Fifteen nights, twenty two booklamps, and hours of research into what makes the best book light has brought us to one big conclusion. The Raniaco Reading Light is the best around for those who are looking to get their knowledge on without having to leave the sheets.
It was a bit of a hard run, but we finally settled on the Raniaco Reading Light as the best solution for most people. It has a sleek, modern design, a bright LED, and turns off and on with a simple touch. For those reading in bed it’s just about perfect.Buy Now
Table of Contents
How We Selected the Products
Book lights aren’t something that get dragged through the paces very often. Most people are quite happy with a little single LED clip light you can pick up pretty much anywhere. That’s not enough for us, however, and we decided to delve much deeper to see what was out there.
Our first stop was checking online reviews of various brands. Across the board the products from LuminoLite stood out and we tested out most of their line when we found that message boards filled with heavy readers were using them.
From there, we looked through and picked up anything else which seemed to have a unique design or was overall well reviewed. It was a remarkably simple process, from there it was just a matter of assembling our reviewers to get to reading.
During our research leading up to testing we also found out some surprising things about light which we’ll share with you due to its influence on our final picks.
How We Tested the Products
After shooting down the idea of hitting each with a brick and declaring the toughest one the winner, we had to find some reviewers to give us some real world experience with each of the lights we were planning on testing.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t hard for us to find people to use the book lights and get back to us with their impressions. Any excuse to crack open a book and call it science has some appeal to the readers among you.
Our initial testing before we got the reviews back was pretty simple. We just made sure the lights worked, although we discarded one budget model before it got off the floor due to construction that could be best described as somewhere between “rickety” and “how did they actually ship this thing to us.”
Each reviewer was instructed to read for at least fifteen minutes with the light per day, although most went far beyond that. We felt that was a fair amount of time to rate the primary demographic of book lights: people who sleep just before they go to bed.
After three days we rotated the lights between reviewers. We figured that people read in different positions, at different times of day, and that one person’s answer might not be enough for us to get the real low down on each of the book lights.
In the end, each light was received by five people who answered a simple questionnaire and brought any concerns to us and we felt it was two weeks well spent to come to a final conclusion.
We used a pretty simple questionnaire in this case:
- Was the light useful to you?
- Did you feel it impacted your sleep?
- Did it grip on the book or e-reader properly?
- Was there any issues with the light’s function?
- Did you use the light for anything other than reading?
And of course, any additional concerns which might come up, and there were definitely a few.
In the end, however, we had a comprehensive look at how five people felt about each of the lights and we took the five best across a variety of categories to bring them to you.
- Our favorite, the Raniaco Reading Light turned out to be a great pick. It was durable, lit well, and everyone loved the on/off touch capacity.
- The LuminoLite B076SVC7SN came in as our favorite for bed reading. It adheres well and has a softer color temperature which makes it perfect for before-bed reading.
- The CeSunlight Rechargeable LED Book Light was the best of the hands-free models that we tested out. It works great for both reading and general tasks done in the dark since it folds over the neck.
- Of the dedicated e-reader lights we tested, the iKross Black Dual LED Clip-On Reading Light came out on top. It held better than the competition and had adjustable light settings.
- The dual-light LuminoLite Rechargeable 12 LED was our honorable mention. It makes a great craft light, but frankly it’s not needed if you’re just reading books.
Top 5 Book Lights
|2||LuminoLite B076SVC7SN||3000K||Check Price|
|3||CeSunlight Rechargeable LED||6500K||Check Price|
|4||iKross Black Dual LED||5000K||Check Price|
|5||LuminoLite Rechargeable LED||3000K||Check Price|
1. Overall Best Book Light
Raniaco Reading Light
Opinions were a bit divided on the Rainaco, mostly depending on whether the person was conscious of blue light exposure or not. The fact is that our reviewers consistently rated it higher than any of the other lights which made it into testing.
The Raniaco has the ability to be twisted in pretty much any direction and provides a light which was on the higher end of the color spectrum but not quite as bright as many of the LED lamps which are currently on the market.
We also found the touch activation to be great in practice. While it’s really no big deal to flip a switch it just lends the whole thing a modern feel which we absolutely fell in love with. On top of that, the entire book light is well-built. Especially for the price.
This is a rechargeable book light, allowing you to plug it in with a USB cable to keep it powered. We found these were much preferred over those lights which took batteries, especially since it also makes the lot much smaller and renders it perfect for a cramped travel bag.
It’s quite bright, boasting a 12 LED lamp at the end of it’s grasp but it can be changed between three different settings depending on where and when you’re reading. The lights are a bit on the cold side but not too harsh, sitting at a comfortable 5000K. Not great for those looking to limit blue light exposure, but not the artificial brightness that many people associate with LEDs either.
In the end, it was a close finish between the LuminoLite B076SVC7SN and this one. We went with the Raniaco for our top pick based on our reviewers impressions, both were similarly well received.
Was there anything bad about this lamp?
Well, we weren’t too fond of the color temperature and it’s a bit expensive for an LED lamp that you just clip on a book. In the end it was still the best-built and sleekest looking of the models that we tried out and it’s still fairly cheap overall.
The Rainaco Reading Light is sleek, modern, and overall exactly what you’d expect from the best book light currently on the market. It may not be the best choice for those susceptible to blue light, but it was almost universally beloved by our reading reviewers.
- Excellent build-quality
- Three settings for brightness
- Rechargeable battery
- Small and sleek for travel
- A bit expensive
- Light temperature sits a bit high
2. Best for Reading Before Bed
For those reading before they go to bed, blue light can be a serious concern. If that’s the case, or you just want to save a few bucks from our favorite, the LuminoLite B076SVC7SN is perfect. The warm, 3000K light temperature leaves out much of the blue spectrum without causing the strangeness that true amber lights cast on things.
More than that, it’s a rechargeable, functional light and the clip held on just about everything from paperbacks to e-readers during our testing. Like the Rainaco it has three brightness settings as well, and one reviewer noted she was able to read in bed without disturbing her partner on the lowest setting. If that’s not a recommendation from a bibliophile we’re not sure what is.
The battery was also the longest lasting of those we tested, clocking in at about 60 hours of regular use as advertised.
The head is highly positionable and contains 6 LEDs. On the highest setting it gives off a good bit of light, while the lowest allows for reading in other conditions. We were also pretty impressed by how well-built the light was overall, it’s not going to fall apart on you anytime soon.
One advantage over our favorite was that it’s extremely lightweight. We barely felt it at all on the book, making it perfect for those who hate having to sit and adjust their light every time they turn a page or shift.
Was it perfect? We don’t think so. One reviewer didn’t like the warmer light and the on/off switch is really touchy. That latter makes it hard to recommend as a travel light unless you’re careful about where you place it in the bag.
For those who love reading in bed, however, the color temperature and convenience of the LuminoLite B076SVC7SN is great. Add in that’s it’s a solid light overall and our minor issues with it really don’t seem to be that big of a deal.
- Warm, 4000K lighting
- Excellent build-quality
- Adjustable brightness
- Highly positionable neck
- On/Off switch responds too easily
- Not everyone cares for the warm light
3. Best Hands-Free Book Light
CeSunlight Rechargeable LED Book Light
For those who prefer a hands-free light, we fell in love with the CeSunlight Rechargeable LED Book Light. It fits around the neck and has two powerful LEDs that make reading a snap in most situations.
That said, this one isn’t the best for lying in bed. Many of our reviewers found it hard to use if they weren’t sitting up, and when was the last time you completed a novel in the dark at the table?
It does win out for multiple-functions however. It’s bright enough to double as a small flashlight and stays in one place well enough that it can be used for fine tasks in areas where you don’t have an overhead light.
The arms are flexible and hold their position quite well. One of our reviewers also noted that a chip clip will hold it on a light if you want to read in a position where it doesn’t want to sit correctly as well.
Our biggest complaint is the color temperature. This was the “coldest” of all of the lights which made it into our finals and it has that harsh white light which most people associate with LED bulbs. That also means it dips pretty heavily in the blue spectrum so it might not be the best for right before bed.
That said, if you’re looking for a hands-free book light then you’ll find this one to be perfect. It’s a bit hard to position in bed but it serves its purpose admirably if you’re sitting up and the multiple uses make up for it.
- Hands free
- Arms hold position quite well
- Very bright
- Useful for much more than just reading
- Very high color temperature
- Sometimes hard to position correctly
4. Best for e-Readers
iKross Black Dual LED Clip-On Reading Light
E-reader lights tended to be pretty hit or miss. This was the only dedicated light we found which seemed to work better than any of the others. The key difference: it stayed where it was supposed to, which is something none of the others were able to accomplish.
This is a relatively bright LED light, sitting at roughly the same color temperature as our favorite. There’s a considerable bit of blue in its spectrum, but it’s not as overwhelmingly bright as the CeSunlight either.
It has three adjustable brightness settings, which we found to be about the sweet spot for those who need a book light. Some of our reviewers did note it was a bit too bright even on the lowest setting for reading with someone around, but that’s not a big issue for those without a sleeping partner.
That said, it’s not exactly a good looking light and it felt a bit cheaper than the others on our list. We’d only recommend it for those who enjoy their Kindle or Nook in bed and don’t like having to use the backlight.
It’s also battery powered, which… we really don’t like. It takes three AAA batteries, so keep some on hand if you’re planning on making the investment or you might be out of luck when you go to read some night.
For a dedicated e-reader light, this one is great. For those who are content with good old fashioned dead tree books, however, you may want to give this dedicated light a pass.
- Perfect for e-readers
- Adjustable brightness
- Positionable neck
- Lightweight construction
- Not great for regular books
- Battery powered
5. Honorable Mention
LuminoLite Rechargeable 12 LED
It was hard to pass up this two-lamp book light when it came to our favorites, but we’re really not sure that having two lights available is necessary for most people’s reading. All of the lamps which made our top picks easily lit both sides of a standard sized book after all.
This one certainly inspired our reviewers to get creative, however. Four of the five noted that they’d clamped it on a table and positioned the light for something other than just reading a book. Our favorite was the reviewer who used it for a jewelry project since the clamp sits wide enough to clamp down on the edge of most tables.
Other than that, it’s basically the same as the other LuminoLite we tested, albeit with a shorter battery life. There’s 12 LEDs total in it, but the battery is the same 1000mAh as the one in the single lamp so… it’s kind of to be expected.
We just don’t feel the higher cost is justified if you’re just going to use it as a book light. For those who need a multi-use light that’s easy on the eyes, however, these 4000K bulbs are an excellent choice.
It also had the same touchiness issue as the other LuminoLite, which was a bit of a bummer.
For multi-use, or just those who need a wider light pattern, the LuminoLite Rechargeable 12 LED is awesome. For most people, however, the higher cost probably won’t be worth it.
- Soft color temperature
- Adjustable brightness
- Overall good build quality
- A bit expensive
- On/off switch is touchy
Why Go for the Best Book Light?
Let’s face it, a lot of us just use a bedside lamp. Others don’t even mind hauling themselves across the room to flip a switch before bed.
Book lights are a great thing for readers, however, even if you end up never using it at home. Being able to crack open a book and engross yourself in it’s knowledge no matter where you are is one big advantage: most book lights are small enough to fit in a backpack without an issue.
Others don’t want to keep their partner up while they’re sleeping.
Every reader needs a book light. Trust us on this one, we had a serious time getting ours back at the end of testing. Even those who’d never used one before found them irresistible. People used them at bus stops at dusk, in the back of cars on long rides, and on camping trips during our testing.
Some of them even ended up being tested as small work lights or flashlights. It’s not hard to see why you’d want a great LED book light in your bag along with your latest novel. It’s just… sensible… to have one.
Plus, you’ll never find yourself unable to crack open a book again as long as you have it with you.
What to Look for in a Book Light
When you’re looking for a book light, the most important piece of the puzzle is how and where you read. If you tend to sit up in bed, for instance, a hands-free model might be the way to go. For those who prefer to lie on their side… not so much.
The big things, in our opinion, were the following:
- Brightness- None of the lights which made our list seemed to be too bright or too dim to be usable. Book lights should sit somewhere between a night light and a desk lamp. Adjustable brightness settings are great, allowing you to fine tune your choice for the situation.
- Power Source- Unfortunately, many lights out there still run on batteries. That means you need to keep them on hand. We mostly focused on rechargeable models to avoid that problem and recommend you do the same. You end up saving money and hassle that way.
- Clamp Size- We didn’t run into any trouble getting our book lights on either hardcovers or paperbacks, but you may need a bigger clamp for e-readers.
- Positionable Neck- We couldn’t find a fixed light that was worth it compared to those which have a positionable neck. The neck should be flexible and hold it’s position. Three lights were disqualified during testing just because they had a tendency to move during reading.
The fixed models, in our opinion, are simply too finicky in practice to be of use to most readers. Swivel lights likewise fell short compared to just being able to flip on a lamp and stick it where you need it.
Color temperature is it’s own subject, but as a general rule around 3000-4000K is ideal for a book light in theory. In practice, we found that few of our reviewers cared beyond the aesthetics.
We didn’t focus too much on brightness in this case. It was originally one of our considerations, but we let it drop off as we found that even the worst allowed people to read clearly.
The important thing is to think about your reading habits, that’s really the best guide to which book light is going to be best for you.
A Word About LED Lighting
Most of us have seen some of the news on blue light. Unfortunately for us, blue light actually affects our hormonal and sleep patterns and they’re in everything.
It’s not just some pop-sci trend either, there’s some serious science behind it.
Basically, your body’s sleeping patterns are governed by a loveable little hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is what makes you sleepy and allows you to remain in deep sleep during the night, without it insomnia is a likely outcome.
Light reduces the amount of melatonin in your system, while darkness increases it. However, not all parts of the visible spectrum act the same on your body’s systems. Instead, it’s been found that higher frequency lights tend to be stimulating and suppress melatonin production.
LED bulbs are awesome. They last longer, use way less energy, and are generally a superior choice to fluorescent and incandescent lighting.
The problem is that most LEDs run in a “bright white” or “hot white” range, from 6000-7000K. Higher Kelvin color temperatures have more blue light in them. The sun’s natural light runs about 6500K, meaning that at the higher end of the spectrum LEDs can actually have more blue light than you’re exposed to during the day.
This can spell disaster for your sleep, but the truth is we really don’t think that a book light is going to make a big difference. How many times do you check your phone or tablet in bed?
Still, for those who have insomnia or just want to remain healthy, we recommend going with a softer temperature light. There are even amber book lights out there for the especially sensitive. Our reviewers thought the light was too dim and red for the most part, however, so we didn’t review any of them in depth.
Our recommendation? Pick the light you think you’ll enjoy the most as long as it’s 6500K or less. Your devices like phones and tablets are much more likely to disrupt your sleep than a book light.
You’ve fought hard to earn that reading time at the end of the day. Don’t let darkness or a sleeping partner stop you, get the best book lamp you can find and you’ll never have to stand up to turn off the light before bed again.
For most people, the Raniaco Reading Light serves it’s purpose well. It’s a stylish piece of form and function, well-built, and provides adjustable brightness for any situation.
On the other hand, for every reader there’s a perfect book light. Isn’t it time you got yours?