Published on March 21, 2019

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Illustration by Aaron Bengochea

Can a lamp actually help you sleep better? A handful of brands are saying yes, and the newest one to stake its claim is Dyson. The company that brought you the beloved supercharged vacuum just launched an LED-powered lamp based on resetting your circadian rhythms.

It might sound odd to put so much faith into a lamp, but scientific proof is backing up this theory. In truth, how well we sleep is directly correlated to light. After all, light regulates our circadian rhythms, which control many of our hormones, including melatonin, which controls how and when you get sleepy. Used to our advantage, light can directly affect the quality of our sleep, and that’s precisely where these wellness-inspired lamps come into the picture.

Light therapy is nothing new, but the lamps and lights used to correct sleep cycles were certainly lacking in aesthetic appeal until recently. Finally, brands are beginning to offer options that tick both the form and function boxes. Casper launched Glow Light at the end of January, which is focused on retraining your circadian rhythms with a warm light at bedtime that fades over 45 minutes to put you to sleep and a soft morning light that gradually and naturally wakes you up. And last night, Dyson announced its Lightcycle task lamp, arguably the best-looking smart lamp out there.

The Lightcycle is designed to accomplish a few tasks. It self-adjusts the color temperature and brightness to correspond with the daylight outside—shining a brighter blue tone in the morning and a softer yellow at the end of the day. This location-driven algorithm is particularly important because we spend up to 90 percent of our daily lives indoors. (And thanks to artificial light, we can prolong activities well after dark.) This lamp provides the right light for the right time of day to reset your natural rhythms.

The other wellness-inspired benefit of this lamp is eye health. Even if you don’t notice it, light from pendants and lamps can flicker and give off a glare, causing eye strain and visual fatigue, according to Dyson. The lamp was purposefully designed to have powerful 1000 lux brightness, all in the name of a more uniform light that might not be perceptible to you but will make your eyes feel less strained and tired. The app linked with the lamp can also autocorrect according to your age (the older you are, the brighter the light needed), task (from reading to entertaining), and daily routine.

With the launch of Glow Light and Lightcycle this year, smart lamps seem to be the lighting trend of 2019. It’s still an emerging field, but we already have a few worthy contenders to choose from. Here are a few options based on the design of your bedside table.

If You’re a Modernist


Looking like it walked off the pages of a Design Within Reach catalog, this launch from Dyson is a modernist’s dream. It’ll help regulate your sleep and waking times and give you a higher quality and a brighter light. The price seems extreme, but the lamp’s lightbulb has been engineered to last up to 60 years.

If You’re a Japanese Minimalist

These portable lights look like they’d be right at home in a Muji store, but they’re actually created by Casper. The lamp is entirely designed around helping you get to bed and wake up earlier. While the tone of the light doesn’t change, the brightness is completely controllable through a simple twist of the lamp.

If You’re a Futurist

This lamp looks more like the remote to a spaceship, which just so happens to be parked outside of your floating apartment. In any case, this is way more than a lamp, as it’s also an alarm clock, a meditation device, and a speaker. It can mimic a sunrise, gradually awakening you via light, and can stream music or sounds for an alarm clock that is right out of an episode of The Jetsons.

If You’re a Contemporist

This sleek, minimalist dream arguably have been designed by Scandinavian functionalist designer Arne Jacobsen rather than a Walmart exclusive. You can adjust the color and brightness to your exact needs or choose from one of the four set modes based on your task. Everything is controllable through the intuitive controls or, if you prefer, via your voice when set up through Google Assistant. The lamp is specifically focused on eye strain, too, so you have flicker-free light all-day long.

If You’re an Industrialist

Could your bedside table or desk pass for a drafting table? This one is for you. It looks like a lamp an architect would love, but with one big wellness secret: This version is designed to boost your mood and energy. Featuring six tones, the light delivers a more natural color that very closely resembles sunlight. 

If You Only Care About Function

If you squint your eyes, the curved arm of this light gives a slight Bauhaus vibe. Don’t let the weak styling in this photo fool you, as this lamp was created by Verilux, which has a whole line of “HappyLights,” which are entirely based on mimicking sunlight to improve your sleep and overall mood.

Keep the lights on:
These Sci-Fi Lamps Are Haunting Me—and I Love Them
Don’t Be SAD—Fight Winter Blues With This Product
30 Reasons You Need a Modern Chandelier, Stat

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