Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Lamp for Painting Miniatures (Review)

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - banner image review

If you’re in the market for a quality magnifying desk lamp, the Brightech Lightview Pro Magnifying Desk Lamp might be just what you need. This lamp is perfect for anyone who needs to do close work, such as painting miniatures or models. It features a cool white light that helps your eyes see color contrast and fine details better, making it ideal for miniature work and hobby modelers. Plus, the height and placement of the lamp can be modified to fit your needs. The LightView Pro comes with a strong table clamp so you can attach it securely to your working surface without using up too much space.

In this article, I share my full review of the Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Desk Lamp, and let you know if it’s worth your money. After using this lamp for more than two years I thought it was about time to share my thoughts and experience with you!

So, is this lamp worth your money? Well, let’s take a closer look at exactly what it offers…💡


Summary Recommendation (TL;DR):

I do recommend the Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Desk Lamp to any miniature painter or scale modeler who need to do detail work up close. The Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Desk Lamp is one of the best desk lamps you can possibly get for painting models or miniatures due to its sturdy build, great light quality and clean magnification capabilities. It’s also affordable!

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - lens brush view
Here I’m painting some details on Alpha Legion Space Marines from Warhammer 40k.

PROS:

  • Flexible design lets you move the light and lens where you need it
  • Small desk footprint (just the clamp on the edge of your table)
  • Cool, neutral soft illumination (6000 Kelvin color temperature; 800 lumens)
  • Crystal-clear glass lens with 2.25x magnification power (8-10″ working focal distance), perfect for painting miniatures with a normal length brush
  • Long service life LED bulb (20,000 hours or 10 years continuous use)
  • Sturdy metal and plastic build quality
  • Budget Friendly, Affordable Price

CONS:

  • Not dimmable, lamp only has an on/off switch
  • Single color temperature (cool, neutral)
  • Dust cover is not removable
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - brightech lamp studio white background
The Brightech LightView Pro Desk Lamp for hobbies, miniature painting, and more!

Read on for more details about the Brightech LightView Pro magnifying lamp and my experience using it for painting miniatures.


Key Features: Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp

  • More comfortable than headsets (for some people)
  • Clamp for desk or workbench and gooseneck style swing arms to keep magnifying light in place
  • Bright 800 Lumens with cool, neutral color temperature 6,000K
  • Glass magnifying lens is 4.5 inches wide with a 2.25x magnification (5 diopter)
  • Height of the lamp is 33 inches, with an outward reach of up to 42 inches
  • Weighs 6 and a half pounds
  • Two piece, easy assembly, plug-in, flip the switch and you’re set to go!
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - dimension schematic
The size of the lamp is within the standard range of other competitor desk lamps with built in magnification.

Who is this Magnifying Lamp Good For?

The Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Lamp is ideal for all kinds of hobbyists who need more magnification assistance when doing precise, more detail work. Are your eyes struggling to see contrast and details up close? Then in my experience, I would think something like this the LightView magnifier would be ideal for you.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - magnifying lamp vs visor
View through a magnifying lamp lens.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - visor stereoscopic vision
With a visor headband, you have the advantage of 3D stereoscopic vision. Though, using these visors requires some practice and assimilating the feel of wearing the accessory for long periods of time.

There are benefits to head worn magnifying visors, too. But they can also be cumbersome for painting or modeling in longer sessions.

Magnifying visor for painting miniatures
Visor headsets are great if you know how to use one and are comfortable with wearing them for extended periods of time.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - wet slide decal details
Magnifying details is important for those of us who need a bit of extra help working at smaller scales.

This lamp is great if:

  • You do lots of miniature painting with small brushes or detail work with model kits, etc., and want to see small details up close
  • Struggle with headset worn magnifying visors and don’t like using them

The Brightech LightView PRO is essentially a desk mounted magnifying glass, with an adjustable arm and clamp to let you position it wherever you need. The large 5″ lens is also one of the biggest available in a lighted magnifier on the market right now, making it perfect for painting models and miniatures.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - glass lenses are better
Glass lenses are always better than plastic lenses. But, they are heavier, cost more (usually), and take up more space. I think they are worth it though!

What to Look for in a Magnifier Lamp for Miniature Painting?

Here are some notable features you may want to know about when you’re looking for the best magnifying lamp for painting miniatures or working with scale model kits.

  1. Choose glass over plastic lenses
  2. Clamp-on lamps take up less desk space
  3. 2-2.25x magnification (or 5 diopters) is the best optical power for working with miniatures and scale models
  4. Ideal light brightness is at least 800 lumens (60-100 watts) or brighter
  5. Neutral, daylight color temperature between 5000-6000K
  6. High Color Rendering Index (CRI) values over 90 provide the best color reproduction
  7. Expect a cost between $50-200 for a high quality hobby magnifying lamp
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - magnifying light ring diffuse led
Bright, diffuse light increases the utility of any hobby work area.

The Brightech LightView PRO is a great example of a high quality magnifier lamp for painting miniatures with all of the features I just listed. It’s one of the most affordable ones too, coming in at under $100 USD. From my years of using this lamp, I’ve had zero problems and have had many returns from the initial investment. Want to know more?

Read on for my review and thoughts of the Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Desk Lamp.


Look and Feel: My Impressions

Black or white colors available. I got the black version because I wanted my desk to have a more “classic” feel. I also think at the time, the lamp was cheaper by a few dollars if I went with black.

Ultimately, I think I made the right choice since black tends to stay “clean looking” for a longer period of time; where as the white colored version would have looked dirty and yellowed after a year or so of use (maybe).

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - magnifier light desk top
Painting miniatures with a swing-arm desk lamp is convenient.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - hobby desk top lights
I use supplemental lighting along with my magnifying lamp for working with miniatures.

The lamp feels solid. It is made from metal and plastic, with an LED bulb that produces 800 lumens and 6,000 Kelvin color temperature. The magnifying glass lens is made of “real diopter” glass, which is very nice and clean and helps produce a clear

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - close up needle
You can use magnifying power to help you work with a wide range of tasks.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - brush tufts
Look at the detail in the brush bristles!

The clamp is actually very large and even comes with clamps that can go onto the side of a desk, table or even the back of a cabinet or shelf so you can attach it where ever you need. There are two screws that you use to tighten/loosen the clamp. I have it attached to the side of my desk and it has never fallen off, even when I accidentally hit it while working. Overall, the system is very sturdy!

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - clamp system on desk black color
The Brightech LightView Pro uses a secure clamping system to attach the lighting setup to your desk, table, or other firm surface.

The swing arm is also adjustable and can be moved up or down as needed. When I put the light where I need it, the illumination doesn’t move. This is especially important when I’m working with the magnifier lens on some small detail work and need both hands free.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - dust cover closed
Dust cover closed.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - dust cover open lens exposed
Open for business!

Although there is no dimmer adjustment (a limitation of this lamp), the ON/OFF switch is click-y and the tactile response is a nice touch. It’s also worth noting that the LED bulb has a

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - bottom up view
Not blindingly bright. But, not too shabby either!

The LED light is bright, but not blinding. The ring light has a soft diffuser cover which gives you a soft light over your working surfaces. I found this helpful for photography as well some some amateur videos I made of my work sessions. I would recommended, however, that for more serious videography or photography that you get other supplemental lighting setups, such as a ring light.


Professional Impressions Working with Scale Models and Miniatures Under the Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Lamp

I’ve been using the Brightech Lightview Pro for a few years. I’ve tried other magnifying lamps, but I think this one is the best overall. The clarity of the glass is fantastic and I really like how crisp and clean the light is. The color temperature is perfect for my needs and it doesn’t produce any weird “flicker” that some other lamps have.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - drybrushing model texture
Painting with magnification helps prevent eye strain….
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - textured scales visible
…it also makes detailing surfaces easier when you want to keep a clean paint job.

I also appreciate how sturdy the build quality is. I’ve had other lamps where the swing arm was a bit flimsy or the clamp wasn’t as secure. With the LightView Pro, I never have to worry about it tipping over or falling off my desk.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - close up primed miniature
Close up view on a model reveals a shallow depth of field (DoF). But, it’s not a big deal when you only need to focus on a small bit of surface at a time.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - painting details through magnified view
Fine detail work becomes easier with magnification.

For painting Warhammer miniatures or whatever wargaming models I’ve got on my plate, I find that the Lightview Pro is more than adequate. I can see all the details I need to without any strain on my eyes. The LED lights aren’t giving off a yellow light that can distort my painting.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - close up magnified view of wet paint
Use magnification to check for undesirable mold lines and other imperfections before embarking on your next project.
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - finished reaper miniatures mage model
My finished paint job on this Reaper Miniature Mage (from the Learn to Paint core skills kit).

The contrast from the light output or through the glass lenses is diffuse enough and more than sufficient for preventing eye strain and combating that universal fatigue some of us feel when we stare at something small for too long.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - ow! my eye strain
Look out!

Of course, unlike the cheap lenses in plastic magnifying systems, visors, the built in magnification with the Brightech LightView doesn’t detract from the work. Even if you don’t need the magnifying lamp head, you can still take advantage of the bright led bulbs as a light source to paint miniatures, work on fine scale crafts, e.g., repairing electronics, pulling out that splinter from your finger (which I’ve done), and other tasks.


Notable Limitations in My Experience with the Magnifying Lamp

In my experience, the focal length of 8-10″ you get with the 5″ diameter glass lens is just outside of perfect. I do wish it was a tad longer for some of my work, though I know that physics would also force me to have less magnifying power. It’s a fine balance between magnification power and the need for distance between the lens and working surface.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - paint streaks visible under lens lamp magnifier glass light
Sometimes the lens gets in the way of my brush work. Check out these wayward paint streaks under the lens.

A lower power lens would give me a lot of space to work under the lamp. But, the inability to magnify details closely would contribute to potential eye strain or problems with getting focus on the right spot on your project.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - desktop view of lamp in use
My hobby desk is a mess, but it is all mine… look at all those gadgets.

To perform continuous close focus work, a magnification lamp should reproduce natural light as well. While the Brightech magnifier lamp does a fine job, it does not use a full spectrum bulb and leans toward the cooler 6000K color temperature. For most users this is a good color temperature, providing a cool light that is comfortable and neutral enough for art work. However, it does not necessarily provide the most accurate color representation.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - color temperature charge values
Color temperature chart.

Although I do prefer this cooler color temperature over warmer color illumination, it can be problematic if the light transmission properties through the lens isn’t neutral either. In other words, if you’re working with the glass magnifying lens a lot, it is possible that the led lights may lose further color accuracy. So, while the better light transmission properties of glass outclass a plastic lens, it still relies on the quality of the bright lens embedded in the magnifying lamp head.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - daylight luminos swing arm artist lamp
The Daylight Luminos LED Lamp is my pipe dream hobby lamp. Expensive, but oh, so good.

Despite the advertised genuine diopter glass, the bright LED panel, the quality of the light may not be up to par when you compare it dedicated artist desk lamps. I mean if I had the money for it, I’d totally grab a Daylight Luminos LED Lamp (though it is does not have a magnifying glass).

I’ll finally note that the flexible gooseneck design has served me well over the years with the Brightech LightView Pro. The flexible arm stays in whatever position you set it and the light doesn’t vibrate or shake. Even after years of use, moving to a different home (packing the light into a box, etc), the flexible arm continues to work well.


The Debate: Swing Arm, Desktop Stand, or Floor Lamp?

For anyone on the fence, I continue to recommend getting hobby desk lamps that use a flexible swing arm system. They take up less space, provide more versatility than floor lamps or desktop stand lamps, and–with a good quality lighting setup–will keep a lamp stable for long-term hobby sessions.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - magnified distortion lens glass magnification viewpoint
A fun photograph I took through the magnifying lens.

Interestingly, there are floor lamps with magnifying lenses built into them, too. Brightech makes a magnifying glass floor lamp version even with a large diameter 5 diopter glass lens.

A floor lamp or table lamp are useful in my opinion when you’re doubling these lights not just as hobby lights, but also as office space lamps, or when you want to use one to illuminate the a living space, such as a TV den, living room, or bedroom. The best magnifying lamps, of course, are those that work within whatever your budget can afford and suit your specific needs.

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - floor lamp with glass magnifying lens
Floor lamps with built in magnification are useful, too. I’m not sure where I’d put this where I work. But, maybe this is something you could use?

How Does a Magnifying Lamp Help the Miniature and Modeling Hobby?

  • Painting
  • Decal placement
  • Free-handing designs
  • Reading fine-print on bottles
  • Assembling small parts
  • Cleaning tools
  • And, much more!

RELATED: OTHER RECOMMENDED MAGNIFYING HOBBY LAMPS FOR WORKING WITH MINIATURES AND MODELS

Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - board game miniature paint job
I free handed the stripes on the necktie of this Zombicide board game model. What do you think?
Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Lamp review - magnifying lamp user review - recommended hobby magnifying lamp - assembling miniatures with glue and small parts
Magnification can help you assemble those fiddly bits on plastic kits, scale models, whatevever.

Conclusion

Overall, the Brightech LightView Pro magnifying lamp is a great magnifying lamp for anyone that needs a little extra magnification and illumination for close work. It’s especially useful for painting miniatures, models, and doing other precision work. The LEDs provide cool and even light, while the glass lens ensures better clarity than plastic lenses.

Although the blue light might be tiring for the eyes after extended use, it’s still a great lamp for the hobbyist. While I think the lamp works fine as a standalone light source, for those more committed to the hobby or for longer sessions of work, you may want to add supplemental lighting systems to your hobby lighting setup.

I hope you found this review helpful. If you have any questions about the Brightech LightView Pro or other magnifying lamps, please leave a comment below! Happy hobby lighting! 💡

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3 thoughts on “Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Lamp for Painting Miniatures (Review)”

  1. Pingback: Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Lamp for Painting Miniatures (Review) - Toy Newz

  2. The ball joint at the lamp head is a weak pont. I’ve been thru several over the years just like this one – the ball always wears out. I currently use the Brightech LightView Pro XL, it has a completely different joint at the head which has been rock solid since September 2018.

    1. Ah, I’ve had mine for at least that long. Do you mean the joint at the lamp head to the swing arm? I can see how that joint could get loose. I’m checking it now, and it’s still sturdy/stiff. Interesting, I’ll check out the XL version…don’t have that one, but certainly interested!

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