Not everyone has the blessing of a naturally well-lit workspace, and even those that do sometimes need a little more light for writing, typing, or really anything else. Desk lamps are a dime a dozen, but dealing with the standard bulbs or going for a special bulb type requires you to pick a type of light you want and switch out the bulbs when they die. That adds not just a time cost, but a decision cost (do I really need to use this lamp? Which bulb should I get? When should I go get it?).
Satechi’s Smart LED Desk Lamp is a modern take on the traditional desk lamp with LED lights, a wide range light source, and a little bit of tech to make it feel right at home with your workbench.
The LED Desk Lamp has all the amenities that a lamp could have and more. It’s adjustable by the two hinges, which is significantly less than a much cheaper standard lamp. The larger light spray means you won’t need as much focused direction for the light, so where exactly you point it isn’t that important. It also has four light modes which adjust the temperature of the light (how blue or yellow it is) labelled as study, reading, relaxation, and bedtime modes. I only found two useful in the office, reading and bedtime modes — those are the two extremes, the brightest and coldest, and the warmest light, respectively.
These settings, along with a brightness switch, one-hour shutoff timer activation, and power control are all touch-sensitive buttons on the base of the lamp. This super-convenient method affords the Smart LED it’s refined shape and tone without any design gimmicks. Clean black lines with a glossy coat make the Lamp both stand out and fall to the background, especially on a cluttered desk.
Along with all of that, the Lamp also has a USB charge port for smart devices, which will power anything with a 5V charge. When not in use, the lamp’s head can be stowed away so it doesn’t take up any space, which is extremely convenient on a workbench with tons of stuff like cables and wires that need to be constantly managed. The head folds very neatly onto the neck.
The only thing Satechi missed was making the automatic one-hour shutoff automatic. Out of the box the lamp stays on until the user turns it off. As a “smart” lamp, it should do the opposite. It may boast a 40,000 hour lifespan (which considering the MSRP of $150 is a surprisingly good deal), but those hours will go by very quickly if you leave it on too often and the lights don’t automatically turn off. I regularly get up and walk away for a meeting, lunch, or hours of calls only to come back and see the light still on because I didn’t set it.
While some of the settings make it clear that the Desk Lamp can be used for reading, it’s not exactly comfortable as a bedside lamp. The head is not adjustable enough to warrant using it on a nightstand.
Bottom Line: The Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp is a great addition to any desk, workbench, or computer station. It has helped make a generally dark work station generously lit, and is easy to use, very well designed, and more than a lamp needs to be. And it’s also only $100 as of this writing, so don’t miss out.