Best Desk Lamps for Painting

Globe Electric Multi-Joint Desk Lamp

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If your budget is a little tight, this desk lamp from Globe Electric is a great option to consider. It’s a classical desk lamp with an articulating multi-joint neck that should work for most painters’ needs.

The highlight of this desk lamp is the power switch mounted on the lamp shade. This placement makes the lamp easier to operate compared to desk lamps where the switch is on the power cord. However, since the shade will heat up while the lamp is on, be careful when reaching for the switch!

The power cord in this desk lamp is pretty long as well – 6 feet should be enough for most needs.

In terms of adjustment and mounting, the Globe Electric lamp goes up to 31.5-32 inches tall and supports up to 2 inches thick tabletops. Pretty typical for a desk lamp, so this model should work for most people.

Note that since this is a rather inexpensive desk lamp, it won’t be the most durable out there. Its clamp, in particular, is quite flimsy, so we suggest that you don’t mess with it too much.


  • Relatively affordable.
  • Easy-to-adjust articulating arm.
  • 6 feet long power cord.
  • Convenient power switch on top of the lamp shade.


  • On the flimsier side.

ToJane Swing Arm Desk Lamp

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If you want something higher-quality, then the ToJane swing arm desk lamp might be a better pick than the Globe Electric lamp. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s built more durably than the previous desk lamp. With its thick metal parts and 3-layer painting, this thing should be able to serve you for the years to come.

We also love the sleek design of the ToJane lamp – for those who want a lamp that will fit modern interiors, this desk lamp is a wonderful choice.

When it comes to adjustments and convenience, the ToJane lamp is als osolid. It has a long 6 feet power cord, flexible arm, up to 32 inches of height adjustment, and supports of up to 2.5 inches thick desks.

With that said, the cord-mounted power switch is inconvenient at times, and the clamp isn’t as solid as the rest of the lamp. Still, ToJane is a great buy for the money and a suitable option if you want something eye-catching.


  • Tough metal construction.
  • Convenient articulating arm.
  • Sleek style.
  • 6 feet long power cord.


  • The power switch is placed on the cord and isn’t too convenient.
  • The clamp feels flimsier than we’d like for the money.

TaoTronics TT-DL13B LED Desk Lamp

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The TT-DL13B LED desk lamp from TaoTronics boasts flicker-free light that’s easy on the eyes – perfect for hours-long painting sessions!

The construction of this desk lamp is interesting as well – it’s not a traditional multi-joint desk lamp. It looks pretty cool and features great adjustability. The head can be tilted up or down and swiveled to the side a good bit.

TT-DL13B also has 7 brightness levels and 5 color temperature modes. The color modes aren’t that useful for painting, to be fair, since you want more neutral colors (about 5000-6000K, which this lamp supports).

The adjustable brightness is a very nice thing to have though. It goes up to 410 lumens – not the highest out there, but should be just enough for painting.

Notably, the TT-DL13B lamp also has an integrated USB charging port for tablets, smartphones, or other devices that support the current of the USB interface. The controls are also touch-based, but they can be annoying at times – especially during shutoff since you have to hold the power button for a few seconds for the lamp to turn off.


  • Gentle on the eyes.
  • Wide head articulation range.
  • Multiple color temperature modes & brightness levels.
  • Integrated USB charging port.
  • Built-in 410-lumens LED light.


  • The power cord enters the lamp’s base from the side, which may be very inconvenient for some desk setups.
  • The touch controls can be annoying.
  • 5 feet long power cord.

AmazLit Eye-Care Swing Arm Desk Lamp

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The AmazLit desk lamp has an integrated LED light like the TaoTronics lamp and a swing arm design like Globe Electric and ToJane lamps. This desk lamp is also intended to be clamped to up to 2.1-inch tabletops, so it’s not a tabletop model like the TaoTronics lamp.

Thanks to its multi-joint arm, the AmazLit LED lamp has a very wide height adjustment range – pretty much like in a regular swing arm lamp!

The LED light here is also rated at up to 900 lumens and boasts adjustable brightness and color temperature (3000-5500K). Adjustments are done via the convenient touch control panel. AmazLit additionally advertises that this desk lamp is easy on the eyes, so it should be good for hour-long sessions.

Notably, the AmazLit LED lamp also has auto-shutoff that can be set from 10 to 40 minutes. This is a pretty nice thing to have if you are very worried about energy efficiency (though LED lights don’t consume that much power, to be fair).


  • Easy on the eyes.
  • Very wide height adjustments.
  • Adjustable brightness and color temperature.
  • 900-lumens LED light.
  • Auto-shutoff function.
  • 5.9 feet long power cord.
  • 180-day money-back guarantee & 24-month warranty.


  • Rather expensive.

LEPOWER Metal Desk Lamp

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The LEPOWER desk lamp features a very attractive design that will wonderfully fit retro interiors. Apart from that, this desk lamp boasts a heavy-duty construction for years-long longevity.

Interestingly, the LEPOWER desk lamp comes with both a base and clamp, so you can either clamp it to your desk or place it on top. The clamp adjusts up to just 1 inch though, so it won’t work with very thick tabletops.

When it comes to functionality and convenience, this is a typical articulating desk lamp. The lamp head adjusts in height quite nicely, and you can direct the head anywhere you want. We don’t really like the cord-mounted switch, but unfortunately, this is a typical feature for desk lamps.


  • Attractive design.
  • Heavy-duty construction.
  • Convenient articulating arm.
  • Can be clamped to the desk or placed on top of it.
  • 1-year warranty.


  • The power cord is just 5 feet long.
  • The cord-mounted power switch is a bit inconvenient.

Features to look out for


When buying a desk lamp, there are certain features that you will need to be on the lookout for certain features. These are what make it a good buy or not. Mounting options are one of these all-important features to consider. Think about what your desk looks like and the available space for you to mount a lamp on it. 

Some lamps come with a clamp, which will allow you to clip the lamp onto the side of the desk. This is great, especially if you don’t have too much desk space. This can be a precious resource, especially on art desks. Some lamps are placed on the desk without being affixed to it. This means that you have to check on the lamp’s base to make sure it is sturdy enough and non-slip. Get the option that is better suited for your desk. 

Neck adjustability

Lamps have necks that extend upward towards the bulb. However, they are created differently. Some lamps are fixed, while others are adjustable. A lamp with an adjustable neck means that you can move the position of the light to your comfort level. How it adjusts also means that you can draw the light closer or farther away without moving the entire lamp. 

The way lamp necks adjust also differs, as some are pivoted, and some can be twisted and turned. The more versatile it is, the better. 

Bulb type

Lamps have different types of bulbs that make all the difference. LED bulbs are a popular choice because they do not produce too much heat. Remember that the lamp will be close to your face, and you don’t want to be struggling with excess heat unnecessarily. Also, you can adjust LED bulbs. The bulb type is also necessary because it speaks to how bright or dim your desk will be. 

Power options

Think about how you will connect the lamp to a power source. If it is battery operated, it is easier for you to place the light anywhere without any restrictions. However, if it needs to be plugged into the wall, then you will need to make sure that the cord is long enough. Think about how much leeway you have and deal with a corded lamp or if you need more versatility. 

Color Temperature

The color temperature is essential to get right so that you don’t end up hurting your eyes. The intensity depends on what you want to do. It helps you know what color the bulb will give off and therefore match it with your work. 

Eye Strain Reduction

It is helpful to get yourself as comfortable to get as much work done as possible. Look for a lamp that keeps your eyes calm. Natural lights help

reduce eyestrain by about 51%.

What kind of light is best for painting?

Painting the right colors and giving the right feel to your art is influenced mainly by tones and perspective. The light that you use is vital to get the right look. Make sure to get a bulb with a color rendering index of 90 and above. This will give you accurate color. Also, make sure that you are working with a color temperature of about 5000k. 

What is Color Temperature?

Color temperature is a way to refer to how light from a bulb looks. The SI unit is kelvins (K), and they go up to 10 000. The lower the number, the warmer the appearance. The higher the number, the more natural the light looks. The higher the number, the whiter the color.

What Is Light Color Range?

This is the color you get concerning the color temperature. There are three primary ranges. The first is between 2700K and 3000K. This is referred to as the soft white range. Then 3500k and 4100k, you get a bright white or a cool white. From 5000k to 6000k, you get a more natural look. It’s important to know that even though the kelvin readings may be higher, it does not necessarily refer to a higher number of lumens. This refers to the color temperature and not brightness. 

Are LED desk lamps bad for your eyes?

LED lights are not the best choice for any work that is demanding and needs detail. This is because they are often made to be very bright. They are not suitable for the excellent health of your eyes. They do not have color quality control, which is one reason why they can not be in such proximity with human eyes, as is the case with a desk light.

How long do LED desk lamps last

One of the reasons they are so popular is that they last long. On average, an LED light bulb can last 50 000hours. This translates to over two decades of use. 

How many lumens do I need for a desk lamp?

The number of lumens you need for a desk lamp depends heavily on what you will be using the light for. Generally, a desk light used for reading and writing should have a color temperature of about 450 lumens. If you work on great detail, then about 1100 lumens should do the trick. It is still advisable to still use watts to measure how bright the bulb is. 

LED Vs. Incandescent/Fluorescent Lamps: What’s the difference?

The main difference between LEDs and Incandescent lights is that they are much more affordable in the long run. They may be more pricey to buy, but they use a lot less energy. The other difference is also that LEDs appear brighter. An example of this power saving at play is that a 12 watt LED bulb will look just as bright as a 50-watt incandescent bulb. 

The other difference is that LEDs last a lot longer. This means that you will not need to change them as often as you need to change an incandescent light. 

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