The 5 Best Touch Lamps [Ranked]
In this post, we examined 5 of the best-selling contact-sensitive lamps.
These touch-sensitive electric lamps are activated by a person’s touch as opposed to activating a switch or button. Most are either nightstand desk lamps.
How do they work?
Most of today’s touch lamps work on what’s called capacitance. This means the lamp holds a certain amount of electrons, and when you touch the lamp, you add electrons thus activating the switch (Source).
A touch-sensitive lamp holds several advantages over traditional lamps that require a button press or a switch flip.
The main advantage is the switching mechanism won’t gunk up and fail over time. When purchasing a new bedside or table lamp, measure the surface on which they’ll sit in case you want enough room to put down a book or glass (Source).
Comparing The Options
How Do They Compare
We look at five touch-sensitive lamps and note their strengths and differences.
- The Simple Designs Brushed Nickel mini touch lamps feature a modern style with a brushed metal base and white fabric shade. This lamp gives you plenty of control with four settings: low, medium, and high. With a size of 11.5” tall, they’re large enough to put out decent light, yet small enough as to be obtrusive. Most buyers said the lamps were bright, but some expressed concern over the cloth lampshades saying it is a potential fire hazard.
- The Aukey Table Lamp gives users a wide-range of color in one device. Buyers can choose a warm, relaxing light or any bright color within the RGB spectrum thanks to the LED bulb. The 360˚ base lets you select up to three levels of brightness: soft, warm, and bright. This lamp comes with a 24-month warranty. Most users were happy with their purchase, although some didn’t like the blue LED that remains lit even when the lamp is turned off and felt it was a distraction when trying to sleep (Source).
- The UNIFUN Touch Lamp is similar to the Aukey in that it offers users many colors to choose from thanks to the LED bulb. This lamp features a rechargeable battery, making it more eco-friendly than other lamps. You can choose the brightness, warmth, and color of the light, or set it to auto cycle through the colors depending on your mood via the top touch sensor. This lamp comes with a 12-month warranty.
- The Revel Kira 13” bedside/table lamp is also powered by an LED, but this one features a more contemporary, minimalist design than the previous two. The square wood base and fabric shade fit with most modern home décor. This lamp allows you to use a CFL or incandescent bulb if you choose.
Best Touch Lamps For 2019
Ease Of Use
These touch table lamps offered by Simple Designs are elegant, small, and available in five contemporary colors. Users love the price, but some do note that the lamps are smaller than they expected. The Simple Designs mini touch lamps measure 11.5” in height, and they feature touch control with four settings – low, medium, high, and off.
Another great thing about these lamps is that they come with fabric shades, which make them perfect for decorating your bedroom or living room. The packet includes two lamps, which uses A15 medium base bulbs, not included.
As a whole, buyers have a mixed opinion regarding these touch-sensitive table lamps.
A happy user mentions that the lamps produce more light than she initially expected and that she hasn’t had any issues with them. The reviewer adds that the lamps go with any furniture and that they don’t take space at all. Another satisfied purchaser observes that the mini table lamps are the right size for bedside tables and that she highly recommends it.
On the other hand, a customer warns that the lamps pose a fire hazard because they are light and easy to bump on the ground. He says that the bulbs touch the shades and might burn through them. Another reviewer also states that the touch control is not working and that the lamps stop working very quickly.
Ease Of Use
If you want to add style and elegance to your bedroom, living room, or hall, you can try these touch sensor lamps offered by Aukey. Users love the design, but some do note that the touch control is unresponsive at times.
The Aukey contact sensor table light measures 8.38” in height, and it features a 360° touch control base with three brightness levels – soft, moderate, and bright. What’s more, the light has a colorful display with an auto-cycle so that you can choose between several colors or pause on your favorite one. In addition to this, the base is touch table light comes with 45-day money back guarantee and a 24-month warranty card.
In general, users have a favorable opinion of the Aukey light, and they are pleased with its functionality and usefulness. A user comments that the size of the light matches the provided description and that it emits a bright glow. She adds that it’s easy to figure out how the light works and that she highly recommends as one of the best contact options on the market.
Another purchaser observes that the glow is perfect for a bedroom and that the color options are bright and relaxing.
A buyer also mentions that she liked the lamp so much that she bought three and that she didn’t have any issues with them.
However, some customers have noted that the lamp is not really off unless you unplugged it and that the touch base is not sensitive and often malfunctions. Some also warn that once the bulb blows off, you can’t change it.
Ease Of Use
This touch sensor table lamp is stylish, handy, affordable, and an excellent choice for a bedroom or a living room. Users love the soft, relaxing light, but some do note that it’s too small for their liking. The Unifun touch sensor desk lamp measures 3.5” x 3.5” x 4.7”, and it features four adjustable light levels – dim, low, middle, and high in addition to 360° light panel.
Another great thing about this lamp is that you can choose between auto-cycle color combinations or fixed colors to match your mood. The touch control lamp comes with 30-day money back guarantee, 12-month warranty, and a micro USB charge cable for the battery.
A reviewer comments that this is the best touch control table lamp she has ever owned and that it lightens up her bedroom adequately. She adds that the lamp is easy to control and that the colors are beautiful. Another purchaser mentions that you have to charge the lamp before you use it and that even a child could turn it on and off.
A reviewer also states that the touch control is very useful and that it emits strong, bright light on the high setting. She shares that the table touch light lasts a while before you have to charge it again.
However, some customers have noted that the lamp stopped working without a month and that they were disappointed by its quality.
Ease Of Use
This bedside touch control light offered by Revel is eco-friendly, energy efficient, and an excellent addition to any room in your house. Users love the size and the light, but some do note that it turns on/off on its own.
The Revel touch sensor table lamp measures 12.5″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″, and it features an oil rubbed bronze base, a rectangular honey beige shade, and a weight of 2.5 pounds. Another great thing about this lamp is that the packet includes one 4W LED bulb. What’s more, you can use LED, CFL or traditional 60W incandescent bulbs.
A reviewer shares that the Revel touch control lamp emits soft, relaxing light and that it’s easy to assemble and use. She adds that the lamp is well-made and you just have to tap the base to turn it on or off.
Another user observes that the touch sensor table lamp arrived well-packed and fully functional and that the shade is a nice touch. She highly recommends it as the best touch table lamp for bedrooms. A buyer also comments that the sensor works with no issues and that the lamp is well-constructed and durable. He adds that you can use 75W bulbs with no problems.
However, some customers have noted that the table touch lamp is not as durable as they expected and that it stopped working in a few months.
Ease Of Use
If you’re looking for a unique touch lamp for your living room that will amaze your friends, you can take a look at this one offered by OK Lighting. Users love the Tiffany glass flower theme, but some do note that the product arrived damaged.
The OK Lightning sensor lamp measures 14.25”, and it features glass shades and 3-way touch control base. What’s more, the package includes a 40W lightbulb. However, this gold-plated lamp comes unassembled, and you’ll have to insert the glass into the shade.
In general, users have a favorable opinion of the OK Tiffany glass flower lamp, and they are pleased with its brightness and durability. A reviewer observes that it’s easy to turn the lamp on/off and that it’s perfect for a bedroom. He adds that the light settings are perfect and that he highly recommends it as one of the best touch-control lamps.
Another buyer mentions that it’s not hard to put the lamp together and that you turn it on by touching any metal part. The purchaser also says that the assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow. However, some customers have noted that the lamp is smaller than they expected and that it doesn’t look anything like the provided picture. Some also state that it’s a challenge to assemble it.
What is Reddit Saying?
- One user submitted a post to an electricians subreddit complaining that their touch-activated nightstand lamp was in the habit of activating itself, every so often. While he thought it was an electrical issue his wife suspected something paranormal. But on a more serious note, the concern was for the fire hazard potential of an improperly wired electrical device.
One user suggested that it could be due to radiofrequency interference from things like a baby monitor or a cell phone. Another user said that he had run into a similar issue in the past, decided to swap out the control module, and this helps prevent it from cycling on and off, though it sometimes would turn on by itself but was probably due to static electricity, this user thought. Another user chimed in saying that these appliances are well-known for behaving erratically when they share a circuit with other devices using it for communication-
particularly things like home automation solutions.
This caused the original poster to speculate that a recently installed fire alarm system that communicates throughout the house would be an issue because of its same circuit integration.
- Another post has more of a DIY flavor- a user was trying to modify one of these appliances so that it could include a timer. The idea was to configure it so that it would automatically deactivate after 15 minutes. One user responded saying that they would need a little bit more information regarding whether there is a physical space constraint, and whether the unit itself is mains or low-voltage.
An electrician said that what you could do would be to integrate a pre-built timer board, purchasing a kit from eBay or by using a microcontroller. Another interesting post in a DIY subreddit had a different objective- namely they were looking to make an existing contact sensitive. The goal would be to make the actual body frame of the light source receptive to human contact.
The top responder said that the best strategy would be to visit a local home improvement store, navigate to their lighting section, and finds sensors that convert lamps into contact sensitive lights so that you can mount them to the base and then wire it in line.
Reading further, it turns out that these contact sensitive switches have actually been around for a while and have several advantages. One of the best things about them is that moisture and dirt can't screw up the switch.
In terms of how they can be activated, the three most common ways is by temperature, capacitance, resistance and radio reception. In terms of capacitance, It refers to the ability of a particular object to hold electrons. So when you contact activate it, your own body interacts with the lamp's capacity and the circuit wiring is able to detect the difference in order to activate the light. Interestingly these sensitive appliances generally have different brightness settings even though the bulbs themselves aren't three-way.
This is because the circuit itself is modulating the duty cycle of the bulb's power supply. Normally configured light bulbs that work off of switchers get full power whenever the switch is on, but these specialty circuits use different percentages, a 0%, a 33%, a 66% and even 100% duty cycle in order to manage different brightness levels.
Another interesting article we ran across was specialty lighting store list about some common considerations you should keep in mind when you're purchasing a bedside option.
Something we hadn't thought of, is that you may want to invest in a portable option- this means you can easily maneuver the appliance to different locations to provide an alternative lighting source, if need be.
A second consideration is the number of brightness modes and lighting colors that your bedside lamp has-this can be a fun feature to play around with.
Safety is another issue-because LED lights don't actually emit any heat, they can be more efficient and less of a fire hazard, as well the ones that don't have a power cord means that babies and children won't be tripping over it.