Buying Guide to Reading Lamps

Is your reading lamp hurting your eyes? If you are experiencing frequent headaches after reading, your lamp may be to blame. Finding the right kind of reading lamp can be a frustrating experience, particularly since there are so many different models on the market. However, there are a few easy ways to find out what kind of lamp you need that will make your purchase a whole lot easier.

First, let’s take a look at the color of the shade for your reading lamp. This is a case where extremes should always be avoided. A dark shade can make it too hard to read, while a light-colored shade can create glare on your page. The best shade colors for a reading lamp may vary by use. For example, the popular banker’s light will usually have a green shade, since this may help reduce glare when used for reading on a flat surface. However, for reading in bed or in a chair, it is a good idea to go with a soft ivory color for your shade, or another pastel color.

The material of the shade may also make a difference. When purchasing a reading lamp, look for a shade that is made out of a plain material that will not cast shadows on your page. A striped or checkered shade fabric should be avoided, as well as textured fabrics. While they are nice to look out, they are not very helpful to read with.

Bulb Options

A reading lamp may come with many different light bulb options. A standard reading lamp will come fitted for a regular light bulb and is the most common. However, LED lights are quickly becoming more popular. Several LED’s are used to create a very bright field of light, but this may be too intense for some people. One of the major benefits of using a reading lamp with LED lights is the long life of the bulbs.

Other type of light bulb that is becoming more widely used is the natural spectrum bulb. A reading lamp that uses this type of bulb is typically easier to work with and can greatly reduce eye strain.

No matter what type of lighting option you choose, the actual power that they put out is the most important feature. The accepted wattage for a reading lamp is 100 watts. This level reduces eye strain and prevents shadows from forming on the page. If you are dealing with a type of bulb that does not use watts as a measurement, such as an LED or natural spectrum light, look for a rating of 1300 to 1800 lumens for the best result. This is comparable to a 100 watt bulb.


Although a reading lamp is a pretty simple device, many new models are offering different features and functions. It is important to know where you plan to use your reading lamp before making your purchase. If you intend to do most of your reading in bed, look for a reading lamp that can be bent or can hang on your headboard. If you plan to read in your favorite chair, a floor lamp may actually provide the best light source for reading. A reading lamp that offers the ability to adjust brightness is a very good choice, and will allow you to set the right kind of brightness, no matter what time of day it is.

The important point that should not be forgotten when purchasing a reading lamp is your eyesight. A good reading lamp can actually help you maintain your vision and reduce eye strain. While they can be expensive, this is one investment that is absolutely well worth the purchase price.

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