What makes the perfect reading light? Five essential features for your reading nook lamp

beamish reading lampA good reading light should be easy on the eye as well as on the eyesight. Don’t buy that standing lamp for your reading nook unless it ticks all five of these boxes…

William Morris famously said ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. He didn’t add ‘or even better, both’ but he surely meant to. At Pooky our raison d’etre is to make practical things as lovely as possible….We think lights are for looking at, not just seeing by. We’ve already made rechargeable table lamps gorgeous – and now with our new range of standing reading lamps we’ve made sure that high-lumen delivery comes in a seriously stylish package. 

We believe there are five essential criteria for a perfect standing reading lamp – and if it doesn’t meet all five, then it really doesn’t belong in your cosy corner...

1. Loaded with lumens

The first point of a reading light is to banish eye strain by illuminating a focussed space more intensely than the room’s ambient light. For reading  you want a brightness of at least 450 lumens. We supply our reading lights with a specially designed bulb packing a perfect 520 lumens and with a daylight ‘colour’ of 6500 Kelvin, making reading (or embroidery, or puzzling, or stamp-collecting) effortless and comfortable. 

(Read more about how lumens work in our post  How much light do you need in a room? And learn about warm lighting and colour temperature here.)

2. Point-ability

The second point of a reading light is to point… that is, you need to be able to bend it and angle it to direct light at your book, whether you’re hard at desk-work or curled up in an armchair with a hot chocolate. So they need to be either bendy - like the Bendle or the Beamish - or articulated and adjustable - like the Stilt

beamish reading light detailBeamish reading light - bendy and pointable


And frankly, that’s as far as most reading lights out there go... They tick the first two boxes and then give up.

But here are three more absolute musts if a reading lamp is to be worthy of your cosy corner…

3. Great materials

Alas, too many reading lights are black plasticy-looking things, screwed into metal plates.

Pooky’s reading lights on the other hand are made of gorgeous buttery antiqued brass - and in the case of the Bendle, standing proud on a marble base. Solid, dependable, irresistibly handsome…

Bendle reading lamp - antiqued brass in a marble base, with a three core silk twisted flex in olive green

4. Effortless style

Why should reading lights look like something from a dental surgery or a glorified selfie-stick? We think they should be as easy on the eye as they are on the eyesight. So we put real care into how they look as objects in themselves: sassy designs and sleek lines, elegant curves and a three core silk twisted flex cord. The Stilt reading light in antiqued brass is modelled on the achingly cool Stilt desk light, an effortlessly stylish design favourite. 

stilt reading lightStilt reading light - effortlessly stylish

The test? They’re smart enough to be perfect as ordinary floor lamps if you don’t need a reading light - just swap the reading bulb for a softer one like the 8 Watt 2700k GU10 bulb. 

5. Style compatibility

Finally, a reading light needs to live in your home - quite possibly in your favourite bit of your home: your cosy reading corner. You don’t want to import a strange functional object that doesn’t look like anything else you own. 

So our reading lights are designed to work with - nay, enhance your decor. With the Bendle you can even choose any shade to create any style you wish - from ikat silks to clear glass to handmade marbled paper...

Choose from oodles of different shades for the Bendle and mix and match to suit your decor

Bright, pointable, good materials, stylish and decor-enhancing... Don’t let a reading light into your favourite bookish nook unless it ticks ALL the boxes.

Shop the new Pooky reading lamp collection here.


See also:

Pooky's bedside reading light collection

How to make (and light) the perfect reading nook