The Best Magnifying Lamps (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
See the finer details easier with a magnifying lamp
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON January 25, 2021
Do you work with small items, tiny parts, and hard-to-see pieces? You don’t have to struggle and strain your eyes as you work on complicated and compact projects — if you have the tools, that is. A magnifying lamp is the perfect workspace accessory and tool for anyone working with small details or tackling very precise processes. A magnifying lamp can help you see tiny details, parts, and pieces without difficulty, increasing your ability to see.
These unique lamps can help prevent problems like eye strain, vision fatigue, and dull lighting. Whether you’re a hobbyist, a jeweler, or even performing industrial inspections, there are plenty of ways you can benefit from a magnifying lamp. Check out some of the best magnifying lamps on the market in our guide below.
Constructed of glass, this lamp magnifies objects 175 percent. It has a 3-inch lens and focuses on items up to 13 inches away.
- Excellent clarity
- Diopter glass is less likely to fog up
- Flexible gooseneck can be angled many ways
- Neck could be a little more rigid
- Power cord is a little short. Base is a little unstable
This affordable lens provides 200 percent magnification. It's made of metal, has an LED bulb, and measures 11.2 x 5.2 x 3.9 inches.
- Light is clear and bright
- Brightness is adjustable
- Features an adjustable, flexible gooseneck
- Clamp is a little weak
- Flexible arm may not stay in place
- Lens scratches easily
This lamp has a three-diopter glass lens and magnifies items by 175 percent. It has a protective cover and uses a 12-watt light bulb.
- Provides a glare-free line of sight
- Base is heavy, so it’s less likely to tip over
- Two mounting options
- No clamp included
- Light could be a little brighter
- Light may burn out after a short period of use
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Magnifying Lamps
- Provide close-up views of tiny objects. You commonly see them at salons and spas where they are favored by beauticians, estheticians, and others who want to magnify a person's skin, nails, etc. Dentists, jewelers, and tattoo artists also use magnifying lamps in their professions.
- Illuminate large surface areas. They provide plenty of light and help you see what the naked eye struggles to decipher in detail.
- Prevent eye strain and fatigue. Magnifying lamps prevent eye strain when working on tiny pieces, particularly if precision is required. It is a useful device for older adults who need a little help reading the newspaper or other periodicals.
Types of Magnifying Lamps
Stationary magnifying lamps are similar to regular household lamps. They have a strong, stable base and a neck that resembles a traditional lamp. Often the arm/neck is flexible so that you can adjust it to the proper position. Some are designed to be placed on the floor, while others can be perched upon a desk or table.
You can use this type of lamp for reading or working on detailed craft projects. The downside is that the floor lamps, in particular, are less portable than those that are a little smaller. Also, if the base isn't heavy enough, it can tip over.
Clip-on magnifying lamps are much more portable, and you can use them in a variety of places. They are relatively compact, and some are smaller than stationary magnifying lamps. You can attach them to books or clipboards, making them very convenient for tasks such as reading.
Some clip-on magnifying lamps can be affixed to a workbench, tabletop, or desk, allowing you to complete tasks in the garage or a craft room with ease. This type of lamp is very versatile, and you can take it with you on the go should you need an option that works at home, in the office, and/or in the workshop.
Britech is a designer lighter company based in Los Angeles, Calif. Although it's only been around for eight years, the company has served over one million customers and produces indoor and outdoor lighting solutions. We recommend the Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp.
NeatFi is a family-oriented company based in Scottsdale, Ariz. It creates lighting systems with LED lights and aims to deliver unique and stylish solutions to its user base. One of its popular products is the Neatfi XL Bifocals Super LED Magnifier Lamp.
Magnifying Lamp Pricing
- $20-$40: The great thing about magnifying lamps is that they are quite affordable. Higher-quality and more feature-rich products will have a higher cost.
One of the essential features to consider when choosing a magnifying lamp is how much it actually magnifies an object. In general, they don't have a super-high level of magnification—they're intended to provide a little bit of magnification to aid in reading or to help you complete a sewing project.
At the very least, look for a product that provides at least five times magnification, which should be enough power to do most tasks around the home. However, if you know you need to perform extremely detailed work, look for units that provide even more magnification, so you can get the job done right.
Some magnifying lamps are brighter than others. One way to tell the difference between products is by looking at the bulb's number of lumens. At the very least, it should have 1,200 lumens—the more lumens it has, the brighter the light will be. Some brands even have adjustable lighting, which is very convenient.
If you want to control the brightness level, look for lights with a dimmer switch, so you can choose how much light is emitted. You can crank the brightness up or down, depending on the project. The more settings, the better because you will have more control overall.
Many magnifying lamps have flexible necks, so you're able to manipulate the device for the best position for your particular project. The more flexible the neck is, the easier it is to use. You can grasp the neck and move it closer for a good look at the item or move it out of the way when you no longer need the magnification.
This adjustability is very convenient, particularly if you don't need to stare through the lens the entire time you're working on a project. Some brands can be angled 360 degrees, while others aren't as versatile in their movement, so make sure to choose one that suits your needs.
- Lens Type. A magnifying lamp has either a glass or plastic lens built into the frame. Given a choice, you should always choose one with a glass lens because it's superior. Glass transmits light better and is more durable and long-lasting. It doesn't scratch as easily as a plastic lens. It's also easier to clean. The advantage of a plastic lens is that it's a little less expensive.
- Battery Life. While stationary magnifying lamps typically plug into a wall outlet, many clip-on units have batteries. The good news is that LED lights can last a good amount of time on a single charge. However, not all lamps are the same, so check the battery life to make sure it won't turn off while you're in the middle of a project.
Best Magnifying Lamp Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Consider the type of workspaces people typically have. Some lamps are more suitable to light a garage, while others are best for reading while you're relaxing on your couch.
- To clean the lenses, mix soap or cleanser with warm water and gently wipe the lens to remove acrylic paint and other debris.
- The majority of glass lenses on magnifying lamps don't have special coatings, so you don't have to worry about inadvertently damaging them when you clean them.
- As for plastic lenses, avoid harsh cleaning chemicals. Dish soap and warm water are your best bet, but you can also use a Windex-type product.
Q: What is the best magnifying floor lamp?
A: Many magnifying lamps provide useful magnification and brightness, and one good floor lamp option is the Light It! By Fulcrum, 12 LED Wireless Magnifying Floor Lamp.
Q: How do I choose a magnifier?
A: Decide how much magnification you require, and make sure it’s bright enough to help you with your task—whether that's working on mechanics or lighting a workspace. Also, determine if you want a stationary lamp or one that clips on to a book, bench, or desk.
Q: What is the strongest magnifying glass you can buy?
A: You can get lamps with a variety of different magnification levels. At the very least, choose one that magnifies objects by at least five times. Some provide 600 percent modification or more.
We like the Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp because it magnifies objects 175 percent and can focus on items that are up to 13-inches away. It also has an adjustable and flexible gooseneck, so you can angle it in any direction you want. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Dylviw Bright Light Magnifier Lamp.