How To Guides

Which Lighting Is Best For Reading?

which lighting is best for reading?

As lighting experts, we often get asked our opinion on which lighting is best for reading, and while there are some things you may wish to consider, it’s mostly a case of personal preference as there are so many styles available.

Reading, planning, journaling or relaxing, sometimes you just need a good reading light.  So, whether it’s a softer glow as you wind down or a brighter light for concentration, a reading light can be whatever you want it to be, a bedroom essential, a floor lamp behind your favourite chair or a desk light for late-night working, the options are endless but one thing is for sure, a reading light is not only practical, it can be stylish too, so let us talk you through our favourites with this reading light guide.

Best Bedside Reading Lamps

Like many others who have pledged a New Years resolution to read more, what better place to begin than in your own bed.  When the day is done and the evening is your own, the idea of climbing into bed with a book is heaven, but only with the right light of course.  Reading in bed is one of the most relaxing past times therefore it needs to be enjoyable, the last thing you need is to be squinting over poor lighting.  So, if you are searching for the perfect page illumination, look no further than our selection of wall lights, bedside lights and designated reading lights.

  • Wall Lights – Whether you are looking to install or hoping to update existing, wall lights make for fantastic reading.  Not only do they offer the correct level light, but as they are mounted to the wall, they don’t take up any space on your bedside cabinet, leaving more than enough room for your favourite books.
  • Bedside Lights – The beauty of a bedside light is that you can really go to town on making it your own by choosing from an abundance of styles.  A bedside light usually sits on your bedside cabinet or drawers in the form of a table lamp, so why not choose a style that compliments your decor?  That way you can enjoy your new bedside light in more ways than one. 
  • Reading Lights – The ultimate in hotel chic decor, this design provides everything you could possibly need from a reading light.  Fully adjustable, space-saving designs that leave you with the perfect lighting whatever the position.
  • Pendant Lights – For a modern twist on a bedside light, pendant lights are a fantastic choice.  Suspended from the ceiling, they are great where space is tight and give you bedroom a total wow factor.

When it comes to bedside reading lights, the level of lighting can easily be adapted depending on the light bulbs, but more on that later. . .

Best Floor Lamps For Reading

If curling up with a good book is your idea of self-care then why not do it from the comfort of your favourite chair?!  Don’t worry if you can’t find the correct lighting as we are about to introduce you to the light of your dreams, the floor lamp.  For a gentle ambience a traditional style lamp will do the trick, but if you’re looking for a little more, then choose a floor lamp with a beautiful curve that shines directly over you.  Not only will this style provide light in exactly the right places, but it makes a great focal point too therefore instantly transforming the corner of your room into your very own reading nook!

Best Reading Lamp For The Elderly

Whether it is for yourself or a family member, choosing the best reading lamp for the elderly depends on where the lamp is intended.  As mentioned above, there is a range of styles available including wall lights, floor lamps and reading lights that are perfectly suited to any part of the home however when it comes to functionality we recommend the following to ensure a comfortable read:

  1. LED Light Bulb – These bulbs are both energy efficient and usually last longer than incandescent bulbs.
  2. Adjustable – For the perfect angle, no matter where you are sat.
  3. Accessibility – Make sure switches are easy to reach and that the lamp is easy to adjust if alone.

Best Light Bulb For Reading

When it comes to modern lighting, the light bulbs are just as important as the lamps these days, with the orange hues of a vintage bulb being more popular than ever, but if you’re struggling to identify your incandescent from your LED then don’t worry, we have a breakdown of each below that will help you decide which bulb is best for reading.

Incandescent – The original light bulb where it all began, the incandescent light bulb is powered by a filament wire that transfers an electrical current and is encased by glass.  


  • Low purchase cost
  • Warm colour
  • Available in a variety of sizes, shapes and wattage
  • Easily dimmable
  • Easy installation
  • Instant light, no warm-up time


  • Low energy efficiency
  • More expensive to run
  • Short lamp life – approx 1000 hours
  • Fragile

LED – The modern hero of lighting, the LED light bulb produces light through a semiconductor (Light Emitting Diodes) that turns into light as electrons pass through it.


  • Most energy-efficient, using 90% less energy than incandescent
  • Extremely long-lasting – approx 30000 hours
  • Instant light
  • Work in low temperatures


  • More expensive to purchase 
  • May need to replace current dimmer switches
  • Colour can vary and is often a cooler light

Halogen – Probably the closest to the original incandescent bulb, the halogen bulb runvs via the same filament wire but is surrounded by halogen gas therefore it can burn hotter while using less energy.


  • Uses up to 30% less energy than an incandescent bulb
  • The cheapest of all bulbs to buy
  • Dimmable


  • One of the least efficient when compared to LED bulbs
  • Short lamp life – approx 2000 hours

Note:  1000 hours equates to roughly one year, therefore incandescent would be expected to last 1 year, Halogen 2 years and LED up to 30 years.  

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