps can work together with the ceiling and floor to create a general atmosphere.

Finally, the table lamp can also be purely decorative - it is designed to look beautiful on your desk, perhaps even without a working light inside.

Perfect decor for the table

In fact, you probably want her to do some combination of work with general, accent, guided, and decorative lighting, or put it all together. Therefore, the ideal table lamp will fit your specific purpose, and the first question when choosing: what is it for?

As soon as you answer it, the next step will be the resolution of the practical question and the question of style.

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Practical approach to the selection

If you need a model for directional lighting, then you need to take into account basic practical considerations.

Adds comfort in the interior

Working region

The higher the design, the wider it will shine, so find out how much space you need to light up and make sure that it has a stand with sufficient height. If you have a huge table, you will need a high construction - and, possibly, with a long adjustable stand that can reach the entire surface.

Position and Direction

If you are doing different types of work (reading, drawing, etc.) that require different light intensities, or have a couple of working areas on the table, you will need the flexibility of a lamp that can be manipulated and tilted.

Correct amount of light

You will need more light with age. LED lamps are usually best suited to illuminate the task area, and for most desktop tasks you will need a LED of at least 5-10 watts.

The higher the design, the wider it will shine

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Style and design for lamps

If the work does not take you much time and you just want a beautiful thing that will complement the interior, then take a lamp - the light effect never hurts.

1 Layering

As all good interior designers know, the main job with the atmosphere in a room is multi-layered lighting. Tabletop lighting is another weapon in your lighting design arsenal when it is matched with your floor lamps, work lights, top lights and natural lighting. You can connect a desk lamp along with other light sources to a central control panel with preset lighting scenes for different moods and times of day.

Unique design

2 Accentuation

A lantern with a high stand that can stand at an angle will be an ideal tool for a lighting focus, such as a beautiful object or a decorative corner of a room. Make sure you have a flashlight that can be guided, and use light that is about three times brighter than normal ambient light in the room.


Table lamps have all sorts of interesting modern, minimalistic, futuristic styles, as well as classic, industrial, retro. Therefore, it will not be difficult for you to find something that blends with the rest of your decor, and will become a constructive component, even if you don’t do the work at your desk.

Can be an element of decor

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How to choose the best lighting for your table?

Thoughtful lighting is necessary for everyone. If you have a fully equipped home office or a simple laptop table that can be used in the evenings, it will become a necessity that some people underestimate. Without a good device, your eyes become tense, causing irritating symptoms such as fatigue, pain, dark circles around the eyes, blurred vision, headache, and even sometimes double vision.

Fortunately, there are many practical and stylish table lamps that will maximize the amount of light in the workplace and minimize reflection and glare. To make a choice of a model, familiarize yourself with these situations for different occasions.

An indispensable thing in any office

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Daily workplace

Situation: basically you use your desk for entertainment and occasionally in the evenings. There is a computer on it, and sometimes you read something at your desk.

Best spotlight: Considering that a lot of light already comes from the screen of your computer on the table, you do not need a very bright device. You can go for a traditional small desk lamp, or consider a decorative model. They are not designed for targeted lighting, but can still provide sufficient lighting for the daily activities that you want to do at your desk. If your table is very small, a lamp on the clamp will save you space.

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Home Office

Hi-tech style

Situation: You do all or most of your work at home on your computer, but you also often read a lot outside the screen. There is a computer on your desk, as well as other fixed devices. On the table or next to it are cabinets, which contain documents and books related to work.

Best spotlightA: Although the computer screen has a lot of light, you also need a good indicator to read off-screen. It is important that the home office lamp be shaded and direct the light so that it does not reflect on the computer screen. The lamp on the clamp can be useful, although make sure that it is bright enough to read. Alternatively, you can use pendant lights, but make sure that they are located low enough near the screen so that there is no glare.

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Place for a manicure table and other and manual labor

In the interior of the manicure room

Situation: you use your desk for arts and crafts or similar activities - both for a hobby and for a profession - and perform various hard work in a relatively large area.

Best spotlight: this type of work requires you to have a lot of light. Since there is no computer screen that can reflect it, you can easily hang one or more medium or large pendant lights above the work area to provide sufficient lighting. Especially if your table is large, you need a wide dispersion of light. However, an adjustable arm table lamp (such as in Pixar cartoons) is also extremely useful. You can move it closer and farther when more or less light is required for particularly accurate work.

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Study, student desk

Workplace for schoolgirls

Situation: you use your desk to study at school, to read. You read a lot at your desk and may also work on a computer.

Best spotlight: This situation is similar to the home office, although you probably read much more around this table. A low, but bright device is your best option so that you can prepare yourself without being exposed to discomfort from glare or reflection from a computer screen. Fluro lamps, for example, are great for this purpose, but in fact there are many suitable models around.

A model with an adjustable lever can also work if it is in the correct position. It has the added advantage of setting a high light when the computer is turned off. If there is no computer, higher and less flexible models are also possible, such as tripod table lamps.

In the interior of the nursery

Finally, if you simply doubt where to place or hang a table lamp, a good rule is to place it about 40 cm above the table, on the other side of the hand that you write. This will prevent reflections and glare that can cause eye strain. If you have a computer screen, place a desk lamp about 50 cm away from the screen so that the light source is on the side, below eye level.

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What is directional lighting and how to use it?

In total there are three large types of lighting - general, decorative and directional (work). Regarding table lamps, we are more often talking about decorative and working. We study the second.

Interesting lamp design in white

Proper lighting is a fairly important and often overlooked aspect of the work environment. Directional lighting is localized illumination that provides the right amount of light exactly where it is needed for the task. Table lamps of this type direct a beam of light directly to the surface and therefore highlight the area you are working on. Directional lighting is necessary for:

  • reading;
  • letters;
  • work;
  • computer use;
  • manual labor;
  • cooking;
  • make up;
  • shave and so on

It is designed for this purpose. It is a portable device with a cord and plug. Types of lighting products are, but are not limited to:

  • lamp racks for a desk;
  • with swivel bracket;
  • suspension spots;
  • wall lights for reading;
  • headlights under the cabinet.

It is inefficient to use the same amount of light in the entire room as in the working area, so we need precisely directed lighting.

A good reading lamp is especially important in a modern work environment or home office, since viewing a computer monitor requires much less light than reading a typewritten page.

Top light levels are reduced to a level that matches the viewing of the monitor, which creates a softer, more pleasant overall atmosphere and saves energy. Work surfaces are then supplemented with reading lamps to give full control over where and how much light is needed for other tasks, such as reading a document.

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Factors when choosing

Table lamps are often of different styles and finishes. Everyone has their own taste, so there is no right or wrong choice - style, size, shape and finish - it depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, the choice of style of the lamp, which corresponds to the decor of your space, you need to consider.

If you have a modern or contorery decor, you will need a modern or contemporary model. Do your cabinets and drawers have nickel or bronze handles? Combine your spotlight, when appropriate, with other surfaces. At the same time, do not choose a lamp only in appearance.

Art Nouveau

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Led lights

If you put a desk lamp in a place that is used for other activities, such as watching TV, you may need a light with a dimmer on it and perhaps a more focused, controlled beam of light. A lamp with a beam scattered at 30 degrees will direct the light to the surface you want to highlight, but will not send any stray light to affect other actions in the room.

LED table lamps, as a rule, have the most controlled rays of light, since LEDs are directional light sources.

If it is planned that it will work 24/7, the LED will be cheaper to use than the halogen or incandescent lamp. Although the initial cost of the LED table lamp is usually higher, the cost of using it is much cheaper, since it spends only 1/5 of the amount of energy compared to halogen. In addition, LED lights stay cool and halogen bulbs can heat up.

This accessory will make the bedroom cozy.

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The lamp with fastening to the table

If you have a large desk, you will need to use a long-arm table lamp for directional lighting. If you are working on a desk and laptop, consider the configuration of the workspace and make sure that the light will cover the entire workspace on your desk. Or select the lamp that can be attached to the wall or on a clothespin.

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Lamp on clamp (on clothespin)

The lamp on the clamp is the most functional, able to assimilate in virtually any environment, portable, often indispensable. Powered by batteries or plugged in with a cord, it has a convenient design that allows you to move and rearrange it every time you need it. Modern models with a clothespin have adjustable and flexible heads and levers on lamps that allow you to adjust the direction of light. This adaptability has been enhanced since the introduction of LED technology.

Thanks to the use of LED luminaires, table lamps now have thinner profiles, turning the lamp head through 360 ° and remain cool to the touch.

Metal model on the clothespin

In general, this is the most practical type of table lamp, which is always useful in the house.

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How much light is needed depending on age?

The older you are, the more light you need - a person over 50 years old consumes twice as much light as at the age of 25. At the same time, older eyes are much more sensitive to glare, so it is more important than ever to get a quality table lamp with a controlled beam of light (as opposed to a regular table lamp that emits light in all directions).

Most table lamp manufacturers take this into account when designing them. Thus, there is a line of special lamps for aging eyes with a power of 100FC and a matte diffuser and reflector to reduce glare and light scattering.

You do not have to wait until your eyes are old to get a proper lighting device, as this is really important at any age and will relieve you of eye strain and headaches. See below for a chart of basic power ratings based on age, type / amount of use and type of light bulb.

Does not take much space

powerincandescent lamphalogenfluorescentLight-emitting diode
5 - 12 years old children's table25 - 50 FC≤ 40W≤ 20 W≤ 9 W3-5 w
13 - 24 years old Teen table20 - 75 FC≥ 60W≥ 50W≤ 9 W≤ 5W
25 - 55 years old Home office35 - 75 FC≥ 60W≥ 50W≤ 9 W5-10 W
50 - 75 years old Home office50 - 100 FC≥ 100W≥ 50W≤ 13 W5-10 W
Reading in bed100 FC---3 W

If you are reading a small book, the dispersion of the beam may be less than if you are drawing a drawing. There are LED lamps that control the size of the beam of light so that you can read in bed without disturbing, for example, your partner.

Night reading lights are distinguished by adjustable levers that help direct all the light right where you need it, depending on your age and light level. Return to menu

The correct position of the lamp

The correct position is above the head and eyes. The light source should never be under a direct beam to your eyes. If you have a glass tabletop, be prepared for the glare of the light reflected from the glass and position the lamp head at an angle of 30 ° so that there is no reflection in the field of view.

The correct position - above the head and eyes

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Color rendering index for desktop and color temperature

The color temperature is measured in Kelvin units and describes the visually warm light (amber tint) or cold (blue tint) of white light:

  • 2200 - 2700K is considered very warm white;
  • 2700K - 3000K is considered warm white;
  • 3500K neutral;
  • 4100K - 5500K is considered cold;
  • Daylight is 5600K - 6500K.
Halogen lights always have a color temperature of 3000K, while most LED lights can be purchased at 2700K, 3000K or cold at 4500K.

Warm color temperatures soothe and create a pleasant atmosphere, and cooler color temperatures stimulate the brain and can improve performance. You can get different effects depending on where you are and what you will use the lighting for.. For example, table lamps in homes typically make up 2700K - 3000K, while in offices, usually 3000K - 3500K.

The color rendering index (CRI) is a method of describing the influence of a light source on a color image of illuminated objects. The maximum possible CRI is 100, which means daylight conditions against which we compare all artificial light sources. In general, low CRI lighting can make some colors unnatural, and low CRI often causes uncomfortable light.

Lamps with a CRI of less than 60 should never be used. It has been proven that the higher the CRI, the lower the artificial light can be felt. A good guideline for all table lamps is the 80 CRI. Halogen and incandescent bulbs always have a CRI of 100, and today most high-quality LED bulbs have a CRI of at least 80.

All information about the light value of the lamp, its power, number of watts, color accuracy (CRI) and color temperature can be found on a standard label with information about the illuminator.

The option of dividing a room into zones

What is the difference between halogen lamps and LED table lamps?

As mentioned above, the CRI and color temperature are different for halogens and LEDs. While halogen table lamps always have a CRI of 100 and a color temperature of around 3000K, LED table lighting has more variety.

One of the most noticeable differences between them actually has nothing to do with the light itself. If you ever accidentally touch a halogen lamp when it is on, you will notice that they will be very hot. LEDs emit only 1/5 of the heat of a halogen lamp, and this means two things:

  • you will never burn yourself by accidentally touching the LED table lamp;
  • LEDs use only 1/5 of the energy of halogen lamps, so you will also save money on your electricity bill.

In the design of the living room

Another big difference between LED table lamps and halogen lamps is that halogen work only for 2000 hours, and LED lamps - 50,000 hours.

BoardIf you use the lamp for 5 hours a day, you will need to change the halogen lamp about every year, while the LED will last about 30 years! LED indicators offer a wide range of color temperature, from sleepy orange (1600K) to cheerful, stimulating bluish white (6000K), and the whole spectrum in between. In combination with a dimmer, this makes the LED lamps the best for your eyes and the easiest to use in any conditions.

In classic style

From the point of view of aesthetics, the possibilities for unique, stylish and modern designs are superior to LED table lamps. LEDs are diodes (small flat surfaces that emit light) that are so small that they can be placed in more stylish lamps for a fashionable look. Halogen bulbs tend to be larger lamps because the bulbs heat up during operation and must be protected by a housing (usually steel and / or glass).

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Latest recommendations for table lamps

How, nevertheless, to choose it? I would base the choice on your style. If you have a room in a modern style, the answer is a sharp, clean LED option. If your room is a classic, perhaps a halogen or incandescent lamp in brass or bronze will look good. If you need an adjustable lever that can be moved to different areas of the table, I would look for it. If you are sitting and reading, a straight table lamp is enough.

Easy to read model

5 things to think about when buying a desk lamp:

  • A typical computer screen produces around 20–25 FC light. It is necessary to avoid headaches from eyestrain, which occurs when you switch from the monitor to the table and back and constantly change the contrast of the lighting.
  • Remember about flare problems. Get a controlled lamp with an adjustable head and handle.
  • Think of a high quality fixture (with a dimmer) that will last a lifetime.
  • Table lamp must be equipped with a brightness switch or two positions (high - low). Dimmers can be purchased for luminaires that have no dimming options.
  • The adjustable LED head should be cool to the touch or have a handle that protects you from heat.