Reading lights are the most important part of your night-time study routine. But we often take them for granted. We want our reading lights to be bright enough to help us focus. but not so much we can’t fall asleep after we’re done reading. And we don’t want to bug sleeping partners.
This applies whether you’re sharing a room with a spouse, sibling, or college roommate. It helps if the light is easy to control and operate. It should have minimal watts to save power and the right lumens for your reading needs. Let’s review the top 7 best reading lights.
The Best Reading Light Comparison Chart 2021
Best Reading Light Buying Guide
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The Best Reading Light on the Market 2021
1. Desktop Reading Light for Kids (B1 Model)
If you’re the kind of family that believes in ‘letting kids be kids’, then you probably encourage them to make the most of their daylight hours. That means after school, you probably let them hang out with their friends, or maybe you sign them up for activities. Some of the more precocious teens may even get a job. All this means they don’t do homework till after dark.
This means they need a special reading light to facilitate their studies. Their circadian patterns will already be kicking in, so you want a light that’s bright enough to keep them alert. This light has a color temperature of 4,000K and a CRI over 92, so it accurately mimics daylights.
But it also has a dimmer switch so, towards the end of your child’s study session, you can gradually lower the light to invite sleep. At its brightest, the light gives off 200 lumens, but because it’s an LED bulb, the light uses a conservative 3.5W of electricity, keeping your power bills low. The sturdy square base with rounded sides keeps your lamp from tipping.
Overall, this model is easier than its reading light siblings because it’s designed to be used on a reading desk or tabletop, so it weighs 1.65 pounds. The LED bulb is positioned on the side to produce a wider, more diffuse arch of light. This allows it to light up more of your kid’s reading desk. The frosted glass cover and sideways alignment also reduce glare.
2. Wall Mounted Bedside Reading Light With USB Charger (C1 Model)
Desk lights are good for generalized task lighting because the sidelight can illuminate the whole table. But sometimes, your children need light for reading or fine tasks. They might need to point their bulb at a specific spot. Wall-mounted bed reading lights are a good option in this situation. These lights have the same silhouette as their desk-based cousin. The diffuse bulb is still on the side.
But this reading light has a consistent gray appearance, as opposed to the black and gray of the desktop model. Just like its lighting sibling, it has a flexible arm that can turn 360° and a rotating head that can turn 320°. The 16-inch arm is made of stainless steel and covered with silicone, like all arms in this reading light series. And the LED bulb casing is frosted.
This textured surface keeps the lamp from getting too hot (though it does stay warm). The warming is also essential for preventing glare that could damage your child’s eyes. It’s an essential safety feature because the flexible arm can accidentally shine directly into the kids’ eyes as they adjust it. Also, unlike the prior model, this light mounts on a wall or headboard.
This means it has a round 2.4-inch base rather than a flat square one. This base has hidden hex screws so it doesn’t leave any exposed corners or edges for kids to mess with or hurt themselves on. The on/off/dimmer switch sits at the tip of the cylindrical lampshade. You can buy a direct-powered model with hidden wiring or a wall-plug model. Both have USB ports and night lights.
3. Dimmable Gooseneck Reading Light (A1 Model)
In the looks department, this model is probably the prettiest of the bunch. With a sleek black appearance and a highlighted control button, it works with any decorative style. The lamp’s long, graceful neck may seem too much for its tiny base, but everything is perfectly balanced for beauty and functionality. The 16-inch neck is stainless steel coated with lightweight silicone.
Overall, the reading light weighs 14.1 ounces, and the 2.4-inch disc-shaped base mounts securely on any wooden wall or headboard. Like the other mounted lights in this series, it has a hidden hex screw for discreet, minimalist installation. You can assemble it yourself, but if you plan to conceal the wiring, you may need external help from a licensed electrician or contractor.
The button in the base allows you to turn the lamp on or off. The same button doubles as a dimmer switch. The lamp has a conical metal lampshade and a sunken LED bulb, so it gets warm but it never overheats. The shape of the lampshade and its recessed positioning help you achieve an intense 35° beam of illumination. The lamp gives off 160 lumens at its brightest.
When it’s dimmed, it can go down to 140 lumens, and in both cases, the light temperature is 3,000K, so the reading lamp glows a warm yellowish white. It uses up a conservative 2.5W and isn’t waterproof or weatherproof so it should only be mounted indoors. The conical bulb doesn’t spin, but the flexible 16-inch arm can stretch turn in any direction up to 360°.
4. Dimmable 12 Volt Reading Lights For RVs (D1)
When you live in an RV or maybe even a ‘tiny house’ with wheels, your living requirements are different. Yes, you still need running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity, just like the rest of us. But unlike residents who have stationary power outlets, you’ll plug into designated power ports, gas lines, and watering stations. You can do this at preferential parking spots.
This means the light fixtures in mobile homes need a specific set of features, and the 12-Volt RV reading light is built just for that purpose. It’s a lightweight reading lamp at 10.6 ounces, and while it doesn’t use dry cells, it’s calibrated to be powered by DC instead of AC. This is because it will mostly draw power from your car battery rather than AC sockets in a house, campsite, or truck stop.
And because portable homes rarely hold just one occupant, the lamp has a dimmer and a red nightlight option so you can avoid disturbing the other members of your mobile household. The lamps are designed to mount directly to headboards, walls, or the surfaces of your car, truck, or caravan. The LED bulb uses 3W, is powered by 12V of DC, and has a USB port to charge phones.
As for the bulb, it’s mounted sideways in a cylindrical lampshade. This sidelight is ideal for small cabin spaces because the light quality is softer and more diffuse, so there’s limited glare. The 235-lumen bulb casing can turn 320° and the neck of the lamp is flexible as well. It doesn’t have a wall plug because it’s meant to be wired directly to your car battery. It has a 2-year warranty.
5. Stylish Bedside LED Reading Light (A2)
No, subliminal programming isn’t always a bad thing. So if you have a kid that you want to prime for a career in medicine (or if you just like the look of stethoscopes on your bedside table) you could consider buying this model. Unlike the other lights in this series, it has a double-disc lampshade whose silhouette is distinctly different from its “A” series of siblings.
To support the shifted center of gravity in this reading lamp, the arm of the reading light is elongated to 18 inches. (All the other lamps have 16-inch necks.) It’s just as flexible as the other wall mounted reading lights though. The arm can turn 360° and the lampshade holding the bulb head can turn 320°. But because the glass diameter is larger, the illumination arc is larger and softer.
This makes the lamp more diffuse than our more directional models, but you can still tug the bulb head to a more convenient position. You can adjust the brightness of your reading lamp, but it doesn’t have a red night-light mode. It does have a 5V USB port though. And it’s fitted with a frosted glass front so it illuminates a broader area and has hardly any glare.
This reading light has anti-flicker technology, so the beam remains steady at all times and there’s less risk of electrical accidents. It emits 140 lumens while only using up 3W, and at distances of 50 inches, the reading lamp has a lux of 500. It gives off a warm 3,200K light. Its color depiction isn’t that accurate at >85CRI, but its combined cord length is 10 feet.
Click for Stylish Bedside LED Reading Light
6. Reading Light with USB Port (A1 Pro)
If you’re looking for something simple and low-fuss, this model is it. It looks a lot like the A1 model but it has a few key differences. All reading lights from Lumen Now are designed to fit small spaces. They’re especially good for student cubicles, or even for office cubicles. But this model has an even slimmer fit. Its lampshade is less than an inch long (o.6 inches versus the 1.65 inches in others).
Like its siblings, it has a recessed LED lamp to prevent overheating and discourage glare. It has a larger mounting base – 2.6 inches. These extra 0.2 inches help it better accommodate the built-in USB port. This USB inlet has a rating of 5V/1.2A so it can charge your phone, wireless headset, or tablet, all without affecting the level of illumination in your reading lamp.
If you’re the kind of user who is anal about detail, you may prefer this model because its coloring is uniform. The button is made from the same matte black as the rest of the lamp, unlike the A1 model which has a gray ring encasing the button. In both models, this button can turn the light on or off as well as dimming your level of illumination. The lamp weighs 1.1 lbs.
It produces 135 lumens at 3,200K and uses up 2.5W so it’s a power-saving light. The metallic lampshade is conical, keeping the light cool, directional, and intense at a 35° angle. Meanwhile, the 16-inch arm of your reading light can turn in any direction and even point straight up of you prefer. The flexible arm is coated in silicone for added durability, style, and insulation.
7. Reading Light with Ambient Options (B1 Pro)
You might be an invalid recovering from trauma. Or maybe you’re nursing a kid that snuck past the child-lock on the family computer and watched something scary. You might even have an elderly relative that recently moved in. Or you live in a badly renovated house whose hallways are a little wonky or whose steps are a little shorter than they should be, making everyone trip.
All these scenarios could benefit from a nightlight, and the XXX has one built-in. This longitudinal light has its LED bulb positioned on the side with a button at the tip. This button turns the lamp on or off and it also dims the lamp with a single tap. The sideways positioning of the lamp prevents glare, especially since the bulb is mounted behind frosted glass.
The reading light has a flexible 16-inch arm that can bend in any direction. It’s a desk lamp, so the arm rises out of a weighted square base with rounded sides. In the other wall-mounted XXX lights, the circular base is 2 to 3 inches, but in this one, the base measures 4.7 inches across so it’s less likely to tip. The lamp stands 21.5 inches when it’s fully stretched out and weighs 1.87lbs.
This light is intended for study desks, so it’s tougher and brighter than other lights in this series. It gives off 280 lumens of 4,000K light is diffuse, broad-spreading beams. The LED bulb uses 3.5W. The tube-shaped bulb casing can turn 320° on its axis. The reading light shows off your study room in its truest hues, thanks to a CRI above 92. The lamp has a 3-year warranty.
The Right Reading Light!
So why should you invest in reading lights from Lumen Now?
- Our LED bulbs can be used for 45,000 hours to 50,000 hours continuously.
- All our lights have metal lampshades and flexible necks that turn 360°.
- Some of our lights have spinning heads that can rotate 320°.
- You can choose from wall-mounted, headboard mounted, or desktop options.
- You can also choose from directional lights, diffuse lights, and sidelights.
- Some of our models have additional features like USB ports, dimmers, and night mode.
What reading light are you using at the moment? Show us a photo in the comments!