What is the Best Light for Reading?

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"What is the best light for reading?" It’s a question that you may have never asked yourself before, but it is certainly one that deserves an answer! If you enjoy reading, whether this is in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, or even all three, then you need to invest in a good-quality reading light.

After all, a good reading light is really going to enhance your reading enjoyment. Not only will it allow you to concentrate on the material and immerse yourself in the story, but it will also have a positive effect on your health. The best book light will help prevent the tired, strained eyes and headaches that can be the result of using a less-than-perfect light source.

Hence, we’re going to evaluate three of the most popular types of light source for reading to see which one may be the best for you.

Best Light for Reading

What is the Best Light for Reading: The Options

Lamps

A lamp is probably one of the light sources that we all have access to, and when we say lamps, we are pertaining to freestanding corner lamps and overhead lights which operate using traditional, low-energy, or filament style bulbs.

These are probably not even dedicated reading lights, but just the normal lights that are found in your home. Not because they are ubiquitous, we’re not saying that you should replace all these lights. We’re just looking at how good they are as potential reading lights.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective: As we said, this is probably the type of light your house is already full off. So, there’s perhaps no additional investment required, unless you want to invest in a new lamp.
  • User-friendly: They are easy to use most likely because these are fixtures and fittings that you have been in contact with every day.
  • Powerful: They produce a lot of light, as they are probably designed to illuminate entire rooms.

Cons:

  • Not pleasant to the eyes: The light they produce can be a little harsh but mainly because lamps and overhead lights are, as we said above, designed to be powerful enough to illuminate big areas. This can create an uncomfortable glare on the page that can make your eyes feel tired and scratchy.
  • Unfocused light: The light they cast is not aimed at anything as lamps are intended to fill an area with light. This can make them a bad option if you are trying to read in an area you share with other people like while reading in bed with your partner.
Dedicated reading lights

Candles

The candle is the so-called original reading light. If you want to read during the hours of darkness back in the day, then it was candles or nothing! These days, not many illuminate their entire homes with candles. Instead, it’s almost seen as a bit of a treat.

An example of this could be a person having a long, hot bath on a sleepy Sunday evening, lighting a few candles, and losing themselves in a good book. Sound’s idyllic, right?

Pros:

  • Real indulgence: As we said, reading by candlelight is usually something of an indulgence, mainly because locating and lighting enough candles can be a bit of pain in the backside.
  • Great ambiance: Candles create an atmosphere of their own. There is probably nothing quite like settling down to read a book by the flickering light of a candle. It can also really help to create an atmosphere that almost enhances what you read on the page; try reading a good horror novel by candlelight to understand what we mean!

Cons:

  • Expensive: It’s not a cheap option because it’s going to take more candles to generate enough light to read comfortably.
  • Disposable: Candles are also not rechargeable or renewable, so once they burn down, they have to be replaced.
  • Dangerous: Candles can also be a dangerous source of light. You need to remember to blow them out when you’re done. If you’re the type of person who falls asleep while reading, then they can be quite dangerous.

LED Book Light

The new kid on the block, LED book lights, and they are gaining tremendous popularity as a suitable book reading light. They may lack the romance of a flickering candle, but they are certainly a practical option.

Pros:

  • Designed for the task: This means that they are not producing a harsh, bright light like lamps or overhead bulbs. They instead provide a lovely, warm light that is a pleasure to read with.
  • Small and unobtrusive while also being long-lasting: LEDs have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours (that’s a lot of books, even if you are a very slow reader!)
  • Accurate: They are accurate in the sense that the light they produce hits the page with minimal light escaping around them. This makes them very useful for people who like to read in a shared room.

Cons:

  • Can be expensive: LED lights would certainly put a more significant dent in your credit card than a simple pack of candles.
  • Battery powered: If you don’t remember to keep fresh batteries on hand or recharge the book light (as the case demands), you could find yourself without any light source while reading.

FINAL VERDICT

When it comes to what is the best light for reading, we’d like to say candles because there is just something incredibly romantic and ethereal about reading books by candlelight. However, there are too many impractical considerations to make them an everyday book light. By all means, though, you can light a few now and then for a real treat of a reading session.

That said, while they may lack the romance of a flickering candle, LED book lights certainly tick all the boxes as an everyday, practical option.

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