This is another one for those who are just starting out. I searched and searched for the right lamp for 12 long years! I was always buying new lamps -- trying to find one that would stay where I wanted it and wouldn't swing around and smack me in the face. Most of those spring-loaded luxor-style lamps are garbage, never stay put, and heat up like a McDonald's heat lamp. My prayers were finally answered when I was checking out Stuart Immonen's blog one day and he'd posted a photo of his desk -- sporting the lamp I was always looking for. I emailed him and he schooled me all about the precision-balanced "Floating Arm" technology of the amazing DAZOR lamp. A quick visit to eBay, and my life was changed forever!
So, please listen to me and save yourself years of frustration and get a DAZOR lamp. There's always a bunch of them for sale on eBay between $20-$50. You'll want Model 2134.
Take this LINK
DAZOR must've made millions of these in the 50's and supplied the government (and everybody else) with them. Now that I have one, I notice them everywhere in old photos of cartoonists and animators. These suckers are built to last, so don't worry about the age (mine's probably 50 years old). They're heavy duty and still function perfectly.
Hopefully, most people who read this already have one, but just in case you're out of the loop (like me) it'll be useful. Most artists are pretty isolated and have to figure everything out for themselves, so I'm always appreciative of any tips I can get. I think a lot of us share the feeling of "why am I always the last to know?" -- it's good to share some shop talk whenever we can.