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How to Choose Book Light Based on Brightness Levels & Color Temperatures?

Useful Lighting Tips for Book Lights

People are always confused about what are the brightness levels and color temperatures needed for a good book light? Or what color lighting is best for reading or studying? We'll provide you with some lighting tips for book light in this article.

It is recommended to use amber lights for reading before sleep, cool white lights for general readings, and brighter white lights for studying and working; combined with soft to strong brightness levels for different ages or purposes from 20 lumens to above 150 lumens.We will elaborate on both color temperatures and brightness levels in detail in this article so that you can make a better decision before purchasing.

Book lovers long for a portable and versatile book reading light with fantastic lighting effects to satisfy their needs in different reading environments, such as reading in bed before sleep, general reading in a living room, or precise reading in a study room. In this case, lighting effects can't be more crucial to a good LED book light. Generally, lighting effects related to a book light refer to color temperature and brightness level. Consumers need to take these two factors as the primary considerations when choosing the most suitable book reading light.

Before you do the purchasing, the first thing you need to confirm is the everyday use of a book light. Is it for outdoor use or at home? The brightness level requirements may differ from your applying purposes, and the brightness level should also be adjusted easily according to your needs.

The next factor is color temperature. What exactly is color temperature? Briefly, color temperature concerns a black object whose spectrum mostly resembles a given light source, measured in Kelvin degrees on a scale of 1,000 to 10,000. As you may know, LED book lights usually come in three different color temperatures: amber lights (around 1800k), warm lights (2700k-3000k), and cool lights (over 5000k), and they are applied in different scenarios.

Ideally, a good LED book reading light should be equipped with different color temperatures and brightness levels. The Glocusent book lights are good illustrations of practical and superb book light standards. Take Glocusent neck light as an example; it has 3 color modes and 6 brightness levels; book lovers can choose a comfortable setting as they prefer for different purposes, like knitting, camping or repairing, etc. 

best book light with 3 color modes and 6 brightness levels

What Is LED?

In the first place, to pick the most suitable LED book reading light, we should know the basics of LED lighting. LED stands for light-emitting diode, a semiconductor light source. How does the LED lighting work exactly? Technically, an electrical current pass through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources that we call LEDs and results in visible light.

The light-emitting diode (LED) is today's most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technology. LED is an efficient light source for short distances or small areas, so book lamps are usually made with LED lights. Plus, LED lights are more durable and shockproof than glass bulb lamp types. 

Then how is LED lighting different than other light sources such as incandescent and compact fluorescent? 

LEDs are directional light sources, indicating they emit light in a specific direction, unlike other light sources, which emit light and heat in all directions. Therefore, LEDs can be more focused, using light and energy in many applications. Economically speaking, compared with other light sources, choosing a LED book reading light will save you more energy costs per year. 

understand LED spectrum when choosing the suitable book light

Brightness Levels

The brightness level of a book reading light is associated closely with the lumen. Lumens are now a new way of knowing how bright a lamp or a book reading light is, which measures the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time. In other words, lumens equal the light output; the higher lumens bring brighter lighting, and different lumens respond to different brightness levels.

You may ask the question: how many lumens do I need? There is no firm answer. It's all based on your own needs and tastes. There are 4 types of book reading lights, each of which aims for diverse circumstances. The requirements of brightness levels vary based on various purposes. Thus, you are allowed to pick the most suitable one as you expect.

How Many Lumens for A Neck Light?

For the neck reading light, 60 lumens will be bright enough. If you are a fan of knitting, for instance, 60 lumens enable you to see the needles and patterns clearly, even with brunet yarns; with 60 lumens, you can also read in bed before sleep. Most importantly, with the neck reading book light, there will be no interference caused to your partner, who may sound asleep next to you; the light with 60 lumens will fall on any place you want to light.

How Many Lumens Do You Need for Reading Before Sleep?

Then what is the best lighting for reading at night? As for the amber book light, 20 lumens are normally preferred. It is widely used for reading in bed before sleep with the special amber mode. The soft and gentle amber light will stimulate your body to produce more melatonin naturally. As a result, an amber book reading light has a perfect marriage with 20 lumens for the best eyesight protection and eye strain prevention. Besides, the light of 20 lumens is enough to light up the right and left pages of the entire book.

How Many Lumens Is Good for Bedside Lighting?

The clip-on book lights require more lumens. Because the clip-on book lights generally have bigger sizes and heavier weights. Hence, consumers usually use clip on book lights for multi-purposes, especially as a fixed bed reading lamp or a reading light clipping on the bed headboard. For a well-designed clip-on book light, reaching more than 150 lumens is a common practice to light up the entire bedroom or study room, not only for the book reading purpose.

Why Book Lights for Kids Should be Lower Lumens?

Children are commonly perceptive of strong lights when they are reading, especially using a book reading light to do some reading before sleep. Therefore, the light has to be soft, gentle, and extra eye-caring for kids. 15 lumens are preferable when choosing a book reading light for kids since kids' eyes are not fully developed, and strong or harsh light may injure their immature retina.

As a result, a delightful book reading light with adjustable brightness level setting seems adorable and attractive to those book lovers or avid readers. Consumers can easily adjust brightness levels to meet all their lighting needs to have a comfortable and cozy surrounding and a better reading experience.

Color Temperature

Apart from brightness level, color temperature is another crucial consideration. Color temperature refers to a system using numerical values to measure the color characteristics of a light source on a spectrum ranging from warm to cool colors. The numerical values can be indicated as degrees Kelvin, noted by the symbol K. In non-specialists saying, color temperature signifies a way of describing the warmth or coolness color features of a light source.

People may associate the color orange with warm and blue with cold. However, on the color temperature chart, it's the opposite. An easy trick to remember and understand is that blue flames are technically hotter than orange flames, meaning they have a higher temperature. Thus, colors with higher color temperatures are cooler colors.

how to choose a book light based on color temperature

Aside from choosing different kinds of book reading lights, a color temperature chart can help you determine which LED book light is right for you. 


  • Less than 2000k: a dim glow of light, similar to candlelight; suitable for low light areas where ambient illumination is preferred.
  • 2000k-3000k: a soft white glow, usually yellow in appearance; suitable for living rooms or bedrooms.
  • 3100k-4500k: a bright amount of white light; suitable for kitchens, offices, or workplaces requiring task lighting.
  • 4600k-6500k: a bright amount of blue-white light; similar to daylight; suitable for places for displaying.
  • 6500k and up: similar to natural daylight from the sun; commonly used for farming, greenhouses, or other agricultural purposes.
Three primary color temperatures correspond closely to a good book reading light, namely "amber lights" (around 1800k), "warm white lights" (2700k-3000k), and "cool white lights" (over 5000k)

What is the Best Lighting for Reading before Bed?

Amber lights provide readers with eyesight protection and eye care and can prevent eye strain. Most importantly, amber tints could reduce glare and blue light, also increase contrast as well as visual acuity. Scientifically, the amber lights can stimulate your body to produce more melatonin naturally to improve sleep quality. So, amber color temperature is a significant feature of a good book reading light.

Is Warm White Light Good for Reading?

The warm white lights with 2700k-3000k color temperatures are commonly used in homes, restaurants, and hotels, owing to their warm, cozy, and inviting glow of light. The 3000k color temperature also increases a bit of clarity for completing tasks. Undoubtedly, it's also perfect for extensive reading when you want a relaxing reading time after dinner or afternoon reading on a rainy day.

What is the Best Lighting for Studying and Working?

Some tasks, jobs, or places require bright white lighting with over 5000k color temperature for ultimate clarity. Places like a hospital, warehouses, ER rooms, and other industries require the brightest light to perform tasks correctly. People who work in these places may need a neck light to work precisely with their hands free.

Color temperature has important implications for lighting, and a good book reading light requires at least 3 different color temperatures to meet consumers' needs from a broad range of aspects. 

Color Rendering Index, CRI

When picking the right book reading light, CRI (Color Rendering Index) for lighting plays a role. It is an assessment of how the light source shows object colors "naturally" when compared to an everyday basis of reference, either incandescent light or daylight, and it's measured as a number between 0 and 100. The color rendering index also influences lighting effects to some extent.

For example, textiles in a shop might differ from in daylight, which is certainly not intended. But it is the result of the poor color rendering index of the lighting in the shop. Similarly, if you want the pictures in those storybooks to be vivid and attractive, you need to buy a reading book light with high CRI. Light resources with a CRI of 80 to 90 are regarded as good, and those with a CRI of 90+ are excellent.

the best book light should have a high CRI

You can easily understand through the given examples that CRI is a simple and helpful lighting spec to predict how sound the visual output of a product will be. In terms of the color rendering index, the closer to 100, the better or more authentic the color should look under its light. Choosing a book light with a higher CRI rating ensures you get the most accurate color portrayal during bed reading.

high CRI of a good book reading light

Last, it would help to consider other considerations when choosing a suitable book reading light. For instance, people may always deal with the flickering or dazzling light and think it's harmless. But after it starts to happen more regularly, it'll be harmful to your eyes. Therefore, you should check the LED lighting bulb, confirming if it's tight or compatible with your dimmers. In addition, you will have to avoid the harsh lights from your book reading lamp, which is caused by false mechanic design, for example, lighting without covering. Most importantly, if you consider yourself a book lover, fond of reading in bed before sleep, you should choose a book reading light with amber mode lighting to protect your eyesight. 


Sourcing lighting isn't only about aesthetics; and lighting has a host of other considerations, including brightness levels, color temperatures and CRI. Every location and environment requires different lighting tones to best suit the activities in those spaces. Users should combine these factors to choose the most suitable book reading light.

Hope this article will help you better understand lighting effects when you want to have an excellent book reading light. If you have any questions, please leave your comment below or feel free to contact us at


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