According to the NHS, almost everyone will need to wear contact lenses or glasses by the age of 65.
Poor eyesight is an especially major problem for seniors who want to maintain their regular reading habit as they grow older.
Getting a pair of prescription glasses is important but not enough. You should also make sure you are reading in adequate lighting to avoid straining your eyes.
Unless you do all your reading during the day, you’ll need a good reading lamp.
In this UK buying guide, we review the best reading lamps for seniors and give you some tips for buying the right lamp for your needs.
What to Consider When Buying a Reading Lamp
Keep these features in mind when shopping for a senior-friendly reading lamp.
a. Floor Lamp vs. Desk Lamp
This comes down to your preferences and needs.
A floor lamp is great if you want to illuminate a large area. Because of its height, it casts light over a wider area compared to a desk lamp.
A floor lamp is also a good choice if you want to add some aesthetics to the room. It will be more noticeable than a desk lamp.
If you already have sufficient room lighting, buy a desk lamp instead. It provides concentrated light on your book.
A desk lamp is also the best choice if you often read from a desk rather than the sofa or bed.
b. Lighting Technology
LED lighting is the obvious number one choice. It uses less energy and the lamp lasts longer than fluorescent or incandescent lighting.
Another big advantage of LED lighting is its customizability.
You can dim the light and change the colour temperature.
The main downside is cost though LED lamps have gotten cheaper over the years. If you want a cheaper reading lamp, get one that uses a fluorescent lamp.
It’s not as energy-saving or long lasting as LED but it is much better than incandescent lighting.
Is it Dimmable?
If it is an LED light, it is likely dimmable but it’s good to check to be sure.
If it is dimmable, check how many brightness levels the lamp has. Cheaper ones provide about 3 levels while more expensive lamps can have as many as 6 brightness options.
Some fluorescent lamps are dimmable but they are more expensive and have a shorter lifespan.
c. Multiple Colour Settings
Again, if it is an LED lamp then it likely has multiple colour settings. Check how many are available.
They range between 3 in cheaper lamps and 5 in more expensive ones.
Colour settings allow you to adjust the light mood to suit your preferences. You can adjust from a cold white temperature to a mellow daylight colour.
d. Adjustable Positioning
Even a cheap reading lamp should be adjustable. What you should check is the range of adjustability.
If it is a floor lamp, it should come with a highly twistable gooseneck that lets you change the light’s angle.
If it is a desk lamp, you should be able to adjust the head and the arm to get the perfect angle.
e. Extra Features
- Timer: A timer is handy if you often fall asleep while reading. You can set the lamp to switch off automatically after a number of minutes to save energy.
- Night light: Some reading lamps come with a night light function. This consists of a dim light that you can leave on all night or set to switch off after some time.
- Remote control: This makes it easier to control the light settings without having to get up from the sofa or bed. It’s especially convenient for seniors with mobility problems.
Best Reading Lamps for Elderly Reviews
If you are looking for an affordable floor lamp for the bedroom or living room, this is a great choice.
It comes with a high-efficiency LED lamp with a lifespan of about 20,000 hours. This translates to between 15 and 30 years of use depending on how long you use the lamp every day.
The lamp has a minimalist slender design with a wide base to keep it stable. The light is fixed onto a rotatable gooseneck, allowing you to position it however you want.
The anti-glare light provides a comfortable reading experience. You can select from four brightness levels and you can even change the light colour.
Colour options include warm, natural white and cold white.
With these two types of settings – brightness and colour – you can select the configuration that’s most comfortable for your eyes.
Being an LED lamp, it uses very little energy. An 8W lamp produces the same light intensity as a 100W incandescent lamp.
What we like about it:
- Beautiful design.
- Long-lasting and energy-saving LED lamp.
- Provides the ability to adjust positioning, brightness and light colour.
This one’s a bit pricier than the TECKIN lamp but it comes with more settings, a longer lasting LED lamp, and a more flexible gooseneck.
It has the same minimalist design with a wide base at the bottom. The base keeps the light from toppling over even if a child or pet hits it.
The lamp consists of 60 small LED lamps that collectively use 9W of power. Despite the low wattage, the lamp can produce up to 1000 lumens of light. That’s just as bright as a 60-100W incandescent bulb.
You save energy but still enjoy plenty of light for reading.
To save even more energy, the lamp comes with a timer setting. This ensures you don’t fall asleep while reading and leave the light on.
You can set the lamp to switch off automatically after 60 seconds or 10 minutes.
For the light colour and brightness, you get five levels of each. Colour options include white, cool white, natural, yellow and warm yellow.
The lamp will remember your last settings and revert to them when you switch the lamp on.
By the way, you can change all these setting from the convenient remote control included with the lamp.
Something else you can adjust is the lamp positioning using the flexible gooseneck. You can twist it however you want to get the perfect angle.
What we like about it:
- Highly flexible gooseneck.
- Versatile settings for colour, brightness and timer.
- Includes a convenient remote control.
- Beautiful minimalist design.
If you are looking for a budget reading lamp, this one by Oypla is a great choice. It’s cheaper than the other floor lamps we’ve reviewed but still provides a great reading experience.
The main downside with this lamp is that it uses a fluorescent lamp instead of LED. That explains the lower cost.
Fortunately, fluorescent lamps save more energy and last way longer than traditional incandescent lamps. So you’ll still save money.
This lamp is great for those who find natural daylight to be more comfortable for reading. It’s designed to produce the same colour of light as the afternoon sun.
It causes less eyestrain and headaches especially for those who read for hours a day.
The lamp comes with a 27W fluorescent tube included. It should last about 8,000 hours or 5-10 years depending on your daily reading time (no spare bulb included).
The gooseneck has 360-degree flexibility so you can adjust the light exactly the way you want.
What we like about it:
- Comfortable daylight lamp.
- Flexible gooseneck.
If you prefer a desk lamp to a floor lamp, we recommend this TaoTronics LED lamp.
It comes with a stylish and durable metal body that looks great wherever you put it. A sleek control panel on the base lets you control various settings.
The lamp uses high-efficiency LED lighting that uses up to 75% less power than traditional incandescent lighting while producing very bright light (up to 1200 lumens).
Using the control panel, you can adjust the brightness through six levels. You can also change the colour temperature though five settings from a warm yellow to a cold white.
The lamp is designed to shed light sideways rather than straight downwards. This reduces glare, making the lamp easier on your eyes.
To change the light’s angle, you can turn the lamp head 90 degrees to the left or right. You can also tilt it upwards up to 120 degrees.
The arm itself tilts as far back as 145 degrees.
You have plenty of ways to adjust the light to the ideal reading position.
To save energy, the lamp has a 60-minute timer that automatically turns off the light if you fall asleep and forget to switch it off.
It also has a handy night light mode that you can also set to automatically turn off after some time.
Another thoughtful feature is the USB port at the bottom. It’s a 5V/2A port that provides fast charging for your smartphone and other gadgets.
What we like about it:
- Beautiful and long lasting all-metal body.
- Flexible light positioning.
- Versatile colour and brightness settings.
- Includes a fast charging USB port.
This lamp offers a 2-in-1 reading lamp and a 4.1” magnification lens. It’s great for seniors with very poor eyesight.
The lamp shines a bright light onto the book while also enlarging the words for easier reading.
When you are not reading, you can use the lamp for stitching, knitting, painting and other activities.
Being an LED lamp, it is easy to customize the light settings to your liking. There are three colour temperature options: 3000K, 4000K and 6500K.
You can also adjust the brightness between 10% and the full 100%.
The lamp attaches to the desk using an integrated clamp. You can clamp the lamp onto anything that is less than 5cm in thickness. It will work on any table or work surface.
The lamp head can swivel 350 degrees or move up or down to provide a better view of the book or work surface.
What we like about it:
- Large high-magnification lens makes it much easier to read with poor eyesight.
- Adjustable light positioning.
- Three light colour options.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best type of reading lamp?
We highly recommend an LED reading lamp. An LED lamp uses the least amount of electricity. You can get an extra-bright lamp that doesn’t use a ton of power.
Most LED reading lamps are also dimmable and you also change the light colour.
2. What’s the best colour temperature for a reading lamp?
A colour temperature between 4000K and 6500K is the best for reading. This covers bright white and daylight lamps. LED light in this temperature range provides the best brightness and contrast for reading.
3. How bright should a reading lamp be?
A bright reading lamp keeps your eyes healthy and makes reading easier especially for seniors. For the best reading experience, get a lamp with at least 450 lumens.