Physical books (and some e-readers) don't come with built-in backlighting. That’s why the best book lights on the market are a fundamental tool for many
book lovers who frequently read at night. Fortunately, there are a lot of book lights out there, and if you're on the hunt for a great one, there are a few things to consider.
Before you select your ideal book light, consider where and how you’re most likely to use it. If you’ll mostly be
reading at home in bed, portability isn’t a major factor, but it might matter more if you travel a lot. You’ll also want to think about whether your preferred type of reading material can handle a clip-on book light, which works well for sturdy hardcovers or e-readers, or whether you read a lot of flimsy paperbacks that might do better with a wearable light. And if you think clipping a light to your book is a hassle, a compact light you can secure to your nightstand or headboard could be a better fit.
Book lights are often rechargeable or battery-powered, so you’ll want to think about whether you have a preference between the two. Finally, consider how long you’ll need your light to last, especially if you’re going with a rechargeable option. Some particularly lightweight options will only last about five hours, while others can last more than 50.
The picks for best book light, listed below, were chosen with these different needs and functionalities in mind. Read on to learn more about the best book lights for all kinds of readers — kids and adults alike.
1 The Overall Best Book Light
Vekkia Luminolite boasts a 4.8-star overall rating after more than 9,800 reviews — and it’s no wonder why. It features three light settings (warm, white, and mixed warm and white) and is powered with one easy-to-use button. The light features a rubberized clip that secures it to both physical books and e-readers. It’s conveniently rechargeable using the included micro-USB cable, and each charge can last up to 70 hours. And no need to guess when the battery's good to go — it has an indicator light that tells you when it's fully charged. One reviewer wrote: “This is an amazing little powerhouse of a light!! I love it!! It’s lightweight, bright, and super cute! The battery seems so far to last and it recharges easily and quickly. It clips to your book, or stands alone as needed.” 2 The Fan-Favorite Wearable Book Light (That’s Great For Paperbacks)
If you’re looking for a hands-free option, check out this
neck reading light, which has racked up more than 45,000 ratings on Amazon and counting. This wearable light sits on your neck instead of clipping onto your book. The lack of a clip makes it a great fit for anyone who reads a lot of paperbacks and finds that clip-on options aren’t always the easiest to use without stiff covers. The Glocusent light is rechargeable with the included USB cable, and each battery charge can last up to a whopping 80 hours. The two bendy adjustable arms have separate lights, and each arm has three brightness and three warmth settings, which means you can really customize your reading experience.
While it’s intended to be used while reading, its unique design makes it truly multipurpose — reviewers have reported using the wearable book light as a hands-free flashlight on camping trips and night hikes.
One reviewer wrote: “I have needed this little invention for so long--mad at myself for waiting so long to get it. I can now read in bed and don't have to get up to turn out the lights! :) It's also handy to putz around the house and not have to turn on a bunch of lights. I love it it's flexibility and versatility!” 3 The Best Budget-Friendly Book Light That Uses AAA Batteries
If you want a budget-friendly option that doesn’t require any charging cords, the
LEPOWER book light is the way to go. Instead of a rechargeable battery, it runs on three AAA batteries. It also comes with a USB cord if you'd rather just plug it into a power source instead of using batteries. It has five brightness settings, including warm and white light, and a secure clip with a non-slip surface. Aside from attaching it onto physical books, it can also stand up on its own if you want to use it at a desk or table. While the manufacturer specifies it can be used with e-readers, one reviewer noted that it’s a bit large and heavy to comfortably use with their Kindle. One reviewer wrote: “So glad to have a book light that still takes batteries. I have purchased this light especially for camping so I appreciate a light that doesn't require recharging!” 4 The Best Book Light For Travel
Clocking in at just 1.3 ounces and measuring just 0.5 inches thick, the
Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light is lighter and more compact than the other models on this list. It folds flat and slim and plugs directly into any USB outlet for charging. The battery only lasts up to eight hours at its brightest setting, but it takes just an hour and a half to fully charge once it's depleted. The LED light offers two brightness levels in a warm white.
There may be other book lights out there with more secure clips and dimmer light settings, but if you’re looking for something super portable and durable to use while you’re on the go, this one’s a no-brainer.
One reviewer wrote: “This little light is powerful, lightweight, easy to use and completely rechargeable! I found myself reading very comfortably in bed last night with just this light on! Awesome!” 5 The Best Book Light With A Hand Strap For E-Readers
If you use an e-reader without a backlight, this
book light can be ideal for nighttime reading. Similar to the non-rechargeable LEPOWER book light, it runs on three AAA batteries (which you’ll have to snag separately) — but this one’s made specifically for e-readers. It has a clip that’s designed to not get in the way of your e-reader screen, and it even comes with a hand strap to make holding your device easier. This book light has two brightness settings, plus its arm moves up, down, and side to side, and it can stand upright on its own, too.
If you’re not sure you’d get good use out of the hand strap, check out this alternative
book light that works well with e-readers. One reviewer wrote: “I love this little reading light. The light is bright, it has 2 brightness settings and I only use the first one as it is bright enough for me to read on my Kindle. I didn't rate the battery power because I've only had it less than a week and the batteries are still working fine. I read from the Kindle at bedtime so they should last for a while. I'm sorry I didn't buy this long ago. I recommend this product.” 6 The Best Magnifying Book Light
Anyone who struggles to read small print might appreciate this
magnifying book light, which magnifies text up to 300%, bringing words a lot closer. The 12 bright LED lights are located along the underside of the magnifier, and it features an anti-glare reflector to keep the light focused on the page. You can adjust the light to the exact brightness you need using the dial at the base of the magnifier.
Unlike the other options on the list, it doesn’t operate hands-free, but the wide horizontal lens covers a lot of text at once. This book light is operated by three
AAA batteries (not included). One reviewer wrote: “I received my magnifier yesterday and I absolutely love it! The LED lighting is very bright and easy to turn on/adjust. I love the size of this magnifier. I have had smaller ones that make it hard while trying to read a book. I had to continually drag my hand across the page so the magnifier could pick up the words. But with this one, it is large enough that I can read almost the whole page without moving it around. Absolutely love and would definitely recommend!” 7 The Best Book Light To Clip To Your Bedside Table
If you primarily read in bed and aren’t in need of a portable option, check out this
bedside lamp, which is available in black, white, and silver aluminum to match your home’s aesthetic. The gooseneck is sturdy enough to adjust in different directions, but the clip-on base is slim. This means it won’t take up precious real estate on your table — alternatively, you can clamp it to a headboard up to 2 inches thick.
Along the length of wire, there are two switches: one that allows you to toggle the lamp on, off, and between its warm and white light settings, and the other to dim or brighten it. In order to work, it must be plugged into a power source with the USB cable or adapter, which are both included with the light. If you’re in need of a rechargeable reading light for your nightstand, this
cordless desk lamp is also worth considering. One reviewer wrote: “The entire design is fantastic! The USB power, the flexible arm, the dual color and dual brightness and the table clip. Great for close work and reading [...] This is my second one I purchased. Super handy and priced right.” 8 The Best Amber Book Light
If you’re sensitive to white light (or have a partner who is), you might appreciate this
amber option. It mimics the effect of reading by warm candlelight, but the focused light source more powerfully illuminates the pages of your book. While many lights offer warm light settings, this one only has amber options — so there’s no need to toggle through any bright white settings to get to the one you need.
The light fastens to physical books and e-readers with a sturdy clamp, while the gooseneck lets you rotate the light 360 degrees so that you can position it where you need it. To power it on and off, there is a single button located on the lamp itself, which also controls its three brightness settings. According to the manufacturer, it runs for five hours on the brightest level, and comes with a micro-USB cable when it comes time to recharge it.
One reviewer wrote: “This light is great all around. It's lightweight and flexible, easily charged and even doubles as a bookmark too. It a soft amber light with 3 different levels of brightness and it doesn't disturb my husband while sleeping which is even better. Highly recommend.” 9 The Best Book Light For Kids
According to Amazon reviewers, this
book light for kids has become a go-to bedtime reading tool for families with young bookworms. The lamp is lightweight with a padded clamp that can fasten snugly over books, and it comes with a flexible neck to shine the light over the pages. To appeal to both kids and kids-at-heart, it’s offered in four fun options, ranging from pink to blue.
It’s powered by a single button, which allows kids to quickly turn the lamp on and off, as well as switch among its three brightness settings. In any setting, it illuminates a warm white light that is easy on the eyes, while offering illumination for up to 40 hours. It is rechargeable and comes with a micro-USB cable to charge it up between reading sessions.
One reviewer wrote: “This light is great for kids. I have tried other rechargeable reading lights and the girls seem to have issues with those. This one is very easy to use. The power button looks like a power button with the power symbol on it and everything. It is on top of the light itself. The base has a gentle spring that kids can easily open to move it from place to place. The light even has space stickers on the base and the light itself. It weighs almost nothing, and charges fully in just over an hour. My youngest is 3 and has no issues using this and fell in love with it right away. I like having a light she can use on her own safely.”