Band sits comfortably on neck. Rechargeable with USB. 3 temperature modes and 6 levels of brightness. Narrow beam focuses directly on book without disturbing neighbors.
On the bulkier end, so may not be the ideal option for slimmer shoulders.
Strong clip that's small enough to be used on thin paperbacks, clipboards or a Kindle. Battery life lasts up to 25 hours. Flexible neck and lightweight structure for travelling.
Does not include any adjustable light settings.
MultiFlex clip-on grabs on to multiple surfaces. Has a fairly bright LED bulb with a wide beam of light. Sturdy and inexpensive. Gooseneck is flexible and easy to adjust.
Does not include batteries that are required to function.
Adjustable design makes it easy to focus light. Choose between 2 light and brightness settings. Light can also be powered via USB. Large clip-on ideal for homework, reading, or typing.
Dim setting isn't bright enough to be useful according to some users.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Curling up in bed with a good book is a great way to fall asleep at night. However, if you share a bedroom with someone else, leaving the overhead light on isn’t a very considerate option.
If you don’t want to disturb anyone else as you enjoy your favorite mystery novel, investing in a good reading light is key.
There are three main types of reading lights: models that clip to the book, lights that clip to the table, shelf, or headboard, and models you wear.
Clip to book
These reading lights are the most common option, featuring a clip or other attachment that enables you to attach the light to the book you’re reading. It focuses the light directly on the page so you can see every word as clearly as possible.
Clip to table or headboard
These reading lights have a clip or attachment like those that clip on a book, but the clip is usually larger. This enables you to attach the light to the edge of a bedside table or top of a headboard. It doesn’t offer the same concentration of light as the type that clips on a book, but you don’t have to move the light as you flip the pages the way you sometimes do with a reading light that attaches to your book.
A wearable reading light fits on your body rather than on the book you’re reading or a nearby table. Some styles drape around your neck to illuminate the book, while others have a headband that holds the light on your forehead.
There are several reasons why a reading light can be so convenient.
Doesn’t disturb others: The main reason why many readers love using a reading light is that it enables them to read comfortably without turning on a bright light that might bother another person who might be trying to sleep in the room.
Protects your eyes: By providing a concentrated light close to your book, a reading light keeps you from straining your eyes. Reading lights usually have light bulbs designed to prevent eye irritation, fatigue, and watering, too.
Most reading lights use LED bulbs, which are energy efficient, bright, and have a fairly long lifespan. LED lights are designed to protect the eye by minimizing irritation.
Some models use incandescent bulbs, which can use up to five times the electricity that LED bulbs do to produce the same amount of light. Incandescent bulbs aren’t usually as bright as LED bulbs and aren’t likely to irritate your eyes.
Most reading lights use batteries. Some use standard AAA batteries while others use rechargeable Li-ion batteries. AAA batteries are usually less expensive, but they don’t last as long, which means you’ll need to replace them frequently. You can recharge long-lasting Li-ion batteries when they run out of power. If you prefer not to have to use a battery-operated reading light, you can find some models that plug into an outlet or use a USB adapter.
For a reading light to be as portable and convenient as possible, it’s important to pay attention to the weight. Amodel that weighs approximately two ounces can be easily attached to any book or table without adding much bulk. A reading light that’s small and lightweight also means you can easily stash it in your bag when you travel.
Some reading lights have a bendable gooseneck that enables you to adjust the angle of the lamp or bend it closer to the page for brighter illumination.
To make sure that you have the proper light for every situation, choose a reading light with more than one brightness setting so you can turn up the light when you need extra brightness or turn it down so it doesn’t disturb others. Some reading lights have daytime and nighttime settings to make it even easier to choose the right brightness level.
Reading light prices vary mainly based on the power source. You can expect to pay between $2 and $22 for one.
Inexpensive: Reading lights with replaceable batteries are usually the most affordable option, ranging from $2 to $10.
Mid-range: Reading lights with rechargeable batteries typically range from $10 to $16.
Expensive: Reading lights with AC adapters or USB cords are usually the most costly option, ranging from $16 to $22.
Consider the other lighting in the room when choosing a brightness setting for a reading light. You don’t want to turn the light up brighter than you need because it can create glare that leads to eyestrain and fatigue.
Match the reading light clip to the attachment surface. Make sure that the clip on your reading light is wide enough to clamp onto the item that you want to attach it to. For example, a narrow clip might not be the best choice for a thick hardcover book.
Q. Are reading lights safe for my eyes?
A. Most reading lights are designed to be as safe as possible for eyes. Most use LED bulbs to reduce glare that might irritate, fatigue, or otherwise strain your eyes. Eye doctors typically recommend using lighting that shines directly on the page that you’re reading rather than over your shoulder, so a reading light can actually offer the most direct light when you’re enjoying a book.
Q. What type of reading light works best for serious readers?
A. If you read for more than an hour a day, a reading light that’s powered with an AC adapter is probably your best option. You won’t have to worry about the light running out of power as you read your favorite books. You might want to avoid reading lights that use replaceable batteries. You’ll drain the batteries pretty quickly and be constantly spending money on replacements.
Q. What type of reading light is brightest?
A. Reading lights that use an AC adapter for power are typically the brightest and maintain a constant level of brightness. Battery-operated models can still offer fairly bright illumination, but you’ll notice that they gradually start to dim as the batteries die.