Best Book Lights
Getting lost in a great novel while curled up nice and warm in your bed is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, if you have a partner that doesn’t share your love of reading and needs all of the lights to be out when it comes to bedtime, a good book light can be the solution to your problem. These little gadgets are great because they clip right to the pages so that you can use them for both hardcovers and paperbacks. The LED bulbs typically run off of a few batteries and emit just enough brightness to allow you to read the pages comfortably without straining your eyes, and not putting off so much brightness that it bothers the people around you that are trying to get some sleep.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
9 brightness settings
Uses warm and cool bulbs
Battery life indicator
Top Ten Book Lights
9 brightness settings
Uses warm and cool bulbs
Battery life indicator
Users wish that the clip was flat
The TOPELEK is a little bulkier than others we have seen for sale, but it has a few extra features that will help tired eyes read longer in the dark without becoming strained. Some eyes read better under warm bulbs, and others prefer cooler bulbs, and the TOPELEK design offers up both. Plus, it has a myriad of settings that will work perfectly under any condition.Read more
This unit has 7 LED bulbs that are housed behind a frosted panel that will provide a soft brightness. The bulbs alternate from warm to cool, and allows users to select warm brightness, cool brightness, or a combination of both. It uses a 1000mAh battery that is able to be recharged via a power outlet. What’s great about this design is that it has a battery indicator located on the side so users know when it is coming close to needing to be charged. One full charge will last up to 60 hours, and will only take just under two hours to reach a full charge.
Ease of use:
Users can affix this device to the back cover of their novel using a clip that is padded so that it won’t scratch or scuff your gear. What’s great about this unit is that it has a flat base so that users can set it on a desk or a nightstand if they don’t want to attach it to their novel. It also has a long a flexible arm to adjust the concentration of brightness, and it also has an impressive 9 brightness settings so that you can ensure you will get the right level of brightness for any situation.
The cost of this design runs pretty par for the course. It isn’t the most expensive design out there on the market, but it isn’t the least expensive either. This unit will likely set you back the same amount that you would spend on a new paperback.
We love that this unit allows you to change the warmth of brightness, and 9 power settings will ensure that you won’t disturb your sleeping partner, but will still have enough brightness to not harm your eyes.
Able to recharge the batteries
Can run for 20 hours on the highest setting, 60 hours on lowest setting
On/off switch is sensitive
What we really liked about the LuminoLite design is that it is able to run for a long time, and it can be recharged when the batteries become depleted. It has a long face that works perfectly for smaller paperbacks and can even provide enough brightness for larger textbooks. What’s even better about this design is that it comes in at a very affordable price point.Read more
This unit has 6 small LED bulbs that run along the top of the face that allows users to adjust brightness. There are three brightness settings that users can select from that include low, medium, and high. One full charge of the batteries provides users with a continuous 20 hours of brightness(or 60 hours on the lowest setting), and the batteries can be recharged by plugging the unit to an electric power source, or changing out the batteries if you are on an airplane or in a car.
Ease of use:
The arm of this unit is easily bent and can be adjusted 360 degrees to work with most sizes and shapes of novels. You can adjust it so that it will illuminate both pages, or place it closer to the pages to emit less to be sure not to disturb sleepers. To fasten it to your novel, simply press the clip so that it grabs on to the front cover.
What we loved about the LuminoLite design is that it is offered at a lower price point that users find to be very affordable. This unit will likely set you back about the same amount that you would spend on a new release of a bestselling paperback.
Users love that this design has batteries that are able to be recharged via an electrical outlet and that they can adjust the brightness setting from low, medium, or high, based upon the conditions for which they are reading. Plus, it comes in at a really great price point which is why it has landed at our top spot for this list.
12 LED bulbs
Offers 3 power settings
Very long gooseneck
Could be brighter
What users really love most about the VONT design is that it is lightweight, easy to use, and can clip right onto the back of your novel without being too cumbersome. Plus, this design has more bulbs that many of the other options out there on the market, and it is able to be recharged when the batteries become low.Read more
The VONT design uses a 1000 mAh battery that is built into the unit and is unable to be changed. To charge this unit, simply plug it into a power source from a computer or an electrical outlet. This strong battery offers up to about 8 hours of continuous brightness, which is significantly less than other designs that can offer up to 30 hours on a single charge.
Ease of use:
The long gooseneck design allows users to adjust the angle of brightness to illuminate one or more pages at a single time. A sleek button that is found on the front of the unit allows readers to adjust the brightness to the unit to settings such as low, medium, and high. To affix it to your novel, simply use the clip to fasten it to the back cover. The clip is also big enough to clip to a bed stand or the side of a desk.
This unit cost just a little bit more than other similar designs out there on the market. However, users really love that that it has a sleek and easy-to-use design that offers clear brightness from 12 LED bulbs.
The VONT design is great for those that want something that is simple and easy to use. The downside about this design is that it doesn’t quite hold a charge for as long as some of the other options, but users will never have to worry about replacing the batteries.
4. Mighty Bright
Unique lens design distributes brightness evenly
Flat base allows it to stand freely
Full charge offers 30 hours of brightness
AC adapter is not included
The Mighty Bright has one of the longest battery life of any other of similar design on the market. It has a simple frame that comes in a sharp blue color, and it has a few extra features that aren’t available in other brands. It cost just a little bit more than some of the others, but users find it well worth the slightly padded price tag.Read more
This unit uses 2 LED bulbs that can emit up to 20 lumens of brightness. What makes this design unique is that it has a specially designed optical lens that helps reduce hot spots on the pages to allow that the brightness is evenly distributed across the page that makes it a lot easier on the eyes. It uses 3 AA batteries that can be recharged with an AC adapter that is sold separately. One full charge can offer up an impressive 30 hours of brightness.
Ease of use:
What users really like about this unit is that the base is flat so that users can simply set it on a flat surface such as a table if they are reading at a desk, or want to set it on a nightstand for a little extra brightness. It also has a clip that makes it easy to affix it to the cover of a hardback as well as a paperback. The long arm is able to be adjusted to be cocked closer or farther from the page as needed.
The cost of this design is more expensive than other designs out there on the market, but only slightly. It will likely only set you back around the same price that you would spend on a paperback.
Sometimes, some models have a series of bulbs that offer hotspots on the page that can be hard on the eyes after a while, but the Mighty Bright design has a lens that distributes the brightness across the page evenly as if you were reading outside in the daytime. While it doesn’t offer the same brightness settings as some of the other designs, users absolutely love the way this lamp works for them at night.
Also works as a bookmark
Offered in fun colors and designs
Very small profile makes it great for traveling
Some users feel the bulb is a little too bright
The FL design is just a little bit different than many of the other designs on the market. Instead of having a clip base with a long adjustable arm, it as a smaller frame that resembles a sleek bookmark that makes it perfect to keep in your purse or your carry on bag while you travel without taking up all that much room.Read more
This unit uses a single LED bulb that is found at the top of the unit. It runs off of two CR2016 batteries that have a longer lifespan than the basic AA batteries found on many other designs. Many users feel that they never need to replace the batteries for the life of their product, but if they do need to they can do so by sliding off the back panel on the other side of the bulb.
Ease of use:
There are no clips or clamps found on this model that can tend to be a little stiff for some users. This design is flat so that while it is not in use it can be stored right into your novel like a bookmark. When you are ready to use it, simply fasten the tab on the back cover, and bend the arm to position the bulb right above your pages.
One of the best features about this design is that comes in at a very affordable price point. This unit will likely set you back about the same price that you would spend on a used paperback.
If you are looking for something that has a lower profile than some of the other cumbersome and awkward designs out there on the market, this will be a perfect addition to bring along when you travel. Users also love that it comes in at a lower price point and it is offered in a few fun colors and designs.
Frosted window pane for soft brightness that is easy on the eyes
Clip is large enough to affix to chairs and bedposts as well as novels
Some feel that the clip is too big
What makes the Raniaco design stand out from some of the others out there on the market is that it is able to get just a little bit brighter than some of the other designs. It is incredibly easy to use, offers a very sleek exterior design, and comes in at an affordable price point.Read more
This unit uses 12 small LED bulbs that are encased in a frosted panel that softens the bulbs and makes it easier on your eyes. What’s great about this design is that it uses a series of rechargeable batteries that offer up about 24 hours of continuous brightness. It is able to be set at three levels of brightness that include low, medium, and high.
Ease of use:
To affix this to a novel, simply hold down the clip and fasten it to the front cover. The long arm makes it easy to place the bulbs in the perfect position to place it close to the pages so that the brightness sits closer to your novel, or farther away to illuminate more than one page at a time. TO recharge the batteries, simply plug it into a power supply such as an electrical outlet or a computer.
While this unit is just a tad more expensive than the LuminoLite design, it is still considered to be very affordable. This unit will likely set you back the same amount that you would spend on a new release of a popular paperback to take with you on your next trip to the beach.
If eye strain is something that you worry about when reading at night, the Raniaco design is made to offer soft brightness that will shine down on your pages making it easy to read, but without straining your eyes. Users love the ability to adjust the bulbs, as well as the ability to recharge the batteries via their computer or electrical outlet.
Padded clamp will protect gear or hardback cover from becoming scratched or scuffed
Couple color options to choose from
Some feel that the arm is too short
We liked the Fulcrum design because it is offered in a few different color options, and it gives off an incredibly even brightness that will allow you to read your favorite novel at night without adding any undue strain on your eyes, and without disturbing your sleeping partner. While it doesn’t have all of the features that are offered in some of the other designs, it comes in at an incredibly low price point.Read more
The Fulcrum uses three LED bulbs that uses floodlight technology to allow users to have an even level of brightness across the page. It doesn’t offer users to adjust the level of brightness, unfortunately, which may mean that it may keep your partner up due to the brightness. This unit takes 3 AA batteries, and it does not have the option to be recharged with an AC adapter.
Ease of use:
One of the things that is great about this design is that is has a flat base that allows users to set it on a desktop or on a nightstand. To affix it directly to a novel, simply press down on the clip and fasten it to the cover of your novel. Once the batteries are depleted, users will need to replace them with three fresh AA batteries.
What users lover most about the Fulcrum design is that it is offered up at an incredibly affordable price point that is one of the most affordable options out there on the market. This model will likely set you back the same amount that you would spend on a used paperback at your local bookstore.
If you are unsure whether or not you will get much use out of this product, the Fulcrum design is a perfect option to try because it is incredibly affordable, and it is also easy to use. Users also love the innovative bulb design that provides even brightness across multiple pages.
8. LuminoLite Neck Hug
Wearing it around your neck means you can read all types of media rather than just novels
Great for crafting as well
Users claim it charges quickly
Some feel the lowest setting is still too bright
The LuminoLite Neck Hug is different because instead of using clips that affix to your novel or sit on your nightstand, this design hangs right off of your neck. This means that you can read just about anything in the dark- novels, comic books, magazines, and newspapers without fussing with clips. It doesn’t have the same battery life as some of the others, but the ability to simply plug it into an outlet to recharge it makes it worth the little extra hassle.Read more
Each side of this unit utilized one LED bulb on each side. This unit is able to maintain power from between 7 to 40 hours, dependant upon how you set the brightness. It uses a 700MAH Li-ion battery that can be easily recharged by plugging it into an electric power source.
Ease of use:
What users love most about this design is how easy it is to use. Instead of using clips that can be fussy and sometimes come dislodged or can scratch your gear or novel, this unit simply hangs around your neck. The two arms a flexible to provide you with a perfect level of brightness that can span more than one page at a time. The brightness can be adjusted for a lower brightness, and it can also be set to floodlight to give you maximum brightness where you need it most.
This unit costs just a tad higher than some of the other standard designs out there on the market. It will likely set you back the same around that you would spend on a new paperback to take with you on the plane.
We love how this unit is a lot different than many of the others on the market. Instead of affixing to the surface that you are reading, it affixes directly to you so that you won’t be limited to the types of things that you can read while wearing it.
Long lamp and gooseneck
Users can adjust temperature of brightness
Thick clip can affix to the side of a desk or nightstand
What we noticed immediately about the KEDSUM design is that is has a lamp that is a lot longer than other designs, making it perfect for all sizes of novels as well as textbooks. It has a lot of smart features that make it the perfect reading companion. However, all of these added features make it one of the most expensive designs currently out there on the market.Read more
The KEDSUM uses a rechargeable battery that is built right into the unit. To get a full charge, the USB charger takes up to about 3 hours to reach a full charge, and it will give you about 26 hours of continuous brightness- which is one of the longest times of many similar options out there on the market.
Ease of use:
One of the things that makes this really stand out from the rest is the long, slender lamp as well as the very long gooseneck that allows users to really adjust the angle of brightness. It also has three temperature modes that include warm, cool, and a mixture of the two. Cool is meant to mirror sunlight, where warm temperatures help reduce eye strain.
The downside to this model is that it is one of the most expensive designs out there on the market. The price isn’t high enough that it’ll break the bank, but it might set you back the same amount that you would spend on a new hardcover.
Users love the unique design on the lamp that makes it ideal for many different sizes of books, and they also love the long gooseneck that allows them to adjust the angle of the lamp. It might cost a bit more than many of the others currently for sale, but users really feel that it is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
Easy to affix to the side of a desk or nightstand
Even distribution of brightness
Cannot charge batteries
What users really responded to most about this design is that is has a smart lens that is great about distributing brightness sharply and evenly over a page, and reduces the number of hot spots that can be hard on the eyes.Read more
This unit uses 6 bright LED bulbs that are housed in a magnified lens that allows for even distribution of brightness. It uses three AAA batteries that are not included with purchase, and that also is not able to be recharged.
Ease of use:
The base of this design has an extra wide clip that has a grip on the inside so that it is able to be affixed to the sides of tables, workbenches, or desks, but it can also be clipped to the back cover of a hardback or a paperback. Users love the long gooseneck that allows them to adjust the angle of the lamp to suit their specific needs.
The cost of this unit is just slightly higher than many of the other options out there on the market, but not by much. This will likely set you back about the same amount that you would spend on a new paperback.
If you are in the market for something that is easy to use, and will work in most conditions, this is an excellent option. Some users find that the light has a tendency to be a bit too bright even when on the lowest setting, and it isn’t able to be charged via an electric outlet.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It’s a fine line that readers walk when trying to read at night. While you want to ensure that you get something that is bright enough that it will allow you to read without straining your eyes, you don’t want it so bright that no one around you will be able to get some sleep. What we discovered through our research is that these devices don’t just have to clip to the back of your novel. There are a lot of different designs that will not only clip to your book but will also clip to a nightstand or desk, and there are some that the user wears around their neck. The good news is there aren’t really any designs out there that will cost you more than you would spend on a new hardcover, so you can be sure to get the design the fits your needs perfectly without breaking the bank.
We also looked at the design of each model because sometimes they are going to be packed into a bag for preparation for a long trip. We wanted to select designs that had a smart design that would allow them to be folded up easily when placed into a bag. We also wanted to select designs that were easy to operate. One of the things that we noticed with some designs is that they clip used to hold the unit in place had a tendency to be a little too stiff, which made it difficult to affix to some surfaces. While you want to ensure that the clip is stiff enough to stay firmly in place, if it is too stiff you may have difficulty opening it wide enough to place onto the side of a desk or nightstand. We also looked at the ability to adjust the neck of each design so that users can alter the direction of the lamp for optimal reading.
One of the very first things that we looked at was how well it could hold a charge. Whenever you are in the middle of a good story, you can stay awake for hours without even realizing it. The last thing that you want to happen in that instance is the brightness of your bulb dimming as the battery life wanes. We made sure to check what previous users had to say about how the batteries performed over a long period of time. We were also drawn to designs that utilized adapters that allowed users to recharge batteries when they became low so that you didn’t need to often run out and buy batteries for your unit because that can come expensive if you are an avid reader.
This is an important feature because this is where the magic happens. We only selected LED bulbs for the units we selected because LED bulbs have a very long shelf life that can last thousands of hours before burning out, and they are able to get pretty bright without using a lot of energy. One of the features that we really liked that some models utilized were different temperatures of bulbs. With some designs, users could select to use only the warm bulbs to create warm brightness which is perfect for reading at night and being easy on your eyes, or they could select cooler bulbs that imitate the brightness of the sun.
For most avid readers, you can never have too many books at your disposal. That means that every dime that you spend on reading gear means less money that you have to spend on books. That’s why we wanted to ensure that we selected designs that were effective but also affordable. Our general rule when selecting designs is that we didn’t want the price tag of these units to cost more than a new hardback that you would pick up at the store. While we still kept an eye on the price to keep it low, we still made sure that it used the highest quality of materials such as LED bulbs, rechargeable batteries, and flexible metal goosenecks for easy adjustments.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Book lights are inexpensive additions that every reader should have in their arsenal. It does not hurt to have one of these book lights on hand as you never know when you want to read that extra chapter, even if the lights are out. Great for traveling as well.
Other Factors to Consider
Before you take the plunge, first take into consideration where you will be using these devices, and for what. If you aren’t limited by basic paperback novels when you got to sleep, and you often like to read comics, magazines, or newspapers in bed, you may want to consider designs that have super wide clips that are able to clip onto the side of a table or nightstand. You may even be interested in the unorthodox design that users wear around their neck instead of mounting it to a surface. If you find that your partner is very sensitive to light, be sure that you check what past users had to say about the lowest level of brightness- because for some it is just too bright. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you be sure that you select something that will work for you and your reading habits, and that won’t bother the people around you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the “hot spots?”
You might have noticed that some companies advertise their product has not having hot spots. It might leave you to wonder just what are hot spots? Hot spots are instances where the bulb shines brighter on one section of the page and not the other, and it is something that you want to avoid. Hot spots can sometimes be a little disorienting when you lost in a good novel, and can often the cause of headaches. A good way to alleviate this problem is to place the bulbs under a special type of lens that will reflect beams evenly across the page so that the edges are just as bright as the very center of every page. If you want to ensure that you select a design that won’t produce hot spots, be sure you select a design with a lens over the bulbs.
q: Why do some models have different temperatures of bulbs?
Different temperatures work at various times of day to keep your eyes relaxed and from being strained. Cooler shades should be used during the daytime because they mimic natural sunlight that is easy on the eyes. When the sun goes down, however, you are going to be better off shift to warmer hues. The science behind this is that when we are exposed to cooler shades, our mind is tricked into thinking that it is still daytime. When we shift to shades that mimic a sunset, our brain knows that it is nighttime, and will slowly start to release the chemicals known as melatonin that will help you sleep. We know that you would love nothing more than to stay up all night and finish your mystery novel, but you are going to have to go to sleep at some point!
q: Why LED bulbs?
LED bulbs are the perfect companion to these types of devices. The first benefit to LEDs is that they don’t require a lot of energy to become illuminated. That means that you can keep your device on for longer periods of time without the need to charge or change the batteries. Another great feature of LEDs is that they are able to run for thousands of hours before they burn out. That means you are more likely to lose or drop and break your device before the bulbs burn out. Some users think that LEDs typically don’t have the same power and brightness as a traditional bulb, but that isn’t a problem when it comes to these types of devices. You aren’t going to need something very bright anyway, or else you will risk keeping your partner up all night as you read.
q: Can I use them for other things?
Many users have found a myriad of other uses for their devices that have really helped them out in a pinch. If you have found that you have trouble finding your knots while you are crocheting or knitting, the additional brightness will really help you keep track of your knots in a dim room. Some users like to take their devices into their shed and clip them onto their workbench when working on tedious projects. They are a perfect addition anywhere you need just a little boost of brightness.