The Best Book Lights for Getting Through Your To-Read List When It’s Dark Out

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Among the many benefits of reading, curling up with a book is a great way to relax before you go to sleep. But, unfortunately, an e-book isn’t always the best choice at bedtime, because the blue light from your phone or tablet can make it harder to fall asleep. If you opt for the more sleep-friendly option of a physical book but want to keep your room dark to help you wind down at night, a book light is the perfect solution. Plus, if you share your bed with your partner, the narrow beam of light produced by a book light won’t disturb their sleep. (Look at you, so considerate!) Read on for a handful of the best book lights around.

The best book lights, at a glance:

Types of book lights

You have two main options for book lights: One type clips to your book, while the other hangs around your neck (comfortably!). Beyond using it for bedtime reading, you can rely a book light to provide a little extra light when you’re knitting or cross-stitching, crafting, working on your car, or using a laptop that doesn’t have a lighted keyboard. If you have kids, you’ll help them ease into sleep by reading to them with a book light instead of a bright lamp or ceiling light.

Below, we’ve recommended the best book lights for curling up with a good read. And pssst: a book light also makes a great gift for the book lover in your life!

Shop 12 of the best book lights

vekkia clip on book light
Best overall: Vekkia, Amber Bookmark Book Light — $16.00

Blue light has been found to suppress melatonin, a hormone that your body releases at night and helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. This clip-on book light eliminates 99.95 percent of blue light and offers three color temperatures: amber, natural, and white. It has a dimming function, too. It’s also thin enough to use as a bookmark when folded flat—a pretty handy feature—and you can charge it with a laptop USB port, USB outlet, phone power bank, or car charger. A full charge gives you 20 hours of reading time.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Run time: 20 hours on full charge


  • Three different color temperatures (amber, natural, white) and adjustable brightness
  • Flexible neck
  • Built-in USB


  • Lowest setting is still rather bright
purple bigmonat clip on book light
Best for travel: BIGMONAT, Rechargeable Book Light — $9.00

This compact, clip-on book light (I’d even call it cute) sort of looks like a USB flash drive—and in fact, sliding up the top reveals a USB connector that lets you charge the book light using a phone power bank, car charger, USB port on your laptop, or USB outlet (no cable necessary!). The light has three temperature modes (warm 3000K, natural 5000K, and cool 8000K) and allows you to adjust the brightness between 10 and 100 percent. Besides this pretty shade of purple, this book light is available in a variety of other options like bright blue, lime green, and white.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: 7 hours on full charge


  • Built-in USB connector
  • Three temperatures and adjustable brightness
  • Body can be rotated 360 degrees


  • Metal clip isn’t that strong
flexlight bookmark book light
Best multi-use: Gifts for Readers & Writers, Flexilight Book Light — $10.00

Looking for something a bit more fun than the average black or white book light? This one comes in over 15 colors and patterns (!), from solid designs to cute animal prints. Some of the patterns were probably designed for kids—an adorable penguin, the poop emoji, and so on—but hey, there’s nothing wrong with indulging your inner child. Best of all, this book light is very flexible and is thin enough to use as a bookmark. (Note: It only has one brightness setting.)

Battery type: CR2016 lithium batteries (two included)


  • Flexible material helps angle the light
  • Lightweight and thin to double as a bookmark
  • Lots of fun color options


  • Only one brightness setting
  • Requires batteries
VAVOFO Rechargeable Reading Light clip on book light
Best adjustable: VAVOFO, Rechargeable Reading Light — $10.00

With seven LED lights, nine color temperatures, and three brightness settings, this light has plenty of options to make sure your nighttime reading is as comfortable as possible. It has up to a 32 hour battery life and a flexible neck, and comes in a variety of different colors. Plus, the battery indicator will help you keep tabs on your light’s life—that way you’re not left in the dark!

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: 32 hours on full charge


  • Nine color temperatures and three brightness settings
  • Can be used as a clip-on or freestanding
  • Has a battery display


  • A little heavy to clip on thin paperbacks

amber light plus night reading light book light
Best for blocking blue light: Amber Light +, Night Reading Light — $15.00

You don’t have to worry about this clip-on book light disrupting your sleep cycle like your phone or tablet can, because it eliminates 99.5 percent of blue light. Four hours of charging with the included micro USB charging cable will give you 30 hours of reading time, and you can adjust the brightness to 25, 50, or 100 percent—equal to 20, 40, and 80 lumens. (A standard 60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens.) At 2.5 ounces, it’s very light and perfect for travel.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: 30 hours on 4-hour charge


  • Removes 99.95 percent of blue light
  • Three brightness settings
  • Can be used as a clip-on or freestanding


  • Only one color light option (amber may not suit all readers)
energizer rechargeable clip on book light
Best for large books: Energizer, Clip On Book Light — $13.00

So, Energizer makes book lights—who knew? This one can either clip onto your book or stand by itself, and gives off a wide beam of light to accommodate larger books. The three dimmable light modes go from 10 to 100 lumens, (That’s using the highest brightness setting; lower settings will give you more time.) The book light has a shatterproof lens and comes with a USB charging cable.

Battery type: USB rechargeable (battery-powered option also available)

Runtime: 5.5 hours on a full charge



  • Wide beam suits larger books
  • Can be used as a clip-on or freestanding light
  • Three color temperature modes and adjustable brightness


  • Slightly heavier clip light (3.2 oz)
light it multiflex book lights
Best budget: LIGHT IT!, MultiFlex Reading Light — $9.00

If you do a lot of nighttime reading, this budget-friendly pick is probably a great clip-on book light for you. It runs on three AAA batteries (not included), so the battery compartment is bulkier than that of most book lights, but there’s something to be said for the convenience of common battery types. Plus, the light only uses one LED, so a battery set will last you a long time, even with regular use. This bright book light can clip onto your book—or many other things—or stand by itself. It is heavier though (again, batteries!) so it’s probably a better fit for hardcover books.

Battery type: AAA batteries


  • Budget-friendly price
  • Can be used as a clip-on or freestanding


  • Requires three AAA batteries (not included)
  • No brightness or temperature settings
Best small light: WITHit Clip On Book Light — $13.00

These cute little book lights weigh in at 2.4 ounces and bend to be perfectly portable for travel. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other lights on this list, as there’s only one brightness setting. But, with a variety of patterns to choose from, this is is a great compact option for paperback books. While this model is designed to run on non-rechargeable batteries (two are included with your purchase), the brand also sells a similar rechargeable model for just a couple dollars more.

Battery type: CR2032 lithium batteries (2 included)


  • Compact and portable
  • Available in several fun designs
  • Small enough for lighter paperbacks


  • No brightness or temperature settings
vekkia 14 led rechargeable book lights
Best brightness modes: Vekkia, 14 LED Rechargeable Book Light — $29.00

This lightweight lamp features nine brightness modes—in warm, white, bright, soft tones—to protect your eyes at night. It has a clip that fits on books of all sizes and the whale-tail design of the light heads means you can easily customize the beams. Best of all, while this light covers a lot of ground, it weighs only 2.3 ounces!

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: 80 hours (on low light) with full charge


  • Nine levels of brightness
  • Adjustable beams
  • Fits on books and Kindles


  • Some people say the control switch is inconveniently placed

glocusent neck book light
Best neck light for reading: Glocusent, LED Neck Reading Light — $30.00

A neck reading light is a great choice if you want to keep your books clip-free and pristine. They’re less common than clip-on book lights (and they look a bit like medical devices, TBH), but they’re versatile and easily portable. This one is the #1 bestseller in the Book Lights category at Amazon—it has an ergonomic design with three light settings (yellow, warm white, and cool white) and three brightness levels. Plus, each side can be adjusted independently. When charged fully with the included USB-C cable, it can last from six to 80 hours (!), depending on the brightness level you choose. It’s also available a variety of colors, like purple, blue, and pink.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: Up to 80 hours on full charge


  • Ergonomic design  
  • Three temperature color modes and three brightness settings
  • Battery up to 80 hours


  • Some folks say the lowest setting is still bright
Vekkia Rechargeable Neck Reading Light
Best neck light runner-up: Vekkia, Rechargeable Neck Reading Light — $27.00

With four flicker-free LED lights and three brightness settings, this neck light can be used for reading, puzzling, and other activities that need just a little extra brightness. It has flexible arms, each with its own switch, to give you options to vary your light, an included micro-USB cable, and it has up to 40 hours of battery life.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: Up to 40 hours on full charge


  • Ergonomic design
  • Three brightness settings
  • Each light can be used independently


  • Shorter battery life than the pick above
  • Some folks say the lowest setting is still bright
bentesh neck hug neck book light
Best multipurpose neck light: Betensh, LED Neck Reading Light — $20.00

Neck lights can be used for much more than reading! This pick features spotlight and wide-beam modes that can be helpful for nighttime dog walks or camping trips. Plus, the design is flexible, so when you are reading in bed, you can easily direct the light away from your partner. This neck light has four brightness settings and lasts for 60 hours on a full charge from the included micro USB charging cable.

Battery type: USB rechargeable

Runtime: 60 hours on full charge


  • Spotlight and wide-beam mode for outdoor use
  • Adjustable arms for targeted light


  • Less dim options for reading indoors

Things to consider while shopping

Weight (and your preferred book type)

If you're a paperback-lover leaning toward a light that attaches to your book, you'll want to take stock of the device's weight. A light will typically attach to a hardcover just fine, but heavier lights can put strain on a precious paperback.

Charging vs. batteries

Would you prefer a book light that is USB rechargeable or battery operated? Our list contains both, and the answer is a matter of personal preference. Something to keep in mind: if you're going to be using your book light often, a rechargeable light will save you buying batteries in the long run.

Brightness and color settings

For some, one light setting works just fine. But if you have sensitive eyes (or just want more control over your brightness), you may want to opt for a book light with adjustable settings. Plenty of the lights on our list offer multiple brightness levels and color tones so you can find the right fit for your eyes, no matter where you are.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best color light for reading books?

Research suggests that lower temperatures of warm white light is easier on the eyes. Look for a book light that offers warmer temperature settings, ideally with adjustable brightness so you can find the amount of light that feels comfortable for you while you read.

How long do LED book lights last?

Many rechargeable LED book lights will last anywhere from 5-80 hours on a full charge, depending on the size of the light (larger book lights typically hold longer charges) and the brightness you're using.

Are reading lights worth it?

If you're an avid reader, a book light will help you keep the pages turning, even when things get dark. Plus, many reading lights are relatively affordable ($9-$30) and, thanks to USB charging, are relatively low maintenance. If you're hoping to avoid straining your eyes or bothering your partner in bed, a book light is a great solution.

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