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

Photo: Getty Images/ Elva Etienne
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Reading a book is a great way to relax before you go to sleep, but unfortunately, an e-book isn’t the best choice, because the blue light from your phone or tablet can make it harder to fall asleep. If you go with the more sleep-friendly option of a physical book but like 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!)

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.

Best book lights

BIGMONAT Rechargeable Book Light — $12.00

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!). One full charge gives you eight hours of reading time! The light has two modes and allows you to adjust the brightness from 10 percent to 100 percent. Besides this pretty shade of purple, this book light is available in bright blue, lime green, and white.

Vekkia Amber Bookmark Book Light — $18.00

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. The book light is 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.

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 gives you 32 choices (!), from flamingos to geometric designs to cute potted cacti. Some of the designs were probably designed for kids—a bright blue bookworm, a mummy, and so on—but hey, there’s nothing wrong with indulging your inner child. The book light is very flexible and is thin enough to use as a bookmark. (Note: It only has one brightness setting.)

Best clip-on book lights

amber light
Amber Light + Night Reading Light — $15.00

You don’t have to worry about this clip-on book light disrupting your sleep 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.

Energizer Clip On Book Light — $15.00

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, and with a full charge, you’ll get 5.5 hours of reading time. (That’s using the highest brightness setting; lower settings will give you more time, of course.) The book light has a shatterproof lens and comes with a USB charging cable.

light it
LIGHT IT! by Fulcrum Book Light — $7.00

If you do a lot of nighttime reading, this is probably the ideal clip-on book light for you. With a full charge, it’ll provide 28 hours of light on high or 48 hours on low. (You may not want to complete those hours consecutively.) It runs on three AAA batteries (not included), so the battery compartment is bulkier than that of most book lights, but that’s why this light could be more convenient than the ones that need less common battery types. This bright book light can clip onto your book—or many other things—or stand by itself.

WITHit Clip On Book Light — $13.00

These cute book lights are more fun than the average model because they offer six design options, as well as plain white for the minimalists out there. Here are your choices: a cartoon owl, a pretty paisley print, a pile of books (very meta), a peacock feather, a baseball, and … a flaming football. At 2.4 ounces, it’s perfectly portable for travel. This book light is designed to run on non-rechargeable batteries, but the brand also sells a similar rechargeable model for just a couple dollars more.

Best neck reading lights

neck hug
Betensh LED Neck Reading Light — $13.00

If you’d rather not clip something to your book, a neck reading light could be the perfect solution. 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. For example, if you’re walking your dog at night, just throw this around your neck for an easy light source. The design is flexible, so when you’re 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.

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light — $22.00

A neck reading light is a great choice if you want to keep your books clip-free and pristine—and 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. When charged fully with the included USB-C cable, it can last from six to 80 hours (!), depending on the brightness level you choose. Want a more interesting color that what’s pictured here? It’s also available in pink and bright blue.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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