The 10 Best Book Lights of 2023

We found the top lights for reading and crafting

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The Best Book Lights

The Spruce / Alli Waataja

Whether you love reading in bed, or hiding away in a cozy little reading nook to consume your latest novella, the best book lights will let you carry on reading your page-turner at any time of day or night. "Book lights do two things that are potentially helpful," says Sunir Garg, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and professor of ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital. "Firstly, brighter light on the page generally increases contrast and a lot of people find increasing contrast to be helpful. Secondly, bright light causes the pupils of the eye to constrict or get smaller." This constriction may "increase the clarity and the sharpness of objects" for some people, according to Dr. Garg.

To compile these top book lights, we considered models we’ve personally used before and supplemented these findings with additional research to select various clip-on, wearable, and bedside options. For each product, we assessed the range of temperature and brightness controls, how well it illuminates the pages of books, and the expected battery life. We also considered the book lights' overall designs, including their size and weight, as well as any standout features that make them suitable for particular people or circumstances. Whether you’re at home or on the go, here are the best book lights for reading and crafting.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light


What We Like
  • Highly customizable settings

  • Comfortable, ergonomic design

  • Three-day battery life

What We Don’t Like
  • Can only be charged by Glocusent USB-C cables

  • Narrow light angle

The Glocusent Neck Reading Light could have topped a number of the categories in our hunt for the best book light because it’s versatile, customizable, and friendly on the eyes. As its name suggests, you wear this light around your neck and adjust its angle and curve using the flexible ergonomic design. Each end of the curve contains an LED light with three color temperatures—​​yellow (3,000K), warm white (4,000K) and cool white (6,000K)—and three brightness settings. Each LED is controlled separately and there are multiple combinations of brightness and temperatures to choose from. You can angle each beam of light at 90-degrees and a single light covers both pages of a standard book. 

Instead of revealing the exact brightness of these settings, Glocusent describes them as being bright enough for “general reading,” “brighter reading,” and “precise working.” The brighter the setting, the shorter the battery life, and when we tested this light at home, it took more than three days for the battery to die when using a single light in yellow, general reading mode. This dropped to seven hours when both lights were set to the cool white setting, or precise working mode. This battery is rechargeable but note that it will only charge with the cable that comes in the box. Our review model wouldn’t work with any other USB-C line.

Price at time of publish: $30

Style/Design: Neck | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 3 days | Brightness Options: 3 | Color Temperatures: 3

Best Budget

DEWENWILS Amber Book Reading Light

DEWENWILS Amber Book Reading Light


What We Like
  • Four-way adjustable angle

  • Doubles up as a bookmark

  • Soft, gentle light is ideal for reading in bed

What We Don’t Like
  • Short battery life

  • Single-page view only

The Dewenwils clip-on reading light has two LEDs that offer two temperatures—amber at 1,800K, and white at 3,000K. There are then four brightness settings—50 percent amber, 50 percent warm white, 100 percent amber, or 100 percent warm white—and the amber setting is particularly good for reading in bed because it's gentle on the eyes and blocks 99.95 percent of blue light. 

The rechargeable battery’s life is lower than others we’ve tried and will last about eight hours. However, when we tested it out, we found that it charges back up to full battery, via any USB port, in an hour. Its narrow beam only illuminates one page at a time but the four-way, hinged design means this angle can be adjusted to suit the book’s size—90 degrees horizontally and 315 degrees vertically.

Price at time of publish: $10

Style/Design: Clip | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 8 hours | Brightness Options: 4 | Color Temperatures: 2

Best Clip-On

Vekkia Dual Heads Rechargeable Book Light

Vekkia Dual Heads Rechargeable Book Light


What We Like
  • Flexible arms provide more precise light coverage

  • Independent light switches

  • Great battery life

What We Don’t Like
  • Only one color temperature

  • Flimsy design

Vekkia’s Dual Heads light is a book-mounted alternative to Glocusent’s neck-worn model. It has two lights attached to the end of flexible arms. This allows you to adjust the angle of each beam to guarantee it illuminates every corner of your book. These lights produce just a single 3,000K warm color temperature each but offer two brightness settings. 

This option’s rechargeable battery lasts more than two days on the highest brightness setting, and the overall design is lightweight—if a little flimsy. It doesn’t weigh your book down or make your hands ache. The clip has ribbed, soft pads that grip well to books, yet the clamp is not so tight that it damages the pages.

Price at time of publish: $18

Style/Design: Clip | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 2 days | Brightness Options: 2 | Color Temperatures: 1

Best Neck Light

Hammacher Schlemmer The Wearable Reading Light

The Wearable Reading Light

Hammacher Schlemmer

What We Like
  • Non-slip neck piece

  • Multiple brightness and color temperature settings

  • Lifetime guarantee

What We Don’t Like
  • Relatively expensive

A more expensive alternative to Glocusent’s next-worn reading light is this wearable version from Hammacher Schlemmer. It has a high-quality, robust design with a non-slip neck piece that is both comfortable to wear for long periods, and practical should you want to wear it while walking the dog, jogging or other activities besides reading. While it’s pricier than many other options, Hammacher Schlemmer offers a lifetime guarantee on its products—so you can feel confident you’re getting a reliable product.

The two arms feature LEDs that provide either 2,700K of warm white light, which is suitable for reading, or 7,000K of cold white light, which is great for more precise working. There are then three brightness levels: spotlight, floodlight, and spot/floodlight combined. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to 16 hours on the spotlight setting, and you can charge it via standard USB.

Price at time of publish: $50

Style/Design: Neck | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 16 hours | Brightness Options: 3 | Color Temperatures: 2

Best Wearable

Nachteule Rechargeable Book Light for Glasses

Nachteule Rechargeable Book Light for Glasses


What We Like
  • Lightweight, hands-free design

  • Direct beam of light

  • Portable

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited light options

  • Low battery life

If you want more precise illumination than that provided by neck-worn lights, opt for this rechargeable, and award-winning, Night Owl book light from Nachteule. It weighs under 0.5 ounce and measures just 1.7 inches in length, meaning you can easily and comfortably attach it to any glasses frame via a small, built-in clip. 

A single LED offers 2,700K of soft white light and there is only one brightness option. The on-board battery is poor in comparison to others in this list, and it lasted three hours when we tested it at home. This is understandable, given the light’s size and the battery is rechargeable via any micro USB port. However, we found that we had to charge it daily, which might be an annoyance for some bookworms.  

Price at time of publish: $50

Style/Design: Clip | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 3 hours | Brightness Options: 1 | Color Temperatures: 1

Best Rechargeable

Vekkia Rechargeable Book Light

Vekkia Rechargeable Book Light


What We Like
  • Great battery life

  • Easily illuminates two pages of a book

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Single color temperature

Out of all of the rechargeable book lights in our list, this Vekkia version is designed to last the longest. The built-in battery can run for 70 hours (or even more—in our experience) on a single charge when used continuously on the lowest of its three brightness settings. It then charges from zero to full in around three hours via the included USB cord.

The Vekkia light clips gently to book pages, thanks to its soft grip pads, and its flexible arm lets you easily move it into the desired position. The light itself comes from seven small LEDs that emit 3,000K of soft white light and this setup easily illuminates two pages of a standard-size book. What’s more, it weighs just 2.15 ounces, making it a lightweight and comfortable task lighting solution.  

Price at time of publish: $27

Style/Design: Clip-on | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 70 hours | Brightness Options: 3 | Color Temperatures: 1

Best Bedside Book Light

Block Blue Light NoBlue Amber Sleep Lamp

Block Blue Light NoBlue Amber Sleep Lamp

Block Blue Light 

What We Like
  • Amber LED lights

  • Flexible arm

  • Impressive battery life

  • Don't need to clip it to anything

What We Don’t Like
  • Only one color temperature

While clip-on lights are highly portable and provide more direct illumination, having to move them between pages each time can be a pain. A less time-consuming option is a compact cordless lamp, such as the NoBlue Amber Sleep Lamp from Block Blue Light. It acts as a night light and its amber LEDs are free from blue wavelengths that might disrupt sleep, according to some studies.

This bedside book light plugs mimics the soft, warm light emitted from candlelight. It has three brightness settings—25, 50, and 100 percent—so you can make it as bright as you need for reading. It also has a flexible arm that lets you direct the beam of light at the best possible angle, which increases how much of a book you can see at one time. The lamp is rechargeable using the included USB cord, and it can last for up to 16 hours.

Price at time of publish: $57

Style/Design: Bedside | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 16 hours | Brightness Options: 3 | Color Temperatures: 1

Best Overhead

Kagwon Wall Reading Light Stick

Kagwon Wall Reading Light Stick


What We Like
  • Easy to mount and reposition

  • Angled design

  • Touch controls

What We Don’t Like
  • Low battery life on the brightest mode

  • Only one light temperature option

The Kagwon Wall Reading Light Stick features 16 LEDs that offer 6,000K of white light. Unlike many other wall-mounted sconces or lights that need an electrician to install, this Kagwon model is magnetic. It automatically sticks to any metal surface, or you can use double-sided tape to stick its metal base to any wall or cupboard.  

Once attached to a metal surface or base, you can angle the Kagwon light from 45 degrees to 135 degrees. A built-in touch sensor then lets you toggle between three brightness modes—low, moderate and bright. On the lowest setting, this light’s rechargeable battery can last two days. This drops to around ten hours on moderate, and three hours on bright.

Price at time of publish: $20

Style/Design: Wall-mounted | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: 3 to 48 hours | Brightness Options: Three | Color Temperatures: One

Best for Travel

Glovion Solar Clip on Book Light

Glovion Solar Clip on Book Light


What We Like
  • Solar-powered

  • Also includes micro USB

  • Good battery life

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited illumination on lower brightness settings

Another clip-on book light—but this one has something unique. Attached to this Glovion light is a small solar panel that allows you to charge its built-in battery on the go. This makes it perfect for holidays, or when you’re looking to travel without having to manage multiple charging cables. That said, should you need to charge this light it comes with a micro USB cable. 

There are three soft white LEDs in the light itself and these can be set to either high or low brightness. The low option is bright enough for illuminating one page, and the battery life on this mode lasts 12 hours. If you want to illuminate both pages at once, we recommend using the higher mode, but the battery life will drop to around five hours.

Price at time of publish: $15

Style/Design: Clip | Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Battery Life: Up to 12 hours | Brightness Options: 2 | Color Temperatures: 1

Best for Children

Flexilight Pal Reading Light

Flexilight Pal Reading Light


What We Like
  • Very long battery life

  • Large range of fun styles available

  • Light doubles up as a bookmark

What We Don’t Like
  • Batteries are non-rechargeable

  • Limited illumination

Whether you’re trying to encourage your child to read more, or you’ve given birth to a bookworm, this battery-powered Flexilight is both fun and practical. It’s available in a range of 18 styles, from animals to robots and dinosaurs, and each one gently clips onto the pages of a book to double up as a book light and bookmark. 

There is a single, bright white LED in the head of each chosen design. This LED offers one level of brightness and you can reposition it easily, thanks to the light’s bendy design. We found this light to be adequate for illuminating a single page but not two. This light runs on two non-rechargeable CR2016 batteries which we found could run for more than four days of continuous use.

Price at time of publish: $11

Style/Design: Clip | Power Source: Battery | Battery Life: Not listed | Brightness Options: 1 | Color Temperatures: 1

Final Verdict

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is the top pick in our list of best book lights because it combines comfort, convenience, and precise control—all at a budget-friendly price. It brings a high-level of customization in terms of color temperatures and brightness settings for people who like to read anywhere and everywhere. If a clip-on book light better suits your needs, the Vekkia Rechargeable Book Light is lightweight, bright, and needs to be charged less frequently than others in our list.

What to Look for in a Book Light


Clip-on book lights are the most common and cheapest option. They clip onto your book or Kindle to illuminate pages from above. The best clip-on book lights have soft pads on the clip to avoid damaging individual pages. They’re lightweight enough to avoid adding weight to your book and typically illuminate at least one full page of a book. 

An alternative to clip-on lights are wearable book lights. These come in two main designs—neck-worn book lights and lights you attach to your glasses. The best neck lights are flexible, allowing you to bend them to where they feel most comfortable. They have lights on each end of the curved design that illuminate both pages of your book at once. 

Glass-worn lights clip onto the frames of glasses or goggles. They come with limited color and temperature options, and their battery life can be lacking, due to their small size. Yet they illuminate whatever you’re looking at. This means you don’t have to adjust the angle. 

Finally, there are bedside reading lights. The best bedside lights for reading resemble regular lamps but feature more color and brightness controls. They usually have soft, amber lights that help your body relax and unwind. Bedside book lights can come in cordless options, such as the Block Blue Light NoBlue Amber Sleep Lamp. You can also find wired options—the primary perk of corded lamps is you don’t have to worry about battery life, but they aren’t as portable.

Color and Brightness Settings 

The best book lights offer multiple color and brightness settings. This is so you can customize your lighting to suit your eyesight preferences.

Color temperatures are measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. When it comes to book lights “there are two main ranges of temperatures,” explains Sunir Garg, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “One temperature is around 2,700K. This is similar to what a traditional incandescent bulb emits and is considered ‘warm.'  The other range is around 5,000K. This is a typical white light or ‘daylight.'"

Blue light, which some studies have shown can disrupt sleep patterns, has a temperature around 3,200K and higher. If you want to avoid blue light exposure, opt for book lights with lower Kelvin ratings and amber tones, or lights that specially list blue light filters in their product description. 

The brightness settings on book lights are usually listed as low to high, or by the type of activity they’re best suited to.

Battery Life

The majority of book lights run on rechargeable batteries. Each one’s battery life depends on a number of factors, from the battery’s size, to the brightness setting you choose and how long you read for. Smaller, basic lights will go from full to flat in a few hours, but more advanced lights can run for more than three days of continuous use. 

Realistically, you’re not going to be reading for three days straight, so even lights with battery life on the lower end of the scale should only need charging once a week. If you’re not reading regularly, they’ll last a lot longer. The main thing to consider when buying a rechargeable book light is what cable you need, and whether it’s compatible with all cables of that type, or just the one it ships with. 

You can buy book lights that run on standard, non-rechargeable batteries, such as the Flexilight Pal Reading Light, our “best for children” pick. These batteries usually last much longer, but you’ll need to pay to replace them. If battery life is a major concern, we recommend buying a corded bedside lamp to avoid any anxiety.

  • How bright should a book light be?

    The brightness of a book light depends on a large number of factors, from the ambient lighting to the size of the text, your eyesight, the color temperature it's paired with and more. 

    Dr. Garg adds that “there is no specific number” to look for in terms of book light brightness but the light generated by a 60- to 100-watt bulb (or equivalent) is “usually sufficient.” He encourages his patients to try different brightness settings to find which one feels most comfortable and works best for them. “Obviously, if a light is too bright and causes discomfort, that should be avoided. Reading with a bright light will not be harmful to the eyes but can cause fatigue,” adds Dr. Garg. 

    According to Peter Legg, där lighting’s lead designer, when reading on a digital device specifically, you might “try to ensure the area you’re reading in is brighter than the screen itself. This may require balancing the brightness of the device itself as well as controlling the environment.” 

  • What light temperature is best for reading?

    “There have been some studies that suggest that light around 5000K may be ‘better’ for reading,” says Dr. Garg. This is because it is thought cool white temperatures make us more alert, while warm temperatures help us to relax. Yet, he believes in patients finding what works best for them.

  • Are LED lights good for reading?

    “LEDs offer a focused light stream which makes them a great choice for any directional light you need, from a reading light to task lighting in the kitchen,” says Legg. “They also have a good longevity, consume less energy than traditional bulbs and are much cooler to the touch.”

    Dr. Garg adds that when it comes to reading, however, “it matters less about the specific type of light, whether incandescent or LED.” He says that brightness, distance to the page, and color spectrum are factors readers should be considering instead.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science, technology, and lifestyle writer with more than a decade’s experience testing and reviewing consumer products. She’s had experience using dozens of books and reading lights in various designs, and she has personally tested the majority of entries in this list, as well as a number of others from different brands. She currently uses the Glocusent Neck Light for reading and jogging.

To learn more about the benefits of different book lights and their eyesight implications, Woollaston spoke to Sunir Garg, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and professor of ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital. She also spoke to lighting designer Peter Legg at där lighting to learn more about the importance of color temperatures and brightness settings and what features to look for. Using these insights, she tested book lights that combine convenience with cost and controls, and which meet the different needs and demands for readers and crafters.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Mathôt S, Ivanov Y. The effect of pupil size and peripheral brightness on detection and discrimination performance. PeerJ. 2019;7:e8220. doi:10.7717/peerj.8220

  2. Shechter A, Kim EW, St-Onge MP, Westwood AJ. Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trialJ Psychiatr Res. 2018;96:196-202. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015

  3. Grant LK, Kent BA, Mayer MD, Stickgold R, Lockley SW, Rahman SA. Daytime exposure to short wavelength-enriched light improves cognitive performance in sleep-restricted college-aged adults. Front Neurol. 2021;12:624217. doi:10.3389/fneur.2021.624217

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