What is a Cordless Lamp?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Lamps provide wonderful ways to add lighting in a room. In many homes, they’re not only decorative but also necessary because the homes may lack installed lighting. The trouble with some lamps is that they need to be plugged into outlets to provide that light, and this may prove unattractive or difficult if plugs are in use for other things. One solution to the problem is to use a cordless lamp instead, or numerous ones, to satisfy lighting needs.

Cordless table lamps have become very popular household items.
Cordless table lamps have become very popular household items.

As the name implies, the cordless lamp lacks a cord and typically is powered by batteries instead. Battery types may vary, and many lamps can require numerous batteries, particularly if they’re larger and provide brighter light. Some lamps come with a rechargeable battery charger, and rechargeable batteries, which is definitely a less expensive way to go if the lamp will be used most of the time.

Cordless lamps are powered by battery.
Cordless lamps are powered by battery.

Without rechargeable batteries, people may find they need to replace batteries in the cordless lamp frequently, an expensive task. The disadvantage of purchasing lamps with rechargeable battery sets is that they are usually more expensive. An alternative is to purchase any cordless lamp and buy a battery recharger from a local electronics store, which may be a little less expensive.

Cordless lamps may come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes.
Cordless lamps may come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes.

Another consideration with these lamps is whether the lamps use light bulbs. Some provide LED lighting that will last a considerably long time and doesn’t require replacement. Others will use standard or fluorescent bulbs instead. People may prefer not only having a lamp that lacks a cord, but that also lacks the need to change bulbs too, but others would rather have lamps that look more like standard lighting with cords.

Once the situation of providing power for the lamp and deciding on lighting type is solved, there are numerous ways to use cordless lamps in the home. An advantage to these sources of light is that they are portable, and can be moved from room to room as needed. Also, these lamps may be ideal in things like campers and motor homes.

Styles are available to suit lots of different design schemes. These include floor and table lamps, bedside lamps, clip lights, and things like mood lights. Some styles are deliberately meant to mimic other sources of lighting, such as flameless or battery powered candles. Sometimes focus is on the design of the cordless lamp, and there are numerous ones with artistic shapes that provide a point of decorative interest.

Floor length battery-operated lamps are ideal for use in dark corners.
Floor length battery-operated lamps are ideal for use in dark corners.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I was surprised by how bright a cordless LED floor lamp can be. I associated LED lights with smaller things, like the display lights on electronics.

I bought an LED floor lamp at a yard sale because it was really cheap. The secret to its illumination lies in the number of bulbs. This one had sixteen white bulbs!

I can read by it even on a stormy night when the electricity has gone out. That's one big advantage to cordless lamps. If you've ever tried reading by candlelight, you know it isn't easy.


My best friend's house is like a miniature art gallery, because she has all her paintings hung on the wall. She also has several cordless picture lamps hooked onto the top of the frame of each painting.

She will turn them on whenever she is expecting company. They really emphasize her paintings. The light falls across them and flatters them in a way that overhead light could never do.

The lamps use double A batteries, but they only last for about eight hours. This is why she buys rechargeable batteries.


I have a cordless desk lamp that doesn't even use batteries. Instead, it's powered by fire!

It's a lava lamp that looks just like the kind that you have to plug into an outlet. However, this one uses an actual tea light candle to heat up the goo.

Once I light the candle, the lava starts to change shape. Since the flame will last for a couple of hours, the movement just keeps going until the fire goes out and things start to cool down.

Since tea light candles are really cheap and I can buy a big bag of them for just a few bucks, this lamp is really efficient to run. Of course, it's more for entertainment value than for illumination.


I think one of the best uses of cordless light is those little lamps made to look like candles glowing. I know of several restaurants that use these on their tables to set a tranquil or romantic mood.

These cordless lamps are much safer than real candles. Clumsy guests or children could easily set a tablecloth on fire with the real thing, but they can do no harm with the battery-powered flames.

My friend uses cordless lamps as Christmas decorations, too. She puts what looks like glowing candles on her windowsills during the holidays, and from the road, you really can't tell that they are fake flames.

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