Ordinarily, wall-mounted lights are intended for accent effects. They might highlight the bed, a piece of artwork, a sentimental portrait, or serve as layered ambient lights. You might even install more than one. But if you’re mounting these lights on the wall – whether it’s in the bedroom of the kitchen homework nook, there are specific factors you need to consider.
Of course, the first two considerations are lumens and watts. Reading lights are task lights but you don’t want to harm your eyes, so keep them under 5,000K, which is the upper limit for cool white light. Anything above that is ‘daylight’ and is likely to keep you awake. So if you work the night shift and you don’t want to doze off, you can go for those higher luminosities.
As for watts, you want minimal usage, both to conserve energy and to lower your power bill. Most domestic lights range between 500 lumens and 1,000 lumens. You can get that FROM A 40W tungsten bulb or a 5W-10W LED. Reading lights should be about 400 to 800 lumens depending on your reading location and duration. Let’s look at more window-shopping factors.
Our Best Wall Mounted Reading Light & Lamp
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Wall Mounted Reading Light/Lamp Buying Guides
Tip #1 – Style
Wall-mounted reading lights come in a broad variety of designs, from the traditional to the futuristic. They should always have a lampshade because you want to avoid glare. Some wall lights have a simple silhouette like the A1 model wall-mounted reading light. Whichever style you opt for, check that the wiring is concealed. Have the cables hidden behind the drywall is possible.
Exposed screws and wires can be an eyesore, especially because wall lights draw your attention. No matter how subtle they are, they’ll be the focal point of that blank wall. Of course, you can disguise them with tasteful accent art … in which case your wall lamp becomes more of a ‘highlight’ than a reading light. Think of the curated lights in art galleries … but smaller.
Tip #2 – Installation
Wall lights are permanent fixtures, but you can wire them in two ways. In some homes, the wall light is linked directly to the home’s mainframe. Its cables are safely guided and insulated behind the wall. Other lights sink into the wall but they still plug into a visible socket.
These mounting methods require different levels of expertise. Do you plan to mount the light yourself? In that case, buy a light you can easily mount. Ideally one with an external plug. These reading lamps come with a quick-connection extender so you can mount the light up to 10 feet away from your socket. But if you want a light that links directly to your wiring.
If that’s the case, you should budget for a certified, contractor, electrician, and possibly a plumber. You’re also likely to need licensed professional if your wall reading light is recessed, sunken, or mounted flush against the wall, because it may involve excavating bits of the wall.
Tip #3 – Physical Size
This factor has a direct influence on your installation process. The type of walls you have will affect the kind of lights you can mount. Just as an example, drywall can’t support as much weight as stone or concrete … but the latter two are more complicated to install. And more expensive too. Look for a lightweight reading lamp to avoid cracking or damaging your home.
The heaviest wall mounted reading light (A1 model) is 0.85kg (a little under 2 pounds) so it safely installs on soft walls. Some reading lights from this series weigh as little as 1.1 lbs. Think about the height and depth of your wall lights as well. How much physical space will they occupy, and will they derail you from your work? Look for subtle, slim-line work lights if you’re easily distracted.
Tip #4 – Easy Access
Where exactly are your wall lights? Yes, they’re on the wall, but are they in the living room, over the kitchen stove, above your reading desk, or bedside your bed? How close are they to your reading surface (because their main function is reading). And how do you read them? Once a day for recipes? Or 14 hours a day while you WFH? Your answers will affect your choice.
If your reading light is far from your work surface, you need a remote controller. Or a smart light you can control via apps on your phone or laptop. But if your desk, reading chair, or favorite pillows are closer to the light, get something with an adjustable arm like the A2 and C1 wall mounted reading light. These lights have flexible arms that range from 16 inches to 18 inches and turn 360° for your convenience.
Tip #5 – Mood and Muse
You want a reading light that encourages you to stay alert and work. But living spaces are shrinking, so lots of us are stuck living in smaller homes than we’d prefer. Meaning your reading spot may double as a cooking space (for example, kids doing homework on the kitchen table).
Or as your sleeping space if you have a studio apartment – in which case you can get a bedside wall light like the C1 wall mounted reading light. For these multifunctional spaces, consider wall lamps that have extra features. If your lamp has a night light, you can use it for ambiance on date nights. You can also use it as a guiding light for senior bathroom breaks or as an anti-nightmare guard for little kids.
Tip #6 – Wall Level
For floor lamps and desk lamps, the position of the reading light is directed by your eye-line. These lights should be at the level of your eyes while seated. This reduces glare and lowers eye fatigue while you work. But for wall lights, positioning is tricky. You could avoid the drama by investing in lightweight bulbs like the A1, A1 Pro, and C1 wall mounted reading light. They have minimal 2-inch footprints.
They’re also subtle and slim-lined in design, with flexible gooseneck arms. This means you can tuck them out of the way when you’re not using them. Otherwise, double-check the recommended height for your wall lights and ensure that positioning is compatible with your work surfaces and your interior décor themes. You don’t want it overwhelming the room.
Tip #7 – Other Room Lights
We’ve mentioned the physical size and aesthetic appeal of your wall lights. So you already know your reading lights should be suitable for their task and location. But your new lights also need to ‘play well with others’. For example, if your home office has a longitudinal fluorescent that provides flat light all around the room, your wall lights will be more decorative than functional.
On the other hand, if you have chandeliers, colored pendant lights, or dimmed lanterns, your reading wall light will have to be brighter and more task-oriented. The style has to match your existing lights as well. If you live in an elegant colonial home with torchieres and arched ceilings, getting a contemporary reading light in metallic tones is incongruent with your décor decisions.
Tip #8 – Beam Control
We’ve talked about flexibility and adjustable arms. But the lighting radius is an important factor as well. A studio – for instance – may need intense narrow lights that can focus on a specific point. These can be helpful when you’re developing photos, looking through a microscope, or working on the fine details of a sculpture, canvas, or stamp book. Try the A1 and A1 Pro wall mounted reading light.
It has a recessed LED bulb fitted in a conical metal lampshade so you can accurately direct your beam of light. But if you need your light rays to be more diffuse, you can buy reading lights where the bulb is positioned to the side, such as the C1 wall mounted reading light. Or you can still buy a circular light beam, but with the A2 wall mounted reading light, your circle of light is large and more spread out, so this may suit you.
Tip #9 – Extra Features
Do you use a lot of devices while you work? You may be scrolling your phone to catch up on morning news as you prepare to get up. Or reading your Kindle, Nook, or tablet before bed. Maybe your workstation has multiple devices like a stylus, (wireless) headphones, mouse, keyboard, or sound systems. Getting a wall light with a USB port can be helpful in this case.
A1 Pro, A2, and C1 wall mounted reading lights have a 5V USB port built into their mounting ports. So if you buy one of them, install the light in a position you can easily reach from your desk or bed. That way, you can charge your devices without straining your arm or neck. Other additional features include LED indicators for the on/off switch and touch-sensitive lamp dimmers.
Finally, you could look for a light with frosted glass or decorative lampshades. They add to the beauty of your room and are helpful for reducing eye strain. Dimpled glass cases refract rays of light and waves of heat, so they can prevent your wall lights from making the room too hot.
Do you have any reading lights mounted on your walls? Show us a photo in the comments!