As a freelancer, you spend a lot of timeLED Lamp connected to your desk. It’s important to create an enjoyable, but also healthy work environment. Considering you look at your computer screen for hours on end, getting the proper lighting at your workspace is of paramount importance.

Many professionals experiment with different lighting for their desks. I, myself, have tried different options. With the advent of LED technology, there are many excellent choices for desktop lighting.

In this article, I’ll share four things to look for when picking out an LED office desk lamp for your workspace.

1. Excellent Online Reviews

We live in an age when online reviews are trusted as much as (if not more than) word-of-mouth referrals. Use this to your advantage and spend a lot of time reading online reviews. For my business, I do most of my shopping on the Amazon marketplace. You usually can’t beat the price, but best of all, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of reviews for most products that you need.

(For example, the lamp I use has more than 1,000 positive reviews. Click here to read them via my referral link.)

When doing a search, it may be useful to sort by top-rated items. Look for a lamp that gets at least 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. It can also be useful to read the open-ended comments left by satisfied (or dissatisfied) customers.

What do the customers like most about the product? What are the biggest challenges associated with the product? Can you gauge how long this item will typically last based on online reviews? Although a desk lamp is not too expensive, it can be annoying to have to replace anything too quickly.

2. Adjustable Light Output Settings

I usually start my day around 6:30 AM. As I’ve discussed in other posts, I like to get things going and check in with offshore contractors before they end their days. It’s also a great way to get a little work done before my kids wake up.

At such an early time of day, it’s kind of nice to have adjustable light output settings on my desk lamp. Since my eyes are not fully adjusted to being awake yet, I usually go with the dimmest setting. As the day advances, I may crank up the light output a little more.

When I have face-to-face video meetings, I’ll crank things up to the maximum output level. (There’s nothing worse than looking like a dark shadow on a video call.) You want customers to see your smiling face, and your desk lamp plays an important role in that.

Spend time researching the different levels of light that your LED lamp will put off. I recommend finding one that has three different light settings: dim, medium, and bright.

3. Flexible Arm & Head

Advertisement: Click the image to purchase the desk lamp I use!

As I mentioned, your desk lamp is a very important asset when you have video conferences with clients.

A traditional lamp with a shade will only put light off in a certain direction. Namely, it spreads the light evenly across your room. However, if you have strange lighting in your office (for example: in my current office, I have a window directly behind my back), having only a traditional light source may not fully illuminate your face. That’s why I recommend finding a light source that can be easily manipulated in the direction you want.

To the right, you’ll see the lamp that I use directly next to my computer monitor. When I have a client meeting, I simply flip up the lamp head and shine it toward me. Although it is a little bright for a meeting, I’ve grown used to it. It certainly puts off enough light to help me maintain a professional appearance.

4. Fits Your Budget

You can spend upwards of $200 on a lamp – if you really wanted to. The one I’ve mentioned in this article only cost me about $40 and has lasted at least a couple of years now (it’s actually gone down in price since then). Decide how much you want to spend on the lamp, do plenty of research, compare feature options, and go back to those online reviews.

After doing plenty of research, make an informed decision and try to stay within your budget.

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Written by Matt Keener

Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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