The 4 Best Lamps for Miniature Painting
One of the interesting hobbies to get into nowadays, is miniature painting. It has been around for a very long time and is attracting more and more individuals.
It is really interesting to see a character come to life with the tip of your brush, and let your imagination run wild. Miniature figures are widely sold online and in specialized stores all over the world, so this is a hobby for everyone.
There are a few things that you need before you can start painting your miniatures. Besides a proper miniature painting kit and paint, you’ll need a lamp that lights up your entire work area brightly, so all details are properly illuminated.
A lamp is actually more important than you might think. It reduces the strain on your eyes, and enables you to focus for longer without getting tired.
Our Top Picks of Lamps for Miniature Painting
There are a lot of options out there, when it comes to lamps that are able to improve your miniature painting game.
They widely vary in form and value, but our team has reviewed and ranked some of the best options out there, so read on and see what lamps we recommend for your work area.
Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Glass LED Lamp
- Entire arm is flexible
- 2.25x magnifying glass
- Bright LED light is great
- Table stand and clamp included
The Brightech LightView Pro Flex LED Lamp is the perfect lamp for miniature painting. It has a magnifying glass built in, and LED lights illuminate the entire area surrounding the magnifying glass.
With this lamp you’ll be able to inspect all your miniatures, and it will be easier to create those tiny details that really make them stand out from the rest.
The lamp has a table stand and a clamp included, so you can either place it on your work area or clamp it to the table top for a more space saving layout.
This lamp is available with a 2.25x magnifying glass, or a 1.75x magnifying glass. Besides miniature painting it can also be used to read small characters and other things.
- Color temperature: 6000K
- Power: 6W
- Weight: 3.82 lbs
Globe Electric Swing Arm Multi-Joint Desk Lamp
- Long, flexible arm
- Table clamp saves desk space
- Pick your own light bulb
- 6-foot cord
Miniature painting doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby. In honesty, you don’t need expensive lamps; a standard desk lamp with a good light bulb will do the trick.
I find the Globe Electric Multi-Joint Desk Lamp to work quite well, actually. Opt to buy an LED bulb that’s within a 5000K or 6000K color temperature. This will make sure you get the range of a white light, which is closer to natural daylight, and therefore makes details stand out better.
You can get these LED bulbs on Amazon or your local hardware store, where you’ll find a large variety of options. Just make sure the color temperature is between 5000 and 6000 Kelvin.
What I love about this lamp, aside from its classy design, is that it is mounted on your desk with a metal clamp. It leaves more space for your work and other materials, and this is especially important if you have a small workbench.
Another thing is that it has an adjustable head and arm, that allows you to move the direction of the light as you please.
If you do decide to get a standard desk lamp, it’s a good idea to get more than one. That way you’ll get light from multiple directions, and your work area will be properly lit up.
- Color temperature: Depends on the bulb used
- Wattage: 60 watts
- Material type: Metal
- Weight: 1.28 lbs
Ott-Lite Task Plus High-Definition 24-Watt Floor Lamp
- Height adjustable stand
- Flexible neck directs light where you want it
- Illuminates large work areas
The Ott-Lite became popular around the early 2000s as a quality lamp that you can use for miniature painting.
The lamp is specially made to show colors and details clearly, without sacrificing the comfort or cause any strain.
The bulbs in the lamp are Ott-Lite 508 Illumination CFL bulbs, that are well-engineered to bring the sun’s natural light to your workbench.
You’ll surely enjoy painting without causing stress on your eyes, as it is made with no harsh glare compared to other indoor light sources.
There is more to love with this product. Including the flexible lamp head. It has an 18 inches long shade, which means that it would cover more space. This is great for large workbenches, as it can illuminate a large area compared to small standard desk lamps.
The neck of the lamp is also flexible, so you’ll be able to direct the light where you need it to be. Bulb performance is not a question on this lamp. The bulb is rated to last up to 10,000 hours and can be replaced easily afterwards.
- Color temperature: Natural Daylight Illumination
- Wattage: 24 watts
- Material type: Plastic
- Weight: 1 lb
- Warranty: 2 years (Lamp) and 1 year (Bulb)
GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench Light
- Perfect for detailing and inspection
- Illuminates figures from multiple sides
- Energy friendly LED lights
The GameCraft Workbench Light is definitely an option that you should check out. Because it is in the shape of an arch, it is able to provide great light from multiple angles, when painting and assembling your miniatures.
It comes already assembled so you don’t have to manually put it together, besides fitting the base to the arch.
The setup includes a 100-240 vac to 12 vdc power supply hard-wired into the light strips. There are two 21 inches LED light strips attached on the arch, that help remove the shadows as you work. All you have to do when it arrives, is to glue the base and you can now enjoy assembling and painting your miniatures to your desire.
- Weight: 1 lb
- Dimensions: 1 x 12 x 18 inches
Why Do I Need a Lamp When Painting Miniatures?
Some miniature painters just sit down in the garage or their workbench, without relying on the light from the bulb in the room. You can choose to do so, but having a good source of light will up your painting game by a whole mile or more.
There is one main reason why you should invest in a good lamp, and that is colors. Having a good light source helps your eyes see the “real” color when you are painting. By real color, I mean the color under the natural light (a.k.a. the sun).
It will cause less color distortion and allow you to paint better with minimal effort, making painting more fun and less stressful. As an added bonus your eyes won’t feel the strain after multiple hours of painting, and you’ll be able to continue without feeling tired or developing a headache.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Lamp for Miniature Painting
The items that we included in this article are just a portion of the total options there are in the market.
There are some cheaper lamps with the size of the head of the Ott-Lite Lamp, or a wider model of the GameCraft Workbench Lights. You can definitely find one that would suit your budget and preference.
However, there are some things that you should take note of that are important when you make your purchase:
1. Light Scale or Color Temperature
The light-scale is the most important thing to have in mind, when looking for lamps for your miniature painting work area.
It dictates how well you’re able to see the colors. The light-scale should be around 5000K-6000K, which is the range of natural sunlight.
This way, you won’t come out of your work area painting your minis a shade darker than you intended it to be.
2. Get Multiple Lamps
Again, you can have a good lighting setup without breaking your bank.
Instead of going for grand lighting, you can settle with having a standard desk lamp with a good bulb.
Just add one or two more that faces your workspace in multiple directions, to cancel out shadows when you are working.
But if money is no issue for you, then a grand lighting set-up is also good.
3. Your Workspace
One thing to consider is the size of your workspace. Any standard desk lamp would do if your workspace is small. Just throw in another lamp to get light from multiple directions.
However, if your workspace is big, you may want to get a lamp with a bigger shade or place a couple more standard desk lamps on your workbench.
4. Lamps with Adjustable Joints
Adjustable joints are a great plus when you are looking for lamps. It makes the lamp more movable, and allows you to set up the direction of the light the way you want to go.
It also allows you to adjust the direction of the light to remove shadows, if you happen to run into one as you paint.
The flexibility of the lamp allows you to exert less effort in getting the right light you need.
5. Magnifying tools
Adding details to your model may be a bit challenging. Magnifying tools may help you in that area. There are a number of lamps that have a built-in magnifying glass on the lamp head.
You may want to check out those products. Another option you may want to look into is a magnifying visor like the YOCTOSUN LED Head Magnifier, that zooms in and allows you to add all the details you want.
Although, you may need some getting used to when you use magnifying tools, so don’t be so hard on yourself if you make mistakes as you go along.