Are you looking for a good quality and affordable Ikea lamp for painting miniatures? Ikea is a great place to find affordable furniture and home decor, and their lamps are no exception. Of course, Ikea isn’t the only place for buying accessories for your hobbies and art. Maybe, you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to Ikea lights?
In this article, I share my thoughts on a few hobby-ready floor lamps that Ikea offers which would be great for painting miniatures. I’ll also give you a few budget-friendly alternatives to compare and choose the right lamp for your needs.
Do You Paint Miniatures?
If you enjoy painting miniatures as a hobby, then you know how important it is to have good lighting. Poor lighting can make it difficult to see the details on your miniature, and it can also cause eye strain.
Good lighting is especially important if you paint miniatures for competition. In competitions, the judges will often look at the fine details of your miniature, so it’s important to make sure that your paint job is as clean and crisp as possible.
Why a Floor Lamp for Painting Miniatures?
There are a few reasons you might want to use a floor lamp for painting miniatures instead of a desk lamp or other type of task lighting.
- Take up less desk space: Floor lamps take up far less desk space than a table lamp. If you’re working in a small space, every square inch counts. A desk lamp will occupy precious work area surface.
- Better light for painting: A good floor lamp are often inexpensive for the amount of quality light they can throw, which makes them an attractive option for painting miniatures with a tight budget. Upgrading to a floor lamp can greatly enhance your painting experience.
- Optimize positioning: You can position a properly sized floor lamp in a way that casts light exactly where you need it without creating any shadows. This is perfect for when you’re trying to get a clean paint job on small details. Of course, there are limits: It is a floor lamp that must stand around your workspace and be plugged in.
- Versatile for hobbies or other lifestyles: A floor lamp is generally more versatile than a task light when it comes to other uses outside of painting miniatures. If you’re looking for a lamp to use for other hobbies or activities, e.g., office work, reading, or even an immersive TTRPG game room, a floor lamp is usually an easy way to go.
Is a Floor Lamp a Bad Idea for Painting Miniatures?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons you might want to use a floor lamp for painting miniatures, let’s look at a couple of potential drawbacks.
- Shadows: One of the main reasons you might not want to use a floor lamp is because they can create shadows. If you’re trying to get a clean paint job, those shadows can be frustrating. You can mitigate this problem somewhat by using a lamp with a diffuser or by angling the lamp properly, but it’s something to keep in mind.
- Less adjustability: Another potential drawback of using a floor lamp is that they offer less adjustability than other task lights or desk lamps. You have to place the stand on the floor around your tabletop workspace. This means you might have to get creative with how you position the light to get the best results.
- Positioning: A floor lamps is that they can be difficult to position. If your lamp is too tall or too short, you might have a difficult time getting the light exactly where you need it.
- Less illumination: Most budget floor lamps for hobbyists don’t put out as much light as a more expensive task light. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a bright light source.
Light Bulbs and More: Best Color Temperature and CRI for Hobby Floor Lamps or Desk Lamps?
Any LED floor lamp you buy, e.g., Ikea, Amazon, or other vendor, will produce light that is much better than an incandescent bulb for painting miniatures. However, not all LED lamps are created equal when it comes to color temperature and CRI.
The best kind of light is natural light. But, natural sunlight is hard to replicate, especially using regular bulbs.
For those in the miniature painting community who are unfamiliar with the terms, color temperature is a measure of the “warmth” or “coolness” of a light source. It’s measured in Kelvin (K) and is generally categorized as “cool,” “neutral,” or “warm.”
The ideal color temperature for working with miniatures is between 4000K and 5000K, which is considered “neutral.”
CRI, or color rendering index, is a measure of how well an artificial light source renders colors. A higher CRI means colors will appear more vibrant and true-to-life under that light. For photographers and fine artists, high CRI (>90) is often desirable.
For painting miniatures, I would recommend a neutral light source with a CRI of at least 80-90. This will give you the best color rendering for mixing paints and seeing subtle details on the models.
Floor or Desk Lamp for Hobby Photography or Videography?
For those photographing your work for social media like Instagram, Facebook, etc., using an LED lamp around your hobby area with high CRI values will produce the most vibrant, colorful images.
Notably, a bright white light may not actually be as good as you initially think, and color distortion will creep up on you. Even a slight yellow light tinge in some LED bulbs could contribute to throwing off the white balance of any camera work you’re doing.
I personally use a photography LED ring light for this purpose. Of course, for painting miniatures, a good light for taking photos in a studio setting are also great for a hobby work space or painting station.
What to Do When You Can’t Find the Color Temperature or CRI of a Lamp or Light Source?
Unfortunately, most inexpensive floor lamps don’t list the color temperature or CRI of their LEDs. This may not matter for those of us who enjoy mini painting, casually, and you can usually get an idea of the quality of the light by reading reviews.
If people are complaining about the “cold” or “blue” light, it’s probably on the cooler side of things. Likewise, if people are saying the light is too “yellow” or “warm,” it’s probably on the warmer side.
As a general rule, I would recommend avoiding any floor lamp that produces a “cool” or “blue” light. These lights are usually around the 6,000-7,000K range and can be harsh on the eyes. You can read more about the pros and cons of blue light.
Lastly, I would say that any energy efficient LED desk lamp should have a “daylight bulb” installed for providing the best light possible for any hobby work. Here are some more details about artist daylight bulbs.
What’s the Best Ikea Lamp for Miniature Painting?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons you might want to use a floor lamp for painting miniatures, let’s look at a couple of specific models from Ikea that would be good for hobbyists.
The first model we’ll look at is the Ikea Ranarp. This lamp is a good choice for painters because it has an adjustable arm and shade, so you can position the light exactly where you need it. It also has a diffuser to help reduce shadows.
The problem with the Ranarp is the lack of any color temperature adjustment for the LED bulb. On the warmer side, the emitted light is wonderful for reading or those late night hobby sessions. However, if you need a cooler light for detailed, high contrast work, the Ranarp may not be the best choice.
The second model we’ll look at is the Ikea FORSÅ. This lamp is similar to the Ranarp in that it has an adjustable arm and shade. However, the swing arm uses a spring loaded mechanism with multiple pivot points, giving it more freedom of movement; all of which makes it a little easier to adjust.
Get light where you need it most! As with the Ranarp, however, there LED bulb emits a warm-neutral light that you can’t adjust. But, given the reviews from hobby work bench users, it seems that the FORSÅ’s light is a bit cooler and not as yellow and quite useful and comfortable to use.
The last model we’ll look at is the Ikea HEKTAR. This lamp is designed to provide a more focused light, making it ideal for tasks that require precision.
The “spotlight” style of directing light isn’t harsh, however, and the illumination is soft and pleasant. While some other commenters have said the Hektar is good for general miniature work, I would say there are conditions where it would be better than others.
For example, if you’re doing a lot of work that requires delicate changes in paint color or mixing shades, the Hektar’s focused light will make it easier to see those subtle differences. If you’re mostly working with washes or large areas of flat color, however, the Hektar’s light may not be as useful.
The Hektar’s light is on the cooler side, and while it’s not as blue as some LEDs, it’s still not ideal for color-sensitive work. The light is also quite focused, so you may find yourself moving the lamp around a lot to get the light where you need it.
So, Which is the Best Ikea Lamp for Painting Miniatures?
The answer to this question really depends on your specific needs and what type of work you’ll be doing. I haven’t discussed any of the desktop, clamp-on style, or other kinds of lighting setups you can find.
Rather, for this article, we’ve focused on the floor lamps. For more varied hobby lighting setups that I strongly recommend for miniature painters, check out this lighting guide or best professional miniature painting lamp (Neatfi XL full review).
If you need a lamp with an adjustable arm and shade that emits a warm, neutral light, either the Ranarp or Forså would be a good choice. If you need a more focused light for precision work, the Hektar is a good option.
Finally, if you want a lamp with an adjustable arm and shade that emits a cool, white daylight neutral light (in the 5000-5500K range), I recommend the Neatfi XL task lamp. It’s not an Ikea lamp, but it’s one of the best lamps I’ve found for miniature painting.
Alternatives to Ikea Lamps for Painting Miniatures and Models
If you’re looking for an alternative to Ikea lamps, I’ve found a few other options that might be of interest. This is especially useful for those of you looking to save a bit of money and focus your budget on paints, brushes, and other hobby supplies.
The Lastar Standing Lamp is a good alternative to Ikea lamps for miniature painting. It has 4 levels of dimming and 3000-6000K color temperature adjustment, making it possible to project softer and more natural lighting.
It also has a 45-minute timer function, eyes protection, and a stable base. The timers function is neat for those looking to use this as a bedside reading lamp and want to make sure lights go off when not in use. I’m not entirely sure most of us will need that feature for painting minis, though.
The light emitted is also not as bright as some of the other options on this list (about 800 lumens). This isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for a really bright light source. Despite this, the Lastar Floor Lamp has garnered great review online. I use it regularly myself.
Overall, I think it’s a great second lamp to help you light up those shadows on your desk or other dimmer spaces near your work area. In fact, most hobbyists, including myself use two lamps or more. The good news is that the Lastar Standing Lamp is very budget friendly. Check it out!
My verdict: This is a great budget-friendly option for those looking for an alternative to Ikea lamps. It has 4 levels of dimming and 3000-6000K color temperature adjustment, making it possible to project softer and more natural lighting. However, the light emitted is not as bright as some of the other options on this list. This means you may need another primary lamp to optimize your work area lighting.
The Brightech Litespan Slim is another good alternative to Ikea lamps for painting miniatures. It’s a more compact and slim design that will take up less space in your work area. Brightech also makes my favorite magnifying lamp, which you can see in this review of magnifying lamps.
It’s also a bright LED light (up to 950 lumens or 12 watts) with three color temperature settings. The built-in dimmer is a nice touch, allowing you to adjust the light intensity to your needs.
One downside of the Brightech Litespan Slim is that it doesn’t have a timer function like the Lastar lamp. But, again, this may not be something most of us need for painting minis.
My verdict: Overall, the Brightech Litespan Slim is a good alternative to Ikea lamps for painting miniatures. It’s more compact and slim design will take up less space in your work area. The built-in dimmer is also a nice touch, allowing you to adjust the light intensity as needed. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a timer function. But, overall, this lamp is still a good choice for painting miniatures.
The Dimunt LED Floor Lamp is a great choice for miniature painters. It’s super bright, with up to 1000 lumens of light, and it has a variety of color temperature options to choose from. It also has a timer function, so you can set it to turn off after an hour.
The LED source is broad and will cost a huge glow around your work area, which I think makes this one of my favorite floor lamp style systems for painters. Just note that the reach of the flexible arm is limited to about 12-14″, which could limit where you place the light over your desk.
The weighted base makes it stable and safe around children and pets. It’s easy to assemble, and the memory function means it will remember your last settings. The Dimunt lamp also comes with a remote control, making it easy to adjust the light without getting up from your chair.
Of course, I should note again that with any LED lamps is that they can produce a lot of blue light. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for a really bright light source.
My Verdict: Do you want a one-and-done floor lamp for hobby work? The Dimunt LED Floor Lamp is a great standalone choice for painting miniatures in a desk-saving form factor (using the floor space around your table, of course). It’s super bright, with up to 1000 lumens of light, and it has a variety of color temperature options to choose from. Take a closer look at this lamp and compare it with the other options above to see if it’s the right one for you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I didn’t list all the great lighting options out there. These are just a few that I think would be great for miniature painting. I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to make my hobby space more welcoming and comfortable. I’ll be sure to update this article if I find any other great lamps for painting minis.
Ikea lamps are a great option for those looking for a quick and easy floor standing lighting setup. The Brightech Litespan Slim and the Dimunt LED Floor Lamp are both great alternatives to Ikea lamps, and they offer some additional features that might be beneficial for miniature painters.
Ultimately, the best lamp for you will depend on your needs and budget. But, I hope this article has given you some ideas to consider as you shop for the perfect lighting for your hobby space.
Do you have a favorite lamp for painting miniatures? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy (mini) painting!