LED reading lights: why would you invest in them instead of bedside lamps? Reading is one of the most popular pastimes in the UK. Stimulating, educational and mind-sharpening, it can transport you to a different world, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. “There is no friend as loyal as a book”, said Ernest Hemingway.
If you’re a guest-house owner or hotelier, you may wonder what value there is in providing an LED reading light. After all, a bedside lamp is good for reading as well as low-level room lighting. This brief article will show you how dedicated LED reading lights benefit all parties.
An LED reading light is, by nature, like a small spotlight. Its light will be more than sufficient for reading, but won’t spill out to the rest of the room. So, caring partners can enjoy a book without disturbing each other’s sleep.
LEDs are so small that they’re opened up countless possibilities for lighting designers. LED reading lights exploit this, with a compact head that can be easily aimed wherever required. Designs generally come in two forms: the snake-neck variety for completely unhindered adjustment, or swing arm, which perhap have a neater look for a hospitality premises. Innovative lighting company, Astro, even offers a recessed reading light in its Digit range.
Dedicated LED fittings – lifespan and technology
LED lighting lasts 10 to 50 times longer than original incandescent lighting. Dedicated LED fittings such as reading lights have no requirement for replacement lamps. They provide several years of service before the whole luminaire is replaced.
You’ll note that LED reading lights vary significantly in price. This reflects the materials used and their aesthetic appeal. More expensive fittings also tend to use SMD (aka SMT) LED chips, whereas the cheapest models may use original ‘through hole’ LED types. This affects lifespan, so low-priced LEDs are liable to depreciate in brightness faster than costlier counterparts. The Fuse LED Reading Light, for example, uses a single 3W Luxeon SMD LED chip with a long 30,000 hour expected lifespan. Appreciable reduction in its light output would be very slow.
Remember that wattage is not an indicator of brightness in LED lighting, so a 1W reading light may produce more light (measured in lumens) than a 3W model. The price is always influenced by this. Always check for lumens, not watts!
Some fittings include two light sources, in the form of a dedicated LED reading light and a regular bedside wall lamp. The Searchlight Arosa Reading Light is an example of this. The shaded wall light provides mood-enhancing, secondary illumination for the entire bedroom, whilst the LED extension emits a low-cost focused light for reading.
LED v halogen v fluorescent (low energy)
Various lighting technologies are used in the manufacture of reading lights. All have their advantages, but LED technology always fares favourably in any comparison:
- LED is up to 90% more energy efficient than filament lighting, and up to 50% more than low-energy fluorescent.
- LED lasts much longer than other technologies with typical 25,000 to 50,000 hour lifespans.
- LED is naturally directional with very little spilled light; halogen and fluorescent lighting is inherently omnidirectional.
- LED lighting has a cool beam with little or no projection of IR heat.
- LED lighting is a solid-state technology, resistant to vibration or shock.
- LED lighting has no toxic mercury content.
Few applications benefit so obviously from LED technology as reading. An LED reading light will focus its energy-efficient light on the page, sip power at a glacial pace, and outlast a healthy library of books. In a hospitality premises, an LED reading light adds value for guests whilst using much less energy than any bedside lamp. They offer a real ‘win win’ scenario for both you and your customers!
Feel free to browse our full range of LED reading lights.
If you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas, why not take a look in our Lighting Advice section.