The magnifying lamp. It sounds simple enough. And for anyone who suffers from anything as simple as strained eyesight to severe ocular conditions such as macular degeneration, they’re unquestionably a boon.
Enough high powered light to illuminate whatever task you’re working on – reading, crafts and hobbies, electronics – and what else do you need to take into consideration?
Well, unfortunately…. Quite a bit. Not only are there various types and design of magnifying lamps currently available, but they are simply not one size fits all tools. There are numerous styles and models available, and your selection is entirely subject to your needs.
For the sake of convenience, we can condense the more common types into three separate categories: floor lamps, desk lamps, and workbench lamps. We’ll review some of the best sellers in each category, as well as a brief buyer’s guide to keep in mind when shopping.
Brightech LightView PRO LED Magnifying Lamp Review
There’s a 5-inch diameter lens with a 9-inch focal range and magnifies up to 225%, making it ideal for everything from delicate knit working to jewelry making.
The integrated 9 watt LED bulb is designed to stay cool even after several hours and is one of many energy-saving features of this versatile lamp.
Carson DeskBrite200 LED Lighted 2x Magnifier and Desk Lamp Review
Dual powered by both batteries and a standard AC/DC adapter, this lamp boasts a 200% magnifying range and a 4-inch lens, lit by two strong LED lights.
The fully adjustable neck has a 12-inch range, and both the low cost and the manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty make this an excellent no-frills investment.
Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp Review
With a 3-inch diameter lens and a magnifying range of up to 175%, this lamp also comes with a detachable base for those who would prefer a traditional stationary desk lamp.
The flexible 13-inch gooseneck is designed for easy positioning.
The lens is powered by a 6 watt LED integrated light designed to save energy and is also guaranteed not to overheat, and comes with a full 3-year warranty.
Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Floor Lamp Review
The lamp’s magnification range is up to 175%; and like the other Brightech products we’ve reviewed, features a low heat integrated LED light backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
One added bonus is that since this model is hands-free, it’s perfect for tablets, e-readers and even mobile phones.
Magnifying Lamp Buying Guide – How to find the best magnifying lamp for your needs!
There are numerous models of magnifying lamps available on the market, ranging from budget brands to high-end professional strength ones.
Don’t let the price fool you; sometimes even budget models can prove just as effective as their professional counterparts. Let’s look at a few things to take into consideration.
The above models we reviewed feature LED lights, while most older models feature fluorescent bulbs. There are a few holdouts who still swear by fluorescent lighting; but since LEDs are substantially more energy friendly, emit less heat and are substantially less harsh on the eyes, they are ultimately the friendlier choice.
One important warning: if the lens is exposed to direct sunlight for any lengthy period of time, there is a potential risk of fire hazard. Keep your lens covered at all times.
The magnifying range is ultimately dependant on your activities with the lamp.
Most lenses have a diopter (the amount of curvature in a lens) range of between 3 and 5. A diopter range of 3 will appear 175% larger, while a range of 5 will appear 225%.
Pro-tip: when working with small, detailed or delicate objects, opt for the 5.
Generally speaking, this is also a matter of use. Hobbyists generally prefer workbench or clamping lamps, as they allow portability.
The stationary desk lamp is excellent for casual readers who are seated at a desk; and while the floor lamp is handy (with the added convenience of being hands free,) take some time to review the base.
Often times, cheaper models have less sturdy bases which can result in the lamp toppling over.