How Many Lumens Should A Desk Lamp Have


Beyond being just a simple piece of decoration, desk lamps are important for specific areas of the home that need some lighting.  They’re an adaptable type of lighting because they can be used for a variety of tasks, such as reading, working, and other similar activities. 

So, when purchasing a table lamp, you need to consider the level of brightness that it emits. This brightness is otherwise known as “Lumens”.  

For simple tasks, a desk lamp should have an average brightness of 400 to 450 lumens. Having too much brightness has its drawbacks. A desk light with 450 lumens can be used to conduct routine duties, such as reading a bedtime story to your kid or concluding a day’s work.

In the remaining parts of this article, you will get to find out how to determine the exact level of brightness you need. 

How Many Lumens Should A Desk Lamp Have

What Is Lumen?

The entire amount of light derived from a light source is measured in lumens, which is the magnitude of illumination provided by light. The brightness of a light bulb with a lumen of 100 is 100. If the bulb’s lumen is less than 100, it will be less bright than a bulb with 100 lumens. It is also known as luminance or luminous flux.

How Many Lumens Should A Desk Lamp Have?

The purpose of the lamp determines the required luminosity for your desk lamp. It can be utilized in a variety of locations throughout the house, allowing it to perform specific functions. The maximum amount of lumens your desk lamp should have is 450 lumens. However, when the desk light is used for other tasks that need more hand-eye coordination, the number of lumens can be as high as 800 to 1100 lumens.

The Importance Of Brightness In A Desk Lamp

The desk lamp is also known as a reading lamp or task lighting. Specific tasks demand higher brightness levels. Let us look at some of the key reasons why a desk lamp needs to be bright:

1. It reduces eye strain

If your lamp is not bright enough, it will be difficult to see when you are trying to complete a task as quickly as possible. 

Let’s say you have an important report due the next morning and your light coverage is inadequate. Before you can effectively write each word to make up your document, you would have to strain your eyes. Having a higher brightness prevents you from inching closer to your computer just to read.

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Meeting the deadline might be impossible because you will need more time than normal to complete just one paragraph than if your lamp was bright enough.

2. To help you focus

A desk lamp is used to provide lighting for a specific area where concentration is required. Only the original brightness of the lamp can be delivered. It is this brightness that is directed to the area where you need to use the lamp. Since you are given adequate light for the task at hand, you will be able to complete it effectively.

3. Increases the rate at which you work or read

It becomes easier and faster to complete a work when there is sufficient illumination. Working on a project or reading a book in dim light can make it difficult to make the necessary progress. 

With enough light, comes a healthy dose of resolve and a willingness to meet looming deadlines.

How To Determine The Number Of Lumens You Need For A Desk Lamp

This normally entails factoring in what you intend to use the desk lamp for. Once you figure out what you need the lamp for, then you can start considering other important details. That said, here’s how to figure out the number of lumens you need for your desk lamp:

1. Calculate the Room Square

Here, you multiply the length and breadth of the space where your desk light will be placed. If the length and width of the room are both 20 feet, the square footage of the room will be 400 square feet.

2. Find out how many footcandles your installation requires

When you think of a footcandle, the first thing that comes to mind is the place where you want to put your desk lamp. 

Before you can determine the foot-candle measurement, you must first make a decision; the majority of lighting options are determined by the space in which they will be used. 

You may now check out the suggested light level chart for your necessary footcandle after determining which room you will be utilizing the desk lamp in.

3. Multiply the two results together

This is the last step in determining the lumen. At this point, you will need to multiply the original room square measurement by the actual footcandle. If your sitting area has a square measurement of 400 feet and you need 20 footcandles, The result is 8000 lumens when multiplied.

Difference Between Watts And Lumens

While different terminologies in lighting vocabulary may appear to be interchangeable in terms of their purposes, they are not. In case you’re yet to know, here’s the difference between watt and lumen.

1. Watt

A light bulb’s wattage refers to how much energy it takes to generate the light while in use. It also deals with the amount of energy transported from the primary source to the light bulb: the higher the wattage of the light bulb, the more energy is consumed to illuminate the environment in which it is utilized. 

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Very often, Watt is represented with the symbol “W”.  

2. Lumen 

Lumen, on the other hand, refers to the unit of measurement for the amount of light a lamp produces. Simply put, it measures the amount of visible light generated by a bulb. 

This measurement is only affected by the space where the light is focused; the lumen refers to the intensity of the light. When looking for bright lights, you can figure out how bright it is by finding out how many lumens it has.

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Calculating Lumen Per Watt

The lumen to watts comparison varies depending on the type of illumination used in the setting. For example, an incandescent light bulb doesn’t have the same lumen-to-watt conversion as a LED light bulb. 

So many factors, such as features and efficiency, greatly contribute to this discrepancy. Here’s a brief demonstration of how to convert lumens to watts for different light bulbs.

Bulb typeNumber of wattsNumber of lumensLumens per Watt
Incandescent bulb100W1800 lms18 lms
Halogen bulb72W1800 lms25 lms
Compact fluorescent bulbs24W1800 lms75 lms
LED bulb20W1800 lms90 lms

1. Incandescent Bulb

If your incandescent light bulb is labeled as a 100 W bulb with an 1800 lumen rating, this means that the bulb generates 18 lumens per watt when the watt is determined by the lumen. You can find this out by dividing the number of watts by the number of lumens.

2. Halogen Bulb

When calculated, a halogen lamp with 72 watts and 1800 lumens produces 25 lumens per watt. 

3. Compact Fluorescent Lamp

A compact fluorescent lamp uses less energy, with 24 watts and an 1800 lumen rating. It produces 75 lumens per watt when calculated.

4. LED Bulb

Likewise, a led bulb uses less energy than the aforementioned light bulbs. An LED bulb rated at 20 watts with 1800 lumens will produce 90 lumens per watt when calculated.

When calculating lumens per watt, simply divide the wattage by the lumen to get how much brightness is generated for the amount of energy consumed.

How Many Watts of a desk lamp Will Derive 450 Lumens?

In circumstances where the bulb’s wattage isn’t specified but the lumen can be calculated, a standard 450-lumen bulb uses up to 40 watts as its usual wattage, according to the lumen chart.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Desk Lamp

You do not want to make any mistakes when shopping for a new desk lamp. That’s why you need to factor in a lot of things to ensure that you end up buying a desk lamp that can meet your exact needs. 

In this section, we outline some of the most important considerations for anyone looking to purchase a desk lamp: 

1. Space

One of the first things to keep in mind is the location that will suit the desk lamp. From your home to your office or any other space, you need to decide. Are you planning to keep it by your nightstand or in your living room? Find out before making a purchase. 

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While most people love to complete tasks in the bedroom, just by the bedside, others would prefer to first leave the bed, and walk to the living room or study table to finish up. 

Because these places are in separate areas of the house, the light coverage will differ. It’s always best to make up your mind about this beforehand.

2. Bulb Type

There are different types of bulbs that you can get for your desk lamps. This is why you can choose from a variety of lighting options and fixtures. 

LED lights, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, and halogen light bulbs are all great options to choose from. As these bulbs are different, so are their energy consumption, heat production, and brightness level.

Before choosing a light bulb for your desk lamp, you may need to perform some background research on these bulbs to make an informed decision.

3. Design

Desk lamps are available in a variety of shapes, colors, styles, and sizes. Perhaps, you want a cool or warm color for your desk lamp. 

You can also choose whether you want it in a specific form or size before going into a store to buy it. This will ensure that you receive your desired standard in terms of appearance as well.

4. Brightness

This is the most significant factor because it encapsulates the primary reason for purchasing a desk lamp. 

The brightness of a desk lamp is mostly determined by the kind of bulb you intend to use and its lumen content. Try your best to figure out how many lumens your desk lamp needs to have. That will determine whether or not you can effectively get things done. 

5. Flexibility

On some days, having a moveable desk lamp allows you to change position with ease. On such days, you don’t want to start rearranging your workspace or reading area to fit your current need. 

What about the tiles when you need to adjust the brightness of your desk lamp? That’s why “desk lamp flexibility” should be part of your top priorities while making the purchase.  

Fortunately, there are varieties of desk lamps that are flexible enough to suit whatever you want to use them for. 

6. Budget

Acquiring every single thing in life means you need to have a specific budget in mind. The price of your desired desk lamp may be expensive or inexpensive, depending on its capabilities.  

For example, a wireless desk light may be more expensive than a wired one. That’s because the former has a feature (wireless) that makes it much more seamless than the latter and this can influence the price.

Since all desk lamps do not cost the same amount, you can look up the prices of the one that meets your needs. Then, save up to purchase them or go for a more affordable alternative.

Final Thoughts

In homes and offices, desk lamps are a must-have, especially when the room’s main light is not delivering enough focused illumination. 

Some tasks need our undivided attention, which necessitates the usage of a desk lamp. As a result, when discussing a desk lamp, it is necessary to look out for the lumen content and see if it matches your needs. Hopefully, this guide makes your journey to choosing desk lamp lumens easier. 

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