Playing the piano without adequate lighting can be a big challenge. There are plenty of reasons to get a lamp, they can make a space look nicer, light up the beauty of your piano, but ultimately they can improve your ability to see and play the piano and your sheet music properly.
In this guide, we’re looking at the best piano lamps and exploring some of the benefits to buying this kind of product so that you can ensure that you don’t make the wrong choice and you get the best possible results when you are playing in a dark space or late at night. There are a surprising amount of features and functions to consider when buying a piano lamp, so we’ve provided a guide to buying your lamp as well as some great options.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
Matching Your Lamp to Your Piano
This is something that is absolutely crucial. You need a lamp that suits the style of piano you own. If you are playing a grand piano then you might need a specific grand piano lamp that can sit nicely on the wood of your instrument. Other piano light options are for digital pianos, for instance, you can opt for a clip-on light that doesn’t need to be hooked up to the power (they can be battery powered) this allows you to take your digital piano or keyboard out and about with you and not have to worry about having power available. If you are playing live a lot then this can be a handy addition.
You may also need to consider size when in comparison to the piano. If you have a full, 88-key digital keyboard then a tiny LED light is not going to cut it. You should make sure you have plenty of power so that you can cover the whole keyboard as well as a music stand if needed.
Can I Use an Ordinary Desk Lamp?
Though there are plenty of products specifically marketed as piano lamps, you might find exactly what you are looking for with LED lights that are marketed as desk lamps rather than being piano lamps. Basically, it doesn’t matter what you call it, whether it is sold as a desk lamp or not, if it is doing the job adequately then this is suitable.
Piano “desk lamps” can often have the same functions and features as specific piano lamps so you can ensure that you are lighting the right areas. Adjustable light directions and more.
Types of Lamp
There are different types of lamp, and they are pretty self-explanatory. They are similar to the lamps that you will have within your home. There are piano desk lamp models (as mentioned above, these look like a desk light but sit on top of your piano). There are clip-on designs, and there are also floor lamps that can be used as a part of your design so that you can illuminate a bigger area. These make fantastic stage lights so that you can play more easily during practice or when performing.
Bigger lamps and corded lamps cause much more of a challenge when you are taking them out and about to shows.
This is probably the number one thing to look out for when you are choosing to buy a lamp for your piano. It helps no end if you are able to choose the direction of the light, and alter it based on where on the piano you are playing if you need to see the sheet music and more.
An adjustable neck or “gooseneck” design can be useful if you need to point it at different angles. If you are using a digital piano with multiple sounds or a keyboard with some synth settings, you might need to ensure you can see all of the controls, your sheet music and your keys. You are asking a lot of the light in this scenario, so you need to be able to change the angle and perfect it.
Lumens and Dimmable Lights
You don’t need to learn the exact science behind lumens. Instead, you just need to know that this is a measure of visible light your eye can see from any source. Higher lumens means a brighter light.
You don’t need something that is extremely bright. You don’t want to blind your audience and you don’t need masses of light, just enough to be able to see what you are doing.
Another benefit can be dimmable lights, this allows you to set the level of your light based on where you are playing. It is particularly useful when it comes to playing in venues you haven’t played before. You can set the light levels based on the surroundings and ensure you are never caught in a venue where you can’t see very well.
To LED or Not to LED?
There are a few piano lamps out there that don’t have LED lights inbuilt, but they are becoming rarer. It is usually a good idea to have LED light and it just makes a lot more sense for the manufacturers of piano lights. They last longer, they are much more energy-efficient and in general, they make the best piano lamps.
From an environmental and efficiency standpoint, there is no real argument against LED piano lamps, so you will find that the vast majority of options have this LED design.
If you are looking for a portable option then it is worth looking at how the light will be powered. Battery power for your piano light is a good option if you are constantly on-the-go. A little, battery-powered clip light that can go in your bag could be a good option.
Most piano lamps that can be powered with a battery will last a very long time, so you don’t need to worry about it dying mid-set either.
Why Are Piano Lamps Expensive?
This is a question that a lot of people ask. There are some very expensive lamps on the market, but whether you spend a lot or not is up to you as there are cheap options, too.
Piano lamps vary so much because they have to cater for the high-end as well as cheaper keyboards. For example, if you have a $10,000 grand piano then you will want a grand piano lamp that looks great above it. If not, you will make your beautiful piano look cheap and nasty.
There are some cheaper options out there. As we explore in our list…
Best Piano Lamp Options
1. Cocoweb PLED101 LED Piano Light – Best Overall
Cocoweb manufactures a lot of different models of light for piano. The PLED101 is one of the very best on the market and has an amazing set of features to go with a luxurious design.
This is a good option for a piano that will stay in one place within your home, as it can sit nicely above a grand or upright acoustic piano.
The Cocoweb LEDs are good quality and will last a very long time but the brand also claims they are made specifically to avoid eyestrain even in long sessions of playing. The energy-efficiency is one of the key selling points as it is 80% more efficient than some other, older piano lamps.
You will pay an extra premium for the Cocoweb models of light, but if you know that you want an elite piano lamp then this could be a brand that is well worth exploring.
2. Boston Harbor ATB-8004 Piano Desk Lamp – Affordable (But Elegant)
If you are looking for an affordable lamp that still looks elegant and could be a great option for your piano then this could be the answer. The ATB-8004 has the elegant look of a pricey lamp and though it costs more than a clip-on lamp would, it represents good value.
The round base, well-made metal shade and satin nickel finish makes this a luxurious feeling piano desk lamp. It doesn’t use LEDs, so this is something to keep in mind when making your decision. It also isn’t very portable so it makes sense to keep it as a more permanent fixture in your home.
This is proof that not all piano lamps have to cost a lot of money. It’s a good option for those on a budget who want to keep the lamp in one place and don’t want to sacrifice looks.
3. Professional Musician 3000K-6000K Super Bright – Best Clip Light
This is a brilliant option for musicians who want something portable. It is a clip light that can be used to brighten up any space and it is surprisingly powerful when you consider the small design. This is often marketed as a light for a music stand. It can do both jobs just as easily, so don’t worry about whether it is suitable or not.
The adjustable gooseneck design is combined with the fact there are loads of options for the lamp to give off the sort of light you are looking for. There are three different light temperatures and three brightness options for each. This gives you a lot of scope for setting it to the exact level you want.
It charges using USB like a number of other devices. 60 hours of charge can be achieved from one simple battery recharge and this means that you can rest assured of your LEDs not letting you down whether using it as a piano lamp or using it as a sheet music light.
Portability really is the name of the game with this model of light. Reliable LED lights with a simple USB recharge complement the very lightweight design and make this the best piano lamp to take to shows and practices.
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We said in the buying guide that it is perfectly fine to use a desk lamp as a piano lamp and this model proves the point. TaoTronics manufacture a lot of budget electricals including this piano lamp.
It is incredibly adjustable. You can bend the lamp itself, the arm and neck to get the angle you are looking for. On top of this, you can dim the lamp so you aren’t using more light than you need to. It’s got four different modes with different color temperatures to suit your activities.
This model also ha a really steady base which helps it to stay in one place. Though it doesn’t have the elegant look of the Boston Harbor model this is one of the best lamps for those looking to adjust every aspect of their lighting.
Though this isn’t specifically made to be a piano lamp, it does a great job and has all of the features you need whether you are lighting up your acoustic piano, digital piano, or even your music stand for sheet music.
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Depending on your specific needs and the type of keyboard or piano, you may choose to go for an expensive and grandiose grand piano lamp or you may choose a more affordable, portable option. The piano lamp right for one person will not be great for someone else. You might want portable LED models, or you might want traditional bulbs in a more fixed design.
Getting the right lighting can be crucial, but you need to think about what type of musician you are before making your final decision. Do you play live a lot? Is the room where you practice dark? Do you need to read music while playing? All of these can be key decisions.