Posted on February 7, 2019
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 6 best reading lamps among more than fifteen models available on the market.
My favorite is the Topelek, a cheap model that offers different temperatures of light, with a big crush on its big sister, the Topelek neck, a hands-free model ultra-practical.
You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide to determine which model of reading lamp best fits your profile.
The best cheap reading lamps
Cheap reading lamps already offer good performance, since they can offer several color temperatures and different levels of intensity.
But the entry-level models are not all equal in terms of design. However, it is not a mere question of aesthetics: a structure too heavy, or poorly balanced, and it is the stability of the reading lamp that is questioned.
Topelek: the best price
White, hot or mixed light
Model exclusively reserved for reading
Topelek is a very young Chinese brand, since it was created in 2016. But it quickly became a reality thanks to its high-tech product catalog at low prices.
Although it is more specifically known for its computer accessories, it offers different interesting ranges, including lighting. The Topelek 15 is without a doubt one of its great successes.
This lamp has 15 LEDs – hence its name. It is equipped with a button that allows you to make the settings of your choice.
This model offers indeed 3 color temperatures: white light, yellow light and mixed light. You can also adjust the brightness level by pressing and holding the button.
In use, the Topelek 15 is pleasant to use because it is very intuitive. It's also functional because it can rotate 360 degrees to give you perfect lighting when you read.
This model also has a clip with an opening of 4 cm. It is therefore possible to clip it on the edge of the desk, on the bedside table, on the headboard or, of course, directly on the book.
The Topelek 15 comes with a lithium battery that offers honorable performance, without being exceptional: 2 hours of charge for 8 hours of battery life. Note that the USB cable is also provided.
We appreciate the care given to the details. The USB cable is long (150 cm), which makes charging easier, and may even allow the lamp to be used when it is charging. And the clip is equipped with two small anti-slip strips, which allow to put it on a flat surface.
Warning ! With its 15 LEDs, this lamp can seem versatile. But do not be stunned: it is indeed a lamp exclusively for reading.
If it offers a powerful beam (without being aggressive!), Perfect for reading, do not hope to divert it as a desk lamp. It will prove utterly useless to write.
In contrast, the Topelek 15 is lightweight and easy to carry. We also note that it displays a very nice design. In short! This practical and intuitive reading lamp is one of the most attractive entry-level models on the market!
Litom: the best … to clip on a book
White light or warm light
High performance battery
Easy to take model
Lack of flexibility of flexible
Litom is a rather obscure brand, since it displays all the characteristics of a North American brand, but it is almost impossible to locate it precisely (which would therefore tend to locate it in China!). Despite this soft focus, the brand offers a range of lighting reasonably reliable at very low prices. In fact, this reading lamp is rather successful, although it is difficult to ignore his mistakes.
On paper, the Litom lamp has (almost everything) to be perfect. With two heads, each with 3 warm LEDs and 3 white LEDs, it has two color temperatures and rock-solid flexibility to allow precise targeting of your book … in theory. In practice, the hoses are a little too stiff to allow you to adjust them very precisely.
Its clip is intended to fix it on your book, and if you take a particular care of your works (or if you frequent your media library diligently!), It is equipped with silicone to protect the pages. A small detail equally appreciable for lovers of e-reader, by the way!
The highlight of this model is its battery, which claims to offer no less than 24 hours of lighting at full load (an ambition to temper a little, all the same!). And to avoid spoiling anything, this high-performance mini-model comes with its USB cable, as well as a carrying case.
In short! Litom seems to have all good … Unfortunately, it suffers from a huge defect: the intensity of light! Because say things: this small size is very powerful (even on its level of lighting "weakest"). And this can quickly become a problem, especially if you are looking for a reading light that allows you to read alongside your spouse without disturbing them.
This model presents another major flaw: it is exclusively designed for a book or a reader. Its clip does not offer enough opening to allow you to install it on the headboard, for example.
The Litom reading lamp is an excellent choice if you are looking for an easy-to-carry model. For everyday use, however, it will quickly show its limits.
Amir: a small price that does its job
Single light temperature (white light)
Amir is a specialist in cheap but reliable high-tech small appliances. If this reading light is not exceptional, it has the merit of being practical and secure. And that is not nothing for one of the cheapest models on the market!
First advantage of this model, therefore, its very small price. In return, it is pretty basic. No way to choose the light temperature: it will be necessary to be satisfied with its 6500K (a white light comparable to that of the day). It still offers 3 levels of light intensity settings.
If these settings lack a little subtlety, the Amir reading lamp lends itself to a fairly versatile use, since it can serve as a bedside lamp. Note that while the touch control is intuitive, this lamp is ultra-sensitive.
As for its flexibility of use, nothing to complain about. Its clip has an opening of 5 cm and it is also equipped with silicone: the lamp can be clipped as well as posed. Caution, all the same: when you put it down, this featherweight lamp may lack stability.
The reading lamp Amir is equipped with a lithium battery whose performance is sufficient, without being exceptional: count 6h of autonomy at full power, 12h at half power and 24h at its lowest position. The cable measures a little over 1 m (again, nothing exceptional).
Given its low price, we can not blame this lamp to ensure the minimum service.
For reading enthusiasts, who appreciate being able to precisely adjust their lighting, it offers much too limited possibilities to give them complete satisfaction. But objectively, the model Amir is a good little basic, which is pretty good job.
Raniaco: an excellent basic
A bit heavy to be clipped on a book
White light only
Raniaco is one of those brands at very low prices whose catalog may seem unlikely. It is in fact mainly known for its range of travel cushions.
In a way, it is not illogical that Raniaco also offers a reading lamp, easy to carry. Although … if it does its job very well, this lamp is preferably fixed on a piece of furniture: it will be more useful in the room or in the office than in the train or in the plane.
The Raniaco reading lamp is not really a featherweight. It is therefore preferably clipped on the bedside table or on the headboard rather than on the book.
This model is reminiscent of the Amir lamp. These 12 LED bulbs offer only a white light, comparable to daylight. On the other hand, it offers different levels of light intensity: low, medium, and high Brightness. Touch control is super intuitive, it is also extremely sensitive.
Two major differences, however. A good point: this model can also be placed on a piece of furniture (its clip is equipped with a non-slip pad). A point a little more regrettable: the battery is not exceptional (count 4h of charge for 5 to 6 hours of maximum autonomy). If the lamp is delivered with its USB power cable, be careful: it is quite short. It can therefore be complicated to use when it is in charge.
The Raniaco reading lamp has a nice design and nice finishes, which means it does not have to be "cheap" despite its low price. It is also available in black.
Like the Amir lamp, this model is pretty basic. Here, there is no question of subtle adjustments: you have to deal with white light.
This can be daunting for some people. But with its nice design and nice beam, the Raniaco reading lamp offers good value for money.
The best midrange reading lamps
In this price range, reading lamps benefit from higher performance batteries. Less time to load, they also offer a better autonomy.
The materials are of better quality, and so they display a generally pleasant design.
Topelek neck: the best mid-range
Hands-free model that can be placed
Topelek offers a very wide range of clip-on reading lamps, designed according to the same principle as its entry-level Topelek15. With a very down-to-earth approach to everyday life, the Chinese manufacturer also offers a version "choker" that is proving to be very practical and effective.
This lamp has a special feature: here, no clip, but a flexible lamp that simply happens around the neck. The soft rubber arm is quite soft to the touch, and the back is equipped with a slip-resistant band to combine comfort and stability of the lamp.
This very flexible lamp allows you to perfectly adjust the direction of the light beam. It is also possible to print the shape of a lamp to ask.
It can also wrap around a support. You can finally use it outdoors, for a jog or a nocturnal walk. The Topelek 4 LED is therefore much smarter than you would think at first glance.
You have 3 different operating modes: a flood light and a spot mode, which you can also combine. It should be noted that both ends operate independently. You have two 22.5 cm arms, each with its switch and knob.
In "hands free" mode, this lamp is one of the most versatile on the market, as you can use it to read as well as to engage in manual activities. Because it is worn around the neck, this lamp is extremely light (about 110 g). It will be just as enjoyable at home on the move.
Delivered with its USB cable, the Topelek 4 LED charge in 2h30 and it gives you a range of 10 hours: a pretty good performance.
Admittedly, this model can destabilize people accustomed to traditional reading lamps. But it's definitely the best choice if you're looking for a versatile and powerful model at a time. A must have!
The best high-end reading lamps
The high-end models are distinguished by their strength and performance. Thought to last, these reading lamps display most of the time a worked design and ergonomics.
They equip themselves with powerful batteries: fast charged, they display a good autonomy. The high-end lamps are designed for a specific use: if they are difficult to divert for a manual activity, for example, they will delight repeat readers.
Mighty Bright 47012: the best high-end
Light visible only in low light
Mighty Bright is a California brand created in 1984. Since its launch, it specializes in the design of reading lamps.
The brand is rapidly expanding its catalog by offering high quality LED lighting. It will be understood: when it comes to reading lamps, Mighty Bright ensures. The proof with his model 47012!
At first glance, the Mighty Bright 47012 is striking with its contemporary design. It also comes in black, white and blue.
This small model returns to the basics of the concept of reading lamp. Equipped with a solid and reliable clip, the lamp is fixed on your work. It has a flexible neck, which allows you to adjust it precisely.
Certainly, it may lack versatility, especially when compared with a model such as the Topelek neck. But Mighty Bright completely assumes the radical nature of her choice: we are on a reading lamp, intended … for reading. And which addresses to the readers diligent, even … relentless!
With a battery that charges in one hour, it gives you 10 hours of autonomy (up to 60 if you opt for its lowest light intensity). It is therefore very unlikely that she will let you go in the middle of your reading evening.
Small point that does not look like anything, but who can count: the different levels of light intensity are well thought out. So you can see it perfectly, without disturbing your spouse, if you enjoy the night readings.
It should be noted that this model is designed for medium size books. It is therefore used for formats ranging from pocket size to A4 format.
Compact, beautiful and functional, the Mighty Bright Reading Light 47012 is exclusively for reading and assumes it. With its speed of charge and its autonomy, it is the ideal model for people who read daily and look for a reliable model.
The products of my selection on offer at the moment
Good lighting ensures your comfort and preserves your view. As part of the reading – or for a manual precision activity – professionals recommend the use of a concentrated light beam.
This type of lighting is quite difficult to obtain with a conventional lamp. With soft, focused illumination and a soft neck for precise orientation, the reading light provides you with optimal illumination for reading.
As its name suggests, the reading lamp is originally designed to brighten up … a book! It is therefore a lamp producing extremely targeted lighting.
This type of lamp can therefore be very useful for different activities: embroidery, manicure … To choose your lamp, so it is first of all to determine precisely what you want to do …
A model such as the Topelek neck will allow you to read, but its hands-free function will also allow you to go for a night jog or to fetch wood to feed the fireplace! If you just want to see clear to read, a traditional clip model will do the trick.
It's good to think about your habits too. When it comes to reading when traveling by train or plane, a basic model such as the Topelek will suffice.
Readers who read on a daily basis will be better off investing in a high-end model like the Mighty Bright 47012, which boasts a robust design and excellent battery life.
The color temperature
From now on, the vast majority of reading lamps are equipped with LEDs. Not very energetic but powerful, these bulbs do not heat up, which saves not only an unpleasant heat in summer, but also the risk of burns.
In short: they are essential! It remains to choose the right color temperature.
White light (or cold light)
It evokes the light of day. It's a bit of the "default temperature" of a reading lamp. Many models offer only a white light.
Yellow light (or warm light)
She is more relaxing.
If you are looking for a reading lamp that can also be used for your precision work, focus on white light. If you like to read a little before falling asleep, opt for a model offering a warm light, more "casual".
The principle of the reading lamp is of course to have a comfortable lighting to read! But whether you want to use it at night, in bed, or on the move, by train or plane, it's important to read without disturbing your neighbor.
Most reading lamps now have 3 levels of intensity: low, medium and high. Even if these terms are not very precise, one will prefer a modulable intensity model to a fixed intensity model.
The fixing clip
Traditionally, the reading lamp clips directly to the book. In this case, a small clip is enough (we will ensure that it is still solid!).
This type of lamp is also easy to install on furniture. Always check the maximum opening of the clip: allow at least 4 cm to fix your lamp on standard furniture.
The fixing clip of your lamp can also take the place of foot. If you want to be able to put your lamp, opt for a model equipped with anti-slip strips.
For maximum reading comfort, it is essential to be able to precisely adjust the orientation of the light beam of your lamp. It is therefore important that it has a neck that is flexible enough to allow you to position it accurately, but firm enough to hold the curvature.
Battery-powered reading lamps are becoming increasingly rare. Energetic in energy, they are also often heavier. We will therefore reserve them for a very punctual use.
If you want to have a lighter, more reliable and above all, more economical, prefer the model battery.
Caution, all the same: all the batteries are not equal! Before making your choice, check three criteria: battery life, charging time and battery life.
Good to know: When the battery starts to discharge, the light intensity of the lamp decreases. It is advisable to restore it immediately, without waiting for it to empty completely.
Last point to check: the length of the USB cable. A good length of cable will allow you to continue using your lamp when it is charging.
It depends of course on your activity and where you are! To write or to engage in manual activity, it is best if the light source is behind you or to the side.
If you attach it to your book, preferably position it so that the hood is below the height of your eyes.