8 Best Lamps and Lights for Painting Miniatures

  • By: Richard
  • Time to read: 17 min.

If you are into painting miniatures, you know that having the right tools is essential to getting the best results. One of the most critical tools for any miniature painter is a good painting lamp. This article will discuss the different types of lights available and share my top picks for the best lamps for painting miniatures. I will also provide some valuable tips on choosing a suitable painting lamp for your needs.

Why Use Lamps when Painting Miniatures

Painting minis can be done with any light source–a desk lamp, overhead lights in the room, or even sunlight coming through windows. But some people who paint often find themselves wanting more control over their painting experience than what these lighting options afford them. That’s when lamps are used.

Lamps allow you to set up your miniature scene exactly how you want it before starting with more refined details like coloring hair or adding weathering effects to clothing. The big thing about lamps is that they give you control over where your light source comes from and how much of it there is at any given time. This allows you to “focus” on specific areas without having too much glare coming off of other parts that might distract from those finer details being worked on during painting sessions.

What Is the Light Color Range and What Does It Mean?

A light bulb’s color temperature is measured in degrees of kelvin. The range goes from 1,000 to 10 thousand, with the lower end being classified as warm and going up towards cool end-of scale with values such as around 2k – 3 kelvin (Kelvins). Depending on your needs, there are also different types of lights available, like bright white or daylight, so be sure you know which one works best before buying!

color temperature is measured in degrees of kelvin

With all of these great colors to choose from, it’s no wonder that we end up with a broader range in daylight. If you want your workspace lit well and have accurate white balances, I recommend going for 5-6 thousand shades on either side!

Types of Lamps to Use for Miniature Painting

It’s essential to have good lighting when working with miniature paintings because the details can easily get lost in shadows or glare without it. This article will provide information on the three most common types of lamps used for miniature painting:

  • Desk Lamps: Desk lamps are perfect for painting miniatures because they provide a concentrated light source. They are also adjustable, so you can direct the light where you need it.
  • LED Desk Lamps: LEDs come in two colors: warm white and cool white. The color of the light is measured in kelvin (K). Warm white lights are around 3000k, while cool whites are at 5000-6000k. The average daylight is between 4000-4500k. A mix of warm/cool LEDs would be ideal but usually not an option on cheaper models. If you can only choose one type, go with cooler LEDs as they’re closer to natural light and allow for better color perception when painting miniatures.
  • Floor Lamps: Floor lamps are a great way to add light to a room, and they can be used for a variety of purposes. They are beneficial for tasks like building miniatures because they provide a concentrated light source that can be directed where you need it.
  • Table Lamps: You should consider several things when choosing a table lamp. The first is the type of light bulb it uses. Most table lamps use incandescent bulbs, but you can also find models that use CFL or LED bulbs. Another important consideration is the height of the light. It should be tall enough to provide ample lighting but not so tall that it becomes difficult to reach the switch.
  • Torchieres: Torchieres are a type of lamp that is typically mounted on the wall, though some models can also be placed on tables. They provide ambient lighting for an area and generally have a larger light output than most table lamps or floor lamps. Torchieres come in both electric and gas-powered varieties. Gas-powered torchieres use either propane or natural gas to produce their light, while electric models need electricity to function.

Buying Guide

Miniatures are a great hobby, but they do take time and effort. They also require finesse with your light source because sometimes you want to paint or display them in different ways that may not be possible if the lighting isn’t good enough, for example, by placing it behind something so no shadows will show up on their faces. Alongside this, there are many other things worth thinking about, such as Lumens – how bright has my LED panel been rated at? Will an electrician, need benefit from using sure bulbs over others during installation?

Lighting Terms:

  • Lumens measure the total amount of light coming from a lamp.
  • Watts is a measure of the energy used by that lamp. The “wattage” number on a light bulb is its power usage in watts.

A higher wattage equates to more lumens and more wasted energy if you’re not using all those extra lumens!

For example, the higher the lumens, 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 light bulb is equivalent to about 800-1000 lumens (generally measured for LED lights).

Lumens Incandescent Light Bulb Watts Fluorescent/LED Watts
600 lm 40 W 10 W
900 lm 60 W 15 W
1125 lm 75 W 18.75 W
1500 lm 100 W 25 W
2250 lm 150 W 37.5 W
3000 lm 200 W 50 W

Lumens/CRI

The high-watt bulbs are bright and have a more significant amount of light to offer. They will also improve your overall efficiency, productivity & details in painting work since they do not cast shadows on delicate miniatures or surfaces like other types may do

The higher luminosity improves the visibility for reading purposes. Still, it is less necessary when working with paint because you cannot see any flaws unless it’s dark (unless there was some glare).

Color Temperature Adjustment

The lamps today come with a wide variety of color-changing modes and adjustment levels. You can switch between cool white light(4500K), warm orangey daylight(3000 K), or natural yellow, which is also known as daylight range (3300 – 5000). Depending on your need for lighting, the ambiance you would like set up in certain areas during different times will dictate what type/ temperature lamp works best!

Light Source

There is a lot of research that shows how certain lights can damage your eyesight. Blue light, in particular–the kind offered by many lamps today!–is highly harmful to our vision because it causes inflammation and loss over time! To protect yourself from this problem, go easy on those LED alternatives or choose ones with built-in filters, so you don’t have to worry about any adverse side effects like headaches.

A more important factor when choosing between two different types would be brightness:

  • If they’re both very bright, consider getting something else instead.
  • But if only one has strong illumination capabilities while the other is more subtle, you’ll want to take the former into account to avoid having to do a lot of re-painting later on.

Diopter

When buying a lens with a magnifying glass, make sure to check and see if it has any diopter power. The higher this number is from 1-20 (or whatever range your country may be part), the more people will be able to see clearly without having any difficulties reading text or details up close. The lenses will help their eyes focus on objects much more clearly.

Portability

I’m sure that most of us love spending our free time indulging in a favorite activity and having the right tools to do so can be very important. You may not want an entire RP system, but at least make sure your portable light is lightweight with rechargeable batteries, so it doesn’t add extra weight on top of everything else you already have packed!

Top 8 Lamps for Painting Miniatures – Comparison Table

1. XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp

XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp
XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp with USB C Fast Charging Port

If you’re looking for a magnifying lamp with a fast-charging USB port, look no further than the XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp. This powerful magnifier comes with an 18W USB-C charging port that can charge your device up to 80% in just 20 minutes. Plus, it has two additional USB ports for powering other devices. Whether you’re using it for modeling or DIY projects, this lamp is sure to come in handy.

Pros
  • The magnifying glass comes with a high-power USB-C charging port
  • The magnifying glass has a 4.33-inch high-definition glass lens with 5X magnification
  • The LED light is energy-saving and has adjustable brightness
  • The magnifying glass is not easy to turn over or shake
Cons
  • The magnifying glass is a bit expensive compared to other magnifying glasses with light
  • The magnifying glass is not very durable, and the lens can easily be scratched if not handled carefully

2. XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp

XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp
XYK 5X Dimmable Led Magnifying Lamp with USB C Fast Charging Port

Looking for a bright and energy-efficient LED magnifying lamp? Look no further than the Neatfi 1,200 Lumens Super-LED Magnifying Lamp! This lamp produces a brilliant light beam without glare and is perfect for scale model painting or working on special projects. The large 5-diopter lens is excellent for detailed work, and the lamp doesn’t get hot, making it perfect for long hours at your desk. The Neatfi 1,200 Lumens Super-LED Magnifying Lamp can be dimmed to the ideal brightness level for your needs and has a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours.

Pros
  • High power 1200 lumens light
  • Dimmable, so you can adjust the brightness as needed
  • The adjustable arm that lets you place it in any position (or even turn it into a magnifying lamp)
Cons
  • Not ideal for people who want to paint on large surfaces because it has a small lens and thus covers only a small area at once.

3. LED Desk Lamp, 24W, 5 Color Modes, Timer

LED Desk Lamp, 24W, 5 Color Modes, Timer
LED Desk Lamp, 24W, 5 Color Modes, Timer

This is the perfect lamp for anyone who needs a lot of light. Its 31.5 inches wide light bar provides 1800 lumens of brightness to cover your entire desk. The tall design also makes it great for use as an overhead light. And with five color temperature modes and five dimmable brightness levels, you can easily customize the light to your needs. Plus, the sensitive touch control makes it easy to use.

Pros
  • Broad, bright light
  • Multiple colors and brightness options
  • Timer feature
Cons
  • The clamp could be more sturdy

4. Dual Light Desk Lamp with Swing Arm, Memory Function

Dual Light Desk Lamp with Swing Arm, Memory Function
Dual Light Desk Lamp with Swing Arm

You are looking for a desk lamp that will provide you with plenty of light while also protecting your eyes? Then you need to check out the Dual Light Desk Lamp with Swing Arm! This lamp comes equipped with two light sources – a 12W LED light and an auxiliary lamp – so you can illuminate your workbench evenly without any glares or UV rays. Plus, this lamp can easily be customized to meet your specific lighting needs thanks to its adjustable swing arm, multijoint rotatable body, and broad swivel head.

Pros
  • The lamp is adjustable and can be rotated to face in different directions
  • The clamp is robust and can securely hold the light in place
  • There are 16 different color modes and brightness levels to choose from, which allows for a lot of customization
Cons
  • The lamp can only be powered by plugging it into a regular outlet. It cannot be battery-powered
  • There are no other color options for the lamp, so customization is limited to what light modes and brightness levels you choose

5. Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp, 24W

Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp, 24W
Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp, 24W Super Bright Desk Lamp

Whether you’re working on a scale model or simply trying to read in bed, the Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp is perfect for any situation. With its bright light and adjustable arms, this lamp can be tailored to your specific needs. Plus, it doesn’t get hot, so that you can use it safely no matter what.

Pros
  • The Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp is a very bright light source with a color temperature of 5600K-6000K and a CRI of 80
  • It illuminates a bright beam of vivid light without glare and has an impressively 20″ wide shade
  • The lamp can be easily adjusted to any position and has a long reach
  • It doesn’t get hot and has a stylish clamp-on design that is easy to operate
Cons
  • None found

6. Daylight 24 Full Page 8 x 10 Inch LED Illuminated Floor

Full-Page Floor Magnifying Lamp
Daylight 24 402039-BRNZ Full Page 8 x 10 Inch LED Illuminated Floor

This Daylight 24 LED Floor Lamp is perfect for anyone who needs a little extra light while they’re reading or working on scale models. The large 8-inch by 10-inch shade provides three times magnification, and the built-in LEDs give off a bright, natural light that is easy on the eyes. The lamp also features an energy-efficient design, making it easier on your wallet and better for the environment.

Pros
  • Large size for more extensive projects
  • Bright light
  • Easy to access on/off switch
Cons
  • Not very portable due to size and weight

7. OTUS LED Desk Lamp for Home Office with Wireless Charger 2 in 1

OTUS LED Desk Lamp for Home Office with Wireless Charger 2 in 1
OTUS LED Desk Lamp for Home Office with Wireless Charger 2 in 1

This LED desk lamp is perfect for any office or home workspace. It features an adjustable arm and swivel shade, allowing you to customize the light output and angle. The built-in Qi wireless charging pad makes it easy to power up your devices. Plus, the lamp has a variety of color temperature modes to choose from, making it perfect for any task.

Pros
  • Good light color temperature modes and dimming options, suitable for different tasks: reading, painting miniatures, gaming
  • Convenient wireless charging pad on the lamp base
Cons
  • No built-in battery (only a power cord), so it requires to be plugged into a wall outlet when used

8. Neewer Ring Light Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light

Neewer Ring Light Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light
Neewer Ring Light Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light, Carrying Bag for Camera,Smartphone,YouTube,TikTok

Neewer Ring Light Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light is perfect for professional or amateur photographers and videographers. Its outer ring provides even illumination and creates a natural wraparound effect. The light stand is sturdy and easy to set up, while the soft tube prevents unwanted reflections. The white and orange color filters help adjust the light’s tone, and the ball head hot-shoe adapter allows for versatile positioning. Plus, the smartphone holder makes it easy to snap selfies or photos of your scale models! The carrying bag ensures safe transport and storage.

Pros
  • It is lightweight and portable. No ultraviolet and infrared light radiation, low heat output, safety, and environmental protection
  • The 18″/48cm Outer 55W has a wide dimming range from 0% to 100%, which allows you to adjust the brightness as needed
Cons
  • There’s no red color

How to Set Up a Lamp for Miniature Painting?

Setting up a lamp for miniature painting is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with a few simple tips, you can be on your way to creating beautiful masterpieces in no time at all. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Find a lamp that fits your needs.
  2. Please choose an appropriate height and position for the light source relative to where it needs illumination during use. This could change over time depending on how often they paint miniatures, so make sure to have a light source that will work best for you in both situations!
  3. Position your lamp at the correct angle relative to where it needs illumination during use. For example, if you are painting an area with many shadows, make sure that the light source is in the right place. The light should come from above and illuminate the shadows. It will create new shadows if it is too close or far away from what needs to be inspired. This is especially important when working on more minor details, like eyes, because they require more precision than most other areas.
  4. Adjust the brightness settings on your lamp according to how much light it provides without causing glare, which could hinder visibility while painting miniatures. For instance; If two different lamps are providing the same amount of light, but one is brighter than the other, try to position the one that’s brightest in a way, so it doesn’t create any unwanted reflections on your miniature.
  5. Use it if you have an adjustable arm or tripod on your lamp! This will help you achieve the best results when painting miniatures as it gives you more control over where the light is coming from and how intense it is.

Conclusion

Painting miniatures can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it can also be frustrating if your results are not what you want them to be. By using suitable lamps for miniature painting, you can improve the quality of your work and get closer to the results you desire. I hope this article has helped you better understand what light color range is best for miniature painting and which types of lamps will give you the best results.

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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