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Home / Features / Best lamps 2024: bright lights for your desk, table or floor

Best lamps 2024: bright lights 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? You might think that buying a desk lamp is as easy as flipping a switch, but there’s a few things to consider. Do you want to recreate Blackpool illuminations or something more subtle, such as the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe? The important factor is whether or not you want a traditional desk lamp, or something that will talk to your smart devices or charge your blower as they glow. You also want to consider whether you need a lamp that simply illuminates a room, or something that makes you look decent on Zoom calls.

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

Desktop dazzlers

The wireless worker: IKEA Hektar

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

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.

Floorstanding flares

The rainbow rod: Philips Hue Gradient Signe

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 Solarcycle Morph

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 Solarcycle Morph 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 Original 1227

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 that 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).

The artistic illuminator: IKEA Pilskott

Ikea Pilskott Floor Lamp

Neither a baffling modern sculpture nor a tool for getting sausages off the barbecue, this is a lamp apparently designed to invoke the shape of a rolling wave. Hmmm. Whatever you think it looks like, you can remotely control and dim the Pliskott floor lamp with the Ikea Home app or a Tradfari remote control. There’s a replaceable LED light strip inside, bent around the frame’s shape. But it has a lifetime of 20 years if you use it for three hours a day, so the chances of it needing to be replaced are low.

Tabletop torches

The levitating light: Floately Gravita

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. Why do you need a floating light? Don’t ask questions, that’s why.

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

Best lamps 2023

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. While the Govee Glow is a great mood maker, it’s not the best for bedtime reading.

The bedside beacon: Lepro WiFi Smart Bedside Table Lamp

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.

Profile image of Chris Rowlands Chris Rowlands Freelance contributor


Formerly News Editor at this fine institution, Chris now writes about tech from his tropical office. Sidetracked by sustainable stuff, he’s also keen on coffee kit, classic cars and any gear that gets better with age.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, gear and travel tech

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