Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Welcome to our big reading lamp test 2021. Here we present all the reading lamps we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best reading lamp for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a reading lamp.




Summary

  • Reading lamps are practical aids to provide you with enough light while reading. They should be particularly bright for this to work well.
  • Reading lamps come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. You can have standing or clamp-on lamps or mount them on the wall. Depending on the type of reading place, you can choose one that suits you.
  • The important thing with reading lamps is that they actually fit your needs, as there are so many different types of design. You should therefore think about what exactly you want before you buy one.

The Best Reading Lamp: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a reading lamp

What is a reading lamp?

A reading lamp is a lamp that is specifically made for reading pleasure. It usually illuminates only small areas, but very strongly.

Another special feature of reading lamps is that they are often movable and therefore very different from ceiling lamps. They also have to provide much brighter light so that you can really read well.

Reading lamps come in many different shapes and colours, so you should think carefully about what you want when buying one.

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To make sure you have enough light when reading, it is important that you buy a reading lamp that is bright enough.
(Image source: pixabay.com/ Lars Eriksson)

How much does a reading lamp cost?

Depending on the size and type of reading lamp and also on the material used, reading lamps cost different amounts. However, you can buy them from around 10 €.

Many models are in the price category of 15 to 30 €, but there are also special designer pieces that can be bought for about 65 €. Reading lamps can be very large and stand on the floor, but they can also be quite small and be mounted on the wall, stand on the table or be clamped somewhere.

Smaller models are usually very cheap, especially if they are made of plastic. The larger and the higher the quality of the material, the more expensive the prices will be. There are also price differences depending on how many technical functions there are in the lamp.

How bright does a reading lamp have to be?

The brightness of a reading lamp depends entirely on your personal preference. Roughly speaking, it should be around 300 to 500 lux or more.

This makes your reading lamp significantly brighter than an ordinary room lamp, which should only have about 50-100 lux.

You should also buy a lamp that has a high colour rendering index (Ra). This should be around 90 Ra or more to make reading comfortable.

How much electricity does a reading lamp consume?

Most reading lamps today are only available with LEDs. These are known to require very little power and still provide sufficient brightness.

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Conventional light bulbs consume a lot of electricity and are less durable.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Free-Photos)

LED lamps with the required number of lumens (300 or more) usually consume 4-10 watts, depending on the model. This means they also use about half as much electricity as energy-saving lamps and are also better for reading in terms of brightness.

You save a lot of money when you buy an LED reading lamp.

What are the alternatives for a reading lamp?

Instead of buying a reading lamp, you can also read with a ceiling light or another room light. However, this is less advisable because they can rarely provide the brightness you need.

With an overhead lamp, it can often be too dark and reading is then much more strenuous for the eyes and you tire more easily. In addition, the entire room must then always be illuminated, which is often not desirable. For example, if one or more other people in the room would like to sleep, this can be disturbing.

So ceiling luminaires are not really suitable for reading. There are, however, luminaires that have reading lamps built in in addition to large-surface luminaires. These are also highly recommended alongside pure reading lamps if they can be well positioned.

Anyone who reads often and a lot should definitely invest in a suitable reading lamp.

Decision: What types of reading lamps are there and which is the right one for you?

Reading lamps can look very different and be suitable for different reading places. What they all have in common is that they provide you with the light you need when reading so that you can do this activity in a relaxed way.

Reading lamps are usually differentiated according to where they are placed or how they can be mounted. They can simply stand on the floor, in which case they are ordinary floor lamps, or they can be placed on a table, in which case they are usually desk lamps or lamps for the bedside table. In addition, some reading lamps can also be mounted on the wall or clamped in various places.

What are the features of a clamp-on reading lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Clamp-on reading lamps have an attachment that can be spread open and clamped around various pieces of furniture or around the book itself. Some of these lamps are also powered by a rechargeable battery or batteries, which allows for even more flexibility.

Clearly, clamp-on reading lamps are thus the most flexible in terms of mounting. However, you also have to find a good place for them so that they really clamp tightly and do not fall down.

As already mentioned, they are also available with rechargeable batteries, so you can take them with you when you travel. In addition, clamp-on reading lamps take up very little space. Compared to other reading lamps, however, they are usually not as beautiful.

Advantages
  • Very space-saving
  • Can be used flexibly
  • Also suitable for travelling
Disadvantages
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Not very aesthetic

What distinguishes a standing reading lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A standing reading lamp stands by itself on the floor and must be plugged into the socket. It is usually quite large and stands next to the sofa or other seating.

Standing reading lamps have the advantage that they do not stand on another piece of furniture and you therefore only need this one. On the other hand, they take up a relatively large amount of space compared to other models.

If you buy a standing reading lamp, it should also fit into your flat or house. It should therefore fulfil a certain style. However, you can always think about moving it to another place.

Advantages
  • Standing alone
  • Adjustable
Disadvantages
  • Requires a lot of space
  • Must match the furnishings

What are the features of a tabletop reading lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A reading lamp that you can place on a table is especially common in the bedroom or living room. It is usually connected to a power socket.

Just like other floor lamps, you can move table lamps to another place if you want to. They are usually quite small and do not immediately catch the eye in a room.

However, since they are meant to be placed on a table, that is what you should do. This means that you need a piece of furniture that is suitable for it.

Advantages
  • Small and inconspicuous
  • mobile
Disadvantages
  • Requires another piece of furniture in addition

What are the features of a wall-mounted reading lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Some reading lamps can be mounted on the wall. Some of them can even be carried out in the back of the bed and mounted on the bed instead of on the wall.

To mount such a lamp, you have to think carefully about where you want it, as you don't want to dismantle it often. You also need to be a bit handy for it and have a suitable wall.

Otherwise, these reading lamps are very grateful because they cannot fall down and are therefore very stable. In addition, it does not have to stand on the floor and thus consumes little space.

Advantages
  • Takes up little space
  • Very stably fixed
Disadvantages
  • Not movable
  • Craftsmanship required

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate reading lamps

Since there are many different models of reading lamps, you should consider what your reading lamp needs to be able to do before you buy it. We have compiled a list of buying criteria that we believe are important:

In the following, we will go into more detail about these individual features:

LED lamp

Today, there are mainly reading lamps that have LED lights. These are particularly energy-efficient and also provide very good light for reading.

In the long run, these lamps will probably remain on the market, which means that there will be spare parts in case your LED lamp breaks.

Therefore, you should choose an LED lamp when buying a reading lamp.

Dimming function

Some reading lamps allow you to choose between different light levels. This allows you to decide for yourself how bright you would like it to be when reading.

In addition, lamps with a dimmer function are very pleasant if there are other people in the room who would like it to be as dark as possible. Even if several people will be using the lamp, it is practical if it can be adjusted according to preference.

Mobility

There are reading lamps that have a rigid neck, or those with a movable neck, also called a gooseneck. This movable neck allows the light source to be perfectly aligned and always illuminate exactly the area that should receive the light.

If the light is too bright, the neck can also be used to direct the light to the ceiling or similar. It is therefore practical to have such a lamp, even if you do not want to adjust it very often.

Adjustable light colour

Many people like to read in very relaxed orange light, while others prefer very bright white light. Preferences often vary depending on how tired you are or what you are reading.

It is therefore a good idea to have a reading lamp whose light colour can be adjusted. Especially if several people want to use the lamp.

Facts worth knowing about the reading lamp

Where do I mount a reading lamp?

Reading lamps that are mounted on the wall should be fixed in a suitable place. This must have two characteristics. Firstly, the place must be suitable for you to read, and secondly, the surface on this wall must be suitable for mounting a lamp on.

Make sure that the power cable of the lamp is long enough to reach the nearest socket or find another way to supply it with power!

But what kind of surface is it? If you have wooden walls or solid walls, mounting is no problem. With plasterboard walls, you need special plugs, so-called plasterboard plugs, to be able to mount your lamp properly.

If your wall is made of plasterboard, you should mount lamps that are as light as possible, as the material will break under too much strain. Styrofoam boards are also not suitable for mounting lamps on.

If you are not sure what your walls are made of or don't want to do anything wrong, you can ask an electrician for help.

Here we have a short table to give you an overview of the basis for mounting your reading lamp:

Type of surface Suitable for mounting
Wood Well suited
Solid wall Well suited
Styrofoam Poorly suited
Plasterboard Suitable (light lamps)

How do I mount a reading lamp?

Depending on the type of lamp and where you would like to place it, the way you mount your reading lamp can vary greatly.

You can mount your reading lamp on the wall yourself, but this is not safe. Electric shocks can occur, which can even be life-threatening. Therefore, it is definitely safer to have a professional install the lamp.

There are many videos on the internet on how to install a lamp, but they should be watched with caution, as many of them are very dangerous. Therefore, you should exercise caution and not copy the first best video.

If you still want to mount your lamp yourself, you should follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off the fuse in the room!
  2. Get your tools ready. Depending on the lamp, you will need different tools. Usually different screwdrivers, a drill and dowels, and a sturdy ladder.
  3. Then fix the lamp holder in the desired place.
  4. Now you have to connect the lamp. To do this, connect the three cables from the wall to the lamp. These cables have specific colours and must be connected in the correct order. The neutral conductor is blue or grey, the protective conductor is green or yellow and the outer conductor is black or brown.
  5. Finally, check that everything is firmly mounted and that the lamp cannot fall down. Then hide the cables so that they are no longer visible.
  6. You can now switch on the fuse and the lamp is ready for use.

How do I build a reading lamp?

You can also make a reading lamp yourself quite easily. You will need the following utensils:

  • Power cable
  • Plug
  • Switch
  • Lamp socket
  • Light bulb, LED lamp, ...
  • Material for the exterior of the lamp (e.g. wood or metal)
  • Tools to build the outside of the lamp
  • Lampshade, if you want one
  • Cutter (Stanley knife)

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You don't need a large and fully equipped workshop to make a reading lamp.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Barn Images)

Depending on what kind of lamp you want, you can assemble the exterior according to your wishes.

Basically, the inside of a lamp is always built the same way:

  1. Cut the power cable to the right length and attach the plug to it.
  2. Then pass or attach the cable through the exterior of the lamp.
  3. Cut the cable where you would like the switch to be and attach the switch there.
  4. Finally, attach the lamp holder to the free end of the power cable and then insert the lamp.

In the video above, you can see how the individual parts such as the switch and plug are attached to the power cable.

Image source: unsplash.com / Aaron Burden

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