Study lamps are meant to deliver localized lighting that enables a user to perform reading and writing tasks effectively and comfortably. These lights are developed primarily for students who are tasked with sustained visual works. Lighting may enhance or degrade task performance. As a fundamental component of a layered lighting design, localized task lighting provided by desk lamps must supply the right amount of illuminance and sufficient coverage of the task area for users to accomplish visual tasks at the desired speed and accuracy. At the same time, it should not constitute a source of discomfort, distraction and health risk.
The quantity of light is just one aspect of lighting. It is essential to consider the quality of light which can be influenced by various interdependent factors such as luminance, light distribution, color characteristics, and modulation or the variation in intensity of a light source with time. The object of task lighting must be considered beyond the standard quality characteristics for illumination. In addition to addressing visual needs, lighting can positively or negatively stimulate non-visual effects on human psychology and physiology, and awareness of photobiological hazards associated with artificial lighting should be a key consideration that goes into the design of study lamps.