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Best lights of 2023: bright lights for your desk, table or floor

Brick Tamland loves the flashlight and so should you. After all, there’s nothing like an animated light fixture to give your spear a glow.

Keen to look on the bright side? You might think buying a desk lamp is as easy as flipping a switch, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Want to recreate the Blackpool illuminations or something more subtle, like the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe? The important factor is whether or not you want a traditional desk lamp, something that will talk to your smart devices or charge your blower while they glow. You also want to consider whether you need a lamp that simply lights up the room, or something to make you look decent on Zoom calls.

So whether you want to light up your living room or keep the darkness out of your office, the list below has the best lights for every space and situation.

Wireless Worker: Ikea Hectare

Wireless Workman: IKEA Hektar (£50)

Most offices could do with a dose of Scandi minimalism. While a simple Ikea polish won’t cure admin buildup, the all-metal Hektar will at least shower your paperwork with useful lumens. Plus, it will charge two devices simultaneously: one via USB and the other with its wireless charger. So you will have no excuse for digital disruption.

The glare-free glow: BenQ e-reading desk lamp

Glare-Free Glow: BenQ E-Reading Desk Lamp (£179)

Staring at a screen can soon tire your eyes. For e-reading that’s easier on the eyes, BenQ’s curved lamp casts an even glow across a wide arc. It’s brighter on the sides for a better balance between the display’s backlight and surroundings — and the sensor detects ambient light levels to adjust things accordingly. Warmth and white brightness can be adjusted as desired, while hinges and an adjustable ball joint allow perfect positioning of the aluminum arm.

Rainbow applicator: Philips Hue Gradient Signe

Rainbow applicator: Philips Hue Gradient Signe (£265)

Smart bulbs may add saturation to your sockets, but it takes a glowing totem to really light up a room. Enter the newest addition to the Philips Wi-Fi family. The gradient in its name means you can blend the highlights along the existing aluminum stick to paint your walls in a range of colours. It speaks to the Hue suite, which is also present for voice control, recipes, and the rest.

Engineering illustrator: Dyson Solarcycle Morph

Engineering Visualizer: Dyson Lightcycle Morph (from £500)

One day Dyson will reinvent the wheel. For now, I’m happy to rework the humble lamp. Spin the Solarcycle Morph’s powerful head to glow on books, walls, or artwork—or touch the lever to send it back to the base, where it’ll cast light through a soothing orange filter in the stem.

Configure things in the Link app and the GPS algorithm will even adjust color and brightness based on the local time, as well as your chosen task and age profile. And thanks to vacuum cooling that keeps the LEDs on longer, they can last until the inventor finally deals with the tires.

Iconic lighting: Anglepoise Original 1227

The iconic lamp: Anglepoise Lamp National Trust (£299)

Few things that are functional achieve cult status quite like the Anglepoise 1227 Lamp, with its spring-loaded arms, distinctive silhouette, and Pixar-approved placement. Shipped in a simple sage green, the latest edition highlights an organization that also champions ancient treasures: the National Trust. Place one in the corner of your living room and you’ll be contributing to the Trust’s conservation efforts. Also available as a desk lamp (£239) or a miniature version (£139).

Artistic illuminator: IKEA Pilskott

Floor lamp from IKEA Belscot

Neither a tantalizing modern sculpture nor a tool for removing sausage from a grill, this lamp is a lamp apparently designed to invoke its rolling wave shape. Nations. Whatever its shape, you can remotely control and dim the Pliskott floor lamp using the Ikea Home app or the Tradfari remote control. There is a replaceable LED light strip inside, which is curved around the shape of the bezel. But it has a lifespan of 20 years if you use it for three hours a day, so the chances of it being replaced are low.

Flying Light: Gravita Floating

Flying Light: Floately Gravita ($175)

Newton needed an apple as a reward to discover universal gravitational force. But once you take one look at this gravity-defying bulb, you’ll think Old Isaac was a banana. Fortunately, the power of science is still going strong with this luminary: Electromagnets allow the bulb to levitate through the atmosphere. Why do you need a floating light? Don’t ask questions, that’s why.

While you contemplate its wireless magic, place your Qi-compatible smartphone on the base for wireless power. Plus, there are built-in Bluetooth speakers for more cable-free fun.

Technicolor totem: Govee Glow

The best bulbs of 2023

With a design that looks like the offspring of a smart speaker and space heater, this 39cm saturated drum delivers 16 million degrees of atmosphere and 360 degrees.

A touch bar at the base provides quick access to key inputs, while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity mean you can dive deeper into the partner app. Play around with hues, choose from a range of scene presets or set the metal grid tube to music mode for responsive mood lighting. While Govee Glow is a great mood-maker, it’s not the best for bedtime reading.

Bedside beacon: Lepro WiFi Smart Bedside Table Lamp

Bedside Beacon: Lepro WiFi Smart Bedside Table Lamp (£38)

From pranksters to thieves, it’s a fact that night lights keep nightmarish villains at bay. Besides scaring away the bad guys by the bed, this dimly lit lamp can set all sorts of scenes. Use the controls at the top to configure colors, brightness, and timers — or launch the partner app over Wi-Fi for hub-less access for even more customization. Voice assistant support also means you can call Alexa or Google after dark, instead of bothering your poor parents.