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The best book lights you can buy

ZDNET experts found the best book lights to read in bed, use while traveling, read outdoors, and more.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Sherin Shibu, Contributor
Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light | Best book light overall
Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light
Best book light overall
View now View at Amazon
Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light | Best compact book light
Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light
Best compact book light
View now View at Amazon
Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light | Best book light for reading before bed
Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light
Best book light for reading before bed
View now View at Amazon
Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp | Best book light for e-readers
Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp
Best book light for e-readers
View now View at Amazon
Flexilight Reading Light | Best versatile book light
Flexilight Reading Light
Best versatile book light
View now View at Amazon

Book lights (or reading lights) are a portable and convenient solution for reading in low-light situations. Whether you are traveling, reading in bed, or sharing a space, book lights help you immerse yourself in the story, or in some cases your creative work, without bothering anyone around you. 

The small, lightweight, attachable lights can be worn around your neck, head, or in most cases attached to a book or e-reader. While all do the basic feature of providing illumination unto your page, book lights often vary in size, weight, and brightness levels, among other features.  

Also: The best e-readers aren't all Kindle

Based on portability, brightness level, and design, ZDNET experts rounded up the best book lights you can buy with the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light as our top pick. Read on for more details, the pros and cons, along with other great options worth considering. 

The best book lights of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Different color temperature options
  • Adjustable arms
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable fit
  • Narrow beam angle
  • Very bright even on the lowest setting
  • Pricey
More Details

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light features: Color options: 7 | Color temperatures: 3 | Lumens: 40 | Brightness levels:

The Glucusent LED Neck Reading Light is our best overall pick due to its adjustable ergonomic and hands-free design, along with its low price point. It also happens to be the #1 best-selling product in the "book lights" category on Amazon.

This reading light comes in three different colors (gray, blue, and pink), three color temperatures (yellow, warm white, and cool white), and six brightness levels. Its narrow beam angle design allows it to shine bright on the book you're reading while being dim enough that it won't disturb your partner in bed. In addition, it can work up to 80 hours on one charge and gives off 40 lumens of light.

Also: The best Kindles you can buy

Pros & Cons
  • Super portable design
  • Charge it anywhere
  • Warm lighting
  • Built-in USB
  • Click can be loud
  • Only two brightness levels
More Details

Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light features: Color options: 6 | Lumens: 20 | Brightness levels:

If you're just looking for a simple, portable reading light, the Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light is a great option. With six different colors (blue, green, black, pink, white, and yellow), it gives off 20 lumens with 3000k of warm light temperature. Unfortunately, however, there are only two brightness levels.

Its 360-degree flexible holder lets you focus the light exactly where you want it. This light also has a built-in USB charger like the Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp for easy charging anywhere.

Pros & Cons
  • Amber glow doesn't block melatonin production
  • Blocks blue light
  • Four different color options
  • Long battery life
  • Clip is slightly too large
  • Metal can tear pages
More Details

Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light features: Color options: 4 | Lumens: 20 | Brightness levels: 3 | Weight: 2.15 ounces

The Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light gives off a soft, amber glow that blocks 99.95% of the blue light spectrum so that your melatonin production is not interrupted when you use a light to read.

It comes in black, blue, red, and white with a 360-degree gooseneck design. Its three different brightness levels give off a maximum of 60 lumens while ensuring the light's color temperature does not affect your eyes at night.

Pros & Cons
  • Durable clip
  • Easy charging
  • Fast charging
  • Flexible arm
  • Not a long battery life
  • Limited brightness
More Details

Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp features: Brightness levels: 4 | Lumens: 23 | Brightness Levels: 4 | Battery: Up to 4 hours

If you use an older e-reader that does not have a backlight built-in, you'll need a reading light for nighttime reading. You can clip it to the back of your e-reader or a regular hardcover book.

Also: The best tablets for reading 

This reading light has four brightness levels, the highest being 23 lumens. It can last four hours on a full charge, and its charging port is built right in, so there's no need for a cord to charge your reading light.  

Pros & Cons
  • Plenty of fun displays
  • Doubles in use as a bookmark
  • Flexible
  • Affordable
  • Cannot adjust brightness
  • Light could be a warmer shade
More Details

Flexilight Reading Light features: Color options: 27 | Lumens: 8 | Weight: .8 ounces

This reading light also doubles as a placeholder for where you left off in your book. With 27 colors and designs to choose from, it's a stylish bookmark/book-light option. There are even styles geared towards kids.

It's lightweight and thin enough to use as a bookmark, so you can always have it with you and your book of choice. It gives off 8 lumens of light; however, there is only one brightness level, so it cannot be adjusted. Also, keep in mind you'll have to replace the batteries down the line since it is battery-powered.

What is the best book light?

The Glucusent LED Neck Reading Light is our top pick for the best book light because of its ergonomic design and six different brightness levels. However, if you're looking to shine a light on your e-reader, the Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp is a great pick. And, if you're concerned about bright light interrupting your sleep cycle, the Vekki Amber Rechargeable Book Light's soft amber glow will be best for you.

Since, ultimately, the best book light depends on your needs, we've narrowed down other factors like price, lumens, and brightness levels below so you can choose the reading light that's best for you. 

Best book light



Brightness levels

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light


40 lumens


Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light


20 lumens


Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light


60 lumens


Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp


23 lumens


Flexilight Reading Light


8 lumens


 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which book light is right for you?

While many of these book lights are great options, it ultimately comes down to how bright of a light you want, what size you prefer, and what price you're willing to spend.

Choose this book light...

If you want...

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

The best overall option book light. It has an adjustable and ergonomic design, lasting up to 80 hours on a single charge.

Dewenwils USB Rechargeable Book Light

A compact book light. This reading light is simple and portable, with a 360-degree flexible holder.

Vekkia Amber Rechargeable Book Light

A soft, amber light to read at night. Avoid blue light that could contribute to wakefulness at night -- while also reading your favorite books. 

Ytuomzi LED Reading Lamp

A book light for your e-reader. You can clip this light to the back of your e-reader or a regular hardcover novel. 

Flexilight Reading Light

A book light that can also double as a bookmark. This flexible reading light is lightweight and thin, with only one brightness level. 

How did we choose these book lights?

We selected these book lights and reading lights based on the number of positive reviews on each product and reading customers' experiences with the products. 

Ultimately we compared the following factors when selecting our top picks: 

  • Construction: From metal to plastic, book lights are made of many different materials. Consider durability and whether each book light will work with the type of books you read. 
  • Brightness levels: Some book lights allow you to control the brightness levels of your book light. This means that you can easily adjust lighting based on the time of day and your location. While some reading lights do not allow you to make adjustments at all, we found that our top pick for the best book light, the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light, has the most brightness levels, with six total. 
  • Price: Book lights are generally affordable, but the cost can vary based on things like features and construction. The best book lights range in cost from $9 to $22, making it easy to purchase your new book light for less than $25.

How do book lights work?

Book lights allow you to read in the dark. Many models come with a clip you slide onto your book. 

From there, you use the bendable arm to pool the light over the reading surface at an angle that works for you. 

What is the difference between a book light and a reading light?

In this guide, we chose both book lights and reading lights. The names are used interchangeably, for a device that's meant to illuminate a small area so that you can get a better, closer look. 

While a book light tends to be a type of light specifically used for reading a book or novel, a reading light can be used for not only reading but also writing, sketching, working on a computer, or crafting. But, again, both lights are considered the same thing. 

What batteries do book lights use?

It's common for book lights to draw their power from Lithium or AAA batteries. If your book light contains rechargeable batteries, you'll have 6 to 10 hours of use between charges. 

Are there alternative book lights to consider?

We chose a variety of book lights based on pricing, functionality, and more. If these options don't work, here are a few more reading lights to consider: 

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