It's a simple fact that most American homes suffer from a serious lack of task lighting. While most of our homes come equipped with overhead lighting of some kind (cough, the ever-present "boob light"), shelling out additional dough for bedside table lamps, floor lamps, and desk lighting seems to be an item on our to-do list that we never really get around to. But as underappreciated as it is, task lighting can make a huge difference in your experience of being at home. (If you've ever squinted at a book because your overhead lighting left it largely in the dark, you know what we're talking about.)
Add stress and slouching postures that cast even more of a shadow, and you're looking at a recipe for eye strain and general frustration. On the bright side? High-design silhouettes are more readily available than ever, with some of our top picks being lamps under $200. Click through to see 20 of the best desk lamps we could find — then bring one home and never end your workday with a headache ever again.
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It's called "classic" for a reason. This industrial-cool lamp is a staple of architects' offices, design studios, you name it. Its finely balanced range of motion and sleek design makes this spendy style worth the splurge. And depending on your preference, you can customize this lamp with a halogen or LED bulb.
If your workspace is subject to moving from kitchen table to desk to couch to bed, this is a smart option. Its sleek design feels right at home in any midcentury modern space, and it can provide 48 hours of continuous light on just four hours of charge — cordlessly. It can also rest at several angles along its octagonal base, so you can work the way that's best for you.
This eye-catching table lamp feels retro yet modern, thanks to its unique juxtaposition of powder-coated metal and brass accents. It's surprisingly statement-making, considering its minimalist shape—and the price can't be beaten.
There's something oh-so-Scandi about this minimalist, walnut-finish table lamp. The exposed, high-contrast red cord and architectural frame make it a chic conversation piece that's as functional as it is fun.
Cut the cords — this sleek, MCM-inspired lamp has a built-in wireless charger at the base, so you can keep your phone fully juiced while you're hard at work.
In addition to being undeniably adorable, this chunky lamp from Rejuvenation has two grounded outlets and two USB charging ports (just in case you're not up on that wireless charging yet). Its linen-covered power cord and leather touchpad are just a few additional details that truly make it a must-have.
A true love letter to the "less is more" approach, this desk lamp is crafted from over 50% recyclable materials and will give your home office a major upgrade.
Another super-sleek brass design, for the glam work-from-home set.
Millennial style, in a nutshell: this blush-pink lamp is 3D printed from a sustainable corn-based plastic (like the rest of Gantri's impressive selection), and even has a spot for your favorite
coworker succulent. What could be better?
This energy-efficient 3D printed lamp can direct light downward toward your workstation, or can be flipped to give off a dramatic upward glow for cocktail hour, dinner parties, and the like. It also has a smooth dimmer switch for more control over your atmosphere. (Did we mention it's also very attractive?)
If you're ready to invest in something highly unique, look no further than the Catherine table lamp by Castor Design. As the Deadstock moniker suggests, it's crafted from vintage parts salvaged from an old lighting factory. Real Carrara marble and machined brass complete this high-end look. Also available in white.
For a super budget-friendly pick with a similar vibe, we love IKEA's RANARP work lamp (also available in a clamp-on version for small desks). Its brass accents and chic black-and-white fabric-covered cable make it feel much more expensive than it is.
This desk lamp design is nothing short of iconic. While many designers have offered up their own colorways and limited-edition tributes to the Type 75 at this point, we're partial to this stunning yellow ochre shade to add to your desk space.
When you're stuck at your desk for hours on end staring at your computer screen, you're going to want lighting that's going to be easy on your eyes. This pick from Amazon is the perfect LED desk lamp with 13 different color temperatures, 23 brightness levels, and an auto-dimming mode to create the ideal environment to work, study, or read.
Opt for a unique statement piece with this handcrafted solid brass lamp from CB2. Designed by Studio Anansi in London, it has a vintage design that will elevate any space in your home.
Get the perfect lighting with this smart task lamp from Dyson. Designed to help reduce eye strain, it provides more than 1,000 lux brightness and can be controlled and personalized to your routine with an app. It simulates natural light and has multiple modes for everything from a study mode that adjusts to local daylight to a wake-up mode that gradually brightens at the time you want to get up in the morning. And if you want a bigger lamp, try the floor lamp version and check out our review of the Dyson Lightcycle Morph.
Want a desk lamp you can move around with ease? Add this modern, rechargeable, and cordless LED lamp from West Elm to your cart. Made with a sleek polycarbonate body, you can easily tap the base to go through its three brightness settings. At full charge (which takes three hours to obtain), it can function for 24 hours on the low setting, 15 hours on the medium setting, and 6.5 hours on the high setting.
A modern light source with a curvy design, this simple lamp will make your workspace instantly more stylish.
Get flicker-free, eye-safe lighting with this energy-efficient LED lamp. Complete with USB ports to charge external devices, it has five color modes and seven brightness levels to choose from while you work on any task on your to-do list. This lamp also has an adjustable design so you can create a spotlight if needed.
This pick from Wayfair is anything but ordinary. It has a geometric lampshade and rose gold accents that'll make home offices, bedrooms, and dorm rooms pop.