Guest Post: How to Choose a Floor Lamp for Reading

It’s no longer a secret that lighting can affect your mood. That’s why you should never underestimate the influence a reading floor lamp can have on your bookish experience.

The right reading floor lamp can bring your reading experience to a new level

Unfortunately, not all floor lamps are created equal. Some are meant to provide some ambient to the room but do not work as task light. Some are made with special designs to solely augment the interior decors around them.

Picking the floor lamp for reading, thus, can be a headache for us bookworms.

In this post, I’m so excited to share with you in this post some simple but effective tips on how to choose the best floor lamp for reading.

While I’m no lighting expert, I’m a bookworm who happens to like snuggling in a cushy reading chair with a soft blanket and lots of pillows and book in hand. And I spent a significant amount of time surfing the net and reading experts’ advice on lighting, just so I could find the right lamp to shine on my book while it enlightens my mind.

1. Consider the height of you reading chair

Deciding the height you want your reading floor lamp could be a bit tricky.

Generally, the reading floor lamp that you place next to your chair doesn’t need to be as tall as the torchiere you use for ambient. It needs to be closer to your book to offer a stronger light.

Then again it also depends on the height of your chair, as well as your reading position. If you have a high reading chair and you read sitting, too short a lamp could result in the light being too focused and glaring. On the other hand, if you lie flat on a low lounge chair, a floor lamp with average height may feel like a ceiling light. It could be too dim to read.

Your best bet is thus to find a floor lamp whose height is adjustable.

2. Pick a reading lamp with a directional shade

When reading, you need sufficient light on your book. That’s why a lamp with directional shade which focuses the light on a small area is better than one that only provides ambient.

A reading floor lamp should focus the light on your book

To make sure the light always shines to your desired direction, pick a lamp whose light head is adjustable. A gooseneck is ideal, or you can also find ones with a fixed neck and a rotatable head. Adjusting the light head will be so much easier than changing the position of the whole lamp or your reading chair.

3. Choose a dimmable lamp

You don’t always want to read under the same brightness at all time.

You may sometimes be snuggling with your child on the chair, reading them a children’s book before bedtime. The big letters mean you don’t need a lot of light to read, plus you want the room to be a bit dim to make your child feel relaxed and sleepy.

On the other hand, sometimes you have strong background ambient and you may want your lamp to be brighter than usual.

Thus, it’s best to purchase a reading lamp with multiple brightness levels. The dimmability allows you to enjoy your books at the comfort of the eyes regardless of the font size and the background light.

4. Pay attention to the color temperature

Light color temperature is believed to affect your mood, and thus your reading experience.

A low temperature (2700K – 3000K or the warm white spectrum) relaxes you out, making you feel calm, cozy. It’s best for reading easy materials, such as a small light-hearted romantic novel. In addition, people tend to feel sleepy more quickly in a warm light. Therefore, it’s best to read in this color before bedtime.

Light with high temperature (5000 – 6000K or the daylight spectrum), meanwhile, can make you more alert. It’s believed to keep your mind freshened and sharp to tackle difficult materials, such as scientific books or big, complicated novels. As light in this spectrum contains more blue light, it is advised to not turn it on in the late evening, as it could affect your sleep.

The lamp with the right light color temperature will set the mood for your read

A lamp that allows you to choose among its multiple color temperatures is a good idea.

However, if you mostly read one kind of material at some particular time of the day everyday, you can simply pick the one with a single light color. For example, if you mostly read to relax before going to sleep, a light bulb of 2700K – 3000K is ideal.

5. How to find a cost-wise reading floor lamp

A floor lamp used to be considered more of a decorative item than a task light. Therefore, some can cost several thousand dollars merely for the look.

However, as technology advances, more task-oriented floor lamps have emerged. They have a design that focuses on functionality and has very few gimmicky details. And they’re sold at very reasonable prices.

With less than $300, you can now find a decent LED reading floor lamp with adjustable height, intensity, and temperature.

LED lamps tend to use less energy and have a longer lifespan too, so it’s really more cost-wise in long term to stick to them. Unless you want a lamp that also augments your bolero style reading nook – most LED floor lamps have simplistic designs and match better with contemporary decors.


Anitya is a full-time nooblogger from Hooked To Books, a blog dedicated to book and reading gadget reviews. She aspires to make the reading time the highlight of the day for everyone by sharing her reading tips, introducing interesting books, and reviewing gadgets that provide comfort and enhance reading efficiency.
You can find her on Twitter, and Facebook.

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2 thoughts on “Guest Post: How to Choose a Floor Lamp for Reading

  1. Thanks for featuring my post <3

  2. Interesting post, I don’t normally read under a lamp but it’s interesting to consider!

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