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Bright lights: the best lamps for your desk, table or floor

All lamp, no shade

Brick Tamland loves lamp and so should you. After all, there’s nothing like a movable light fixture to give your gaff a glow up.

Eager to look on the bright side? From floor-standing shiners to table-top torches, the best lamps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some will talk to your smart devices, while others will charge your blower as they glow.

So whether you want to illuminate your living room or banish darkness from your desk, the list below features lamps to suit every space and situation.

How to decide

Right size

You should fill your room with light, not an oversized lantern. Go for something with a streamlined stand if desk space is in short supply. Shopping for the floor? A small footprint is your friend.

White lies

Most standard lamps serve up a single shade of shine. Smarter lights offer multiple colour temperatures to suit your pursuits, from bright white for focused work to warmer hues when it’s time to switch off.

Bright eyes

A simple switch can start the glow show, but dimmers deliver more precise brightness control. Some lamps offer several preset levels of luminosity, while others permit minute adjustments via a touch interface or partner app.

Light skies

What’s right at dusk can be too bright in the night. The smartest lamps automatically adjust brightness levels and colour settings to match the light in your environment, using either an ambient sensor or GPS.

Desktop dazzlers

The wireless worker: IKEA Hektar (£50)

The wireless worker: IKEA Hektar (£50)

Most desks could do with a dose of Scandi minimalism. While Ikea’s simple shiner won’t address the admin stacking up, the all-metal Hektar will at least bathe your paperwork with useful lumens. Plus it’ll charge two devices simultaneously: one via USB, the other with its wireless charger. So you’ll have no excuse for digital disorder.

The glare-free glower: BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp (£179)

The glare-free glower: BenQ e-Reading Desk Lamp (£179)

Squinting at a screen can soon exhaust your peepers. For e-reading that’s easier on the eyes, BenQ’s curved lamp casts an even glow across a wide arc. It’s brighter at the sides to better balance your display’s backlight with the surroundings – and a sensor detects ambient light levels to adjust things accordingly. White warmth and brightness can be tweaked to taste, while hinges and an adjustable ball joint permit perfect positioning of the aluminium arm.

The smarter shiner: Huawei Opple (£60)

The smarter shiner: Huawei Opple (£60)

One-bulb beams cast long shadows – and peering through shade won’t improve your productivity. Eliminate silhouettes with a second source: besides the main bar above, Huawei’s dimmable lamp features a light panel on the stem for handy ambience. Rotation lenses also reduce glare, while connecting to the AI Life app unlocks remote control and personalised settings.

Floorstanding flares

The rainbow rod: Philips Hue Gradient Signe (£265)

The rainbow rod: Philips Hue Gradient Signe (£265)

Smart bulbs might add saturation to your sockets, but it takes a glowing totem to truly illuminate a room. Enter the latest addition to Philips’ family of Wi-Fi shiners. The Gradient in its name means you can blend light along the length of the upstanding aluminium stick to paint your walls with a collage of colours. It talks to existing Hue kit too, for voice control, recipes and the rest.

The engineered elucidator: Dyson Lightcycle Morph (from £500)

The engineered elucidator: Dyson Lightcycle Morph (from £500)

One day, Dyson will reinvent the wheel. For now, it’s happy rehashing the humble lamp. Pivot the mighty-morphing Lightcycle’s head to glow on books, walls or artwork – or touch the arm to send it gliding back to base, where it’ll cast light through a soothing orange filter in the stem. Configure things in the Link app and a GPS algorithm will even adjust colour and brightness according to your local time, as well as your chosen task and age profile. And thanks to vacuum cooling which keeps LEDs alive for longer, it could last until the inventor finally tackles tyres.

The iconic illuminator: Anglepoise Lamp National Trust (£299)

The iconic illuminator: Anglepoise Lamp National Trust (£299)

Few functional objects achieve cult status quite like the Anglepoise 1227 lamp, with its sprung arms, distinctive silhouette and Pixar-approved pose. Shipped in an understated sage green finish, the latest edition shines a light on an organisation which also champions retro treasures: the National Trust. Stick one in the corner of your living room and you’ll be contributing to the Trust’s conservation efforts. It’s also available as a desk lamp (£239) or mini version (£139).

Tabletop torches

The levitating light: Floately Gravita (US$175)

The levitating light: Floately Gravita (US$175)

It took an apple on the bonce for Newton to discover the universal force of attraction. But one look at this gravity-defying bulb and you’ll think old Isaac was bananas. Luckily, the power of science is still strong with this shiner: electromagnets allow the bulb to levitate in mid-air. While you’re pondering its wireless wizardry, pop your Qi-compatible smartphone on the base for cordless power. Plus there are built-in Bluetooth speakers for further cable-free fun.

The technicolour totem: Govee Glow (£70)

The technicolour totem: Govee Glow (£70)

Styled like the offspring of a smart speaker and a space heater, this 39cm saturated cylinder delivers ambience in 16 million shades and 360 degrees. A touch bar on the base gives quick access to key inputs, while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity mean you can dive deeper in the partner app. Play around with hues, select from a range of scene presets or set the metal mesh tube to music mode for responsive mood lighting.

The bedside beacon: Lepro WiFi Smart Bedside Table Lamp (£38)

The bedside beacon: Lepro WiFi Smart Bedside Table Lamp (£38)

From boogeymen to burglars, it’s a fact that nightlights keep nightmarish nasties away. Besides scaring off bedside baddies, this dimmable lamp can set all sorts of scenes. Use the controls on top to configure colours, brightness and timers – or fire up the partner app via Wi-Fi for hub-free access to further customisation. Voice assistant support also means you can call for Alexa or Google after dark, instead of disturbing the slumber of your poor parents.