How Tall Should a Desk Lamp Be?

How Tall Should a Desk Lamp Be

Imagine the perfect lamp for your desk. The lamp will protect your eyes, be extremely stylish and look great sitting next to your computer screen. Your desk will have just enough light to brighten up any project and it will have all of the features you need to get the job done not only perfectly, but with ease.

A desk lamp can be a very important addition to any office setting. You may not realize how dangerous straining your eyes can be, however without the perfect lighting source, you can risk headaches in the short-term and worse in the long-term.

No job is worth risking one of your body’s most important assets, so you should certainly consider dropping a few dollars to get the lamp that is perfect for you.

However, how do you choose a lamp that has not only the features that you need but one that is the exact right height you need? You should certainly learn about lamp heights and how tall a desk lamp should be before you make your purchase so that you can make the most informed decision that will be the best for you.


Desk lamps obviously need to look appropriate for the space, so finding a few of similar décor that match your taste is a good place to start.

You can then narrow your search to lamps that have the features you want. What you should then be left with is a list of several lamps that will not vary much except for a few specs, like height.

First, measure the height of your eyes when you are sitting in your office chair at your desk. Be sure to use the same chair and desk that you will always use when using your lamp.

Each setting will vary slightly, so being in the same environment that you will be when you use your lamp is very important. The bottom of your lampshade should extend to the exact same level as your eyes or slightly below.

The shade should never extend higher than your eyes because the glare of bulbs directly within line of sight for prolonged periods can cause dangerous damage. When you are measuring you should take into account if you tend to slouch after long days at work.

Another consideration is if you like to lean back in your chair, ever lean your head on your hands while you think or read, or do any other activities that will greatly change your positioning so that you will be slouching.

Next you should consider the type of lamp that you are going to buy. If you lamp will have a lampshade, you should take note of the measurement of the shade, as well as the height of where it will be attaching. This can occasionally be deceiving so you should be sure that the shade will be low enough to meet where your eyes will be.

Some lamps are very easily adjusted so that you do not have to be concerned as much with the positioning of your lamp with a lampshade. These lamps usually do not include or even require a shade because they have a protective hood that keeps eyes safe as well as direct the glare away from the user.

Some lamps have adjustable arms so that they can lift directly upward as well as inward, outward and a variety of other directions to best meet the needs of any project.


Typically desk lamps are two to three feet, or 24 to 36 inches, high. That means there is an entire foot of wiggle room to determine how tall your lamp should be.

As mentioned earlier, many lamps have several options for positioning and can be easily adjusted so it is not as difficult to determine the exact height that you will need for your lamp.

However, if you are going to choose a type with a lampshade you should be sure to measure appropriately depending on your demeanor while you are sitting at your desk.

Ultimately the type of desk lamp that you will purchase depends on your needs, décor and style. However you should be certain that you are taking the health of your eyes into account.


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