Look for both functionality and appearance. Today’s task light fixtures can offer both, and a lighting professional at an ALA-member showroom can ensure that you have exactly the right features for the task work that you want to do. When considering a portable task lighting fixture, consider these features:
- Light source – Task fixtures that use LED light sources are highly efficient and long lasting. LEDs emit less heat than older incandescent light bulbs too.
- Amount of light – Specific tasks may require different amounts of light for optimal visibility.
- Adjustability – This allows the light to be directed where it is needed and for the size of the lighted area to be adjusted to cover the whole task area.
- Light color – LEDs come in a range of tints and colors often described as “warm” (reds and yellows) or “cool” (blues). The color appearance of the light is measured in kelvins (K), technically known as chromaticity. LED light bulbs and fixtures have a chromaticity rating printed on the bulb or carton that lists the chromaticity value.
- Dimmability – There are two options for dimming LEDs with electronic controls. The first option is simply a dimmer that adjusts the brightness of the LED. The second is a control that adjusts the brightness of the LED, as well as changes the color so that, as the light gets dimmer, it changes to a warmer tone. That type of dimming is known as “warm dim,” and is intended to match the familiar dimming characteristics of incandescent bulbs.
Tip: Some types of task lighting fixtures have controls for both dimming and color control. Such fixtures provide maximum lighting flexibility, and are an excellent choice for those with older eyes or with eye problems such as cataracts, because both the light intensity and the color of the light may affect visibility and visual comfort.
- Special features – Task lighting fixtures are available in a variety of types and designs so they can match the needs of the user as well as fit easily into the home and room décor. For example, task fixtures can be designed for either table or floor use, and there are versions with wheels for portability. Models with magnifying lenses and built-in lighting are designed to make reading easier for people with limited vision or hard-to-see tasks.
- Smart lighting – Certain types of LED bulbs and a growing number of lighting fixtures are “smart.” That means they can connect with other smart products in the home and be programmed to follow a schedule or be controlled wirelessly via a cell phone or other types of remote controls and systems.