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A desk lamp's primary job is task lighting. Because today's desks often include computers, it's important to have desk lighting that doesn't tire your eyes or cast a glare on the screen. Yet, you may often want good light on documents next to the computer.
Don't place a light right above or behind the screen, and balance desk lamps against windows so that natural light reaches you at the desk. Some experts suggest using triangle-shaped task lighting so that you can better control where the light goes, angling light onto your keyboard, but not your screen.
In addition, you may wish to investigate using full-spectrum bulbs instead of incandescents or fluorescents. Many people find this is easier on their eyes.