The Best Reading Lights of 2020 — Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Sonia Akavan
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How many readers are out there?

I’m surprised to say that people still read hardcover books (I live near Kauai, and the locals here still read books on paper instead of iPads).

If you find yourself reading late at night after your significant other has fallen asleep, you might want to take a look at a book light.

And if you love doing handwork, you might need to buy a light and a stand so you can finish your project without straining your eyes.

This guide will take you through the different kinds of book lights, how to install and care for a book light, and we’ll even show you the top 10 best book lights.

Shouldn’t be tough to find one that’s right for you.

NameCategoryProduct
Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell ShadeBest Overall
Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell Shade
SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving ReplacementBudget Pick
SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement
BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk LampUpgrade Pick
BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk Lamp

1. Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell Shade

Our rating: 9 / 10


Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell Shade

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Pros:

  • Simple but classy design
  • Colors complement modern-looking interiors
  • Low-wattage light bulbs
  • Small, delicate flowers on lampshades
  • Easy setup
  • Tracks for adjustable positioning

The Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of two provides you with two matching lamps in a simple, yet classy design. They feature a beautiful set of small, delicate flowers on a cream-colored lampshade paired with a bronze wood-like base.

Unlike other lamps of this style, these lamps do not have a large base. Instead, the small, delicate flowers on the lampshade are supported by a round-shaped track. As a result, the lamps are easily adjustable for placement in any corner of the room or in front of any window.

To top it all off, these lamps are available at a great price, which is an added bonus.

2. Rosslyn Rustic Swing Arm Wall Lamps Set of 2 French Country Bronze Plug-in Light Fixture Faux Leather Shade

Our rating: 9 / 10


Rosslyn Rustic Swing Arm Wall Lamps Set of 2 French Country Bronze Plug-in Light Fixture Faux Leather Shade

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Pros:

  • Simple to install
  • Organic design
  • Brass construction
  • Adjustable hanging straps
  • Zero-wattage LED for an energy efficient source of lighting
  • Ideal for use as a reading light

Cons:

  • Not as much illumination as a regular lamp
  • No color coating for the lampshade

The Rosslyn is a simple yet amazing wall lamp that can provide just enough lighting for your bedside book readings. What we love about it:

It’s an interesting way to use a wall lamp that’s already available in the market. Most wall lamp designs have a cord that runs to the ceiling in order to plug in.

Most times, I found that function kind of unnecessary. So I simply created such a lamp using a bracket, a wall hook, and a plug-in.

3. CLAXY Ecopower Industrial Barn Mini Metal Pendant Light 1 Light

Our rating: 9 / 10


CLAXY Ecopower Industrial Barn Mini Metal Pendant Light 1 Light

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Pros:

  • Versatile design
  • Simple installation
  • Can be used as a pendant

Cons:

  • Only good for up to 3 stars
  • No remote included

The Ecopower industrial barn light is a pendant light that can be installed over a table or on the wall. It’s perfect for creating a rustic look. The base is great for adding extra table space if you don’t have much.

This light fixture is perfect for that rustic look, and the simplicity of the setup is great. You don’t have to hire an electrician to install this light, because it comes with an installation manual that includes step by step instructions.

It would normally cost more to hire an electrician to install a light fixture, so you get the added value of saving money and at the same time get a great quality product.

4. BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk Lamp

Our rating: 9 / 10


BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk Lamp

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Pros:

  • Eye-Comfortable
  • Intelligent Dimmable Design
  • Great for Studying, Writing, Gaming and General office use
  • Can be used for video and photography editing at night
  • Has three different light wavelengths
  • Very lightweight
  • Super long usable life
  • Power saving and eco-friendly
  • Affordable price and value for money

Cons:

  • Somewhat small
  • Plastic build

Reading Table Lamp, Cordless, Battery Operated , Height Adjustable.

The BenQ Silver Genie looks nicer than most reading lights we have seen, and is the perfect desk light for a home office or student. It features a modern, black rubberized finish which is hardy and durable. The warm white and cool white LED lights are designed to filter blue wavelengths of light to reduce eye strain and irritation. It also helps to improve your sleep patterns.

The lamp uses no ultraviolet nor infrared light, meaning you don’t need to worry about getting any skin damage from the light. Thanks to the high-power LEDs used in the lamp, it has a great lifespan of 50,000 hours, which means you can use the lamp for decades without needing to replace the LEDs.

5. The Lamborghini of Book Lights

Our rating: 9 / 10


The Lamborghini of Book Lights

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Pros:

  • Advanced USB charger with auto on/off design
  • Adjustable light color
  • Built-in soft reading light
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Eco-friendly and battery included

This Lamborghini of book lights is going to be ideal for anyone searching for the best reading lamp for bed. This is a one-of-a-kind light that is designed to mimic natural daylight and has other lighting options like the orange hue of incandescent lights.

When you want a warm light, you want natural light…which is why book lights get a bad rap. Many book lights just aren’t designed to mimic the soft light we’re used to from the sun. Actually, the majority of the bulbs inside these lights are blueish white.

The HelloSun lamp is smartly designed to kill two birds with one stone. It’s a lamp that doesn’t look like a reading lamp but to which you can angle and tilt the head in order to direct the light just where you want it. I’ve made the features and specs design part of the pros, because they’re a big deal.

6. Brightech Litespan LED Bright Reading and Craft Floor Lamp

Our rating: 9 / 10


Brightech Litespan LED Bright Reading and Craft Floor Lamp

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Pros:

  • Dimmable LED light panel
  • A variety of adjustable settings
  • Provides a great work light

Cons:

  • Short cord
  • Not very portable

The Brightech Litespan is a perfect desk lamp that could appeal to a broad range of people. It is one of the best desk lamps for reading as it provides plenty of bright, white light while also fitting in with contemporary decor.

This great looking lamp disassembles easily and is perfect as a mobile task lamp. It includes three different brightness settings to allow you to adjust the light to your needs, plus a dimmer switch which provides for the best reading lamp.

Floor lamps like this are really versatile and can be used in any room. The Brightech Litespan is a great example of the type of lamp that everyone should own.

7. TaoTronics TT-DL16 Stylish Metal LED Desk Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


TaoTronics TT-DL16 Stylish Metal LED Desk Lamp

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Pros:

  • Solid built
  • iLumenation; – improves visual comfort by reducing the glare from surrounding light sources
  • Good price
  • 360º desktop rotation
  • Fully adjustable
  • Easy on the eyes

Shock sensitive (Use a wooden mallet to hammer in the LED bulbs. Wonder if this is meant as a joke.)

8. Newhouse Lighting LED Clip on Light/Clamp Lamp/Reading Book Light

Our rating: 8 / 10


Newhouse Lighting LED Clip on Light/Clamp Lamp/Reading Book Light

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Pros:

  • Folds to small size for easy storage
  • Suitable for hands-free reading
  • Handle locks, so you can put it in your backpack
  • Affordable
  • Provides great lighting

The Newhouse Lighting LED Clip on Light/Clamp Lamp/Reading Book Light for Desk, Bed, Office, and Dorm Room, Black is the best book lights for reading. This well made inexpensive light can be used anywhere, from doing homework to reading before bed. It is perfect for reading in the dark.

The bronze metal material has a beautiful finish and it is very sturdy. The arm can be adjusted to different positions. The sunlight lamp is powered by 2 pieces of AAA batteries(included). It can provide good light for you to see your reading books clearly.

It comes with a very flexible 360-degree rotating joint and two position grip head. At first, you can adjust the arm to the direction you want. And then, you can use the gripping head to position the light where you need it.

9. Brightech Sparq

Our rating: 8 / 10


Brightech Sparq

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Pros:

  • Color-changing options
  • Brightens up a room with minimal effort
  • Versatile
  • Great height
  • Can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet

Cons:

  • Some of the plastics feel cheap and flimsy
  • The remote is no good
  • ……May not be available in some countries.

The Brightech Arc Floor Lamp is made of steel and coated with a high-gloss lacquer, and it also has an aluminum throat and pure glass for the prismatic glass that lets light out. There are four different lightning modes, which you can select according to your space.

The light adjusts pitch automatically to maintain the optimal brightness. There are two options for warmth for those who prefer a different hue or temperature to the light. You can adjust the brightness of the white light or color-changing light with a remote that can be paired with your Apple product.

There is also a dimming function with 26 levels of brightness. Plus, the light adjusts in height, for a maximum of 7-feet-8-inches. This is where your Brightech Arc floor lamp truly shines. It will absolutely light up the room and the space in a way that only a floor lamp can do.

10. SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement

Our rating: 8 / 10


SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement

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Pros:

  • Great for desks and tables
  • Soft white color
  • Dimmable

This Sylvania bulb offers a unique model over others on the market. Being able to dim the lights so greatly in a book light is rare, but it’s a huge plus for any potential customers.

The lights can be dimmed all the way up to 10 percent. This means that you can find a setting that works perfectly for night-time reading as well as day-time reading. Having the flexibility to find exactly the right brightness for your needs is a rarity with book lights, but it’s a feature that you’ll love with the Sylvania.

This model is also ideal for a large number of different uses. The light can be used by your phone, computer, or television. Any device that can be set up over a desk or table would benefit from this light.

11. SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement

Our rating: 8 / 10


SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • AA Lighting (provides a more relaxing light)
  • 10,000 hour life span
  • 2700K
  • 5 years full warranty from manufacturer
  • No mercury or other environmentally harmful substances

Cons:

  • Low light levels at full brightness (about 1200 lumens)
  • Relatively high price compared to other bulbs in this category
  • Limited availability in some parts of the world

Depending on your tastes, you will love the Sylvania Halogen Bulb either to be a great invention or just a gimmick. The bulb is made out of High Density Refractory Composite rod, which is the same metal that is used for cylinders in rockets and other extreme heat conditions. the bulb conducts heat well and actually improves your lamp by moving the heat away from the bulb itself. On HALO bulbs, the filament has been moved so much, that the filament is placed right next to the envelope, allowing for improved focused beam. With the filament being so close to the finish, the filament burns longer and hotter.

12. WalterDrake Headboard Light

Our rating: 8 / 10


WalterDrake Headboard Light

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Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Can be heavy (4.2 pounds)

The WalterDrake Headboard Light in cream color, is a super practical and versatile bedside reading lamp. It has a dimmer for adjusting the light to your preference.

This bedside light features three different light settings. When it is set on its brightest setting, it offers 60 watts worth of soft light. An indicator light on the side of the lamp changes color at this setting to let you know the lamp is on.

The two lower settings offer either 15 or 10 watt settings. The light at its lowest setting is perfect for sensitive eyes and there is a 60 watt clear frosted bulb included.

13. Cree SA19-04627MDFD-12DE26-1-14 Led 40W Replacement A19 Soft White

Our rating: 6 / 10


Cree SA19-04627MDFD-12DE26-1-14 Led 40W Replacement A19 Soft White

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Pros:

  • The bulbs have a long life
  • They don’t flicker
  • They’re dimmable

5%, 130 Degree.

The packaging is a little deceptive. All bulbs are designed to mimic other bulbs in the same case but are not exactly identical

The Cree soft white led light bulb produces a warm, overall glow similar to a traditional incandescent bulb and has a very sharp beam pattern, making it ideal to hang fixtures and lamps.

14. CRLight 10W LED Edison Bulb 2700K Warm White 1000LM

Our rating: 3 / 10


CRLight 10W LED Edison Bulb 2700K Warm White 1000LM

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Pros:

  • Great for home decoration
  • Adjustable lighting

Cons:

  • You cannot use it for night reading

If you love the style and vintage look of an old-fashioned lightbulb, but want something more stylish and energy efficient, it's a good idea to check out the CRLight Edison bulb.

This incandescent bulb comes in two different size options, 25 and 40 watts. It's designed to replace your normal incandescent light bulbs that you use in your lamps, overhead light fixtures, and ceiling fan fixtures. It has a nice vintage look with a hint of modern style that will add a little more good style to your home. The light emitted by this LED filament bulb does have a yellowish tint, so if you don't enjoy that look, you may want to look for other lightbulbs.

These bulbs are made to last a very long time, so if you purchase them, they'll probably be an additional purchase you won't regret.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best light to read by?

Like any other piece of gear, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Picking a great reading light depends on the space you have available, what type of lighting situations you are most commonly in, and your personal preferences.

Many people prefer the bright, cool light of LEDs. For others, a more natural incandescent bulbs work best because they aren't as bright. Incandescent bulbs tend to provide a warmer light than fluorescent or LED lights. For folks who are really serious about reducing their eyestrain, they may also want to get light bulbs that filter out blue light.

If you’re a person who tends to read at night, then you may want to get a fixture that also has a built-in night-light. If you want extra light in a room, then you might want a lamp that can be positioned.

Is warm or cool light better for reading?

It’s generally easier to read text that’s printed with a warm light compared to blue-white light. But that’s only one factor. Your eyes prefer a light that’s bright but not among the most glaring. You might also consider recommending a covering to the person who is reading. Of course, check their eye color, as some people have blue eyes and are more sensitive to blue light.

What color light is best for reading?

Like all of our other buyer’s guides, we looked for the answer on the internet, and we could find almost no mention of this topic. Surprisingly, this is a very important concern to have, especially if you are planning on using a light near your child. Because experts believe that blue light rays (typical of most reading LEDs) can inhibit melatonin production in humans, they recommend choosing a light that emits red light rays.

If you spend a large amount of time reading at your desk, whether you're at work or at home, a red LED book light will enable you to read without having to strain your eyes and will help promote natural sleeping hormones.

Which LED light is good for reading?

LED lights are a good choice for their low power consumption. They also tend to be cool to the touch (unlike incandescent bulbs). One thing you don’t want to do is shine an incandescent bulb upwards. It will cause the hot bulb to heat up the top surface of the shade, which will in turn heat up the light itself.

Some people might have a sensitivity to the ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by CFLs. As a result, they may prefer to get an incandescent bulb that doesn’t give off UV light. With incandescent bulbs, you can get bulbs with a gasket to prevent heat from escaping upwards. To reduce UV light from CFL bulbs, consider an opaque cover.

Conclusion

What if you could make your reading experience even better? How would that make you feel? Well, consider the possibility of upgrading to one of the best reading lights of 2020—it’s a worthwhile upgrade for any reader. Obviously, the most important consideration when you’re buying a reading light is that it’s bright enough to read the words clearly. That’s definitely where the “best” comes in. For some, the need for a light with levels might be a deal breaker; for others, just choosing the power and brightness is fine.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell ShadeBest Overall
Exeter Traditional Table Lamps Set of 2 Bronze Wood Carved Leaf Creme Rectangular Bell Shade
SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving ReplacementBudget Pick
SYLVANIA Halogen Lamp Double Life / Dimmable Light Bulb A19 / Energy-Saving Replacement
BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk LampUpgrade Pick
BenQ Silver Genie E-Reading LED World's First Desk Lamp