Reading lights are a necessity for many people. Whether you need the best reading light in your office, at home, or while traveling on a plane, the best reading light can make all the difference. This guide will provide you with information about what to look for when buying a bedside lamp and how to choose between different types of lamps that will best suit your needs.
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The best type of light for reading is a diffused shadow free light from an indirect light source for a gentler illumination (150lx) or a direct source for a definitive bright illumination (500lx). (lx is the abbreviation of lux, the unit of brightness)
The older the reader in age, the brighter the light will need to be to compensate for the aging of the eyes and their diminishing ability to see well in darker conditions.
For the younger reader we’ve also investigated the best reading light for kids
The best reading light for bed is an essential tool to help you read in the dark. You don’t want to strain your eyes or cause eye fatigue by reading with a small, dim lamp that keeps changing brightness.
The best type of lighting for bed is a lamp that provides focused or adjustable positioning with enough illumination without causing eyestrain.
It should be positioned so that the light comes over your shoulder to create shadow free onto the page. it doesn’t shine into your partner’s face while they are sleeping next to you at night.
Reading lights can be plugged-in, cordless/rechargeable, recessed or surface mounted; led driver location varies depending on how much power the lamp needs. There are many types of reading lamps.
There are many types of bedside lights that you can choose from, but not all lamps will work for your needs. You want to find a lamp with the best lighting and positioning (focused light). These include:
A clip on light is corded so must be plugged in, but still allows you to find the perfect position for reading. The light can be moved up and down, but not side to side so it may cast a shadow on your book or magazine if you are trying to read in bed lying down. Clip on lamps also have the benefit of being super portable which makes them great for traveling as well as at home use – they don’t take up any space and can go anywhere you need a reading light.
The best book reading light also has clip on mount but designed specifically for attaching onto your book so a localised task light with an in built level of intensity with this proximity in mind.
A wall mounted bedside lamp with an LED reading light is great for those who like to read in bed lying down or while sitting up without straining their neck. The best type of lighting and positioning (focused) should be adjustable so the light shines directly on your book or magazine. These lamp types are best for those who need more light, don’t want to use a clip-on light, and have an outlet nearby that can be used with the cord provided by the company.
This type of bedside lamp has a normal shade together with an adjustable LED light for positioning the task lighting to provide the best reading light for bed. The LED lights may be dimmable too so you can focus the light at the ideal illumination level for reading.
Let’s not forget the normal bedside light with a shade as that provides a lovely diffused light for reading too. It does need to have a shade that has a light tone, a white or cream, for the better hue of light for reading.
For convenience some bedside lights also come with wireless or USB charging for your hand held devices. This is a very neat way of having your reading light and phone charger all in one.
A desk lamp with a USB or AC charger is also great for working at your computer and reading in bed. When you need to work late into the night, this type of light helps reduce eye strain so you can keep going without getting tired too soon from eyestrain due to poor lighting conditions.
A gooseneck bedside lamp is a flexible arm that you can bend and shape in any direction so the best reading angle for maximum comfort can be achieved. This type of lighting provides more focused and adjustable positioning and you can place it anywhere in your room for the best reading light.
When choosing surface mount reading lights the location of the power supply (PSU) must be considered as it may restrict your choice. There are 3 options:
Integrated PSU: LED as a light source usually requires a PSU to convert the mains power to a constant current. This PSU is incorporated within the body of the integrated surface mounted LED reading light so installation is easy.
Remote PSU: This type of LED reading light has a shallow thinner neat looking backplate to the fixture which may need a remote PSU to be located nearby. This requires minimal recessing into the wall for cable entry.
Recessed PSU: This LED reading light looks great with a low profile but be careful as the PSU and other electronics will be hidden behind requiring a deep recess depth into the wall.
A plug in reading lamp is great for those who want a freestanding desk light with no cord. This type of lighting needs to be used near an outlet, but it can’t go anywhere you need your best reading light to be positioned. The choice of power source should take into consideration the location of the wall outlet and the length of power cord available for your reading light.
For those who prefer a bedside lamp with no cords, look for the best rechargeable reading light as it will be battery powered & LED. Their position can be moved around as required to provide more flexible lighting options than just having a fixed wall mounted light.
Book Lights particularly utilise the miniature LED light source with rechargeable lithium ion batteries to offer a bright source of light without cabling. Consider how important portability is for you and how convenient charging is for you.
The best color of light for reading is a soft white with no blue-green hues. This is because the eye’s pupil enlarges at night to take in more light, so you need good intensity but not harsh glare or flicker from fluorescent lighting. A warm tone LED reading lamp gives just that right amount of light.
LED bedside lamps can be very bright and glaring so look for one with a dimmable light setting as the best reading light should provide just enough illumination to read by, not too much or too little which is uncomfortable. Dimmable LED lights allow you to adjust it according to your personal preference of brightness level against the backdrop of your room.
Some modern reading lights can be controlled with a smart phone to turn them on and off as you need it, or change their brightness setting to suit the amount of light required in any particular room at different times of day. This is very useful for when you are out late but want some lighting turned on in the room to make it look like you’re home.
Some best reading lights come with a timer that will turn off your light after a certain period of time, which is good for saving energy and ensures you don’t forget to switch them off when going to bed. This can also be important if there are children in the house or you worry about leaving lights on when out of the house.
One of the most important factors to consider for your best reading light is how it directs its focus towards a particular book or document so that it’s easy and comfortable to read what you need, without any eye strain. The best reading light should have adjustable lighting positioning to focus the beam of light onto a particular area. It can be easily moved around into different positions as required for your convenience.
A bedside table that requires wall mounted power is great, but you need to ensure it’s placed in an accessible spot where you’ll find enough plug sockets for your other devices. If you can’t find a suitable spot, then consider one that has its own rechargeable battery power source instead of the need for an electrical outlet nearby.
Surface mounted bedside lamps are great as they provide better lighting control and more flexibility in terms of where you want to position your best reading light. You can then move it around without having to drill into the wall or worry about finding an accessible power socket nearby. If you prefer a recessed lighting option, make sure there is enough space in the wall for the recess depth required.
Some best reading lights have a LED driver located inside of the light unit itself, while others have it mounted on a separate box or behind your bedside table for ease of access and repair if required. The location is completely up to you, but make sure it’s easily accessible – always check each product for the manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions.
Be aware that night time reading should also allow you to wind down before sleeping rather than make you too alert. Your body has an in built hormonal release that creates an alertness when white light containing lots of the blue spectrum is seen through the eyes.
A better book light for reading will consider this feature to help avoid sleep disorders such as insomnia by creating less harsh white LED lighting and tune the white light to under 3000K even down to 2000K.
When the LED light is dimmed the exposure to white light is also reduced and the body is allowed to continue to restrict it’s melatonin levels.
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