It is normal for lamp heads to become warm as the bulb can generate a lot of heat whilst in operation. To help you resolve this, its worth understanding why it gets hot.
How hot your lamp gets is basically down to the power output and type of bulb that you are using in your lamp. Also, the material the lamp is made from. More metal, more chance to conduct and radiate heat out. Factors like its environment will also govern how hot it gets, so how well can heat dissipate away from the lamp.
If you understand how traditional bulbs work then you’ll realize it’s the same principle as an electric heater. That is, passing current through a wire to make it heat up and glow. The difference being the bulb utilizes a finer ‘Filament’ wire within an environment of inert gas – with the removal of Oxygen, and the addition of Argon, Nitrogen or Xenon to a sealed glass bulb.
If you use the lamp constantly or for a long time, there is a good chance that the lamp will generate heat. In a small home office that will soon assist in warming up your room.
Types of Bulbs from Hot to Cold
Incandescent bulbs – When energized they exert more energy as heat than they do light. Many countries now ban them as they are so inefficient.
Halogen bulbs – These principally operate the same as Incandescent bulbs but using a Tungsten Filament.
Compact Fluorescent bulbs – CFL bulbs do give off heat, but considerably less than an Incandescent bulb.
Light Emitting Diodes – LEDs are the most efficient bulb as they function through electroluminescence. That is when an electric current passes through a semiconducting Diode which emits light. They are far more efficient as they produce more light than they emit heat.
In summary LED lamps are cool to the touch, while Incandescent, Halogen and to a lesser extent CFL lamps can get very hot.
As for how hot table lamps get, even when used for a short time, largely depends on the type of heat generated by the lamp itself, as well as factors such as distance from the light source, focus angle, etc.
If you do find your lamp gets too hot, or you’re worried that your table lamps will overheat and potentially cause injury, maybe even a fire in your home. Then opt for an LED lamp, which are considered safer than other types of lamps. Though, before you go buying a whole new lamp, we’d recommend you look to replace the existing bulb your lamp has with an LED bulb.
You get can get modern bright range of colored LEDs, but still bright like CFLs. In fact many modern LED lamps, even bulbs can be remotely controlled to power on/ off or change color.
Other Ways to Reduce the Build up of Heat
Consider if you need a lamp or bulb that has a high power output, the higher it is, the hotter it will be. If it doesn’t need to be too bright, then use a bulb with a lower power rating. Remember, if you are going to replace it with a lower power one, then choose an LED option.
If you have a glass or glossy table top, pay attention to the glare of light reflected off the glass and position the lamp head at a 30 degree angle so there are no reflections or hot spots in your field of view.
Most of us ‘Home Office’ aficionados tend to have small converted rooms which are more prone to get hot, consider how well ventilated your room is? Moving air over your lamp will help to keep it cooler. As well as you!
This will seem obvious, but if possible, can you work in an area that gets more natural light, reducing the amount of time you’d need to use a lamp. A simple desk move could do this, and save you a few dollars in energy costs!
You can buy lamps with built-in fans as another solution since they actually blow hot air up and out through the top of their housing; it can help keep your office cool by circulating fresh air. Though these items are generally ceiling mounted, just like Ceiling Fans.
A good desk lamp is especially important in the modern workplace or home office, as viewing a computer monitor requires far less light than reading a printed page. However, if yours is too hot, simply look to replace the current bulb(s) with a modern LED equivalent.
If for some reason you cannot source an equivalent LED bulb, then see if you can replace your lamp with a modern one that is designed to function with LED bulbs.
It’ll not just run cooler, but will light your workspace in a more efficient way, saving you money on its running costs.
We have professional backgrounds in Software Testing and Business Analysis, both with extensive experience of working for commercial enterprises and as a freelancers. We toggle between working from corporate premises and our own home offices. We have a passion for home working, and for using equipment that is ergonomically functional, well designed and elegant.