Why you need a desk lamp in your workplace

Today we spend a lot of time staring at screens of all sizes and shapes. Whether on our laptops, tablets or our phones, our days are full of black mirrors. Coupled with the natural aging process, this is a terrible combination for our eyes.

Given how tense our eyes can be from all those screens, it’s a surprise that so many of us are not investing in enough lighting. Here’s why that’s a problem.

The effects of poor lighting and screen glare on the eyes

For those of us who work and play with screens, the constant shifting of pixels and glare can damage our eyes.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), there are several symptoms of computer vision syndrome – eye strain, headache, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck pain. In children, computer vision syndrome leads to decreased attention span, irritability, and bad behavior.

The older we get, the more light we need from year to year. While reading in low light doesn’t seem to have any long-term effects on your eyesight, the discomfort can make you less productive. In addition, a lack of sufficient light can make existing eye problems such as cataracts and retinal problems worse.

How to choose a good desk lamp

Desk with lamp

One way to avoid the dangers of poor lighting and screen glare is to invest in a desk lamp. The goal of any good desk lamp is to alleviate symptoms of eye strain by reducing the contrast between your screen and the darkness around it. Here are some tips on choosing the best one for you.


A good desk lamp can be easily adjusted both in height and in direction. It should also match the proportions of your desk or work area. Desk lamps should serve as additional lighting for darker areas around your screen and should not illuminate it directly.

There are six basic types of desk lamps to choose from – adjustable, gooseneck, clip-on, magnifying glass or bench lamp. In general, a lamp with a swivel or flexible stem is ideal for most mobility.

Type of lightbulb

There are three types of lightbulbs for each lamp – LED, Fluorescent Tube (CFL), and Incandescent. Although each type of lamp has advantages and disadvantages, LED lamps are ideal because of their long lifespan, efficient energy consumption and dimming function.

Ideally, LED lamps of 5 to 10 watts are suitable for most workplaces. For work lighting, cool lights with around 4000 K are better suited for lighting and cause less eye strain.

Related: The Best Sunlight Lamps For Winter Depression And Light Therapy

Lighting area

According to Benq, around 90 cm to the left and right of a screen should be a suitable illumination area. Since most standard desk lamps range from 30cm to 50cm, consider more than one lamp when working on multiple screens. When choosing a desk lamp, avoid flickering lightbulbs, which create a strobe-like effect that causes dizziness.

Keep the light on

Table with shade and lamp

When it comes to long work days and long nights, a lamp is an indispensable tool. This is necessary not only for your productivity but also for your overall health.

Aside from a desk lamp or two, there are other ways to keep your eyes healthy. For example, you can use dark mode, eye strain reduction mode on your devices, or lower the screen brightness. Alternatively, you can just try to reduce the overall screen time.

Finding the right type of lamp takes trial and error. As our eyesight changes over time, so do our different needs. Even if it seems like a lot of work, finding the perfect lamp for yourself is worth it.

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About the author

Quina Baterna
(63 published articles)

Quina loves to write about technology, lifestyle and gaming. Her other hats include voice actors, mom cat, and digital marketers. Former Co-Founder of Tipsy Tales.

More from Quina Baterna

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