Which Side of a Reading Chair Should a Lamp or Light Be Placed?

 Reading Chair With Lamp

Dedicated readers who love getting lost in the adventures of a book or learning about so many new things often do not notice or care for the lighting that is necessary for reading.

If you read in lighting that is not sufficient, you will be putting pressure on your eyes, and it may cause you irritating headaches. In the long run, it may even greatly harm your eyesight!

You might be wondering that well, which side of a reading chair should a lamp or light be placed? Worry no more and read our article that tells you about good light positioning as well as the potential dangers of misplaced or absent lighting.

Dangers of Reading in Low or Dimmed Light

Due to many reasons that are sometimes related or unrelated, you may read in light that is low. Some of you do not have separate light for reading tables, while some of you do have lighting arrangements, but those arrangements are misplaced. Let us take a look at the dangers low, dim, or no light can cause.


If you read for a prolonged period in low light, it will put tremendous pressure on your eyes and make them tired very quickly. This is likely to cause eye strain, which has several symptoms such as headaches, dizzy feeling, loss of vision or blurred vision, itchy feelings in your eyes, etc.

Eyes Getting Dry

This is a relatively less known and even lesser heard of phenomena. It mostly happens if you do not blink.

Tears are produced when you blink, and they help keep your eyes moisturized. If you are reading in the dark or in dim light, you will blink much less as you will try to focus more than usual. This will cause your eyes to get dry.


The most common symptom that is faced by almost everyone is a headache. And while a lot of people just take paracetamol or an Advil when they get such headaches, that does not actually solve the problem. Make sure to address the root cause, which for most people, is putting pressure on eyes by reading in low or misplaced light.


Something a lot of doctors and experts argue over is if nearsightedness can actually be caused in the long term by reading in dark or low light. Regardless, you should stay careful as it is a possible issue.

Which Side of the Chair Should I Place the Lamp?

Now let us take a look at a very crucial matter that all readers and students should keep in mind. Continue reading to find out about placing your lamps properly in various scenarios.

Table Lamps

As you are reading sitting on a chair, the lamp should be in your front. Place your table lamps on your table and make sure that its light does not get blocked. It is wise to place the table lamp in front of you and not on your side.

If you do place them on the side, shadows from your hand and body may block the light and cast darkness on your reading material.

Floor Lamps

Floor lamps have elongated stands and are placed on the floor. When you are reading on a table sitting in a chair, the ideal position for the table lamp is on your side. As floor lamps are often raised much higher than the regular table length, placing them on the side will not cause too much problem or cast too much shadow.

No matter which type of lamp you prefer, the key thing to make sure is that the light is neither too bright nor too dim and that the light from the lamp does not get blocked in any way.

Don’t Like Tables? 

A lot of readers do not like using any table. Rather, they prefer chairs that are cushioned and comfortable. We must admit that, like so many of you, we too love the idea of curling up in a blanket and sitting on the chair with a book we love.

For readers such as these, a floor lamp is the way to go. They are raised and provide ample bright light. Floor lamps are typically placed on the side of your reading chair. Again, make sure that no shadow is cast on your reading material no matter where the light is placed and how raised it is.

Overhead Lights

Overhead lights are mounted to walls. Unlike floor and table lamps, they are placed further from you and your reading material.

That is why if you are using the light source from an overhead light to read, make sure the light it provides is bright. Moreover, it should illuminate your reading chair as much as possible. When you are reading, make sure to position your chair in a way that no shadow is cast on your book or device.


We suggest that you choose a light that can be moved, and its light strength can be changed. That way, you can adjust it however you like based on your mood, eyesight, the position of the book, etc.

Necessary Tips 

Along with learning about the best position to place a reading light, let us also take a look at some necessary tips.

No Decorative Lights When You’re Reading

Decorative lights are much brighter and often distorted due to their designed covers or shades. Reading in such light will put pressure on your eyes.

More than One Light

One bright light for the whole room or one dimmed light for the whole room is both bad for eyesight.

Floor Lamps Should Be Higher than Armchair

A good rule of thumb while choosing floor lamps is, they should always be higher than your armchair or reading chair. Keep that in mind while you are shopping.

Natural Light Is Good

If it is daytime and there is ample sunlight that you can use in your room, go for it! Turn off your lamps and use the natural light instead.

Give Your Eyes Rest

Last but not least, do not forget to take a break once in a while and give your eyes some much-needed rest.

Final Words

As a concerned reader, you asked yourself which side of a reading chair should a lamp or light be placed? And that is why we have constructed this in-depth article just for you. We hope you have learned enough to create a healthy and wholesome reading environment for you and your loved ones.

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