A good desk lamp is more than just a light source. Here are four reasons why every workstation should have one.
1 Health and wellbeing
Lighting has a big effect on the mood and performance of employees, so it’s important to get it right.
For Ellen Petersen-Allen, product marketing at Steelcase, the opportunity to adjust lighting levels is one of the main benefits of a desk lamp.
“Individual workers normally do not have control over how building light is distributed throughout the office space. Providing individuals with a task desk lamp gives them control over the amount of illumination they need. Improper amounts of light can cause eye fatigue, eye strain and headaches, which is not good for one’s wellbeing and productivity. As individuals age, more illumination is needed, which is another reason to have task lighting at each desk,” she said.
This point is echoed by Rachel Smith, brand manager of Hamelin Brands, who points out that there is a recommended lighting level for workers in office environments. “The industry recommendation is for a minimum of 500 lumens of light within the work environment and ceiling lights alone are often not powerful enough to meet this requirement. At Unilux, we recommend everyone has an LED desk lamp on their desk to ensure they receive the right amount of light for health, wellbeing and productivity.”
She adds that office workers who spend most of their day indoors often don’t get enough sunlight, which is important for mood and for regulating the internal body clock. “As a nation we spend 90% of our time indoors and on average 8 hours a day at our desks. This absence of sufficient daylight causes us to feel tired, suffer from insomnia and, in certain cases, has been linked to depression. Using a desk lamp which replicates the effect of natural daylight counteracts this problem.”
Daylight lamps that simulate natural light are designed to provide the mood boosting benefits of sunlight and make you feel more alert. They are particularly helpful in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) sufferers, but anyone stuck indoors all day or wanting a bit of extra light in the winter can benefit.
Light therapy specialist Lumie provides lamps for a variety of situations, including sleep, waking and work. The Lumie Desklamp is specifically designed for the office and is claimed to help improve the focus, energy levels, mood and performance of employees.
2 Integrated technology
Modern desk lamps do more than just provide basic illumination. The incorporation of sophisticated technology adds another dimension, from enhanced customisation to smartphone control and charging.
Alexander May, lighting specialist at Humanscale, said: “Advancements in LED technology have given us more control over the quality of light delivered to the task surface. Thin LED panels allow for glare-free luminaires that will not cast multiple shadows, for instance. More recently, we have seen the introduction of colour-tuning LED technology, which allows the user to adjust the colour temperature to a specific task or mood, and wireless charging is now being integrated into task light bases to accommodate recent developments in the smartphone space.”
Another development highlighted by Smith of Hamelin Brands is the emergence of Bluetooth-enabled lamps that connect to a smartphone app for more convenient control.
“At Unilux we are revolutionising the desk lamp and bringing it firmly into the 21st century through innovative technology like Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports and wireless charging. By reproducing the sun’s lighting, our intelligent application, MyUnilux, gives you the ideal level of light throughout the day.”
One of Unilux’s latest task lights, the Timelight, can be dismantled and taken from work to home, supporting the modern trend for ﬂexible working.
3 Style and individuality
A new desk lamp is a great way to add style, colour and personality to a desk.
Modern desk lamps are moving from classic, industrial design (think Pixar’s hopping desk lamp) to slimmer, more streamlined looks, while still retaining the articulating arm that lets you direct light to where it’s needed.
Discussing this evolution, May of Humanscale said: “Mechanically, the articulating arms of task lights have come a long way since the early days of hinges that relied solely on thumbscrews for friction. We have learned to design complex counter-balancing mechanisms that allow for effortless, single-handed adjustability. This has taken many different forms over the years, but the trend you see today is minimisation of the mechanical components for a cleaner look. If you look closely at popular task lights from, say, 10 or 15 years ago, you will see many exposed mechanical components that were integral to the design. We have got better at making those components disappear and achieving a minimal aesthetic.”
Slimmer silhouettes are also made possible by the use of LEDs, rather than large bulbs and shades, and, on some lamps, by Bluetooth technology, as Smith of Hamelin Brands explains: “There is no longer the need for visible switches/buttons as they have been designed to be connected, driven and operated via an app,” she said.
For a truly minimalist look, the Steelcase Personal 1+1 LED task light can be mounted directly on the desk or clamped to a rail.
4 Energy efficiency
LED lamps are not only more stylish than traditional task lamps; they are also longer lasting and more energy-efficient. For example, the 1+1 LED task light from Steelcase uses only 14 watts of energy and has a lifespan of 50,000 hours, compared to 2,000-4,000 hours for a halogen bulb.
For even greater energy efficiency and lamp life, some desk lamps, like the Steelcase dash, integrate an occupancy sensor that turns off the light when no one is present.
On the Leitz Style Smart LED Desk Lamp, the auto on/off feature works via Bluetooth, automatically switching on or off as you (and your smartphone) enter or leave the Bluetooth connection zone.
ActiVita Strip+Daylight Lamp
ActiVita Strip+ is a versatile daylight lamp that brings the benefits of natural sunlight directly into your working environment. The lamp features adjustable mood settings – Daylight to boost energy levels and alertness and Warm for relaxation or reading. It has five brightness settings in each mode for total control.
Leitz Style Smart LED Desk Lamp
The Leitz Style Smart LED Desk Lamp is Bluetooth-enabled and supports remote interaction via a smartphone app. An auto on/off feature turns the lamp on or off when you enter or leave the Bluetooth zone. There is also an auto dimming feature that can adjust brightness intensity as ambient light levels change.
Lumie Vitamin L
The Lumie Vitamin L is a bright light particularly suited to people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It has warm white LEDs that create an authentic sunlight effect and a rippled diffuser for a soft, comfortable light. The adjustable stand enables it to be used in portrait or landscape mode.
The Lumie Desklamp is a bright task light with a ﬂexible neck. It has 96 blue-enriched white LEDs and provides 10,000 lux at 22 cm. The lamp has four light intensity levels, selected by tapping the base. Light intensity can also be increased by removing the diffuser.
dash from Steelcase is an LED task light with clean lines and movement. Its slim design and superior light quality minimise shadows on the work surface, while its dimming control, from 100% to 15%, supports various tasks. dash comes in a choice of colours to suit any workspace.
Humanscale’s Horizon LED light has a minimalist design, with spherical joints for smooth and easy movement. It comes in a choice of eight vibrant colours and offers 7 levels of adjustable Smart Dimming to suit any activity.
The Unilux Eyelight is a Bluetooth enabled lamp that allows the user to personalise the colour and intensity of light they receive. In automatic mode, the pre-programmed circadian cycle gives you the exact light you need at the right time of day. In manual mode the light can be adjusted to suit work, relaxation or reading.