Top 5 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Reading Lamp

Care must be taken when choosing a reading lamp. Apart from the condition of your room, your health is another factor that comes into play when choosing a reading lamp. Remember, the light that will work for me might not work for you. After interacting with different clip-on reading lights, I identified many factors to be considered before buying a reading. Here is a compilation of the top 5 factors to consider when choosing a reading lamp.

  1. Lighting mode
  2. Power mode
  3. Lampshade style
  4. Color temperature
  5. Battery duration

Lighting Mode

Most reading lamps are LED. This doe not have a challenge when it comes to choosing a reading light for books in bed. However, you should pay attention to the type of light emitted by the lamp especially if you like reading in bed. Your concern here should be to protect your eyes by regulating the intensity of light. When choosing a clip-on reading light, you should select one with warm white light. Why do I say this? The reason is, according to physiology warm white light has a temperature of between 3200K and 3400K. This is the best lighting range for the needs of human eyes.

Illumination intensity is another factor to pay attention to when buying a reading light. I learned not to ignore this factor when I bought a clip-on reading light that affected my eyes. With my sensitive eyes, I was uncomfortable every time I used this light. The disadvantage with the light was that the illumination intensity could not be adjusted. I had to give away the light as I could not tolerate its light intensity. Therefore, my advice here is that you should check to ensure that the lighting intensity of the lamp can be adjusted. 

Power Mode

Have you ever been in blackout yet you needed to finish reading a novel? This happens when you get to the interesting part of the novel. However, if you have a reading light powered by a battery, you got nothing to worry about. At this point, power denotes how the light is powered either by a battery, direct electricity or chargeable. This factor will depend with your needs for the reading light. For example, if your area has constant blackouts, it is good to invest in a clip-on reading light that uses a battery. This is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a reading lamp.

Lampshade Style

Lampshade style is also among the factors to consider when choosing a reading lamp. However, this factor is normally overlooked by many people including me. You start regretting especially when you want to read from your bed. The challenge comes when you are tired reading in a given posture. When you change your sleeping posture, you need a lampshade that can be adjusted to face your reading direction. Apart from the light having a lampshade that can focus light, ensure that it is adjustable. 

You should check to ensure that the lampshade and the light source are halogen and incandescent. These two aspects should not be overlooked as they provide full spectrums. From my experience, this sustains your comfortability as you read from the bed. Additionally, the light will not heat to the extreme conditions that will make you uncomfortable in the bed.

Color Temperature

By color temperature I mean the temperature of the luminary. Reading lamps come in diverse color temperatures depending on what the light will be used for. However, for reading, you should check lights with moderate color temperatures of about 4000K to 4600K. I realized that lights with this temperature range are the best for reading as they are soft and somehow amber. 

Lights with a temperature color from 4700K to 5500K are not good for your eyes. At this color temperature, the light can stimulate your eyes which can leave you with watery eyes. This is a condition you want to avoid anytime you read. At this point, the crucial factor you should consider is that the light emitted by the reading lamp must be close to natural light.

As stated, most reading lamps are LED, thus good for your eyes. However, what I realized is that these LED lights have different degrees of blue rays which are harmful to the eyes. For your safety, you should check the light to ensure that it has a low range of blue rays.

Battery Duration

This is the final among the factors to consider when choosing a reading lamp. For those who want to read in places with no electricity connection, this is a factor you should not overlook. If you want to read while travelling at night, you may want to get a neck reading light with longer battery durations. This is the light which, apart from reading, will ensure that you don’t disturb other people who might not want light.

You don’t need to have a reading light that will go off abruptly. You should be able to read knowing how long your reading light can go when fully charged. With this in mind, you will not get disappointed. If you have kids who need to complete their assignments, you will not worry even in case of blackouts. Its advisable to look for a reading light that can last approximately 4 hours when in use.


Many factors come in play when choosing a reading light. You want a light that will meet your reading needs by adhering to the conditions of your eyes. Because I realized choosing a stable and soft light is a challenge, I compiled this list of factors to consider when choosing a reading lamp from personal experience. With these considerations, I believe you will get a reading light which apart from meeting your reading needs, it will protect your eyes. 

Guest article written by: Conrad Orori

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