The Best Desk Lamps, According to Architects

Apr 16, 2018

In most professions, staring at a screen for a sickening majority of the day has become the new norm. This has left office workers scrambling to improve work stations with healthy add-ons, like standing desksand posture-improving devices. Another accessory to add to that mix: a good desk lamp. Peering at the glow of a screen without any additional light can apparently wreak havoc on sleep patterns, worsen eyesight, and maybe even raise risks of depression, obesity, and heart disease.

To find the best desk lamps, we consulted a group of people with high aesthetic standards: architects. While they may spend less time these days, if any at all, staring at physical blueprints in favor of CAD work, that doesn’t negate the need for a desk lamp. The Luxo L-1 Task Lamp — the design that inspired the Pixar mascot — is the beloved classic. Designed in 1937 by Jac Jacobsen, the style has shed light on the drawing boards of generations of architects. But there are updates and more inventive designs out there, so I asked 14 architects in six international cities to tell us which desk lamps they use, and why. From a cheap-but-reliable Ikea version to a colorful Memphis-style design, here are 12 desk lamps that go beyond the L-1 (plus, of course, the classic Luxo up first).