How To Choose A Desk Lamp: Incandescent, Fluorescent, Halogen Lamps

The purpose of a desk lamp is to provide illumination for small area in that way that reduces eye strain. Desk lamps can come in a variety of designs and with a range of features, such as adjustable heights and arms. However, the most important aspect of a desk lamp is the light it provides.

Common lamp types include incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps and halogen lamps. When you’re buying a desk lamp, be sure you can distinguish between each type. Below, we explain the characteristics of each type of light and when to use them.

Incandescent Lamps

Incandescent lamps produce light from heat, specifically, from the tungsten filament that burns in the bulb. Incandescent light is warmer compared to other bulbs and appears slightly yellowish, which makes it a great light source for evenings. Incandescent bulbs are cheaper, but have a short lifespan of around 600 to 1,200 hours.

Catalina Lighting Edge-Mount Clamp-On Swing Arm Lamp, 60W Incandescent BulbCatalina Lighting Edge-Mount Clamp-On Swing Arm Lamp, 60W Incandescent Bulb, $22.99
Catalina Lighting 40 Watt Incandescent Light BulbsCatalina Lighting 40 Watt Incandescent Light Bulbs, 2 bulbs, $3.49


Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent lamps are more energy efficient than incandescent lamps, and have a longer lifespan as well. The light from a typical fluorescent bulb is cooler (less yellow) compared to an incandescent bulb, making it more similar to natural daylight. Unlike incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs do not reach their maximum brightness immediately after you turn them on, and will start flickering when it needs to be replaced.[/su_column]

Havells 23W Spiral Compact Fluorescent BulbHavells 23W Spiral Compact Fluorescent Bulb, 3 pack, $29.39


Halogen Lamps

Halogen bulbs produce bright, white light, making it great for desk lamps. However, they also produce an intense glare and need to be shaded so that the bulb isn't isn't in your line of sight. Halogen bulbs burn hotter than incandescent bulbs and are toxic inside, so you have to take extra care when you're replacing bulbs or when you're handling broken bulbs.[/su_column]

Catalina Lighting Desk Lamp, 50 W Halogen BulbCatalina Lighting Desk Lamp, 50W Halogen Bulb, $64.99


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