Reading lights: The Ultimate Guide For Bookworms And Interior Lovers


Lighting, as we all know, plays an essential role in both the functionality and overall interior appeal of our home. While ambient lighting sets a tone and gives our interior a decorative edge, functional lighting offers the illumination required for running daily activities.

Many of us, after a long stressful day, enjoy settling down to a book in bed. While ambient lighting does not offer enough illumination, task lighting is often too harsh before bedtime. Reading lights illuminate a small area over a close distance,  so you can get a better focus on your activity. Choosing the right reading lighting can be tricky and with so many functions, designs and features to choose from, it can sometimes be hard to make the right decision for you. That’s why, here at Dusk Lighting, we are on hand to supply you with some basic reading light knowledge and provide some stunning lighting options, to ensure you make the right choice for you. 

Can light affect my eyes when reading?

You may have read a few scary stories about reading in the dark; don’t worry, reading in dim light will not worsen your vision. It will, however, tire your eyes out more quickly as you are putting more strain on them. Just like any muscle in your body, the eyes can get weak when overworked. Reading in dim light can cause tired eyes, blurred vision, itchy eyes and increased sensitivity to light. 

Where shall I position my reading light?  

Position your reading light so the light is shining directly on 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. 

What are lumens? 

In simple terms 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, this is how many lumens it can emit on a square meter. 

How many lumens do I need for a bedside reading lamp?

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory suggests that eyes require 250 to 500 lumens per square metre for visual tasks such as reading, writing, sewing and working on a computer. Intricate work like embroidery, however, will require more illumination – 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.

What are the best reading lights? 

The best reading lights for your bedroom 

reading in bed

Your bedroom is a relaxing space and is often the place you want to unwind before you go to sleep. This is why you shouldn’t opt for a light with high intensity,  as it may cause difficulty falling asleep. 

Bedside reading lamps, other than providing light to read by, are a decorative item that can improve the look and atmosphere of the room. 

Our Astro Lights Ravello LED reader wall light elegantly blends both efficient light for reading and beautiful classic decor into one fitting. Providing you with complete control over your lighting, this fitting boasts two switches, so you only need to use the reader light when needed. While the shade is available in a choice of colours, the neutral shade radiates a soft romantic glow and can be matched easily with most bedrooms or decors.

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’re wanting to enhance the cosiness of your bedroom, halogen bulbs make a great choice as they produce a warm white or amber glow.

Alternatively, our Astro Light Ascoli swing arm switched spotlight is sleek and timeless in design. It produces a warm gentle light in a focused area so you don’t need to widen your eyes to be able to read efficiently. 

This light is perfect for reading in a dimmer environment, providing the perfect balance of light that won’t keep you awake at night,  or send you to sleep two minutes into your book. 

The best reading lights for your home office

home office lighting

Whether you’re a student, professional freelancer or simply in need of 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. Choosing the right lighting for your office can go a long way in keeping you sharp and alert, that’s why you need to take both brightness and functionality into consideration. 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. 

Lamps that can bend, twist, customise and adjust to your preferred level and direction are the best for office spaces; just like office chairs, lighting that can move around to suit you is best. We particularly love our Grok suite double pivot wall light as it produces similar light to natural outside light, giving you the same energetic feeling that you would out in sunlight,  preparing you the working day ahead. Perfect for modern and contemporary spaces, this lamp can be matched to a number of interiors due to it’s sleek and simplistic style.  

Wall lights are also excellent lighting options for home offices, especially if you’re pushed for space on your desk. A carefully installed and positioned wall light can work well when working late into the night is required, but you don’t want to turn on the ceiling light. Subtle wall lights and spotlights from Astro are available in an array of different finishes, from stylish matte nickel to polished chrome. Adjustable spotlights are incredibly versatile and easy to position to focus on just where you need the light. 

A wonderful traditional desk lamp also makes a great option as they are highly functional and look aesthetically pleasing. The simple design and adjustable arm makes the classic desk lamps from Dar Lighting a perfect fit alongside notebooks, stationery and a laptop. If you’re looking for a contemporary lighting option, we love the Dar Lighting Bond task lamp with its cool finishes of matte black and burnished copper detailing. Brighten up the desk space with the Dar Lighting Hollywood table lamp in matte white that has a flexible swan neck in a polished brass finish.

It can sometimes be easy to get engrossed in work, especially in a home office,  but remember, lighting from your computer screen can contribute to tired eyes, so it is important to take regular eye breaks every 20 minutes or so. It’s also advisable to stretch your legs or take the focus away from your screen every hour too. 

The right reading light for you 

While we are all unique, and our preferences and visuals differ,  it is worth considering these factors when choosing the right reading light for you. A supportive lighting condition can improve your everyday activities, create a relaxing environment, and vastly uplift the decorative touches of your interior. Reduce eye strain and explore our full range of reading lights, here at Dusk Lighting, alongside a full plethora of light fittings, to illuminate your home. 

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