The Best Reading Lights: The Ultimate Guide for Bookworms and Interior Lovers

Lighting has the power to transform your surroundings. 

From exquisite chandeliers that captivate guests’ attention to dimmable wall lamps that alter the mood of your interior, each light offers something different.

However, when it comes to the best reading lights for your home, there is no one-size-fits-all option. 

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll know the importance of getting the right lighting style. However, with so many factors to consider, including lumens, light placement, and lighting style, choosing the best lighting for reading can be a difficult task.

With this in mind, at Dusk Lighting, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on the best reading lights for your home. Whether you’re looking to illuminate your book corner gently, find the best lighting style for your bedroom, or discover the best adjustable lighting for your office, read on for all the knowledge you need before making the right choice for you. 

Home desk with laptop and adjustable table lamp

Table of Contents

  1. What is a reading light?
  2. What lighting style are reading lights?
  3. How to choose reading lights
  4. Can light affect my eyes when reading?
  5. Where should I position my reading light?
  6. Lumens
  7. The best reading lights for your bedroom
  8. The best lighting for your office
  9. Shop the best reading lights at Dusk Lighting

What is a reading light?

A reading light is specifically designed to illuminate a small area over a close distance, allowing you to better focus on your activity. 

Whether you’re reading, studying, writing or sketching, reading lights offers ample lighting without being too bright. They are often used in dimly lit rooms or after dark, which means they are designed to provide the optimum level of directional light to allow you to work without making mistakes or read without struggling. 

At Dusk Lighting, we have a wide range of reading lights to choose from, including dimmable and LED integrated styles, so you can be confident that you will find a style to suit you in our collection.

image from over the shoulder of a girl reading a book

What lighting style is best for reading lights?

Settling down to a book in bed is the perfect way to end the day for many of us. However, without sufficient lighting, we may fall victim to eye strain, and too much lighting may cause difficulty in sleeping. With this in mind, it’s important to choose the right lighting style when shopping for reading lights.  

In our guide, How to Style and Light a Modern Kitchen, we cover the three different types of lighting and the best way to style them in your home: Atmospheric, functional and decorative.

Atmospheric lighting is often a room’s main point of illumination, which is often too harsh for those looking to wind down whilst reading. In contrast, decorative lighting does not offer enough light.  

When it comes to choosing the best lighting for reading, then, you should opt for task lighting. Task lighting is a functional lighting style specifically designed to simplify tasks such as reading, writing, and sketching.

Books stacked on top of each other with a pair of reading glasses balanced on top

How to choose reading lights: Things to consider 

Lighting is no longer a purely functional fitting: As well as brightening the dark corners and areas of your home, lighting is used to captivate and direct attention, inspire the setting, and act as a beautiful focal point in your home.

Though reading lights are a functional form of lighting, there is no reason that you should compromise style. It’s important to consider the layout, style and theme of your interior so that you can choose a reading light that not only compliments your interior but also adds to it. 

At Dusk Lighting, we have reading lights to complement various themes, colourways, and home designs. From black and nickel reading lights to suit contemporary homes to beautifully finished vintage brass designs that will provide the perfect finishing touch to a rustic themed home, our collection has something for everyone. 

contemporary front room with a yellow chair placed next to a tall gold floor lamp

Can light affect my eyes when reading?

We’ve all heard the scary rumours about reading in the dark; however, despite the myths, reading in dim lighting will not worsen your vision. 

It will, however, tire your eyes out more quickly. Like any muscle in your body, the eyes weaken when overworked, resulting in strained eyes, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to light. 

A good reading light will prevent this, allowing for optimum lighting in dim environments and at a controlled level of intensity. 

image of a bedside table, side view of bed and a wall reading light shining down

Where shall I position my reading light?  

To get the most out of your reading light, it’s vital to position your light in the correct position. This will ensure that your page is completely illuminated and that no shadows are cast over your page. 

To achieve this, you should position the light to shine directly onto your page, not over your shoulders. A light that shines over your shoulder will cause a glare, making it more difficult to see the reading material. 

Our Astro lighting range offers various adjustable lighting styles, which are perfect for when you’re looking to tweak the direction of your light to suit your position.

table lamp glowing next to a bed


Lumens indicate the intensity of light that your fixture will output. Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about lumens when shopping for reading lights.

What are lumens? 

Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye. You can measure the brightness level of light by the lux figure, which is how many lumens it can emit on a square meter.  

How many lumens do I need for a reading lamp?

The human eye requires 250 to 500 lumens per square metre for visual tasks such as reading, writing, sewing and working on a computer. Whereas intricate work, such as embroidery, requires more illumination, ranging from 1000 to 2000 per square metre. 

You may be surprised to know that the darker your surrounding environment, the lower the lux you need for your light. Reducing the contrast between a well-lit area and a darker area is beneficial as your eyes don’t need to dramatically adjust as they wander the room. 

contemporary bulb lil next to a plant

The best reading lights for your bedroom 

Your bedroom is a relaxing space where you unwind before sleep, so lighting that compliments this is crucial. 

The best reading lights for your bedroom will offer a mid-range intensity, as high-intensity lights may cause difficulty falling asleep. 

At Dusk Lighting, our range of bedroom reading lights offers something for every interior. We have something for everyone, from adjustable wall lights that allow you to direct the light to your position of choice, to clip on designs and dimmable fixtures.

Choosing a fitting that attaches to your wall or bedside provides more space, leaving more room on your bedside table for your favourite books and ornaments. If you want to enhance the cosiness of your bedroom, dimmable bulbs make a great choice.

copper table light with grey shade positioned next to a bed

 The best lighting for your office

Whether you’re a student, a professional freelancer, or simply need a space to do some extra work from home, the perfect home office is crucial to creating the right environment to help you perform well. 

Working in a home office requires concentration, energy and focus, so choosing the right reading light for your office can go a long way in keeping you sharp and alert.

When shopping for office reading lights, it’s important to consider both brightness and functionality. A bright light (3,000 to 6,000 lumens) has the ability to stimulate your creativity without creating a glare on your screen and fatigue on your eyes. 

Below, we’ve covered the most popular style of reading lights for your office to help you make the right choice for you.

Desk lamps

Traditional desk lamps make a great reading light as they are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing.

However, we’d recommend opting for an adjustable desk lamp for the best office reading lights. Lamps that can bend, twist, and adjust to your preferred level and direction are the best for office spaces, as they can be modified as you please to cater to your space, level of lighting and needs.

At Dusk Lighting, we offer table lamps in a wide range of colourways and finishes so that you can beautifully illuminate your workspace whilst adding something truly beautiful to the design of your office.

Wall lights

Wall lights are an excellent lighting option for home offices, particularly if you’re pushed for space on your desk. They work particularly well when working late into the night is required, but you don’t want to turn on the ceiling light. 

Our collection of Astro wall lights is filled with functional designs in stylish finishes, including stylish matte nickel to polished chrome. In particular, the adjustable Astro spotlights are a superior option as they are easy to position, so you can focus your reading light wherever it’s most needed.

image from above of a lady holding an open book and a coffee

Shop the best reading lights at Dusk Lighting

When it comes to choosing the best reading lights for your home, any old light won’t do. 

Whilst we are all unique, and our preferences and visuals differ, the best reading lights have three factors in common: Versatility, placement, and lumen level.

Of course, finding the best reading light for you can be a difficult task with so many choices. They come in all shapes, sizes, materials and colours. However, with our 2022 best reading lights guide, you have all the knowledge needed to invest in the right style for you. 

At Dusk Lighting, we have a plethora of lighting styles for you to shop, so whether you’re looking for a bespoke table lamp to illuminate your office or sleek wall lights to gently brighten your reading corner, we’ve got you covered.

Looking to create a stylish focal point in your reading room? Shop our stylish selection of standing floor lamps, which will instantly modernise your home and look exceptionally beautiful when positioned next to your armchair or bookcase. 

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