by | Oct 14, 2020 | Gift Ideas, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2020 @ 8:08 pm.

What's the best book light? We tried out 9 top book lights to find the best. We also surveyed our parent readers to get their feedback on their favorite book lights. Which were easiest to use? Offered blue-light blocking tech? Hands-free? Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Rechargeable Book Light

Three light modes: amber, white or mixed
We loved this simple to use book light—yes, it runs up to 30 hours on a single charge. USB charging cable = no need to swap out batteries. Lightweight. Can be clipped to book or be free-standing.
$14.99

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Best Rechargeable Book Light: GearLight NiteOwl Rechargeable Book Light

For the best rechargeable book light, we though the GearLight NiteOwl light was the best of the bunch. We tried out several models, but like this one best for its performance . . . and the price is easy on the wallet. Yes, this a pack of TWO book lights priced at what other brands charge for a single light.

Here’s what the GearLight looks like out of the package (with a quarter for size reference):

Best Rechargeable Book Light GearLight out of box

Another nice feature: it can be clipped to a book OR stand on its own.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Three light modes: amber (no blue light), white or mixed. We liked that flexibility.

Here’s what the amber light looks like in real life:

Here’s what the plain white light looks like:

Best Rechargeable Book Light GearLight White sample

Finally, the mixed light (amber + white) or “daylight” as GearLight calls it:

Best Rechargeable Book Light GearLight Daylight Sample JPG

• Good battery life (about 30 hours).

• Rechargeable via USB cable. That is, no batteries to change out.

• Lightweight at 2.5 ounces.

• Stands on its own.

• Padded clip doesn’t damage book. That was a nice feature, as some book lights we tried weren’t this well designed.

What Needs Work

• Too bright? Those pictures of this book light in the real world were taken in a completely dark space—so you can see why some folks though the light was too bright (or not partner-friendly, as they say). We see the point, but think the amber setting is good for most reading in bed needs.

• Brightness isn’t adjustable.

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Best Clip-On Book Light

Collapsible book light = travel-friendly
Running on two watch-style button batteries, this book light has 25 hours of run time . . . and is super lightweight (1.34 ounces). White LED light is focused right where you need it. Easy to clip on.
$9.99

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Best Clip-On Book Light: Energizer Clip on Book Light for Reading in Bed

If you don’t need any fancy light modes like amber, then we’d recommend this affordable and well-made book light: Energizer’s Clip on Book Light. Our favorite feature: it collapses to a compact form . . . great for travel. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Runs on two watch-style batteries (R2032). No worry about replacing charging boards.

• Clips easily to books.

• Runs for up to 25 hours.

• Lightweight at just 1.34 ounces.

• White LED light.

• Flexible neck.

What Needs Work

• No blue-light blocking light mode.

• Brightness can’t be adjusted. If you need a book light that can be adjusted in brightness, we’d suggest this next recommendation.

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Best Light For Reading in Bed

30 hours of battery life on low
Hands-free is the way to go if you want to read a book OR do a craft. We liked the three light colors and SIX brightness levels. Yes, it is somewhat bulky, but we found it comfortable to wear.
$11.43

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Best Light For Reading in Bed: Hooga Book Light, Blue Light Blocking Amber Clip-On Reading Light

Let’s be honest—some book lights are so bright, they are bound to prompt complaints from a partner who is trying to sleep. If you want to read in bed at night and not bother your partner, we’d recommend this model: Hooga’s Book Light. 

This light worked well in our tests for two reasons: first it is an amber (blue-light blocking) light, that is great for night use. Second, this book light has ADJUSTABLE brightness. Yes, we’d think that would be a common feature, but, alas, no. This is one of the few models we tested that featured adjustable brightness.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Amber light is easy on the eyes.

• Lightweight.

• Silicone gooseneck is very flexible—directs light were you need it.

• USB chargeable (no batteries to swap out).

• Anti-slip grip for clip.

• THREE brightness levels that are adjustable.

• Lightweight at 2.5 ounces.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best Neck Light For Books

USB rechargeable, 80+ hours
Hands-free is the way to go if you want to read a book OR do a craft. We liked the three light colors and SIX brightness levels. Yes, it is somewhat bulky, but we found it comfortable to wear.
$18.99

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Best Neck Light For Books: Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

And now for something difference: this book light doesn’t clip to a book . . . it goes around your neck.

Neck book lights have one key advantage over other book lights—they are hands free. That means you can read a book or switch to a craft that requires both hands. Or you could repurpose this light to  a workshop to work on a repair where light needs to be focused.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Three light modes: amber, warm white and cool white.

• Lightweight.

• Comfortable to wear.

• Six brightness levels. That makes it very partner-friendly when used at night in bed!

• USB rechargeable means no batteries to replace.

• 80 hours of run time (on lowest brightness setting).

• Hands-free is great for crafts or camping.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Requires specific USB charging cord. This is included in the box, but you can’t use a standard USB-C cord on your own.

• Bulkier than other book lights. At 4.6 ounces, this light weighs two or three times that of clip-on book lights. That’s the trade-off. 

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here's another key point: we don't take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no "partnerships." Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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