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Reading is one of life’s real pleasures, and great fiction has the ability to transport you to worlds that nobody else imagines, or experiences in the same way that you do. When you’re reading, whether it is for business or for pleasure, having the right lighting to be able to see your book, tablet, or e-reader is important to prevent eye strain, whether we’re reading at a desk, in bed, on the sofa, or in a special reading snug that we’ve created for ourselves. With all that in mind, in this guide we’re taking a look at the different types of reading lights you can choose from, as well as answering the questions we get asked most often.
How do I choose the right reading light for my home?
Choosing the right reading light is a matter of taste and what you need. It is a decision you’re likely to make partly based on the décor of the room – perhaps you’re looking for reading light in a certain colour, material, or interior design style. You might want a small, unobtrusive style, or one that can make more of a statement. Maybe you’re looking for a style that has a long, adjustable arm, so that you can direct the light perfectly, or maybe you want a wall light that has an additional flexible LED light for reading in bed. If you’re reading in bed and have a partner, then you’ll almost certainly want to consider a dimmable reading light, so that they can snooze while you’re reading just one more page.
In addition, you’ll also want to make sure you get the right brightness and colour temperature – so you don’t experience any eye strain that will spoil your enjoyment of your reading.
Having a reading light hardwired into the wall is a great option, if you don’t want to hard-wire a reading light into the mains, then a table lamp is a great choice, but there are plug-in wall light styles that can be easily attached to the wall, without the need to get an electrician in.
With more options than you might have thought, browse our range of reading lights to find the perfect one for you.
What are the best types of reading lights for a bedroom?
The best types of reading lights for a bedroom are those that provide focused and adjustable lighting, as well as a comfortable and ergonomic design. Here are some popular options:
- Adjustable wall-mounted reading lights are a great option for a bedside reading light, as they can be positioned to provide focused lighting right where you need it. Look for lights that are adjustable and have a swivel or flexible arm to direct the light to your preferred angle.
- Table lamps with adjustable arms or shades can also provide excellent task lighting for reading in bed. You’ll want a lamp with a stable base that won’t tip over, and choose a shade that is large enough to diffuse the light and prevent glare.
- Clip-on reading lights can be attached to the headboard of your bed or another piece of furniture, while smaller styles can clip onto a book or e-reader, to provide focused lighting without taking up any extra space. Lights that are lightweight and easy to clip on and off are best if you need an adaptable style like this.
- Floor lamps with adjustable heads can provide great reading light for a bedroom, especially if you have a chair or small sofa in your room, or you position the light near your bed. Look for lamps with a sturdy base and an adjustable arm or head that can be directed to your reading area.
Overall, the best type of reading light for a bedroom is one that provides focused and adjustable lighting, is comfortable and ergonomic to use, and fits in with your bedroom décor.
Can reading lights be used for other tasks, such as desk work or crafting?
Yes, reading lights can definitely be used for other tasks such as desk work or crafting. In fact, any task that requires focused and adjustable lighting can benefit from a reading light. Here are some examples:
- If you work at a desk, you may need a focused light source to read documents or to see your keyboard. A reading light with an adjustable arm or head can be positioned to provide the right amount of lighting for your work area.
- Crafting often requires close attention to detail, and a reading light can help you see your work more clearly. Whether you’re knitting, sewing, or doing other types of crafts, a reading light can provide focused lighting where you need it most.
- If you’re a student or just studying at home, a reading light can provide the necessary lighting for reading textbooks, taking notes, and completing assignments.
- If you spend a lot of time on your computer, you may find that your eyes get tired or strained from staring at the screen for too long. A reading light can provide additional lighting that can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Many types of reading lights are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks that require focused and adjustable lighting. With so many styles and designs available, you can find the right reading light to fit your needs and enhance your productivity – in addition to being used for reading that latest novel that you can’t put down.
What are the benefits of using a reading light?
Apart from being able to see your book properly, there are several benefits of using a reading light, including:
- Improved visibility: By providing a focused and adjustable light source, reading lights can improve visibility and reduce eye strain. This is especially important when reading in low-light conditions or when reading small print.
- Better sleep: Using a reading light instead of a bright overhead light can help promote better sleep by reducing exposure to blue light, which can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.
- Enhanced productivity: When doing tasks that require focused attention, a reading light can help improve productivity and make it easier to see small details.
- Reduced energy consumption: Reading lights use less energy than traditional overhead lights, making them an eco-friendly lighting option that can also save you money on your energy bill.
- Stylish décor: Reading lights come in a variety of styles and designs, making them a great way to add a touch of style to your bedroom or home office.
Whether you’re an avid reader, a student, or someone who just wants to reduce eye strain and improve their lighting, a reading light is a great addition to your home.
Are LED reading lights better than traditional incandescent lights?
Yes, LED reading lights are generally better than traditional incandescent lights for several reasons:
- LED lights are more energy-efficient than incandescent lights, which means they use less electricity and last longer.
- LED lights provide a bright, crisp light that is similar to natural daylight. They also come in a range of colour temperatures, from warm white to cool white, so you can choose the right one for your needs. Not only that, there are colour changing and dimmable styles that make it easy to set the right tone for your reading, and allow you to reduce the brightness the closer you get to bedtime.
- LED lights generate very little heat compared to incandescent lights, so they won’t overheat, become uncomfortable for you, or burn out quickly.
- LED lights are more eco-friendly than incandescent lights, as they use less power, contain no toxic materials and can be recycled.
- While LED lights may have a higher upfront cost, they are generally more cost-effective in the long run due to their energy efficiency and longer lifespan.
Can I adjust the brightness of my reading light?
Yes, many reading lights offer adjustable brightness levels, allowing you to customise the lighting to your needs. There are several types of reading lights that offer brightness control:
- Some reading lights have touch controls that allow you to adjust the brightness by tapping the base or the head of the lamp.
- Other reading lights have a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust the brightness by sliding a switch or turning a dial.
- Some reading lights come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the brightness from across the room.
- Smart reading lights can be controlled through an app on your phone or tablet, allowing you to adjust the brightness and other settings from anywhere.
Whether you need bright lighting for detailed work or a dimmer light for relaxing reading, an adjustable reading light can provide the right amount of lighting for your needs.
How do I position my reading light for optimal lighting while reading?
Positioning your reading light properly is essential to achieving optimal lighting while reading. Here are some tips for positioning your reading light:
- Place the light source above and behind you. This will mean that the light shines onto your book or reading material from above. This will help reduce shadows and glare, making it easier to read.
- Position the light to the side of your reading material, rather than directly above it, as this will help reduce glare and shadows. The light should be angled downward towards the page, so that it illuminates the text evenly.
- A reading light with an adjustable arm or head can be positioned to direct the light exactly where you need it. This can be especially helpful if you need to move the light around as you read, such as if you like to shift positions in your chair or bed.
- Avoid placing the light too close to your eyes, since this can cause eye strain and discomfort. The ideal distance for a reading light is around 16-18 inches away from your reading material.
- Consider the room’s ambient lighting. The ambient lighting in the room can affect the effectiveness of your reading light. If the room is very bright, you may need a brighter reading light. Conversely, if the room is very dark, a dimmer light may be more appropriate.
By following these tips, you can position your reading light for optimal lighting while reading, reducing eye strain and making it easier to enjoy your favourite books and reading material.
Can reading lights be used in shared spaces like living rooms or family rooms?
Yes, reading lights can certainly be used in shared spaces like living rooms or family rooms. They can provide a focused and adjustable light source that can be used for reading, hobbies, or other tasks, without disrupting the overall lighting scheme of the room. In fact, reading lights can be a great addition to shared spaces, as they allow individuals to read or work on projects without disturbing others who may be watching TV or engaging in other activities in the room. A pair of matching reading lights on either side of a sofa or armchair can also enhance the room’s décor.
When choosing reading lights for shared spaces, consider the style and design of the room and choose a reading light that complements the overall aesthetic. Look for reading lights with adjustable brightness levels, so that you can customise the lighting to your needs. And, as with any lighting fixture, be sure to follow safety guidelines and hire a qualified electrician if it is necessary to install or connect the reading lights to mains power beyond plugging the light in.
What are the best materials for reading lights, and how do they affect the light quality?
When it comes to choosing a material for a reading light, there are several options available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common materials used for reading lights, and how they can affect the light quality:
- Metal is a popular choice for reading lights, as it is durable and easy to clean. Metal shades can also help to direct and focus the light onto your reading material. However, metal shades can also create glare and harsh reflections, which can be distracting, and if you need to manoeuvre the light, a metal part will show up fingerprints.
- Glass shades can provide a soft and diffused light that is easy on the eyes, making them a popular choice for reading lights. However, glass shades can be fragile, so may not be suitable for more demanding environments, such as in a child’s bedroom.
- Fabric shades can diffuse the light, creating a glow that is ideal for reading or relaxing. Fabric shades can also help to reduce glare and eye strain, making them a popular choice for reading lights. However, fabric shades can be difficult to clean, and may require more maintenance than other materials.
- Plastic shades can be an affordable and lightweight option for reading lights. They can also be available in a wide range of colours and styles. However, plastic shades may not provide the same level of durability or light quality as other materials.
Ultimately, the choice of material for a reading light will depend on your personal preferences and the style of your home. Make sure you consider both the aesthetic appeal and practicality of the material, as well as how it will affect the light quality of the reading light.
Are there reading lights that are specifically designed for people with certain medical conditions, such as macular degeneration?
Yes, there are reading lights that are specifically designed for people with certain medical conditions, such as macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a common eye condition that affects the central vision, making it difficult to read and perform other close-up tasks.
There are several types of reading lights that can be helpful for people with macular degeneration:
- Magnifying reading lights feature built-in magnifying lenses that can help to enlarge the text, making it easier to read. Some magnifying reading lights also feature adjustable brightness levels and flexible arms for easy positioning.
- Full-spectrum reading lights mimic natural daylight, providing a clear and bright light that can help to reduce eye strain and make reading easier for people with macular degeneration.
- Task lights such as under-cabinet lighting or adjustable desk lamps, can provide targeted lighting for reading or other close-up tasks. Task lighting can be adjusted to suit the individual’s needs, and can be particularly helpful for people with macular degeneration who require specific lighting angles and brightness levels.
If you have macular degeneration or another vision-related medical condition, an eye doctor or specialist can help you to determine the best type of reading light for your needs. They may be able to recommend specific brands or models that are designed to address your particular condition.
Can I use a reading light as a nightlight for children’s bedrooms?
Yes, a reading light can certainly be used as a nightlight for children’s bedrooms. A reading light with adjustable brightness levels is an ideal option for creating a soft and soothing light for rooms that a nightlight is required. When using a reading light as a nightlight, consider the following tips:
- Look for a reading light with adjustable brightness levels, so that you can adjust the lighting to suit your child’s needs. You may want a brighter light for reading, and a dimmer light for night-time use.
- Position the light in a location that is easily accessible to your child, but also safe and secure. You may want to use a reading light that can be attached to the wall or bedside table for added stability.
- Look for a reading light with a fun and playful design that your child will enjoy. Many reading lights are available in colourful and whimsical designs that can add personality to your child’s room.
- As with any lighting fixture, be sure to follow safety guidelines when using a reading light as a nightlight. Keep the light away from flammable materials and ensure that it is installed properly and securely.
Using a reading light as a nightlight can be a great way to provide a soft and comforting light source for children’s bedrooms. With the right positioning and design, a reading light can also add a touch of personality and style to your child’s room.
Can using a reading light affect your sleep?
It is possible that a reading light can affect your sleep, particularly if you use a bright setting close to bedtime or in a darkened room. Exposure to bright light, especially blue light, can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, there are ways to minimise the impact of reading lights on sleep:
- Using a reading light with adjustable brightness levels can help to reduce the amount of light exposure and minimize the impact on sleep. You can also use a reading light with a warm, soft light that is less likely to disrupt melatonin production.
- In addition to using a dimmer reading light, make sure you avoid exposure to bright screens, such as smartphones or tablets, before bedtime. These devices emit blue light that can interfere with sleep, so switch to a paper book, or an e-reader with a paper effect at bedtime instead.
- If you tend to fall asleep while reading, consider using a timer on your reading light to turn it off automatically after a set period of time. This can help to reduce light exposure and minimise the impact on sleep – although it won’t help you save your page!
- Position your reading light at a distance from your face, such as on a bedside table or shelf, to reduce the amount of light exposure.
What are the alternatives to using a reading light?
There are several alternatives to using a reading light, depending on your lighting needs and preferences:
- Overhead lighting, such as ceiling fixtures or pendant lights, can provide general illumination for a room. This type of lighting alone may not be enough for reading, but it can be helpful for other tasks or activities.
- Task lighting, such as table lamps or desk lamps, can provide targeted lighting for specific tasks, such as reading or working on a computer. Different types of task lighting can be adjustable and easy to position, making it an excellent choice for close-up tasks.
- Electronic devices: Electronic devices, such as tablets or e-readers, offer a backlit screen that can be adjusted for brightness and contrast. While these devices may not be ideal for all types of reading, they can be a good alternative for reading in low-light situations.
The right alternative to using a reading light will depend on your specific needs and preferences, and how else you’re using it in your home. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different types of lighting to find the best solution for your situation – so buy from a company such as Lighting Direct, who will exchange or refund your order if you don’t get it right first time.
Our final thoughts
Reading lights are an excellent addition to any home, offering focused and adjustable lighting that can be customised to suit your needs. Whether you are an avid reader, or simply need a good light for close-up tasks, there are many types of reading lights available to suit your style and budget. And with the Lighting Direct Change Your Mind Guarantee, you can shop with confidence, knowing that you can request a return or exchange within 30 days of delivery. So why not browse the range today and find the perfect reading light for your home?