Is Bill by Tobias Grau the best desk light ever?

Tobias Grau Bill tableLet's first remind ourselves why this question is so very important. It ought to be a civil right that every employee working at a desk has a light on it that is under their direct control. The benefits are:

psychological: they have their own light, in their own bit of space, which they control themselves

practical: only they know exactly where they want the light directed, to avoid glare on their screen, perhaps, or to look at papers on their desk. Their requirements could change regularly throughout the day. Also, the light source is in front of them, so they are never working in their own shadow

environmental: the light source is as near as possible to the thing being lit, so no energy is wasted. Also, if every desk has its own task light, the light levels can be considerably lower elsewhere in the office -- between the desks for example, where the only requirement is that people have enough light not to bump into the furniture

to wellbeing: if there is real, full spectrum light, from an incandescent (halogen)  lamp in the desk light, it does not matter so much what is  being used elsewhere in the office. Proper light will mean that the employee feels happier -- particularly in the winter, when many suffer from SAD, and in offices that have no natural light

financial: if each desk has a task light, less needs to be spent on lights elsewhere in the office, and lighting control systems, which are expensive to buy, expensive to install and complicated to use, are unnecessary.

Now let's look at Bill, designed by Tobias Grau for his eponymous company.

More specifically, why do I -- who can use any desk light I like, and I've tried many -- why do I use Bill?

Tobias Grau Bill head detail

  1. It has a big handle, with an attractive soft touch coating, that I can get hold of firmly, to place the light where I want it. The handle never gets hot. It has the on/off switch conveniently set into it
  2. the head is mounted on a ball set into a socket. This means that I can move the head in any plane. Some desk light heads only move in certain planes
  3. It stays where I put it
  4. the arms have a long reach. A lot of desk lights, particularly LED ones, end up lighting their own bases, rather than what is on the desk. This is pointless
  5. there is still a halogen option and the light is bright. Dim fluorescent or LED sources are not helpful when reading small print, plans or diagrams
  6. it is very well priced.

Note that Bill comes in various versions -- different desk mountings, wall versions (long and short) and floor versions. All have a LED lamp option; Tobias Grau are one of only a very few lighting makers to use LEDs effectively.

So, is Bill the best desk light ever? No. This is,

tecnolumen EB27 desk lightthe EB27, designed, and the balancing movement patented, by Eduard-Wilfried Buquet in 1927, and re-edited by Tecnolumen. It adds to all the virtues of Bill the smoothest, most beautiful, totally mesmerizing movement. It stays where it is put, in any postion, just by the use of counterweights and clever joints.

But it costs ten times as much as Bill.

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