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How to Choose the Perfect Bedside Reading Lights


The perfect bedside lamp is the secret to a tranquil, relaxed bedroom ambiance. This crucial piece of decor adds style and enhances functionality, transforming your bedroom into a cozy haven. In this guide, we will explore how to choose bedside reading lights, making those hours spent reading in bed an absolute delight.

Choosing the perfect bedside lamp contributes significantly to the quality of your sleep, but it goes beyond aesthetics. A well-chosen light complements your room’s style while creating an ideal reading environment, preventing unnecessary eye strain. So, buckle up as we take you through this illuminating journey to select the perfect lighting companion for your bedside.

Understanding Your Lighting Needs

As you carefully select your bedtime story, picking the perfect lamp for bedside lighting requires thought and precision. A key aspect to consider is the role of bedside lamps in your bedroom, which is twofold.

Style and Ambiance

First, bedside lamps add a touch of elegance and style to your room. Whether you prefer a minimalistic look or an elaborate design, the suitable light will complement your bedroom décor while radiating a warm, inviting, warm glow. Check out our lamp collection for inspiration.


Secondly, bedside lamps serve a functional purpose, mainly for avid readers. Be it a gripping mystery novel or a motivational book that you’re unwinding with the right bedside reading light can make all the difference. But how do you choose the perfect light for this simple yet significant task?

There are several bedside lamps, each with unique charm and purpose.

  • Table Lamps: A common choice for many, these lamps sit comfortably on your bedside table, providing adequate light for reading and other tasks.
  • Floor Lamps: These taller alternatives are perfect if you prefer reading in a chair beside your bed. They offer ample light from a height, perfect for reading.
  • Bedside Table Lamps: These are similar to table lamps but designed explicitly for bedside usage. They typically have a softer light to create a relaxing ambiance and are easy to turn off once you’re ready to sleep.
  • Reading Lamps: Designed with the reader in mind, these lamps focus light in one area, perfect for reading. They often come with adjustable brightness levels and a flexible arm to adjust the direction of light as needed.

As you explore these bedroom lighting options, remember your specific needs. If you love winding down your day with a good book, reading lights are the best option for your bedside. These specialized reading lamps ensure you have the right amount of focused light, enhancing your reading experience without disturbing your partner’s sleep.

Determining the Ideal Lumens for Bedside Reading Lights

Have you ever wondered how much light you need for reading? If you’ve been struggling to read clearly or experiencing eye strain during your bedtime reading routine, you may not have the right light for reading. It is where understanding lumens becomes crucial.

Lumens measure the total amount of visible light emitted by a source, and it’s a critical factor when choosing any lighting solution. When it comes to a reading light, the brightness level is essential for a comfortable and engaging reading experience.

On average, a lamp providing 450 lumens is often sufficient for a focused task such as reading. Enough light allows your eyes to focus on the words without straining, ensuring a more relaxed and enjoyable reading session. However, if you often read detailed prints or diagrams, you may need a lamp offering more light, up to 800 lumens.

It’s also essential to consider adjustable brightness levels in a lamp, allowing you to change the intensity depending on the time of day, the type of material you’re reading, or your mood.

The Right Height: Setting the Best Height for Your Bedside Lamp

While lumens shed light on brightness, choosing the right bedside and nightstand lamps goes beyond just lumens. The height of your nightstand lamp is equally crucial in creating the perfect reading environment.

Why is height critical? The height of your bedside lamp impacts how the light is dispersed across your book. A lamp that’s too low may not provide sufficient light, causing you to strain your eyes. On the contrary, a lamp that’s too high may create an unpleasant glare.

So, what’s the ideal height? The general rule of thumb is that the lamp should be at the same height as your mattress top or a tad higher. It ensures the light source is close enough to the wall to provide focused lighting and reduces shadows that might obstruct your view.

However, what if you have a high headboard? Should the bedside lamp be taller or shorter than the headboard? In this case, you might opt for a taller lamp, ensuring the headboard does not overshadow it. But remember, the light source shouldn’t be so high that it shines directly into your eyes. The lampshade top should align with your eye level when sitting in bed.

Understanding these factors will help you adjust the height of your lamp to the proper reading lights and find the sweet spot for the ultimate reading experience.

Choosing the Perfect Bedside Lamp Style and Size

Let’s move on to another critical factor when choosing your bedside reading lights: style and size. Not only does ample lighting from your bedside table lamp need to provide enough illumination for your reading needs, but it also has to complement your bedroom decor and fit comfortably on your bedside table.

One common question is: “How much space should my bedside lamp occupy?” The answer is simple: it should take up as little room as possible while providing ample light. Ensure your lamp base has a compact yet sturdy design, leaving enough space for your books, phone, and other bedtime essentials.

The style of the table lamp is equally essential. An elegant table lamp design that matches your bedroom’s overall aesthetic can turn a simple task like reading into a luxurious experience.

Regarding the size, the question arises: “Should bedside lamps be taller than the bed? Can bedside lamps be too small?” While we have discussed the importance of lamp height earlier, the size of your bedside lights also matters. A lamp that’s too small may not provide enough light, while a lamp that’s too large can overwhelm the space. Choose a lamp proportional to your bed and bedside table for the best results.

Selecting the Ideal Light Bulb

Choosing the correct light bulb for your bedside lamp is essential for the quality of light and energy efficiency. You’ll come across various bulb types, including incandescent, LED bulb, and halogen. LED bulbs are highly recommended for their energy-saving properties and long lifespan.

But it’s not only about the type of bulb. The color temperature of blue light also plays a significant role in the quality of your light. It’s a measure of the light’s color when illuminated and measured in Kelvins (K).

Do you prefer warm or dim light, cool light, or something in between? Warm light, often described as warm white, relaxes and can help prepare your body for sleep. It’s ideal for late-night reading sessions. On the other hand, cool light is brighter and closer to daylight, which can be better for detailed tasks.

It brings us to the question: “Is white or warm light better for reading?” While white light can help you stay focused and alert, warm light can reduce eye strain during long reading sessions. It’s a matter of personal preference, so feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.

The Added Benefits of a Flexible Arm and a Dimmer

Next, let’s talk about two features that can significantly improve the functionality of your bedside reading lamps: a flexible arm and a dimmer.

A bedside lamp with a flexible arm offers the advantage of adjustable light direction. You can position it exactly where you need the light, providing targeted illumination for your reading material without disturbing a sleeping partner.

A dimmer is another feature of a floor lamp that can enhance your reading experience. The ability to adjust the brightness of your light is incredibly useful, particularly for bedtime reading. After all, you don’t always need the same level of intelligence. Sometimes, you might prefer a dim light while reading a calming book before bedtime.

Reading Light Strength and Eye Strain

Now, you might wonder, “How strong should my reading lamp be?” That’s an excellent question. The strength of your bedside reading lamp is crucial in preventing eye strain.

While having enough light for reading is essential, too much brightness can be uncomfortable and potentially harmful to your eyes. The key is to find a balance — a light strong enough to see the text without causing discomfort.

Opt for a lamp that provides a gentle yet precise light to avoid eye strain. You want a lamp that satisfies your reading needs without being overly bright. Remember, the main goal of floor lamps is to create a comfortable reading environment that allows you to enjoy your books without straining your eyes.

In Conclusion: Light Up Your Reading Life

Choosing the perfect bedside reading lights doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of understanding about lumens, light bulb types, color temperature, and bedside lamp design, you’re well on your way to finding the right reading lights to enhance your nighttime reading experience.

To recap, here are the key points we’ve covered in this guide:

  1. Understand your lighting needs and the role of bedside lamps in your bedroom.
  2. Determine the ideal lumens and color temperature for your bedside reading lamp.
  3. Set the best height for your lamp based on your bed and headboard.
  4. Choose a lamp style and size that complements your bedroom decor and fits your bedside table.
  5. Select the ideal light bulb type.
  6. Consider extra features like a flexible arm and dimmer for added convenience.
  7. Ensure the strength of your reading light is adequate to prevent eye strain.

Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, you can shop for your perfect bedside table lamp. We at OnlyHouseLamps, offer a wide selection of high-quality bedside reading lamps that cater to every style and need. Discover our curated collection of the best bedside lamps and enhance not only your reading-in-bed experience but also the overall aesthetic of your bedroom.

Please don’t settle for less when it comes to your reading experience. Illuminate your nightstand with the perfect bedside reading lights, and create the cozy reading nook you’ve always dreamed of. Happy reading and shopping!


What is the average price range for bedside reading lights?

The price range for bedside reading lights can vary depending on factors such as the type of light, brand, design, and additional features. Here is a general overview of the average price range:

  • Table Lamps: Table lamps are available in a wide range of prices, starting from around $20 for basic models and going up to $200 or more for designer or high-end options.
  • Wall-Mounted Lights: Wall-mounted reading lights typically range from $30 to $150, depending on the brand, design, and features. Lights with adjustable arms or higher-quality materials may be on the higher end of the price range.
  • Clip-On Lights: Clip-on lights are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from $10 to $50. However, higher-quality or feature-rich clip-on lights may be priced higher.
  • Floor Lamps: Floor lamps with adjustable arms or reading-specific features can range from $50 to $300 or more, depending on the brand, design, and materials used.

It’s important to note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary based on various factors. Additionally, sales, discounts, and promotions can also affect the price you pay for a bedside reading light.

When setting a budget for your bedside reading light, consider your specific needs, preferences, and the level of quality and durability you desire. It’s worth investing in a light that meets your requirements and provides long-lasting performance.

Are there any safety considerations when choosing a bedside reading light?

Yes, there are important safety considerations to keep in mind when choosing a bedside reading light. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Electrical Safety: Ensure that the reading light you choose meets safety standards and has proper insulation to prevent any electrical hazards. Look for certifications such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek) to ensure the light has undergone rigorous testing.
  • Heat Dissipation: Some reading lights, especially those that use incandescent bulbs, can generate heat. Make sure the light has proper heat dissipation mechanisms to prevent overheating and reduce the risk of fire.
  • Stability: If you opt for a freestanding bedside reading light, ensure that it has a stable base to prevent tipping over. This is especially important if you have children or pets who may accidentally knock over the light.
  • Cord Safety: If the reading light has a cord, ensure that it is in good condition and properly insulated. Avoid placing the cord in a position where it can be tripped over or damaged.
  • Proper Installation: If you choose a wall-mounted reading light, it’s important to ensure proper installation. If you’re not comfortable with electrical work, it’s best to hire a professional to install the light to avoid any safety risks.
  • Compatibility with Bulbs: Ensure that the reading light is compatible with the type of bulb recommended by the manufacturer. Using the wrong type of bulb can lead to overheating or other safety issues.

It’s crucial to prioritize safety when choosing a bedside reading light to prevent any accidents or hazards. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for safe installation and use of the light.

How important is the design and style of a bedside reading light?

The design and style of a bedside reading light play an important role in enhancing the overall aesthetics and functionality of your bedroom. Here’s why the design and style are important considerations:

  • Aesthetics: The bedside reading light is not just a functional item but also a decorative element in your bedroom. Choosing a design that complements your bedroom decor can enhance the overall visual appeal of the space.
  • Coherence: A well-designed reading light can tie together the different elements in your bedroom, creating a cohesive and harmonious look. It can complement the style of your furniture, bedding, and other accessories.
  • Personal Expression: The design and style of your bedside reading light can reflect your personal taste and style. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a more traditional and ornate design, there are options available to suit your preferences.
  • Functionality: The design of the reading light should also consider its functionality. Look for features such as adjustable arms, swivel heads, or built-in switches that make it easier to use and customize the lighting according to your needs.
  • Size and Placement: The design of the reading light should also take into account the size of your bedside table or the available wall space. Ensure that the light is proportionate to the space and doesn’t overwhelm or obstruct other items.
  • Lighting Effect: The design of the reading light can also influence the lighting effect it creates. For example, a light with a shade or diffuser can provide a softer and more diffused light, while a light with a focused beam can provide more direct and concentrated lighting.

Considering the design and style of your bedside reading light allows you to create a visually pleasing and functional space that reflects your personal style and enhances your overall reading experience.

Can I use LED bulbs in my bedside reading light?

Absolutely! LED bulbs are a popular and highly recommended choice for bedside reading lights. Here are some reasons why you should consider using LED bulbs:

  • Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, consuming significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They help reduce electricity costs and have a lower impact on the environment.
  • Long Lifespan: LED bulbs have a much longer lifespan compared to incandescent bulbs. They can last up to 25 times longer, which means fewer bulb replacements and less hassle.
  • Brightness and Color Options: LED bulbs offer a wide range of brightness levels and color temperatures to suit your preferences. You can choose a warm, cozy light for relaxing reading sessions or a brighter, cooler light for focused reading.
  • Instant On: LED bulbs provide instant illumination when turned on, unlike some other types of bulbs that may take a few moments to reach full brightness. This is especially convenient for bedside reading when you want immediate light.
  • Dimmable Options: Many LED bulbs are dimmable, allowing you to adjust the brightness level according to your needs. This provides flexibility in creating the perfect lighting ambiance for your reading activities.
  • Low Heat Emission: LED bulbs produce very little heat compared to incandescent bulbs. This makes them safer to use, especially in close proximity to books, fabrics, or other flammable materials.
  • Eco-Friendly: LED bulbs are environmentally friendly as they do not contain harmful substances like mercury. They are also recyclable, contributing to a greener and more sustainable lighting solution.

Overall, using LED bulbs in your bedside reading light is a smart choice that offers numerous benefits in terms of energy efficiency, longevity, versatility, and environmental impact.

What are the benefits of adjustable bedside reading lights?

Adjustable bedside reading lights offer several benefits that enhance your reading experience and provide flexibility in lighting. Here are some advantages of choosing an adjustable reading light:

  • Customized Lighting: With an adjustable reading light, you can easily direct the light exactly where you need it. This allows for optimal lighting conditions for reading without disturbing your partner or causing glare.
  • Reduced Eye Strain: By positioning the light at the right angle and distance, you can minimize eye strain and fatigue. Adjustable lights allow you to find the most comfortable lighting position for your specific reading needs.
  • Multi-Purpose Use: Adjustable reading lights can serve multiple purposes. You can position the light to provide ambient lighting for the room when not reading, creating a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Flexibility: Whether you prefer to read in bed, on a chair, or on a sofa, an adjustable reading light can accommodate different reading positions. You can easily adjust the light to suit your preferred reading spot.
  • Shared Spaces: If you share a bedroom or reading space with someone else, an adjustable reading light allows you to customize your lighting without disturbing the other person. You can direct the light towards your reading material while keeping the rest of the room dimmer.
  • Adaptability: As your reading habits or room layout change, an adjustable reading light can adapt to your needs. You can easily reposition or adjust the light to accommodate any changes in your reading environment.

Overall, adjustable bedside reading lights provide versatility and convenience, allowing you to create the perfect lighting setup for your reading activities.

Are there any energy-efficient options for bedside reading lights?

Yes, there are several energy-efficient options for bedside reading lights that can help reduce energy consumption and lower your electricity bills. Here are some energy-efficient options to consider:

  • LED Lights: LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are highly energy-efficient and have become the preferred choice for many bedside reading lights. They consume significantly less energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs): CFLs are another energy-efficient option. They use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. However, they may take a few moments to reach full brightness.
  • Lighting Controls: Consider using lighting controls such as dimmers or timers to further enhance energy efficiency. Dimmers allow you to adjust the brightness level according to your needs, while timers can automatically turn off the light after a certain period of time.
  • Energy Star Certified: Look for bedside reading lights that are Energy Star certified. These lights meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and can help you save energy and money.

By choosing energy-efficient options for your bedside reading light, you not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also enjoy long-term cost savings on your energy bills.

What is the ideal brightness level for a bedside reading light?

The ideal brightness level for a bedside reading light can vary depending on personal preference and the specific task you are performing. However, there are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Task Lighting: Since the primary purpose of a bedside reading light is to provide task lighting for reading, it should offer sufficient brightness to prevent eye strain. A brightness level of around 450 to 800 lumens is typically recommended.
  • Adjustability: Opt for a reading light that allows you to adjust the brightness level according to your needs. This is especially important if you enjoy reading in bed before sleep, as a lower brightness setting can help promote relaxation.
  • Dimmable Options: Consider choosing a bedside reading light with dimmable features. This allows you to customize the brightness level based on your preference and the time of day.
  • Color Temperature: Pay attention to the color temperature of the light. Warmer color temperatures (around 2700K to 3000K) create a cozy and relaxing ambiance, while cooler color temperatures (around 4000K to 5000K) provide a brighter and more focused light.
  • Glare Control: Ensure that the reading light has a shade or diffuser to minimize glare and direct the light towards the reading material without causing discomfort.

It’s important to note that individual preferences may vary. Some people may prefer a brighter light for reading, while others may find a softer, dimmer light more comfortable. Experiment with different brightness levels to find what works best for you.

Should I opt for a wall-mounted or a freestanding bedside reading light?

Choosing between a wall-mounted or freestanding bedside reading light depends on your personal preference and the layout of your bedroom. Here are some considerations for each option:

Wall-Mounted Bedside Reading Lights:

  • Space-Saving: Wall-mounted lights are a great option if you have limited space on your nightstand or prefer a clutter-free look. They free up space for other items and provide a sleek, minimalist aesthetic.
  • Adjustability: Many wall-mounted lights come with adjustable arms or swivel heads, allowing you to direct the light precisely where you need it. This is especially beneficial for reading in bed.
  • Installation: Keep in mind that wall-mounted lights require installation. If you’re not comfortable with electrical work, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure proper installation and safety.
  • Wiring: Consider the location of electrical outlets and the wiring required for wall-mounted lights. If you don’t have existing wiring in the desired location, it may involve additional work and cost.
  • Permanent Placement: Once installed, wall-mounted lights are typically fixed in one position. Make sure to choose a location that provides optimal lighting for your reading needs.

Freestanding Bedside Reading Lights:

  • Portability: Freestanding lights offer the advantage of portability. You can easily move them around and adjust their position based on your reading preferences or changing bedroom layout.
  • Design Variety: There is a wide range of design options available for freestanding bedside reading lights. You can choose from various styles, sizes, and materials to match your bedroom decor.
  • Flexibility: With a freestanding light, you have the flexibility to change the light’s position and angle as needed. This allows for more versatility in directing the light for reading or other activities.
  • No Installation Required: Unlike wall-mounted lights, freestanding lights do not require any installation or electrical work. Simply plug them into an outlet, and they are ready to use.
  • Space Considerations: Keep in mind that freestanding lights take up space on your nightstand or floor. Ensure that you have enough space available and that the light doesn’t obstruct other items or furniture.

Ultimately, the choice between a wall-mounted or freestanding bedside reading light depends on your personal preferences, the layout of your bedroom, and the level of adjustability and portability you desire.

What factors should I consider when choosing a bedside reading light?

When selecting a bedside reading light, there are several important factors to consider:

  1. Lighting Needs: Consider the purpose of the light. Do you need it solely for reading, or do you also want it to provide ambient lighting for the room? This will help determine the type and brightness of the light you choose.
  2. Adjustability: Look for a reading light that offers adjustable features, such as a flexible neck or an adjustable arm. This allows you to direct the light exactly where you need it without straining your eyes.
  3. Brightness Levels: Opt for a bedside reading light with adjustable brightness levels. This allows you to customize the lighting based on your preference and the time of day.
  4. Light Bulb Type: Consider the type of light bulb the reading light uses. LED bulbs are energy-efficient and provide a bright, focused light. They also have a longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
  5. Style and Design: Choose a reading light that complements your bedroom decor and personal style. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist design or a more traditional look, there are plenty of options available.
  6. Size and Placement: Consider the size of your bedside table or the available wall space. Ensure that the reading light you choose fits well and doesn’t obstruct other items on your nightstand.
  7. Power Source: Determine whether you prefer a bedside reading light that plugs into an outlet or one that is battery-operated. Each option has its own advantages and considerations.
  8. Budget: Set a budget for your bedside reading light. Prices can vary significantly depending on the type, brand, and features of the light. Determine how much you are willing to spend before making a decision.
  9. Reviews and Recommendations: Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from friends or family who have purchased bedside reading lights. Their experiences can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed choice.
  10. Safety Considerations: Ensure that the reading light you choose meets safety standards and has proper insulation to prevent any electrical hazards.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose a bedside reading light that meets your specific needs and preferences.

What are the different types of bedside reading lights available?

When it comes to bedside reading lights, there are several types to choose from. The most common types include:

  • Table Lamps: These are the traditional bedside reading lights that sit on a nightstand or bedside table. They come in various styles, sizes, and designs, allowing you to find one that matches your bedroom decor.
  • Wall-Mounted Lights: These lights are attached to the wall beside the bed, saving space on your nightstand. They can be adjusted to direct light exactly where you need it.
  • Clip-On Lights: These lights can be attached to the headboard or the edge of the bed. They are portable and provide focused lighting for reading.
  • Floor Lamps: If you have ample floor space, a floor lamp with an adjustable arm can serve as a convenient bedside reading light.

Each type of bedside reading light has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose one that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Table 1: Pros and Cons of Different Types of Bedside Reading Lights

Type of Light Pros Cons
Table Lamp Wide variety of styles and designs Requires space on the nightstand
Wall-Mounted Light Saves space on the nightstand May require professional installation
Clip-On Light Portable and adjustable Limited reach and positioning
Floor Lamp Can be positioned anywhere in the room Requires floor space

Considering the pros and cons of each type will help you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements.

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