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See Clearly with the Best Magnifying Light

Modern electronics are so compact that seeing the individual components so you can work on them can be a challenge and those aren’t the only things with miniaturized components either. Many other items from jewelry to specialized craft items have components which are hard to see with the naked eye so a magnifying glass is often essential when working with them.

Of course, holding a magnifying glass in your hand while you are trying to work severely limits what you can do. Jewelers solved this problem long ago with the use of an eye loupe; while functional, an eye loupe is still somewhat hard to use because of its small size.

Putting the magnifier on a stand or adjustable arm is the obvious solution. These have been in use for a variety of applications, especially in manufacturing industries, for a number of years. Having a combination magnifier and lamp together makes it much easier to see small objects that are being worked on and the built-in light eliminates the problem of shadowing the light with your body.

There are several styles of these available on the market, but the three main styles are:

Desk Mounted – A short, flexible neck on a weighted base.

Arm Mounted – An articulated arm, with the magnifier and lamp mounted to the end. The arm anchors to the desk or workbench edge with a clamp.

Floor Mounted – The flexible neck is attached to a stand on a weighted base. This allows it to be moved around and used where needed.

In most cases, the arm mounted models are the best magnifying lights in 2021, providing a larger magnifier and longer reach. Desk mounted magnifiers must be placed right at the workpiece; moving them requires that there be a clear area on the workbench where the magnifier needs to go.

Older models of these magnifiers all used fluorescent bulbs, usually 22 watt “ring” bulbs but many of the newer options have replaced the fluorescent bulbs with LEDs, providing longer life and lower energy costs. Since LED provides light without heat, they’re also safer to work with, even safer than fluorescents which are typically quite cool.

When looking at a magnifying lamp, there are several things you should consider:

What do you need to use it for? This will affect the style you choose.

How big a magnifier do you need? Generally speaking, the larger the magnifier, the easier it is to use.

How much light do you need? For most applications, the more light the better.

How much magnification do you need? Five diopter, 2.25x magnification, is the most common for arm mounted magnifiers, while desktop units will usually have less. The greater the magnification, the easier it might be to see what you’re working on and at the same time, it cuts down the viewing angle. If you need to see a lot of things, such as several parts and how they go together, a higher magnification might not be helpful.

Best Magnifying Lights of 2021 Reviewed in Detail

NEWACALOX Desk Lamp with Large Magnifying Light - Best Magnifying Light Overall

For those that need the best, Pro Magnify builds it. Actually, I think they’re the best manufacturer in this market, producing a broad line of excellent models of magnifying lights. This one has the largest magnifying lens and plenty of light, even though it only consumes 8 watts of power. The arm itself is 36 inches, which isn’t the biggest around but plenty big enough for most applications. Movement is feather touch without springs so it stays right where you put it. The lens is 5 diopter, offering 2.25 magnification. This one comes with a clamp to mount it on the edge of your workbench and a power switch mounted right on the head.

5X LED Lamp, HITTI 1,800 Lumens Stepless Dimmable, Magnifying Light - Runner Up

This lighted magnifier from Luxo is probably the most sophisticated magnifying light ever developed and the only reason I didn't give it first place was the price. This unit is designed for use in static sensitive environments, something that no other magnifying light is designed for. The lighting comes from two directions thereby eliminating shadows. All lighting is provided by LEDs to reduce energy consumption and heat. When only one light is used, the unit provides 3D magnification while the self-balancing arm doesn't need any tightening or adjustment to maintain position. An auto shut-off feature turns the unit off after four or nine hours to save electricity.

best Pro Ultra-Efficient LED 7" Magnifying Light

Pro Ultra-Efficient LED 7" Magnifying Light - Honorable Mention

This is very similar to the number one pick and from the same company. However, it has a 7 inch round lens as opposed to the 7x6 inch lens on that one and its arm is slightly longer as well at 38 inches. The same feather touch, spring-fee movement is provided as well for ease of use. The 108 LEDs will provide you with project lighting for 100,000 hours of use and provides 2.25 magnification through its 5 diopter lens. The switch is mounted on the head and there is a clamp to attach it to the edge of your workbench.

(2021 Model) Neatfi XL 2,500 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Magnifying Light - Consider

This lightweight, cast aluminum unit from Luxo provides lighting and magnification wherever it is needed. The unit is available with 45 inch arms, making it ideal for use on a busy workbench while  the LED lighting is LED means lower energy usage and cooler temperatures. The LED lighting can be dimmed 50 percent as needed and there is an automatic shutoff to turn it off after four or nine hours. Positioning is extremely easy and the magnifying head doesn't creep once set in position.

iMagniphy Lighted Magnifying Glass with 3 Lens & LED Light - Best Lightweight Magnifying Glass

This high-power magnifying glass comes with three different lenses for crystal clear vision that will help you capture fine details on even the smallest of objects. The two built-in LED lights are pretty useful for inspection, especially when working in an area that isn’t very well lit. The lights require 3 AAA batteries to operate and can provide up to 50,000 hours of uninterrupted brightness. The magnifying glass has a shatter-proof lens for extra durability, and its ergonomic handle offers a comfortable and non-slip grip. This is an excellent option if you need a lightweight magnifying glass for prolonged use so that your hand doesn’t get tired or cramped up.

Mighty Bright 88512 Seam Ripper and Magnifying Light - Best Magnifying Light

I decided that I needed to include at least one floor lamp in this list even though arm lamps are much more common. The nice thing about a floor magnifier is that you can use it anywhere and not just attached to your workbench. If you need it to read in your favorite armchair or are working at the kitchen table, you can use your magnifier without having to worry about messing up the table’s finish with the clamp. Being a LED light, it uses minimal power and the LEDs will last for a good 100,000 hours. This model will run off of either 120 VAC or batteries.

Buyer's Guide

It'll be crucial to get the proper magnifying lights for your needs to do crafting or other tasks. You'll know what kind of magnification you need, but with so many options, it's difficult to determine which is ideal for you. To assist you, we've examined all of the major factors in detail and how they relate to your requirements. If you have any ambiguities left, we also offer a FAQ portion to help you out.

How many types of magnifying lights are there?

Magnifying lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Stationary light

The appearance of stationary magnifying lights is similar to that of normal home lamps. They have a sturdy, solid base as well as a classic lamp-like neck. The arm/neck is flexible, allowing you to modify it to the correct posture. You place some of the lights on the floor. However, others can be perched on a desk or table.

This sort of light is ideal for reading or working on intricate craft projects. The disadvantage is that the floor lights, in particular, are less portable than smaller lamps. It can also topple over if the foundation isn't heavy enough.

Clip-on light

Clip-on magnifying lights are significantly more portable and may be used in a wide range of situations. They're tiny, and some of them are even smaller than fixed magnifying lights. They may be attached to books or clipboards, making them extremely useful for various tasks like reading.

Some clip-on magnifying lights can be attached to a workbench, tabletop, or desk, making it easier to perform activities in the garage or craft area. This lamp is quite adaptable, and you can carry it with you wherever you go if you need a light source that works at home, in the workplace, or in the workshop.

Which features should you look for while buying the best magnifying lights?

Magnification

When picking a magnifying light, one of the most important factors to consider is how much it magnifies an object. They don't have a high magnification level in general—they're designed to give a small amount of magnification to assist you to read or finish a sewing job.

At the absolute least, search for a light with a magnification of at least five times, which should be sufficient for most household tasks. If you know you'll be doing a lot of intricate work, search for devices with even higher magnification so you can finish the task properly.

Brightness

The amount of lumens in a bulb is a way to identify the difference between the lights. It should have a minimum of 1,200 lumens. Some types even feature adjustable illumination which comes in handy to lit the area as per your preferences.

So, it is always an ingenious move to pick up a light with a dimmer button as it will allow you to work on different projects without switching between light sources.

Adjustability

Many magnifying lamps include flexible necks, allowing you to adjust the gadget for the greatest results on your project. You may grab the neck and pull it closer to the item for a better view, or pull it away when you don't need the magnification.

Some models can be tilted 360 degrees, while others aren't as adaptable, so be sure you get one that meets your demands.

What are some other considerations?

Type of lens

A glass or plastic lens is integrated into the frame of a magnifying light. If you have an option, go for one with a glass lens because it is preferable.

Glass conducts light more efficiently and is more robust and long-lasting than plastic. It is not as readily scratched as a plastic lens. It's also less difficult to clean. A plastic lens has the benefit of being a bit less costly.

The duration of the battery

Many clip-on magnifying lamps contain batteries, but permanent magnifying lamps generally connect into a power socket. The good news is that led lights may last for quite a long period when fully charged.

However, not all lights are created equal, so check the battery life to ensure that it won't switch off while you're working.

The light's body

Ergonomics are crucial, especially if you're doing a complex activity that necessitates precision and concentration. Choose a light that is pleasant to work with, simple to move and swivel, and meets your needs.

It is vital to have style, but it is not everything. Keep in mind that you'll be using that lamp frequently. So, it should be comfortable to hold and easy to place.

Functionality

When it comes to utility, select something that is readily removable, transportable, and assemble. So, you can easily operate the lamp, assemble it, and remove it if necessary.

How much do magnifying lights cost?

Magnifying lights are devices that assist persons with visual problems to work on intricate crafts or study in a well-lit area. These are available in a variety of ranges, and the prices differ greatly.

However, one of the best things about magnifying lights is how inexpensive they are. The cost of higher-quality, feature-rich items will be greater. But you can get mid-range magnifying lights for $20 to $40.

Best Magnifying Lights FAQs

Q: Should you buy glass or plastic magnifiers?

A glass or plastic lens is integrated into the frame of a magnifying light. If you have an option, go for one with a glass lens because it is preferable. Glass conducts light more efficiently and is more robust and long-lasting than plastic. It is not as readily scratched as a plastic lens.

Q: What is the magnification power of typical magnifying glasses?

A typical magnifying glass amplifies items by 2 or 3 times, implying that it magnifies 2x or 3x. Geologists prefer magnifications of 5x to 10x, although anything more than 10x is difficult to use in the field due to the lenses' tiny size.

Q: What factors should you consider while purchasing a magnifying glass?

A perfect magnifier would be light, big in diameter, with a vast viewing area and high, distortion-free magnification. However, it is optically impossible to combine all of these characteristics into a single unit.

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