What Type of Light Bulb Is Best for a Reading Lamp?

A light bulb with a brightness of 450 to 800 lumens and a color temperature of 5000 to 6500 Kelvin is a good choice for a reading lamp. This equates to a 10- or 15-watt CFL bulb, an 8- or 12-watt LED bulb or a 40- or 60-watt standard bulb.

CFL and LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and last longer than incandescents. On average, LED bulbs last 20 or more years and save up to 80 percent annually in energy costs. CFL bulbs last around nine years and save up to 75 percent per year in energy costs. Consumers must always consider the lamp’s maximum recommended wattage when selecting light bulbs.