Reading a page-turner and can't put it down? Read into the wee hours of the night and see how the story ends with a reading light.
A reading light is an essential accessory for the avid reader. It's a convenient alternative to a big bulky lamp. Reading lights clip onto books, e-readers, and desks and are fully adjustable. Enjoy a comfortable reading experience — especially with LED illumination, which gives off a white light that's easier on your eyes than incandescent bulbs.
Light up your next novel and take a look at our buying guide to find the right reading light. Our top pick is Light It! by Fulcrum's LED Wireless Book Light, which has a compact, lightweight design for home and travel use.
Considerations when choosing reading lights
Types of reading lights
Clip to books: These popular types consist of a small clip that attaches to a book or an e-reader. The clip itself aims to be as compact as possible to avoid getting in the way of the text. Some models are a bit heavy, which can be bothersome to someone who already has difficulty holding a book upright.
Clip to furniture: These reading lights are bigger than book-clip styles, as their hinges are larger for attachment to desks, shelves, or headboards. Their lights are often larger, too, providing a greater area of illumination, so you won't struggle to frequently reposition when you turn the pages. On the downside, they're a bit bulky when they're not in use.
Wearables: Instead of fussing with a clip on your book or e-reader, consider a wearable reading light. These wrap around your neck, and like clip-on styles, can be adjusted to position light on the pages. As convenient as they are, sometimes it's a challenge maintaining the light's position when you shift your body.
Most reading lights have LED bulbs, though there are some that still use incandescent bulbs. The latter tends to be less expensive, but as it emits yellow light, you may experience eye strain from reading in low light. LED bulbs are far more popular for reading lights; they emit bright white light, which is softer on the eyes.
Reading lights are powered by batteries, AC adapters, or USB plugs. As far as batteries go, most models take AA or AAA batteries. Certain reading lights are rechargeable, though these models are pricier. Some reading lights offer more than one power option, which is helpful if you want to use it for travel.
Brightness: Simple reading lights have only one brightness option, whereas more advanced models feature as many as four. If you're somewhat sensitive to bright light, opt for a reading light with more than one brightness setting.
Position: Reading lights can be positioned in a myriad of ways thanks to bendable goosenecks. Once you adjust the position, the gooseneck retains its shape until you move it again. If you bend it too hard in clip-on reading lights, you might end up with a permanent kink.
Perks of reading lights
Maintaining roommate relationships. If you have a significant other, roommate, or share a dorm, reading lights don't disturb others while they sleep.