Desk lamps are used to read, type, write or draw at a desk. You might want a desk lamp that you can control with your phone or connect to your other smart lights or devices. A desk lamp has to shine light from the top, which is why a normal smart lamp is usually not suitable.
Few smart lamps are designed specifically as desk lamps. The Ezvalo Smart LED Desk Lamp is one example. You can’t connect most advertised ‘smart desk lamps’ to your phone or voice assistant. But you can screw a smart bulb into any desk lamp. You should consider a few desk lamp features.
When selecting a desk lamp, you need to think about your specific needs. You don’t want to buy a desk lamp only to realize that it doesn’t fit onto your desk, or that the light is too dim. In this article, I give you the information you need to select both a suitable desk lamp and a smart bulb to go with it.
- Choosing The Best Smart Desk Lamp For You.
- How big is the desk lamp?
- Can the arm of the lamp be adjusted?
- How bright can the lamp shine?
- Can the brightness of the lamp be adjusted?
- Can the color of the light be adjusted?
- Does the lamp suit my aesthetic?
- Can the lamp be scheduled to turn on and off?
- Does the lamp have a motion sensor?
- Can the lamp be controlled remotely?
- Can the light bulb be replaced?
- How much does the lamp cost?
- A Few Smart Desk Lamps On The Market
- Can I Use A Smart Light Bulb In A Regular Desk Lamp?
- How To Install a Smart Light Bulb in a Desk Lamp
- Using a Smart Light Strip For Long Desk Lamp Head
- Will Smart Lights Help Me Be More Productive?
- What Is The Best Smart Office Light?
- Home Streamliner's Take:
Choosing The Best Smart Desk Lamp For You.
When I refer to smart desk lamps or bulbs in this article, I mean lights that you can connect to your phone or a hub.
There are many desk lamps on the market that are advertised as ‘smart desk lamps.’ Many, if not most, of them, have adjustable brightness and color settings. Some of them even have sleep timers and motion sensors.
But they cannot be connected to a phone or voice assistant. This means that you cannot control them remotely. Please be aware of this when purchasing a desk lamp for your office.
Here are the questions you should ask before buying a desk lamp:
We wrote a thoughtful article about the Best Smart Lamps For Living Rooms. Check it out!
How big is the desk lamp?
When it comes to desk lamps, size matters.
Firstly, if your desk has a small surface area, you don’t want a lamp with a large base. This would take up too much space.
But make sure that the base is large enough that the lamp doesn’t fall over too easily.
Secondly, if you have a large desk area, your lamp will have to be higher. The higher the lamp, the greater the area it can illuminate.
Some lamps have an adjustable height, which is practical if you do different kinds of work at your desk.
Thirdly, you don’t want the lamp to obstruct your view on your desk. If the head is too big, it can block your view of your computer screen, for example.
Can the arm of the lamp be adjusted?
Do you always do the same work at your desk in the same position? If not, you will want a lamp with an adjustable arm.
This lets you angle the light onto or away from parts of your desk as you need it.
If you only need the lamp sometimes, being able to bend the arm also makes storage easier.
And if you are a content creator, a lamp with an adjustable arm can be used to create lighting for photos and videos.
How bright can the lamp shine?
You want to make sure that the lamp produces enough light that you can see your work clearly. For most types of desk work, an LED of at least 5 – 10 watts is ideal.
Can the brightness of the lamp be adjusted?
Whether you are reading, writing, or typing, you may need a different light brightness. It’s also practical to be able to change the light brightness at different times of the day.
Can the color of the light be adjusted?
You might want to select different colors at your desk to create different moods. Perhaps you just want to create a cool look.
Also, look for the option of being able to change the temperature of the light.
Different light colors affect productivity. (I explain this further along in the article). Adjustable colors may help you focus throughout the day.
Does the lamp suit my aesthetic?
If you have a specific look in your office, you want your desk lamp to fit in.
For example, if you have a neutral aesthetic in your office, a bright purple plastic lamp might not look good. This depends on your taste and if the aesthetic is important to you.
Can the lamp be scheduled to turn on and off?
You can schedule a lamp to turn off at a set time to make sure you take enough breaks.
You can also schedule a lamp to turn off after a set time to save electricity if you often forget to turn your lights off.
Does the lamp have a motion sensor?
If the lamp has a motion sensor, it can turn on when you enter your office or sit down at your desk.
Can the lamp be controlled remotely?
In other words, can the lamp be connected to a phone, hub, or voice assistant? This will let you turn your lamp on and off, change its brightness and color, and create a schedule.
Can the light bulb be replaced?
Some desk lamps do not have the option of replacing the bulb. The LEDs are integrated into the fixture. Once the bulb dies, the lamp has to be replaced.
You will want to avoid this option if you plan on replacing the bulb in the lamp with a smart bulb.
How much does the lamp cost?
Of course, you need to consider your budget when looking at different lamps.
Also think about whether you will use it as is, or replace the bulb. This will add to the overall cost. But if you buy a cheaper lamp and install a smart bulb, you may still spend less than if you buy an expensive desk lamp.
A Few Smart Desk Lamps On The Market
As I mentioned above, few desk lamps can be connected to a phone or hub.
I discuss the pros and cons of some options that are available on Amazon below. I suggest that you don’t buy one of these before you read about adding a smart bulb to a regular lamp further on.
Cost: About $22
This smart desk lamp can be connected to Google Home, Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, Echo Dot and used with IFTTT. However, users have reported that the connection to Alexa does not work.
You will have to download the Ewelink app to connect this lamp. If you already have other smart devices, you would have to toggle between two apps.
It has a minimalistic design and is made of aluminum. The base has a charging station for your phone (if your phone supports wireless charging).
The color temperature can be adjusted from 3000 to 6500K. The head angle can also be adjusted.
For the price, this lamp actually may not be a bad option, especially if you don’t want to control it with a voice assistant.
Cost: About $80
This lamp has a motion sensor that turns the light on when you are in front of it. The light also turns off 15 minutes after you leave. The brightness and color can be adjusted. The light joint can also swivel up to 128° and the light bar can rotate through 180 degrees.
It is also made of aluminum rather than plastic, which makes it more durable.
It has to be connected to the Tuya Smart App to use it remotely. If you already have smart devices from other brands, you will have to switch between apps.
Cost: About $70.
This smart desk lamp can connect to the Smart Life app. You can control it using the app or connect it to Alexa or Google Assistant. Unfortunately, it seems as if the WiFi connection is unstable. Several people reported that the lamp disconnects regularly.
The lamp also has 6 brightness levels and three color modes.
You can also charge your phone on the wireless charging base of the lamp. This would be a plus if the brightness of the light didn’t change when you placed your phone on the charger.
The head also cannot rotate. You have to move the whole lamp if you want to change the direction in which the light is shining.
Although 48% of 229 customers gave this lamp a 5-star rating, the average rating was only 3.7. You might get lucky, but I doubt it’s worth the risk.
Can I Use A Smart Light Bulb In A Regular Desk Lamp?
Instead of buying a smart desk lamp, you can replace the bulb in your current desk lamp with a smart light bulb. The smart bulb can connect to your phone or voice assistant. You can then turn the light on and off and control its brightness and color remotely. Here are some advantages of doing this:
- You don’t need to buy a new lamp
If you like the look of your current lamp, there is no need to replace it. This may also save you money (depending on which smart lamp you would have bought).
- It is cheaper (in most cases)
Smart bulbs are relatively inexpensive, especially if they are bought in bulk packs.
A pack of 4 Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lights costs about $50.
- You can stick with one brand
Most popular smart lighting brands haven’t produced a smart desk lamp.
If you install a smart bulb, you can choose a bulb that works on the same app you’re already using for your other devices. Most smart desk lamps will require an extra app to function.
How To Install a Smart Light Bulb in a Desk Lamp
Check the following before buying a smart light bulb for your desk lamp:
- What size bulb fits into the lamp?
- What fixture type (shape) does the lamp have? (screw-in, bayonet, etc.)
Using a Smart Light Strip For Long Desk Lamp Head
If your desk lamp has a long head, you won’t be able to install a smart bulb in it.
But you can stick a smart light strip, like the Philips Hue LED Lightstrip, onto the head of the lamp.
A 40 inch Hue light strip costs about $25. You would probably have to cut the strip. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the part you cut off.
Alternatively, you could use a smart plug on a normal desk lamp with a long head. This won’t allow features like color changing, but you will be able to switch your lights on and off remotely.
Will Smart Lights Help Me Be More Productive?
Smart lights can help to boost productivity by simulating natural light. You can adjust their color and brightness, and schedule when they turn on and off. Increased exposure to natural light has been shown to reduce headaches, anxiety, and eye strain. It also stimulates creativity and promotes better sleep.
Studies have shown that cooler blue and white lights can help you to wake up, focus and work. You should thus set your lights to a lower temperature when you want to be productive.
Warm yellow or orange lights can help you to relax. You should increase the temperature of your lights if you want to wind down at the end of the day.
You can even set your smart lights to change automatically during the day. You can schedule them to turn on at a set time, shining cool blue light to help you wake up and concentrate. You can also create a schedule for your lights to start warming up at the end of the day.
By mimicking natural light, your smart lights can help you sleep better. Natural light also improves your mood, which indirectly affects your productivity.
You can also adjust the brightness of your lights depending on the tasks you are doing.
For example, your computer screen has a bright light itself. While working at your computer, your lights should be dimmer.
But if you are writing, drawing, or reading, you will need brighter light to help you stay focused. When choosing a smart desk lamp, make sure that you can adjust its brightness and color.
What Is The Best Smart Office Light?
The best smart office light is any light that you can adjust in terms of color and brightness. This lets you simulate natural light effects. Natural light has been shown to improve productivity and increase creativity. The section above describes how you can optimize your office lighting.
Home Streamliner’s Take:
Based on the options available on the market, I would not buy a smart desk lamp. The options are too expensive for what you get.
I would much rather replace the bulb of a regular desk lamp with a smart lamp. I like that this option allows me to stick to one smart home app. It also gives you a much larger variety of desk lamp designs to choose from.
Personally, a desk lamp with a long head would work best for me because I like how it dissipates the light. I would make a smart desk lamp by sticking a smart light strip onto the long head.
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