Best Overall: TaoTronics Elune Desk Lamp
The TaoTronics Elune is priced at $50 and it is probably the best value LED desk lamp available. This lamp has 30 LEDs that shine with 450 lumens at full power. The lamp has a slide touch switch on the top that allows you to adjust the brightness to any one of 7 brightness levels. It has a memory function that records the light level you last used.
When the light is dimmed the light does not flicker and it has a good frequency of light that is a white light that is ideal for reading. It ranges from 5500 to 6000 K. This makes a nice desk lamp or reading lamp.
Link: TaoTronics Elune
Update June 2015: You may also want to consider the Lumiy Lightblade 1500S
The Softech DL-90 Multi-Function LED Desk Lamp
This lamp was just released this year by Softech, and it has a lot going for it. The lamp incorporates 27 high-power daylight LEDs. The Color Rendering Index of the LEDs is rated at 90+ (excellent).
The lamp has four distinct lighting modes and 40 brightness levels in total. The first two modes are for desk work: a reading mode with mid-range colors (4300K-5300K) that are easy on the eyes, and a study mode which has a high range color temperature (6000K-7000K). The lamp can also be switched to a relaxation mode and a sleep mode — these have softer, warm color temperatures.
This lamp uses 10 watts or less of power to provide light equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent bulb. It is said to last about 40,000 hours or 20 years of normal use.
A handy feature of this lamp is the “auto off timer”. The timer will turn the lamp off after one hour, saving your power if you forget to turn it off. It has a USB charging port.
The Softech DL-90 lamp is available from Amazon for about $90.
Award Winning – The Z-Bar High Power LED Desk Lamp
The minimalist Z-Bar High Power LED Desk Lamp is an attractive lamp that features the latest LEDs.
It has six daylight white LEDs that use only about 9 watts of electricity at full brightness (the LEDs generate about 240 lumens of light).
The Z-Bar has a built-in 4-step dimming function that will take the light down to save even more on electricity or it can be used to create softer lighting for the task at hand. The adjustable joints can be placed in almost any position without tightening or loosening knobs or screws, simply move the light to where you need it and the lamp will hold to form.
The Z-Bar received an I.D. Magazine “best of category” award a few years ago.
The Z-Bar LED Desk Lamp is available from Amazon for around $200.
A Magnifying Lamp: TheFulcrum Magnifier 12 LED Floor Lamp
The Fulcrum Magnifier is an illuminated magnifying lamp has a 5-inch diameter lens has 2x magnification power with a 6x inset for fine details. This lamp gets an average rating of 4.2 of 5 from 44+ reviewers on Amazon.
It has 12 glare-free LEDs and a flexible gooseneck that allows you to position the lamp exactly where you need it. It comes with an AC adaptor, but may also be operated wire-free with three alkaline D batteries (see our article on The Best D-Size Rechargeable Batteries).