L&L Design Guide: Creative and Modern Desk Lighting Ideas [Pictures]

There are two types of desk lighting ideas: you have the functional white lights that help with productivity, and then there are more relaxing lights that helps with creativity. Below are ideas for both kinds.

Here are some creative and unique desk lighting ideas:

      • Have a lamp pointed to a wall which has a piece of art work, poster, or memorabilia
      • Place a lamp behind the computer monitor to create a soft glow of light around the desk

desk lighting ideas

  • If you have a plexiglass or a glass desk surface, having under desk lighting (either on the floor or attached to the desk) will create a soft glowing space.
      • An adjustable pendant or wall light is a versatile lighting option
      • The desk draws can have lights installed inside of them to come on whenever you open them.
      • Rope lights, LED lights which are encased within a flexible plastic tube, can be used around the desk. They can be fixed to the back of the desk, or under the desk to create floor lighting.
desk light

A lamp behind the monitor creates a relaxing glow around the desk

desk lights

Another example of lights behind the monitor(s)

under desk lighting

An example of a transparent desk using under lighting

desk lighting

Another transparent desk using under lighting

desk lights

A desk lit up by the fish tank, floor lighting, and a lamp behind the laptop

Desk draw light

Automatic desk draw lighting

Desk Light

An adjustable wall light

The Essential Desk Lamp

One thing to remember is that when you have a desk lamp you do not want the light bulb to be higher than your eye line, otherwise the light bulb will be visible and will create glare. A traditional and popular choice is the anglepoise lamp (the one also known as The Pixar Lamp). This can be angled in every direction.

The LEAF lamp - a luxurious desk light

The Leaf Lamp

There are more modern desk lamps, ones that make use of the latest LED technology and have touch pads controls. Like the Leaf Lamp designed by Yves Behar for Herman Miller, which allows you to change the LED lights from functional cold lighting, to more relaxing warm lighting. It was named by Time Magazine as “Best Invention of 2007”. It is priced at $429 and available here.

Space Saving

When it comes to desk lamps, there are a number of different bases to choose from which can help in saving valuable desk space. For example there are magnetic lamps which can be stuck onto a nearby metal surface, there are also lamps that can be clamped onto the desk. Another space saving computer desk lighting option is to use floor lamps.

magnetic work lamps

If you want a more decorative desk lamp, then head on over to Evil Robot Designs and get a custom superhero lamp made. These guys will use old toys to create the base of a lamp, as seen in the awesome pictures below.

golden super hero lamp

golden super hero lamp

Make Your Own Lamp Shades: There is also the Lamp In A Box website that allows you to upload your own images to have them printed onto a lamp shade.

How about trying out one of these DIY desk lamp ideas from our recent posts:

L&L Design Guide: 6 DIY Lamp Ideas and Projects

How To Make Paper Lamps: Simple and Elegant DIY Ideas [coming soon]

Using Picasa to Make Collages for DIY Photo Lamp Shades [coming soon]

DIY Dip Dye Lamps: Create Colorful Gradient Lamp Shades [coming soon]

Natural Lighting

The best lighting to use in the day is natural lighting. Look for good quality blinds, windows, or shades, that let you control the level of light/heat that comes in.

Mood Lights and Modern Desk Lighting

Mood lights help in creating a relaxing and comfortable work setting, allowing you to do more creative thinking. An example of a modern and sleek mood light is the Yantouch Jellyfish. It looks like a blend of a jellyfish and an iPad. It even has a gesture based, touch control pad. Since it uses LED lights the lamp can shine a range of hundreds of thousands of colors, and fade between them. Other mood desk lighting fixtures include the Lune by Cielux, or the Philips Mood Light Collection.

Simple Desk Lighting Ideas

Simple mood lights that could be used on a desk include flameless candles. These are LED lights that use a candle like base. You can find some that use real wax bases, some are even scented.

If you have a window by your desk, you can make use of Sun Jars. These are decorative Mason jars that have a solar panel on the top. At night when it is dark, the light will come on and will look like there is a mini sun floating in the jar.

Sun Jar

The Sun Jar


For more desk lighting ideas, for what to use as ceiling lights, cabinet lights, etc. have a look at our more elaborative post here: Design Guide: Home Office Lighting Ideas


Related Posts:

Sleek Brazilian Design: Modern Designer Desk Lamp

Profile on Kozo Lamp: The Desk Collection [coming soon]

Stunning DIY: The Digital Word Clock Lamp [coming soon]

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