13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models

13 Best Lights and Lamps for Painting Miniatures and Models

Are you looking for the best light for painting miniatures and models? Every hobby at the small scale requires your ability to see and work with fine detail. Good contrast and correct color temperature are essential for consistent, high-quality output at any scale. The best light for working in miniature scales for modeling and painting are those that provide daylight balanced white light at a comfortable brightness. Hobby lamps that provide this kind of good light should also diffuse illumination evenly across the working surface.

In this article, I show you what to look for in the best lamp for miniature painting.

The recommended lamps for painting miniatures accurately have light color temperatures that falls within the daylight range (5000 – 6500K or Kelvin) and provides sufficiently diffuse brightness to reduce eye strain.

In this article, I review the top 13 best lights for painting miniatures and models.

Whether you’re a scale modeler, e.g., trains, military, or a tabletop gamer who assembles and paints miniatures, e.g., Warhammer 40k and other Citadel Games, you’ll always want to see things well. Look to get the best lamp for miniature painting; check ’em out!

In a hurry? See the top 3 lights! 🏆

Best Overall

Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Most Versatile

Brightech LightView PRO – LED Magnifying Glass Desk Lamp (Touch Dimmer)

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Best Budget

YOUKOYI A16S Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Continue reading below for a brief overview about lights and the lamp/lighting system review.

The Best Light Color Temperature for Miniature and Modeling Hobbies

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Other Hobbies - Best lamp for miniature painting
Image credit: (source)

Color temperature is the way you characterize the appearance of light color casting. All light has color in it, and for the empiricist, we characterize color temperature with units of degrees in Kelvin (K) (1,000 to 10,000).

  • Warm light – at low Kelvin (2 – 3K), light will be warm (yellow, orange)
  • Neutral light – in the middle (3-5K), light will have a more neutral tone that may have some cool, blueness in it
  • Cool light – at the higher Kelvin temperatures (above 4500K), light will have cooler temperature, with blue-white tints that many feel mimics daylight

For accurate color representation on a working hobby surface, using a light that is either in the neutral or cool light temperature range (5-6K) is ideal. For miniature painting, specifically, the best lamp emits light that mimics natural sunlight. To reproduce daylight (from the sun), lamps should have LED lights that provide a color temperature of around 5500K. If you’re looking for a lamp for painting miniatures, be aware of the need for its color temperature output.

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Fun fact: A warmer light has less “blue light” and can therefore help you sleep better. Bright LEDs with blue light can disrupt your ability to sleep by suppressing melatonin. Interestingly, a bright daylight lamp could be useful, because some research shown that it can keep you alert, focused, and even help with symptoms of depression.

3 Must-Know Lamp and Lighting Features

There are 3 features of desk hobby lamps you should know:

  1. Source of Light
  2. Light Power in Lumens
  3. Ergonomics

Source of Light

If you’re working with scale models with fine detail, the best light for miniature work will also be diffuse. In other words, miniature painting lighting may not be the same as what you use for reading or computer work. For the best lamp for painting miniatures, you want a light that will spread out across the visible surface without casting harsh spots of light or hard shadows.

Light emitting diode (LED) lamps provide an excellent source of light. All of the recommended lamps that I list below use LEDs as the source of light.

LED for miniature lighting provides several benefits.

LEDs do not produce much heat. You won’t sweat from the extra warmth from the lamp hovering near your head. Because LEDs consume very little power, they are energy-efficient and a sustainable way to enjoy your hobby.

Importantly, LEDs have very long lifespans. Standard LEDs able to endure tens of thousands of hours of continuous use.

Depending on the kind of lamp you choose, you can change the brightness of LEDs to suite your needs, and in some cases, change the LEDs’ color temperature.

Light Power in Lumens

What is the maximum brightness your hobby lamp? For lighting systems, such as desk lamps and other utility lights, the brightness of the light source is measured in lumens. Lumens is a measure of the total quantity of visible light over time.

For example, the higher the lumen value, the brighter your lamp.

For those who are more familiar with regular bulbs, which use wattage as a measure of brightness, here is a conversion table (watts vs lumens). As a point of reference, a 60-100 watt lightbulb is equivalent to about 800-1000 lumens (generally measured for LED lights).

light bulb
 / LED
600 lm40 W10 W
900 lm60 W15 W
1125 lm75 W18.75 W
1500 lm100 W25 W
2250 lm150 W37.5 W
3000 lm200 W50 W


What is ergonomics? Ergonomics is the science of making a workplace fill the user’s need. Good ergonomics increases productivity, efficiency, and comfort.

Of all the ergonomic benefits of good lighting, I think comfort is the most important. The best light for painting miniatures, for example, is one that doesn’t cause eye strain. This is due both to the quality and output of the light itself, as well as the physical stature of how the light is placed over the working area.

For good lighting ergonomics, a lamp should be flexible enough to be move around the work space, but stable. When I put might lamp over the perfect spot, I want it to stay there for the duration. When you light miniatures, you want the shadows and highlights to stay in-place!

The best lights for hobby work, e.g., scale modeling assembly and miniature painting, are those that have secure clamps, floor or desk stands, and flexible armatures (i.e., swing lamps). A lamp for painting should stay where you place it.

As mentioned above, ergonomics must fit the need of the user. The user is you. So, at the end of the day, the best lamp ergonomic system will be the one that fits your personal needs.

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Desktop, Swing-Arm, or Floor Lamp?

You can categorize all hobby lamps into three style categories:

  • Desktop lamps
  • Swing-arm or flexible armature lamps
  • Floor lamps

Each lighting setup has pros and cons:

  • Desktop lamps are generally the easiest to setup. All you do is unbox the lamp and sit them on your desk or table. They are generally as powerful and bright as the other types of lamps, with the added benefit of size (and portability).
  • Swing-arm lamps are the most common type of lighting system among serious hobbyists who need more tabletop space. Swing-arm lamps clamp-on to the side of the workspace, which frees up the rest of the table for actual work. Moreover, these types of lamps are highly-flexible, e.g., hence the swing/flexible arm component, allowing you to place the light directly over your work.
  • Floor lamps are not as commonplace due to their larger size, and limitations regarding placement. However, floor lamps are awesome because they provide some of the most powerful lights available (in some cases they can light up an entire room!).

What is Your Budget?

This is a good question for anyone with a limited hobby budget.

The best lamp for painting miniatures is the one you can afford.

When I was shopping for lights for my hobby space, I had to choose between getting this or that. It was either great lights or that beautiful hardwood desk.

Not both.

For lamps, you get what you pay for. And, I agree with the wise words: “pay for the quality you need”.

A high-quality, durable lamp that I expect to last years will probably cost about $50-100. My first lamp I purchased was about $125 and recommended by Matt DiPetrio, a former studio painter for Privateer Press. This was my first lamp (no longer in production).

In those days, LEDs were uncommon. With the advent of new technology, however, LED lamps are the only lamps you should consider. Ultimately, get the best light system you can afford. I never purchased that fancy hardwood desk, I invested in the lights instead. I now also use them for photographing my miniatures.


Recommended Top 13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models

1. Architect Desk Lamp Gesture Control – OTUS Metal Swing Arm Dimmable Led Lamp

The Architect Desk Lamp with Gesture Control is at the top of the list because I think it’s one of the coolest lamp systems on the list. As a tabletop lamp, the Architect Desk Lamp has a few neat features.

To operate this lamp, you wave your hand across the lamp to turn it on or off. Using motion-sensors, the lamp allows you to use hand gestures to control it.

As a lamp in the $100 range, it gives you a lot of control. There are 12 dimmable settings for brightness, which gives you fine adjustment for whatever your hobby needs.

As a lamp for painting miniatures, this is one of the best features because you can avoid harsh reflections depending on the “brightness” of your paint job (high value colors, e.g., white or silver metallics).

You can change the color temperature of the light to 3 different settings (warm, cool, and a neutral tone).

The ergonomics of this lamp are excellent. With adjustable metal arms, and head that swivels. There is a handle that lets you easily move the light source without leaving fingerprints across the shiny surface of the LED housing.

The stand has a small footprint, filling up only a base diameter of 8″. This thing will fit anywhere on your desk without getting in your way.

The LEDs are bright at 1200 lumens and use a non-flickering feature to prevent weird eye strain. Given that the entire lighting system only requires about 10 watts to run, this is a very efficient lamp with LEDs of a average lifetime of 50,000 hours (or 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day).

Key Points:

  • No-touch, gesture control
  • Flexible swing-arm
  • Adjustable brightness and color temperature
  • 1200 lumens (bright)
  • Small desk/table footprint
  • Approximately $100

2. Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Glass Floor Lamp

This is a rolling floor lamp with a magnifying glass feature. This is not a desk lamp, obviously, but has the mobility to be near any desk or flat surface you’re working on. One of this lamp’s best uses is if you have a workshop in a wide open area, e.g., a garage or basement. In this case, the Brightech LightView Pro Floor Lamp is an excellent, versatile option.

The lamp has a relatively large 5″ glass magnification lens. Glass lenses are the best material for magnifiers because of the optical clarity, neutral color cast, and durability.

Glass lenses are also easy to clean and aren’t bothered by harsher cleaning chemicals that might damage plastic lenses.

The lens on this floor lamp has a 2.25x magnification power, which is my recommendation for hobbyists working with miniatures in the 28-35mm scale. If you’re painting miniatures, this magnification power will certainly help you with finer detail brush work or free handing designs. Not sure you’d like a freestanding magnifier? Try wearing a headband visor with a magnifying lens.

Additionally, the focal length, or distance from the lens to working surface, is about 8-12″ which is sufficient for you to operate with a standard length brush handle.

The brightness of the LEDs (there’s a lot of them under that ring) is about 800 lumens (equivalent to a 60 watt lightbulb). With a dimmable function and the ability to adjust the color temperature, this lamp is versatile for different hobby tasks.

The 6 wheels on the stand are smooth operating on hard flooring and, as mentioned above, lets you take this where ever you need it.

If you’re into hobby arts and crafts and need to move around different stations, this mobility is very useful.

The overall height of the light stand is sufficient to reach over bar height tables (those you stand at). So in regards to ergonomics, for those of you with standing desks, this could be a great option.

Because this sits on the floor, the lamp takes up no desk space at all. If you’re limited by a small desk, but plenty of room around yourself, this is also a fantastic way to provide focused light for your hobby or craft work.

For long painting sessions or hobby work, e.g., soldering, model-making, this is probably the most cost-effective magnifying lamp you can get.

Key Points:

  • See more details with the magnification lens
  • Great for crafts and miniature hobby work, e.g., painting and assembling models
  • 800 lumen brightness is sufficient for many tasks
  • Dimmable and color temperature adjusting light source
  • Good value for those who need the ergonomics of a fairly tall, rolling floor-stand lamp

3. Brightech LightView PRO – LED Magnifying Glass Desk Light for Close Work

The Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Desk Lamp is the lamp I have. This is one of the best modern desk lamps available for miniature painting and hobby work. I write a little more about this lamp in another article.

In general, the reason I purchased this lamp is because I needed a brighter LED lamp with magnification capabilities. As I got better as a miniature painter (see my gallery), I wanted to improve the level of detail I applied. I realized I could do a better job with magnification.

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting
My lamp


This lamp has a 2.25x lens with a 5″ diameter. It is perfectly suited to painting miniatures. The cover over the lens is a benefit I only realized after I started using the lamp.

With the cover on, you can operate the desk lamp without having the light shine elsewhere in the room. The cover also keeps the lens free of settling dust and other debris.

The clamp is easy to use and works great on the side of my desk.

It is secure, while at the same time allows you to move it around, if needed. My desk is about 1.5″ in thickness, but there is a lot more space in the clamp if you have the need to clamp it down on something much thicker.

With 800 lumens, I do sometimes wish it was brighter, but I have several lamps in operation now. Combined with other lighting systems, this is a versatile lamp that I use on every project. This is a reliable lamp at a reasonable price.

Key Points:

  • Comfortable to use
  • Large 5″ diameter glass lens for great optical clarity
  • Average brightness LED (800 lumens)
  • Stable clamping system to attach the light to your desk or table
  • Adjustable swing arm system that holds the light in place
  • Good value for the money

4. Brightech LightView PRO – LED Magnifying Glass Desk Light for Close Work (Touch Dimmer)

This lamp is similar to the Brightech LightView Pro above, except this has a few more features.

Let’s start with what is the same. This lamp has a glass 5″ diameter lens with a 2.25x magnification.

This is great lamp for painting miniatures and seeing fine detail on your working surface.

As a light system, this is also one of the best desktop crafting lamps for hobbies in general, e.g., sewing, needlepoint, and more, as you’ll see below.

In addition to the normal Brightech LightView Pro, this version has the ability to dim to different brightness settings (though it has a lower 650 lumen brightness maximum setting). This lamp also allows you to change color temperature. Switch to a warmer temperature for a more comfortable reading experience (bright white pages with black text is a harsh reading context; warm it up with this light).

As with all LED lamps, you have an efficient, low-energy light source that will last years.

Key Points:

  • 5″ diameter glass magnifying lens
  • 2.25x magnification power
  • 650 lumens (this is great if you have other lights working alongside this one)
  • Adjustable armature that lets you put light where you need it
  • Dimmable brightness and adjustable color temperature

5. BYB E430 Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp, Swing Arm Task Lamp with Clamp

Of the desk lamps on this list for painting miniatures, crafting work, or other scale modeling hobbies, this is one of the most attractive lamps. I love the clean lines and brushed-metallic finish.

The lamp is made of aircraft aluminum grade metal, which makes it light and strong.

There are 144 LEDs in the light housing, which provide a collective 1000 lumens of brightness. The lamp is bright and spreads this illumination over a fairly wide area.

The LEDs are adjustable for brightness and color temperature (with 4 memory functions to remember the lighting modes you choose).

The lights don’t flicker and have low glare (light is diffused), which makes for a more pleasant viewing experience. There’s less eye fatigue, which is great for a professional workstation or for performing a hobby task like painting miniatures or working with scale models and other handicrafts.

Depending on your decorative tastes and the motif of your hobby space, this will either fit right in with your Apple products, e.g., Mac computer, or clash horribly.

I personally love the look of this lamp, and it’s functional as a great light source, too.

Key Points:

  • Side-emitting light approach reduces flicker and glare
  • Bright 1000 lumens of light
  • Diffuse light, which reduces eye strain
  • Adjustable brightness and color modes
  • Beautiful, brushed aluminum metallic finish
  • Secure clamp with swing arm rotational system

6. LED Desk Lamp, Swing Arm Architect Task Lamp with Clamp

This Swing Arm Architect Task Lamp is a budget-level lamp at around $30-40. But, despite the lower cost, this LED desk lamp has several higher end features.

The lamp has an adjustable brightness feature for its 120 LEDs (located in the ring housing).

The maximum brightness is up to 960 lumens (this is pretty bright). And, the LEDs have a lighting mode that lets you change the color temperature: cool white, white, and warm white (3-6.5K).

The loop or ring housing (8″ diameter) spreads the light out across a larger viewing area. This diffusion reduces glare and eye fatigue.

You shouldn’t be squinting when you use this light and the lamp should work well over a long period of use when painting miniatures and working with models.

Like many other lamps with a swing arm design, you can move the light source to where ever you need it over your desk or table surface.

The best desk lamps all have this capability, of course, but the budget aspect of this lamp comes from the fact that the stability of the joints in this lamp come from external, tension-loaded springs. These springs may wear out over time, catch dust and grime, and squeak.

In either case, for the lower cost of this lamp, it provides excellent value as a hobby lamp.

Key Points:

  • 8″ LED ring that spreads out the light (diffused illumination)
  • 3 color modes and adjustable brightness
  • Adjustable spring-loaded armature
  • Bright 960 lumen LEDs
  • Budget friendly

7. Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp

This is probably one of the brightest lamps you can buy. At 2200 lumens, this stylish lamp will spread incredibly bright light across a wide surface (23″ length LED housing).

This is the best modern desk lamp for any hobbyist’s workbench that requires really bright light.

The light housing pivot is fully adjustable and attached to long arms that extend up to 32″ in reach. This lamp is awesome just for these features.

The balance of the light housing and the arms should be provide stability over long periods of time. The super bright LEDs have a brightness adjustment mode that lets you dim that 2200 lumens down to 25% of that top power.

Notably, you can’t adjust the color temperature of these LEDs on this lamp. This is kind of bummer considering that the color temperature for this lamp is not available.

Nonetheless, the LEDs are very long-lasting, with an expected continuous life of up to 100,000 hours.

As with any LEDs, the lights on this lamp do not produce much heat. You can work continuously painting miniatures or modeling with this lamp and stay comfortable.

Key Points:

  • Very bright LED lamp (2200 lumens)
  • Diffused light across a wide surface area
  • Adjustable brightness, but no color temperature modes
  • Long-lasting LEDs (up to 100k hours)
  • Stable clamp and balanced swing arm system
  • Approximately $100

8. Phive LED Task Lamp, 20 Watt Super Bright Desk Lamp with Clamp

The Phive LED Task Lamp is very popular for hobbyists, especially miniature painters, as well as computer gamers (as you’ll see below).

Although the clamp attaches to the back of a desk, the lamp spreads its bright LED light across a very large area. The attachment system with the arm is very stable.

The ultra-wide (31.5″) LED light bar delivers broad lighting coverage over a workbench space.

I have one of these over my computer desk and it lights up everything I need it to. The light is bright at about 20W or 1200 lumens.

The design is suited for people who use multiple screens (computers, tablets, etc) without leading ghosting, glare, or flickering on reflective monitor surfaces.

The arm as I mentioned is a stable gooseneck design that has a flexible height and angle. It does not have the multiple degrees of freedom of other swing arm lamp systems, but that is not this lamp’s purpose.

With the light bar, the light doesn’t need to be focused. It is literally everywhere.

The LEDs have a brightness function as well as 4 different color temperature modes. The neat part is that the lamp also has a memory mode, so you can switch tasks and needs for this lamp on-the-fly.

For under $70, this is an awesome lamp that comes highly recommended.

Key Points:

  • Very wide light bar (32″) for spreading illumination
  • Bright LEDs at 1200 lumens
  • Stable gooseneck design that clamps to any desk
  • Adjustable brightness
  • 4 light color temperature modes with memory function
  • Cost-effective, budget friendly

9. Phive LK-3 Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp/Table Lamp with Clamp

The Phive LK-3 Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp has a patented diffusion panel that covers the battery of 144 LEDs. The panel reduces glare and hot bright spots on your working surface.

This provides a pleasantly bright, but soft light that is easy on your eyes. The maximum brightness on the lamp is around 600 lumens, in part due to the diffusion panel.

The LED bulbs use high-CRI lighting technology, which means that the light has the ability to more accurately reproduce the colors of objects faithfully in comparison with natural sunlight. CRI stands for color rendering index.

The desk lamp is wonderful for miniature painting because of the ability to control brightness, color temperature, and store those settings in a personal memory setting.

In addition to the diffusion panel, which I’m intrigued by, the light housing part of the lamp can swivel independently from the swing arms. This gives this lamp a greater degree of freedom than its competitors.

The clamp itself further provides stability with a system that can attach to a desk or table with a 2.36″ or less thickness (this will encompass almost any professional wood working bench, too.)

As with any LED lighting system, the LEDs are power efficient, run cool, and last a really long time.

For close to $90, this is a versatile lamp for any hobbyist. As a miniature painter, this lamp is on my short list of lights to consider buying when I upgrade or expand on my work bench area.

Key Points:

  • Diffusion panel reduces harsh reflections and glare (less eye strain)
  • 600 lumen brightness
  • Excellent color temperature modes to reproduce natural colors
  • Unique swing arm and light housing unit for flexible positioning

10. ROZKY Drafting Table Lamp, Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp

The Rozky Drafting Table Lamp is a fairly standard swing arm-type desk lamp with a few unique features. The clamp secures the lamp to the side of a desk or tabletop workbench. The swing arms swivel in multiple directions and will meet any of your needed angles.

The entire lamp is made of aluminum and zinc alloy, which is both a lightweight and strong material.

The LEDs provide about 850 lumens of brightness and is dimmable. There are also 5 color modes to adjust the color temperature of the light.

What is neat is that the lamp is operated through simple touch controls (not standard physical switches or buttons).

The LEDs have a long lifespan of up to 50,000 hours and are energy efficient. For the price of this lamp, it sits somewhere in the middle of the more expensive and budget lamps on this list.

If you’re looking for lamp with a slim profile with sturdy arms and a reliably bright light, this is a good choice.

Key Points:

  • Lightweight and sturdy clamp-on desk lamp
  • Flexible swing-arm
  • 850 lumens
  • 5 dimming levels and 5 color temperature modes
  • Touch controls instead of conventional switches or buttons
  • Fairly inexpensive for a lamp with these features

11. TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp Fully Rotatable Dimmable, Wider Lighting Zone, USB Charging Port

The TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp is unlike most of the other lamps on this list. This is a desk lamp that sits directly on your desk or table surface.

It does not clamp to the side and will take up space. In return, you have a highly-practical desk lamp for several excellent reasons that made me recommend this lamp for miniature and modeling hobby work.

The lamp costs less than $40, but provides all the features of its larger clamping brethren. It has a swivel head and arm system that lets you get the perfect lighting angle.

The power cord is almost 5 feet (or 150cm) long. Run that power cable anywhere you need to.

The LEDs are lined up in a pattern to provide a diffuse light that is soft and comfortable for your eyes. There are interesting modes on this lamp that are setup for changing the color temperature for reading, sleeping, and studying.

The lamp also has a conveniently located USB charging port that can power a smartphone or a tablet like if you’re watching something while you work on your hobby, i.e., miniature painting, scale modeling, sewing, crafting, etc.

Although the lamp provides 12 watts of power, the equivalent of 850 lumens. But, the diffusion panel softens this down to about 450 lumens, which you may prefer when working closely with this lamp for long periods of time.

The color temperature of the LEDs is adjustable between 3000-6000k, which spans the warm to neutral-cool range.

The TaoTronics Desk Lamp is cheaper than its competitors. Actually, for the price of one of its competitor lamps, you could buy 4 of these TaoTronics and set them up in array around your working area. That would be cool!

Suffice it to say, if you’re a light-work hobbyist, or just want to add the option of a smaller desk lamp and convenience of a USB charging port right next to you, this lamp is a solid value.

Key Points:

  • Small, tabletop desk lamp
  • Soft, diffuse light that is pleasant for light hobby work
  • Bright enough for comfortable reading and writing (450 lumens)
  • Very sturdy base with a flexible arm
  • Inexpensive

12. YOUKOYI A16S Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp, Dimmable Architect Drafting Lamp

The Youkoyi A16S LED Desk Lamp is great lamp for general office work as well as hobby crafting, e.g., miniature and modeling. Miniature painters will love the utilitarian operation of this swing arm lamp.

This lamp reminds me of my first painting studio lamp, which used obsolete fluorescent bulbs. The form factor is the same, and it is very affordable.

As a modern LED desk lamp, the Youkoyi A16S desk lamp has features that were not available a years ago. The light has 740 lumens of brightness and two color modes: 3000K or 5700K (daylight-cool).

The swing arms will angle the wide LED-light bar exactly where you need it. Of course as a less expensive lamp, you will find that the springs may loosen over time, and squeak a little, but it’s characterful.

My old swing arm lamps all had squeaky springs and a lovely bounce whenever I moved them around.

There isn’t much else to say about this lamp. It works well as a lamp for providing you light over a hobby working surface. It is the best swing arm hobby lamp for the price.

Key Points:

  • Utilitarian, practical swing-arm desk lamp
  • LED brightness of up to 740 lumens
  • Two color modes: warm and neutral-cool temperature
  • Good value desk lamp for hobbyists and generalists
  • Long-lasting LEDs (50K+ hour lifespan)
  • Inexpensive

13. OttLite Dimmable LED Task Lamp

An Ottlite, or as many refer to as an Ott Lamp, are highly regarded lamps in the arts and crafts community. Renown for their practical, easy-to-use, and comfortable lights, Ottlite has gathered a huge following.

The Ottlite dimmable LED Task Lamp is the most unique lamp on this list because it is portable. It does not run on batteries, however, but comes with a lightweight power cord that travels with the lamp.

I’ve written about a battery powered Ottlite, which I also highly recommend for miniature painters and scale modeling hobbyists.

Miniature painting is often done in a dedicated space. But, for some, working on a hobby may require moving to different rooms or even traveling out of town.

Do you take your hobbies with on vacation or business trips? I’ve heard this is very common. Well, if you do, this Ottlite is perfect.

The Ottlite has a powerfully compact LED array with a maximum brightness of 560 lumens. The controls on this lamp are touch activated, and allow you to dim the light brightness for whatever your needs may be.

The overhead light shade opens and closes on a swing pivot for easy use and storage. There is a convenient carry handle, of course, for when you need to take the lamp with you.

The quality of the light is incredible. With a CRI of 97, this lamp exemplifies why Ottlite is so highly-regarded. The lamp shows colors vividly and accurately, with a smooth and uniform neutral light.

As claimed by Ottlite, with proprietary technology that the company employs in almost all its lamps (i.e., ClearSun LED), this lamp is expected to reduce eye strain by nearly 50%.

Another neat feature of a lamp that is small and portable is that they work great as photography constant lighting systems. Are you into product photography, flat-lay photography, or create dioramas with your miniatures and scale models?

The best photos require great light. You may even want to take photos in a different locations. See this article on 5 ways to improve your photojournalist skills for tabletop games.

Do you vlog about your hobby? Maybe you want to record a painting tutorial, but it may require some extra lighting in a small area.


Here’s your portable LED Ottlite.

Key Points:

  • Lightweight, portable
  • Goes wherever you need it
  • Superior Ottlite brand
  • No batteries needed (corded electric power)
  • Closes for easy storage
  • Long-lasting LEDs with 560 lumens of brightness (dimmable function)
  • Touch activated control
  • Excellent value

13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models - Best lamp for miniature painting

Final Thoughts

I’m sure I missed some favorite lamps. Check out this DIY arch light for illuminating a hobby table space.

Are you looking for the best lamp for miniature painting? There are a lot of options, but the best lamp for painting miniatures has several key features:

  • A daylight illumination that accurately represents the natural color of objects (i.e., neutral to cool color temperature: 4500-6000K)
  • LED lights that provide more than 500 lumens (800 lumens is equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb)
  • Good ergonomics, which includes a lamp the uses space efficiently, and has a flexible and stable system for adjusting the direction of the light source

Ultimately, as with any hobby equipment, you generally pay for what you get. Be willing to invest in better quality and functionality as you consider how much time you spend working on your hobby. Lighting for miniature painting is one of the best investments you can make for your modeling hobby.

The best lamp is the one you love using…but don’t even notice it’s there.

Thank you for visiting and happy painting!


Top 13 best lights for painting models and miniatures

Image Model Key Features
Architect Desk Lamp Gesture Control Gesture control

Bright 800 lumens
Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Floor Lamp Great value

Excellent ergonomics for a rolling floor lamp
Brightech LightView PRO – LED Magnifying Glass Desk Light Large 5″ diameter glass lens for great optical clarity

Stable clamping system to attach the light to your desk or table
Brightech LightView PRO (TouchDimmer) Large 5″ diameter glass lens for great optical clarity

Stable clamping system to attach the light to your desk or table
BYB E430 Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp Side-emitting light approach reduces flicker and glare

Bright 1000 lumens of light

Beautiful, brushed aluminum metallic finish
Swing Arm Architect Task Lamp with Clamp 8″ LED ring that spreads out the light (diffused illumination)

Budget friendly
Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp Very bright LED lamp (2200 lumens)

Diffused light across a wide surface area

Stable clamp and balanced swing arm system

Phive LED Task Lamp, 20 Watt Super Bright Desk Lamp Very wide light bar (32″) for spreading illumination

Bright LEDs at 1200 lumens
Phive LK-3 Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Table Lamp Diffusion panel reduces harsh reflections and glare (less eye strain)

600 lumen brightness

Excellent color temperature modes to reproduce natural colors
ROZKY Drafting Table Lamp, Metal LED Desk Lamp Feature rich

850 lumens with 5 dimming levels and color temperature modes

Touch controls instead of conventional switches or buttons
TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp Rotatable Dimmable Small, tabletop desk lamp

Soft, diffuse light that is pleasant for light hobby work
YOUKOYI A16S Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp Utilitarian, practical swing-arm desk lamp

LED brightness of up to 740 lumens

Good value desk lamp for hobbyists and generalists
OttLite Dimmable LED Task Lamp Portable

No batteries required
(corded power)

Easy carry handle/folds for storage

Touch controls

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8 thoughts on “13 Best Lights for Painting Miniatures and Models”

  1. Pingback: 10 Best Miniature Painting Starter Sets (Review for Beginners) - Tangible Day

  2. Thanks for sharing this is really helpful for me and also for my upcoming project as well so i hope you to add some more information like this in future also. thank you once again for sharing

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