The best book light for readers

Ashley Britten

For book lovers, there are few greater pleasures in life than lying in bed late at night with an engrossing book, telling yourself that you’ll go to sleep after reading just one more chapter. However, reading at night comes with its own challenges. You need a suitable reading light to see the page, but it can’t be so bright that it keeps your partner awake or throws off the cozy nighttime vibe of the room.

The Glocusent LED Neck-Mounted Reading Light provides an ingenious solution to your night-lighting woes at a very fair price. For more recommendations, check out the full reading light guide from BestReviews.

What to know before you buy a book light

Printed books vs. tablets

Light from tablets and screens can interfere with your sleep by altering your level of alertness and suppressing melatonin release. Sufficient melatonin levels are necessary for truly rejuvenating sleep, which allows your brain to process information from the day.

Reading a printed book with a blue-light filtered LED book light, on the other hand, has been shown to improve your quality of sleep. As part of your nightly routine, switching out a device for a good book has manifold benefits to your quality of sleep and your mental health.

Reading to prevent insomnia

If you experience bouts of insomnia or if you have anxiety, reading before bed as a routine can help relax your mind and signal your brain that it's time to start winding down for sleep. The type of reading material doesn’t matter, it can be fiction or nonfiction, provided that it captivates you fully. The deeper you let yourself dive into the words on the page, the more you allow your mind to let go of daily struggles and relax. Reading at night is thought to be more beneficial in helping you release tension after a long day than soothing music or a cup of tea.

Reading improves concentration and increases vocabulary

Do you find yourself regularly scrolling through news feeds for that quick distraction before moving on to the next thing? You’re not alone. Most people spend their precious free time nowadays staring at screens, cell phones and TVs. To truly thrive and focus, however, the mind needs more engaging and thought-provoking information. 

Reading, especially at night, achieves that and more. Nighttime reading allows you to concentrate on a single topic or plot for longer periods of time, improving your attention span. It also increases your vocabulary by a large margin and builds your creativity and problem-solving skills.

Book light features

Book light power source and run time

If you’re a voracious reader, the chances are you want a cordless, hands-free book light with a long-lasting battery. Once you’ve settled into bed or your favorite reading chair, you likely don’t want any inconvenient distractions like having to interrupt the story to charge your book light or replace a battery. For this reason, newer book lights feature rechargeable batteries that can run off of a single charge for anywhere from 60 to 80+ hours. If you are choosing a book light that runs on regular batteries, look for a model which guarantees about 25-plus hours of use before needing to be replaced.

Book light light types

Blue lights can impact melatonin levels and disturb your circadian rhythm. When purchasing a book light, ensure you select a light that filters out blue light and mimics natural light. Some book lights feature a dimmer and color temperature modes like yellow and warm or cool white. Soft light is easier on the eyes at night and provides a soothing hue to the space without disturbing your partner. Also, look into the beam angle of your new book light; it needs to be broad enough to read your book but narrow enough for privacy.

Flexible book lights

Flexibility is necessary in the neck or arms of a book light so that whichever position you are sitting, lying or reclining in, you’re able to focus the light accordingly. Look for models that are adjustable, with features like a rotating gooseneck or collapsible neck for added angle control.

Book light cost 

Book lights are a very inexpensive accessory for voracious readers considering the value they provide. On the lower end, a book light will cost approximately $10. Mid-range LED book lights should run between $15-$20. Higher-end models can cost much more but don’t typically offer additional features to justify the cost.

Book light FAQ

Are there alternate uses for my new book light?

A. Yes, definitely! A book light can also be used when knitting, as a nightlight, as a personal light source when camping and so much more. Book lights are a lightweight and portable source of light that can be used for pretty much anything.

Is my cordless book light rechargeable? 

A. Some book lights will feature a Micro-USB charging cord for recharging the battery and are typically very long-lasting on low-light settings. Other models may feature regular batteries, which need replacing. If choosing the latter, look for models which provide long life for your batteries.

Which book light should I get?

Best of the best book light

Glocusent LED Neck-Mounted Reading Light: available at Amazon

Our take: The Glocusent LED neck-mounted reading light is a remarkable book light that features a rechargeable battery with 80+ hours of light on a charge and sits comfortably around the neck, with adjustable arms for perfect beam positioning.

What we like: Featuring various color temperature modes, the Glocusent book light offers yellow, warm white and cool-white light options and a hands-free ergonomic design. Each head has a dimmable light with three brightness settings. With tens of thousands of five-star reviews, this book light speaks for itself.

What we dislike: Some reviewers noticed damage to the packaging on arrival.

Best bang for your buck book light

Energizer Clip-On Book Light: available at Amazon

Our take: This compact, fully-portable and battery-powered LED book light is a total bargain. For under $10, you’ll get 25 hours of uninterrupted nighttime reading.

What we like: The neck of this book light is adjustable for an angled, broad beam. It recreates natural light for ease on the eyes while reading and is useful to have on hand for power outages and camping trips.

What we dislike: The batteries aren’t rechargeable and need to be replaced when depleted.

Honorable mention book light

Vekkia Rechargeable LED Book Light: available at Amazon

Our take: The amber-hued light from Vekkia’s rechargeable LED book light is soft and calming while being 99.5% free of blue-spectrum light. It boasts 70 hours of wireless night reading on a charge and is ideal for peaceful, private reading that won’t disturb others.

What we like: Vekkia’s book light has a 360-degree gooseneck for complete adjustable flexibility in beam angle to suit your reading position. It is fully portable and possesses three brightness settings to soothe the eyes at a really great price.

What we dislike: If using this light at a medium brightness rather than a low setting, the batteries tend to run out considerably more quickly.

Ashley Britten is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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