by | Nov 4, 2020 | Crafting, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2020 @ 5:15 pm.

What's the best light box for tracing? For diamond painting? What about photography? We tried out light boxes from 7 brands before deciding these are the best bets. Yes, all these boxes are A4 compatible—some worked better for different tasks, however.

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 Light Box for Tracing

Excellent for stenciling
Loved this light box for its overall quality—adjustable brightness and flicker free light are excellent. Also nice: anti-slip rubber stand on back. Caveat: no clip to hold paper in place, however.
$19.99

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Best Light Box for Tracing: A4 Tracing Light Box Portable LED Light Table Tracer Board

Let’s talk light boxes for tracing.

The best light boxes have flicker-free lights and large surface area (edge-to-edge). Yes, most light boxes are A4 compatible (A4 is a paper size, 8.3″ x 11.7″). But some offer more area than others, based on our hands-on evaluation of popular light boxes sold today.

For the best light box for tracing, we recommend Feir’s A4 Tracing Light Box. It came out on tops in terms of quality and features. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Excellent for stenciling, embossing and sketching.

• Portable and lightweight. At 1.4 lbs., this light box weighed less than others we researched.

• Variable light option.

• Flicker free light.

• Very bright!

• Easy to use.

• Affordable.

• USB powered (cord and plug are included).

What Needs Work

• A clip to hold paper still would be a nice addition to this model. (You can use painter’s tape as a substitute).

• Adjustable brightness button is too sensitive. Slightly brush the button and it can turn the unit off or change the brightness. 

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Best for Vinyl Weeding

Great for scrapbooking
The big, clear screen is the star here—and that makes cleaning up a vinyl craft project super easy. Also nice: includes 10 sheets of tracing paper. And the printed ruler on the face plate is helpful.
$19.51

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Best for Vinyl Weeding: Tiktecklab A4 Size Ultra-Think Portable Tracer

When you use a die cutting machine to cut out a piece of vinyl, there are usually little strings of vinyl or excess material left behind. These need to be “weeded.” A light box is most helpful, letting you see every little detail.

We like Tiktecklab’s light box as the best choice for vinyl weeding (as well as tracing). Why? It has a big, clear screen . . . that makes the difference when it comes to weeding excess vinyl!

What We Liked

• Flicker free light.

• USB powered.

• Clear screen is easy to use.

• Printed ruler on face.

• Includes 10 sheets of tracing paper.

• Adjustable brightness with touch sensor.

What Needs Work

• No clip to hold work still. 

• USB plug isn’t included. You have to supply your own.

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Best for Diamond Painting

Flicker-free light
To see details in film negatives or blueprints, we'd recommend this excellent light box. Best feature: it remembers the brightness setting you last used. Lightweight and easy to store.
$17.98

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Best for Diamond Painting: A4 Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box Tracer

Diamond painting is a popular craft and fun for both kids and adults. But what’s not fun is trying to read the color codes on the pattern—that’s why a light box is most helpful.

If you are a diamond painting enthusiast, we’d recommend Tiktecklab’s A4 Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box Tracer. It is easy to use, enabling you to see all the details on a canvas.

What We Liked

• No flicker light.

• USB cable.

• Lightweight at 1.1 lbs.

• 3 brightness levels.

What Needs Work

• USB plug? It would be nice if this could be included in a future version.

• Not so great for photography. This light box has a black mesh pattern in the lighting area—that could be an issue for photographers. If you need a light box for photography, we’d suggest the next choice.

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Best for Photographer/Architect

No shadows or glare
To see details in film negatives or blueprints, we'd recommend this excellent light box. Best feature: it remembers the brightness setting you last used. Lightweight and easy to store.
$24.98

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Best for Photographer/Architect: ME456 A4 LED Light Box

If you are a photographer who shoots on film, a light box helps you see negatives. And for architecture, a light box helps refine details in a blueprint. 

For these uses, we’d recommend ME456’s A4 LED light box. Yes, it is bit more pricey than other light boxes we researched, but it has features photographers and architects would appreciate. Example: it remembers the brightness setting used previously. Also nice: this light box is thin and portable.

What We Liked

• Lightweight at 1.4 lbs.

• Easy to use.

• Easy to store away.

• Adjustable brightness.

• Printed measurement scales on sides of light box face.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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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