This futuristic desk lamp keeps my phone charged while I work

It uses touch sensors to control everything — no buttons needed.
Jillian Ortiz / TODAY
By Jillian Ortiz

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If working from home has taught me anything, it's that the lighting in my room has the greatest impact on my ability to get work done. During the day, I need daylight streaming through my windows in order to feel productive. Once the sun goes down, my ability to finish other important tasks completely dwindles.

I've long loved the look of fairy lights in my room since they offer warm lighting that feels just as good as sunlight. However, they can't be dimmed in order to accommodate roommates or nights where you just need light concentrated in your work area.

Though three different lamps are currently in my small bedroom at home, none of them really do the trick when it comes to getting work done at night. So, as I prepare to enter my senior year of college, I decided it was finally time to try a desk lamp.

It felt like pure luck when I stumbled upon this affordable desk lamp that not only claimed to be extremely bright, but could also wirelessly charge my phone. That alone was enough to blow my mind, so I just had to get my hands on it to see if it was too good to be true.

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp

It's bright — but can also be dimmed

I have to start off by saying that it's definitely not too good to be true — this lamp has far exceeded every one of my expectations. In fact, it almost makes me wish the start of the semester would arrive so that I have an excuse to use it for a few late-night assignments.

I was nervous that the LED light would be much more obnoxious than my serene fairy lights, but it actually operates on seven different brightness levels. I can control just how bright I need the lamp to be at any given moment by swiping my finger along the touch panel. You read that right — no clicking buttons, it can all be done with one swift motion. To turn the lamp on and off, it just takes one long press on the power sensor to do the trick.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

I'm not typically one to read instructions, so when the lamp arrived in two parts — the lamp itself and the adapter cord — I just plugged it into my wall and toggled with the brightness settings. It wasn't until a week later that I decided to press some of the silver emblems on the base of the lamp, and that's when I discovered they are actually sensors that control the temperature of the lighting.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

There are five different modes that can make the lighting cooler or warmer, and I was a little too excited when I found that the warmest setting emulated my beloved string lights. It almost makes your room feel as though you've activated "night shift" on your phone.

The charging capabilities are impressive

While I typically prefer to plug my phone into an outlet when it needs a charge, I've found that the wireless charging pad on this lamp gets it done at the same speed. I'm still confused as to how exactly the whole wireless charging thing works, but that's for the tech experts to know and for me to be in awe of.

Since I have a phone grip on the back of my phone, I have to remove my case in order for it to charge, but it's not bothersome. If you own a thinner phone case, you likely won't have to remove it in order for it to charge, as the back of the phone needs to touch the charging pad in order for it to work properly.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

If your device doesn't support wireless charging, the lamp also features a USB port in the back that should be able to fit most standard charging cables. Even if it is slightly less cool, it is just as functional.

It's user-friendly

Though it seems high-tech, this lamp was designed with convenience in mind. Not only does it offer different brightness settings, modes and the ability to wirelessly charge your device, but it also is completely adjustable.

The base of the lamp can swivel and tilt in order to help direct light, while the head of the lamp can both tilt and rotate over 100 degrees in both directions. In other words, there are no limits on where you can focus the light in order to create a workspace that's perfect for you.

Even better? It also features a memory setting that automatically reverts the lamp to the last-used brightness and temperature settings, which is perfect for when you resume work after taking a brief break.

With more than 230 verified five-star reviews, I know I'm not the only one who has been amazed by the versatility of this lamp, but I'm shocked that more people haven't heard about it yet.

Whether you're preparing for back-to-school season or simply need another functional addition to your work-from-home office, this LED desk lamp might be worth adding to your list of essentials. Though it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as string lights, it's made me a lot more prepared for my last few college all-nighters.

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