Stylish reading lights - a guide for bookworms and interior design lovers

A little light reading? If you need the practicality of a good reading lamp but don’t wish to sacrifice one iota of style, read on…

Lighting, as we know, has all sorts of roles in the home: task lights help you do something, such as reading – while ambient and decorative lighting make your home look and feel warm and lovely. The sweet spot of a good piece of lighting design, then, is a lamp that is both practical and stylish, useful and beautiful. At Pooky we’ve introduced a range of reading lights aimed at just that very sweet spot: they’ll stop you squinting at the page, but they’ll also look stunning in a cosy corner of your sitting room or next to your bed. But first, here are three important things to bear in mind when buying a reading light:

  1. You need enough lumens to read comfortably. Brightness is measured in lumens (not watts!), and for reading you need at least 450 lumens. Read more about how lumens work in our post How much light do you need in a room?
  2. Use a good LED light source. Today’s day’s energy-efficient LED bulbs provide an excellent quality of light – all the better for the eyes
  3. Choose a directed light source. Ideally your reading light, whether a desk lamp, wall light or floor lamp, should be adjustable so that you can direct light to your page at the best angle.
So having established that, here’s some inspiration for stylish reading lighting...

The designer LED reading light

Gerry floor lamp

Purpose-built LED reading lights... yes, occasionally they do rather remind one of a dentist’s surgery. The Gerry is our much more stylish Pookified version: a most achingly cool, slick, state of the art design with a directed beam giving off light at 3000 kelvins – an excellent colour and intensity of light to read with. We’ve made it in three sizes: a floor lamp, and a larger and a smaller desk or table lamp. The Gerry has a powerful dimmer, which means you can have a good strong beam at max power, but when you’re not using it you can dim it and use it for an ambient mood.

Gerry desk light (Large)
Gerry desk light (Small)


Articulated standing lamps for reading

A cosy corner with an armchair, an occasional table and a standing lamp – what better spot could there be for a little light reading? If that’s your set-up, can go for a directed floor lamp like the Mo. Or why not try an articulated floor lamp so can position your light source at just the right point, but retain the traditional lampshade look?
Cranling articulated standing lamp

Our new Cranling is a really elegant way to combine the beauty of a marble and brass floor lamp with the functionality of a good reading lamp - and terrific fun to fiddle as you find your favourite shape du jour! Likewise, the Swing articulated standing lamp combines that adaptable practicality with a classic floor lamp look: simply, unfussy antique brass tubing and a pretty candlestick top.

Swing articulated standing lamp


Desk lights as bedside lamps

The other place for reading, of course, is bed. And if you’re a bookworm a lamp that’s officially a desk light can make for a perfect bedside light. We think the Bow Tie is particularly stylish - mostly because of that majestic mid-century style hood.
Bow Tie desk light

Browse all our desk lights here.

Wall lights as reading lights

An option you might not have considered is a special reading wall light - in a corner or over the bed. Our new Limber and Niche LED wall lights are designed specifically as bedside reading lights. Both deliver directable pools of 2,700 Kelvin light so you can happily read away into the small hours without disturbing your bedmate. The Limber is bendy and the Niche can be angled - but both look exceedingly beautiful in an antique brass finish. Those specialist reading lights really work best in conjunction with a more decorative, ambient bedside light - perhaps a table lamp on the bedside table. Alternatively, you can go for a more conventional wall light which is flexible enough to be a good reading light. Our new Lacey wall light fitting is very stylish as an extendable bedside light - and when not in use it sits neatly against the wall.

Lacey wall light fitting

The Double Mo, meanwhile, works in all sorts of spaces. We love the way the Blaegrove Barn has used it over twin beds…

Double Mo - @Blaegrove

Browse our full range of stylish, affordable designer lighting and play around with our site to mix and match shades and bases, and see lamps with the bulbs lit and unlit.