What is the absolute best bedside lamp?
August 8, 2016 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting kind of tired of the bedside lamp I've had since I was like twelve years old and I've decided I'm finally grown up enough to buy a new one. But which one is the best, Metafilter? Which one?

Here's what I want:
  • Easy to turn off and on in the dark. This is key.
  • Bright enough to read by without lighting the whole room. Perhaps light that can be directed?
  • Stable enough to not knock over when I fumble in the dark.
  • Attractive enough. (bedroom is sort of a mix of antique and antique-looking stuff, so maybe not something that looks like it's from Star Wars)
  • Perhaps dimmable, for setting the perfect mood for making sex
  • Dimmable only if it's easy to control. If it's a pain in the ass we can light a damn candle if we want to set the mood.
  • Available via Amazon, hopefully prime.
  • Cost is not really an issue.
  • Any other features you think the lamp should have but I haven't thought of because it's, you know, a lamp.
Really that's it. I just want a perfect fucking lamp next to my bed.

Note: there is a pretty similar recent question but a) the criteria is different and b) most of the "answers" don't actually recommend lamps for some reason.
posted by bondcliff to Shopping (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
No specific items, but growing up my family had some lamps where you tapped the base once for bright, again for medium, and a third time for low. A fourth time would turn it off. Not sure what these are called, but it seems like the type of thing that would work for you.
posted by Night_owl at 9:29 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

We have a ton of these around the house. They are bright, dimmable, easy to direct the light, heavy enough to not get knocked over, easy to turn on and off. Downside: a little Starwarsy. I don't know why it costs a fortune from Amazon tho. Some of the knock offs don't have a heavy enough base so you want to make sure you're getting one that is good.
posted by jessamyn at 9:36 AM on August 8, 2016

I like a small gooseneck lamp (desk lamp or task lamp) with a metal shade (I guess sometimes called a bullet lamp, because of the shape of the shade). We have 2, one with the on-off switch in the middle of the base, one with the on-off switch on the back of the shade. Ours are new ("retro-inspired") from places like Target or who knows where, but I have long thought of replacing them with nice vintage ones. For me, the gooseneck is important, because I usually face the shade toward at the wall to create an ambient light without hot spots. I find the hinged long arms to be awkward.

Things like these fit the bill for me.
posted by vunder at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2016

Jessamyn, I suspect they cost so much because Halogen lamps (many of which got so dangerously hot they weren't safe to be used where they could get knocked over) are generally deprecated in favor of LED versions. Many of them now have USB charging ports in the base and let you change the warmth/color of the LEDs.

I prefer an 18-22" tall shaded lamp for my bedside, and the trick is to find one with a fairly large urn-like base, which are much harder to knock over than a slim/stick base. I usually end up at Home Depot or similar trying to knock lamps over until I find one I like. Or you can go with a floor torchiere for soft uplighting plus a reading light.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:36 AM on August 8, 2016

Response by poster: Many of them now have USB charging ports in the base

Ok let's add this to to my list of wants.

Also, I should have mentioned I prefer LED lamps or at least lamps with normal bulb sockets that can use LED bulbs.
posted by bondcliff at 10:38 AM on August 8, 2016

This is the bedside lamp I have: Taotronics LED lamp. Four different lighting styles: reading/study/relax/sleep. Each of those has four different levels of brightness. The dimmest level of the sleep mode is only barely brighter than a wall-socket nightlight. The arm that contains the LEDs pivots, and the base swivels, making it pretty easy to direct the light where you want it. The USB charging port is on the base where the controls are, and it's extremely handy; I use it all the time to charge my kindle. The only problem with the lamp is the LEDs behind the controls are a bit bright, especially if the lamp base winds up at eye level. You might want to get some of those LED-dimming stickers to cover them with.

I actually got one of these lamps and it conked out after only a month or so, but the seller (Sunvalleytek, same as listed in the link) replaced it with no hesitation after I emailed them. The replacement has been working for a year and a half with no problems.
posted by Janta at 12:35 PM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is a dimmable lamp that has USB ports in the base. It's not exactly antique-looking, but might fit your overall vibe. Ikea has vintage-look bulbs that you can use to replace it with when the bulb burns out, but I would confirm that it takes standard bulbs (not sure why it wouldn't.)
posted by Everydayville at 2:44 PM on August 8, 2016

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