Are you looking for a great hobby desk lamp? Finding the best hobby light for crafting, working with scale models, or any hobbies that require a pleasantly, soft illumination depends on a few notable features. This includes a natural daylight LED source housed in an ergonomic and easily accessed swing-arm or other flexible armature. Clamps or weighted stands are another consideration for your hobby work light.
In this article, I share my experience as a professional miniature hobbyist who has worked with models and related hobbies for years.
My Top Lamp Choice for Most Hobby Work
Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp
The Neatfi XL Hobby Desk Light is perfect for the hobbyist at work. Give your niece or nephew a place of their own to explore and create with ease and style. Investing in the Neatfi XL Hobby Desk Light will provide light that’s bright, diffuse, adjustable without color modes, and long-lasting with energy efficient LEDs. The convenient clamp provides stability while the balanced swing arm system makes it easy to point precisely where you need it! Make your hobby desk more than just a workspace – be creative!
READ MORE: MY FULL REVIEW OF THE NEATFI XL HOBBY DESK LIGHT
Reasons why I recommend this hobby desk lamp:
- Creates the perfect environment for creativity
- Energy-efficient LEDs make it long lasting and efficient
- Provides a natural light that’s bright, diffuse, and soft on the eyes
- Brightness adjustable without the hassle of working with different color modes/temperatures
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Best Lighting for Hobbies
What is the Best Color Temperature for a Hobby Desk Lamp?
When it comes to any hobby or crafting where you want your subject to look the same as it does at or away from your hobby desk, lighting color temperature is important. For the most accurate representation of colors on your surface, using a light that either falls in the neutral or cool range (5000-6000K) will give you accurate results, as opposed to a lamp with warmer tones.
For painters, hobbyists, and scale modelers, specifically those who want their projects to reflect realistic subjects, My recommendation is a hobby lamp with LED lights with a color output of close to 5500 Kelvin.
Why is Color Rendering Index (CRI) Important for LED Lighting?
The color rendering index, or CRI is an especially important measurement for artificial LED lighting systems. The higher the CRI rating, the better your miniatures will look! A high-CRI light sources are particularly useful if you’re trying to capture realistic colors on photographic images of models. Here’s more about CRI and how CRI affects miniature photography.
What is a Lumen?
Lumens measures a combination of visible light over time. Do you know how bright your hobby lamp is? It’s important to keep in mind that not all light sources are the same, but for most desk lamps and utility lights it can be measured by lumens.
READ MORE: BEST LIGHTS FOR MINIATURE PAINTING (TIPS AND REVIEW)
The higher the lumens, the more light your lamp will produce. If you are accustomed to regular bulbs which measure brightness in watts. Here is a table of lumen to wattage equivalency.
Are LED Lamps Really the Best Lighting Source for Hobby Work?
LED lamps are the most modern source of light. They provide a safe, gentle glow for any occasion and they’re even more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs! LED lighting is also perfect for your miniature hobby because it doesn’t produce much heat so you won’t be sweating from the extra warmth.
Plus LEDs consume very little power which makes them an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to enjoy our hobbies! Last but not least, one major benefit that other types of lights just can’t match: LEDs have long lifespans with standard ones able to endure tens-of-thousands hours without needing replacement.
What is a Better Light for Hobbies? Floor Lamp, Swing-Arm, or Desktop Lamp?
For most hobbyists with a standard sized desk, the swing-arm type lamp is the most versatile hobby lamp you can get. 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.
A desktop lamp that stands on your table working surface will take up space, of course. On the other hand, they are smaller and somewhat easier to move around than a swing-arm lamp. Floor lamps are obviously a lot bigger and must have floor space near your hobby table. Floor lamps also have some of the most powerful lights built-in, and may even have enough light to illuminate your entire room.
Best Hobby Desk Light for Photography or Filming Your Work?
Filming or documenting your hobby work with your camera is an emerging sub-hobby for many of us who paint miniatures. We draw enjoyment from sharing our creative process. With miniature photography or filming video, the quality of your desk lamp will directly affect the overall output of your images and video.
Although most desk lamps have great illumination for hobby work, many do not produce the proper kind of light you’d want for great photography or video.
For good hobby photography lighting, a good light should provide a clear image of your working surfaces. This means image clarity though accurate color reproduction and visible contrast with a wide dynamic range (i.e., the distance between the brightest light to darkest dark value).
For simplicity, though, I simply use my Neatfi XL lamp.
For more information about how to improve your miniature photography, here are articles about how to take better miniature photos and recommended photo lightbox studios. I also use LED rings lights (reviewed here) for cinematic style photography.
My Recommended 5 Best Hobby Lights and Lamps
1. Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp
Whether you need a lamp for an arts and crafts project or some extra light that would illuminate your workspace, the Neatfi XL LED Task Lamp will be the perfect addition to any space. With 117 LEDs providing 2,200 lumens of bright white light with just 24 watts, it’ll ease your mind knowing that the high CRI rating at 80 means accurate colors when painting or detailing.
Reasons to use the Neatfi LED Task Lamp:
- The Neatfi desk lamp is bright, durable, and has a color temperature that is pleasing to the eyes
- It outputs a neutral tone, which is perfect for crafting and other hobbies
- This lamp will work great for video tutorials or photography needs as well
2. Phive LED Task Lamp
The best task light for your hobby workspace! Whether you’re working in a tiny studio apartment or in a huge room that’s drowning in natural sunlight during the day, this hobby desk light will help keep your creativity flowing. This lamp is able to provide tons of brightness without it being too dazzling with its 20″ LED light bar. The flexible gooseneck means flexible height and ergonomic adjustment with a desk clamp that places the arm back out of the way of your work space.
Reasons to use the Phive LED Task Lamp:
- Delivers a superior and much wider angle of light than smaller desk lamps
- Leverages the benefits of LEDs for high intensity, low energy usage, and long lifespan
- Maximize workspace by providing a bright, ambient lighting solution
3. YOUKOYI Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp
Are you a hobbyist looking for the right, affordable desk lamp for your work space? This metal swing arm lamp offers you a robust range of adjustability to brighten your hobby desk. This desk lamp features an table clamp that is easy to install. The light also offers stepless dimming that subtly adjusts from 100% down to 20% brightness.
Reasons to use the YOUKOYI Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp:
- Competitively priced
- Great all-around desk illumination
- Long-lasting LED bulb
- Perfect for hobbyists
4. Brightech LightView PRO LED Magnifying Desk Light
The Brightech LightView PRO magnifying lamp is perfect for hobbyists and DIYers. It’s easy to assemble; open the box and put the clamp and arm together. Built-in LED light produces up to 800 lumens and a 6,000 Kelvin color temperature (e.g., a cool neutral white light). The 4x magnifying lens is perfect for detailed hobby work, as the glass lens offers crystal clarity. The 8″ working distance also ensures you have enough room to accommodate your tools.
Reasons to use the Brightech LightView PRO Magnifying Desk Light:
- Ideal for miniature painters, scale modelers, or artists who want magnification (2.5x power)
- Clamp system saves desk/tabletop Space
- Bright, ergonomic desk lamp
- Long working distance for brushwork
5. Neatfi XL Bifocals 1,600 Lumens Super LED Magnifier Lamp
Neatfi is your one size fits all companion for hobby and craft illumination. It can be used as an extra large magnifying glass or office desk lamp. The dual lens with a 7” diameter has two different focal lengths that let you switch between seeing far or close up. A 1,600 lumen light ensures soft illumination in a color spectrum between 5600K-6000K. You’ll have less eye strain or fatigue after long hours of hobby work. I’d take a closer look at this lamp, if I didn’t already have the Brightech Lightview Pro.
Reasons to use the Neatfi XL Bifocals Super LED Magnifier Lamp:
- Provides a large 7” wide magnifying lens
- Magnifying Lens is 2 parts with different focal lengths, giving you 225% magnification for distant vision, and 600% magnification for near vision needs
- 8” arm reaches out and can be put in your lap when working with your hobbies or crafts
- Brightness levels are adjustable
Summary: 5 Best Hobby Work Lights and Lamps
|Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp||Check Price|
|Phive LED Task Lamp||Check Price|
|YOUKOYI Metal LED Swing Arm Desk Lamp||Check Price|
|Brightech LightView PRO LED Magnifying Desk Light||Check Price|
|Neatfi XL Bifocals LED Magnifier Lamp||Check Price|
Choosing the best hobby desk lamp will depend on your needs. If you’re looking for a great hobby desk lamp, the best ones are those that provide excellent illumination and have an ergonomic arm or clamp to attach it. These best lights will be bright enough to work with your hobbies, but not so powerful as to cause eye strain. There are many options available in terms of brightness levels, color temperature, and other features.
From my experience, if you need a bright, durable work light that can also double as an excellent photography or filming tool, then I recommend getting the Neatfi XL 2200 Lumens LED Task Lamp.
What lights are you using for your hobby space? Do you like them? Let me know with a comment below.