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In 1879, German optician Otto Schott invented a new type of glass that was better at magnifying than anything that had been created before. This new glass, which he called “drawing” or “tooth” glass, soon became popular with dentists, artists, and other people who needed to see things up close.
We reviewed more than 50 models and came up with the 10 best magnifying lamps, where the Brightech LightView Pro Flex took its deserved first place. When making a selection, we considered the magnification power, ranging from 1.75x to 10x, as you won’t need high level for general tasks like reading or writing. We also thought that an addition of various light modes would be amazing for executing different tasks. Another important point is that the lamp brightness should be somewhere around 800 lumens, so that you wouldn’t be blinded by it and at the same time it should provide enough light for you to work comfortably.
"An amazing option with fully adjustable construction and convenient switch. Also, it has a sturdy clamp for better stability.12W lamp output.2.25x magnification.Dimmer with 10 levels and 3 light modes."
More features: 6000K cool white daylight color, scratch-resistant glass, flexible gooseneck, heavy base and strong clamp
For those looking for that extra bit of magnification, this is excellent, with its strength of 1.75x. If that’s not quite powerful enough for you, then you can also get a version with a magnification of 2.25x. That is supported by the lamp that can shine at up to 570 lumens.
The overall build quality of the lamp is impressive, and it should be able to last for many years. The only downside is that the base is on the light side, and that can make it a little top-heavy. That being said, it does come with a clamp that will help to solve that issue.
The lens clarity is impressive, and you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing in fine detail. That lens is scratch-resistant, so you shouldn’t lose any of that clarity. On top of this, the portability is fantastic, and with the flexible gooseneck, you’ll be able to get it in any position you need. For those who wanted a compact and lightweight magnifying lamp, this would be perfect.
Are you looking for immense value for money? You can’t go wrong with this lamp. It comes at a great price but doesn’t make any sacrifices in terms of quality. The obvious point to mention here is that the lamp doesn’t come with a base. For those happy to attach it to the edge of a table, that’d be no issue. You could also make a makeshift base from something like a book.
The width of the lens is great here at 4”, and that should give you a clear view of what you’re working on. The 2x magnification is ideal for many different tasks, and the lamp is nice and bright, with two brightness options available to you.
Adjustability is easy, and the clamp it comes with is nice and strong. For the cost, the materials used here are impressive, and while it’s not backed by a strong warranty, you shouldn’t have any issues with it.
More features: durable metal gooseneck, can run on batteries, glare-free illumination, high-quality optics
Standing magnifying lamps are brilliant due to their portability, making them very easy to use as the likes of hobby magnifying lamps or magnifying craft lamps. This model can also be used for a wide range of other reasons.
Despite that portability, this lamp has a heavy-duty build quality that’ll keep it shining for years to come. That’s backed by a 2-year warranty that should give you reassurance about its durability. That includes a solid base that helps keep it stable, but as with almost all table lamps, it can be a little top-heavy if you lean it too far.
The optics on this are excellent, allowing you to complete your work to the highest possible standard. While the 2x magnification is going to be suitable for most tasks, when you want to get even closer to the action, you can use a smaller 6x lens. Its adaptability is what helps to make this a perfect lamp.
More features: clamp, white color, 6,000 Kelvin, dust cover, easy to set-up and adjust
Some people don’t like freestanding lamps as they can find that they get in the way of their work. The solution to that is to get a magnifying lamp that you can clamp to your table and one that has a very long arm.
This model fits that criteria, which helps make it the best magnifying lamp for electronics or even the best magnifying lamp for fly tying. With it, you can work intently without anything getting in your way. That level of precision is also helped by the 2.25x magnification and the lack of glare given off by the light.
Along with a long arm, it also has a long power cord, aiding you in getting the lamp exactly where you want it. The design makes it very easy to move around, letting you work away without any frustrations. It’s a heavier lamp than many others, but with the strong clamp and materials, that doesn’t matter.
More features: uses 3 AA batteries or included adapter, flexible neck, crystal clear acrylic lens
In contrast to the previous model, this is the best magnifying desk lamp for anyone looking for something much more compact. It still has a wide lens at just 4″ but the smaller size, making it ideal for those who have portability near the top of their priorities.
One of the best features of LED magnifying lamps is their longevity. This should be able to last up to 50,000 hours, which is impressive, and the lifetime warranty backs that level of quality. That gives you peace of mind that you’re getting a high-quality model.
A feature that makes this the best magnifying lamp for cross stitch and many other activities is the 2x magnification and the 5x spot at the top of the larger lens. You can choose to either power is by 3 AA batteries or use the power cord, giving you greater flexibility. Added to that, the base is wide and stable, preventing you from knocking it over easily.
Warranty: 3 months of unconditional exchange, 3-year service
More features: dimmer with 10 levels, 3 light modes, clamp, convenient switch, fully adjustable construction
Here, we see another of the great magnifying lamps for reading that is suitable for many other tasks. It is on the bulkier side, and those looking for something a little smaller and compact may well want to look elsewhere. On the other hand, those looking for a brilliant large magnifying lamp won’t be disappointed.
The standout feature of this lamp is the level of adjustability that you have with the light. There are three different modes available, but also it features a dimmer with 10 different levels. It’ll allow you to get the perfect light for you in any setting and for any task.
The clamp will give a highly secure hold, and therefore, offer you the stability you need to concentrate. It also allows you to adjust it quickly into position for maximum usability. The long arm lets you work unrestricted, and the large lens allows you to focus on your task. It’s another fantastic option for those looking for a bigger magnifying lamp.
More features: 60 SMD LEDs, dimmer with 10 levels, 3 light modes, USB port, metal clamp
The previous model isn’t the only one that gives you fantastic adjustability when it comes to light. This one also has 10 various dimmer options along with 3 light modes. It ranks it as perhaps the best magnifying lamp for crafts and the best magnifying lamp for painting miniatures as you can get the light to match the task perfectly.
The light that it gives off comes from 60 different LEDs that give you that high-quality illumination and the longevity that comes with LED bulbs. The magnification of the lamp is quite high at 5x, and that may be even a little too strong for some.
A key aspect to note here is that the lamp has no regular plug, and therefore, you’ll have to have a USB connection or adapter to be able to use it. While that may be an inconvenience to some, the lamp has excellent quality and all the features you need to complete excellent work.
This is perhaps the sturdiest magnifying lamp on the list. That’s seen by the fact that it weighs 5lbs, which is a lot more than other models offer. That weight can be found in the solid metal frame and the clamp, which can keep it securely attached to any surface.
It’s great for those who want to have a static magnifying lamp that you can adjust quickly without worrying about stability. The only minor annoyance here is that the tightening screws are a little small for those who have smaller hands.
A good feature is the dust cover that’ll help to keep the lens clean at all times. That lens has a high level of clarity and can aid in your completing high-quality work. The adjustability here is fantastic, and you’ll be able to get it into a precise position easily.
More features: non-slip design, heavy metal base, flexible gooseneck, cool-white light
Tabletop magnifying lamps are perfect for those who like to use them in multiple positions or are tighter for space. This is one of the best portable magnifying lamps around with a weight of just 2.5lbs but plenty of stability.
There have been some delivery issues as the packaging isn’t the best, but most people received their lamp with no issues. The magnification is immense here, with the main lens being 5x with a smaller lens allowing you to stretch that to 10x.
The non-slip design helps to keep it firmly in place, and the metal base aids with that. You can adjust the gooseneck to any position that you want without worrying about it tipping over. The cool-white light is impressive, and it doesn’t cause any glare.
Dimensions: 25.71” x 7.72” x 3.58”, up to 36″ high,
Weight: 2 lbs.
Warranty: 30-day return period
More features: flexible arm, clamp, heavy-duty springs, easy to use
Whereas most magnifying lamps have lights all-round the lens, this one has it directly underneath. Part of the reason for that is due to it supporting a regular bulb. While they don’t last as long as LED bulbs, these are easily replaced with minimal cost.
Despite it looks like it has a more complicated design, the lamp is easy to set up and adjust. The attachment is highly secure, and it will allow you to position it into place easily. The frequent spring adjustments can be a little annoying, but it is still very simple to do.
What many users love about this magnifying lamp is the long arm it has. It allows you to work effectively and freely, with it still being flexible. For those who prefer the lighting that you get from a bulb or those who want a changeable bulb, this is a great idea.
Why are we impressed?
Simple to set up
Allows you to change the bulb easily
What negatives must you be aware of?
Frequent spring adjustment can be annoying
Things to Consider
Getting the right magnifying lamp for your tasks is going to be important. You’ll know what type of magnification you’re looking for, but with many different features, it’s hard to know which is the best for you. To help you out, we’ve looked at all of the key aspects in detail and how they relate to your needs. Once you’ve finished reading, you should have all the information to make the right choice. If you’re left with any doubts, we also have an FAQ section to clear everything up.
Advantages of magnifying lamps
Magnifying lamps are great for many reasons, and here, we’ll look at the main ones.
Focused light – Instead of using a light source from the side or the main light, a magnifying lamp allows you to shine a light directly onto the work you’re doing. This will give you clarity and prevent shadows from getting in your way.
Hands-free – For some tasks, people will hold a light source or magnification in one hand and try and complete a task with the other. With one of these lamps, you’ll have your hands free and able to finish your task with higher efficiency.
Closer look – Some tasks are simply very hard to complete with the naked eye. Being able to take a closer look is vital in completing intricate work to a high standard.
Versatile – It could be that you have one specific task in mind for your magnifying lamp, but a lot of these models can be used in various situations. Whether it is crafts, electronics, or reading, you’re going to get plenty of use out of these magnifying lamps.
How to pick the best magnifying lamp?
Everyone is different, and the best magnifying lamp for one person may be different from the best lamp for someone else. Firstly, you want to know exactly what you want your lamp for and look for the one that’ll make that task as easy as possible. As we go through each feature, it’s a good idea to think about how it relates to you and how simple it is to use and adjust. By the end, you should have a clear picture of exactly what you need.
How bright do you need your lamp to be? If it’s too bright, then you can be blinded by it and can find that it distracts away from your work. The 790 lumens found in the Top-Spring LED Magnifying Lamp should be more than enough.
If you like the idea of being able to alter your light, then the LANCOSC LED Magnifying Lamp can be a brilliant option as it has three light modes and 10 dimmer options.
Having adjustable light levels and being able to switch between warm and cool modes might seem appealing for many users.
Some tasks need high magnification, while with others, that requirement would be minimal. For those needing the closest possible look, the Eurotool Reading Lamp can give you up to 10x magnification. For those searching for something a lot more subtle, the 1.75x of the Studio Designs 12308 Magnifying Lamp would be perfect.
You’ll often see ‘diopter’ referred to when it comes to magnification, and this is in relation to the curvature of the lens.
The higher the diopter, the more magnification. A great feature on some of these lenses is that they’ll often have a smaller spot lens inside them, which can give you higher magnification than the main lens.
Whatever type of lens you’re getting, it needs to be of high quality and allow you to have a clear vision of what you’re doing. As mentioned, getting a lens that contains a smaller lens inside, such as can be seen on the Light It! By Fulcrum Lamp is a great option.
You also have to choose a diameter that is most suitable for you. The Eclipse 902-109 Magnifier Workbench Lamp has a wide diameter at 5”, while others have between 4” and 5”. Your requirement will depend on how detailed your work needs to be.
Most of these lamps are going to last for a very long time. That’s because the majority of them contain LEDs that have a very long lifespan, usually up to 50,000 hours, and this can be seen with the Carson DeskBrite200.
If the lamp has another type of bulb, then it’s not going to last as long. The Studio Designs 12308 Magnifying Lamp has a regular bulb but one that can easily be replaced, allowing you to keep using the lamp once it dies.
There are two main types of magnifying lamps, and they are either clamped of freestanding. A clamped model, such as the Eclipse 902-109 Magnifier Workbench Lamp needs to be attached to something like the edge of a table. While this can be tricky for some, it ensures great stability and allows you to adjust it freely without worrying about it tipping over.
Your other option is to have a freestanding lamp. This allows much greater portability, as you can put it anywhere, as we see with the Eurotool Reading Lamp. The downsides here are that they need to be a little smaller and don’t have that high stability.
Dimensions and weight
You’ll probably have a location where your magnifying lamp is going to be placed. If this is a tighter space, you may want to look for something smaller and lighter. This will also be true if you plan on using your lamp in multiple locations.
For those looking for a wider space, they’ll perhaps be looking for a magnifying lamp with an extendable arm.
The magnifying lamps that have a clamp can often be stretched across a workspace, and thus, you won’t have to worry about the neck getting in your way.
It’s always nice to have a long warranty on any product that you have. With magnifying lamps, you want to ensure that you can use it without fear of it breaking. All the models that we have looked at here have a high level of quality.
That being said, you always like to have the peace of mind that comes with a long warranty, such as the limited lifetime warranty you get on the Carson DeskBrite200. A lot of others in this list will simply have a 30-day return window.
It’s always nice to have some extra features, and here, we look at those that make the product more appealing.
Dimmer and light modes – If you need different light settings for different projects, then look for a lamp that has a dimmer.
Dust cover – Your lens needs to remain clear, and for some, this means constant cleaning. To reduce that maintenance, a dust cover can be very helpful.
Battery power – For the ultimate in portability, look for a magnifying lamp that can be powered via battery as well as an adapter.
It’s not going to be difficult to assemble your magnifying lamp. Most of them are fairly simple to install, and you’ll be able to start using them in no time at all. Sometimes a small amount of assembly is required, but if so, they will come with a guide to make it as easy as possible. You may be looking at some of the magnifying lamps with springs and thinking that they look quite complicated. While that may be true, thankfully, those ones are going to come pre-assembled, and therefore, you’re not going to need to worry about it.
Each type of lens will have its own sweet spot. This is the distance where the magnification is going to be the clearest. On these lamps, you’ll have a static lens that can’t be focused in the same way that you could do with a pair of binoculars. The way to adjust this is simply by moving your eye level closer or further away from the lens. It could also be that the lens may be a little too close or far away from what you’re looking at. Usually, only simple adjustments are going to be required to get the perfect focus.
Magnifying lamps are usually quite affordable, but there is still a range of price options, usually between around $30-$80. For a budget option, the Brightech LightView Pro Flex is excellent while still having a high level of quality and performance.
An example of a lamp at the top range is the Light It! By Fulcrum that uses durable materials, while also having excellent features. In the mid-range, you can get a product, such as the LANCOSC LED Magnifying Lamp, that looks brilliant and allows you to complete excellent work in exquisite detail.
We have seen a range of magnifying lamps here that are all fantastic. The one that stood out the most for us was the Brightech LightView Pro Flex with the great features and reasonable price. It’s ideal for anyone looking for a high-quality freestanding model.
While these three are great, every model we’ve looked at here has its own brilliant qualities. All you need to do is choose the one that is most suitable for your tasks. Once you pick the best magnifying lamp, you’ll find out that completing intricate work is going to be easier than ever.