About

On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

Recent Comments

October 2010
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Beam N Read Light for Kindle & More

This product was brought to my attention a short while ago as being a worthwhile investment in lieu of getting compatible book lights to clip on to every one of my eReaders.

I’ll preface all this by saying that I’m an almost accidental collector of book lights.  I have dozens of the things.  Some have been with me for years, right back to a gigantic plastic contraption suitable for only sturdy hardcovers that I feel like reading near an outlet, and some are pretty much brand new, like the plastic piece of junk that runs off of watch batteries I got as a free gift when I bought some Snuggies as gifts last month.  For the most part, they’re all sitting in a pile on a shelf in the closet and see little use.  I’d rather head to another room where I can turn on a lamp than disturb my partner in bed at night, and even the best of these lights is usually a little awkward.  Still, the travel season is coming upon us quickly and there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a train for 10 hours with nothing to do because it is too dark to read your book.  So, I tried out a Beam N Read.

Keep in mind, all of my comments here are related to the 3-LED model of the brand.  There is a 6-LED version, as well as a Classic version, but they didn’t strike the right balance for me.  I’ll explain why in a bit.

First Impressions:

Initially, the Beam N Read looks more than a little odd.  If you’re used to traditional book lights, it feels more than a bit strange to be strapping this comparatively huge contraption to your neck.  Still, in spite of its requiring four AA batteries, it wasn’t too heavy and went almost unnoticed after a few minutes.  It’s a nice change to get a portable lamp that doesn’t weigh down your book(in this case I was using my Kindle but the field of view seemed wide enough to cover both sides of a hardcover book with little adjustment) and also still does the job well.  The light was fairly bright, though not something I’d want to use for more than a few hours at a time.  Definitely a positive initial experience as far as book lights go.

Evaluation:

Battery Life:

Three LEDs use surprisingly little power, of course, so users can expect about 120 hours of battery life from their Beam N Read.  If you’re keeping up with this site, chances are you’re an eInk device user which also implies, to a certain extent, that you may be interested in minimal charging and/or battery changing, so that works out well.  This number is supposed to be rather dramatically reduced when you’re using the 6-LED model, which is advertised at noticeably less than half the expected life of the 3-LED.  Nothing much is advertised to be used as comparison for the Classic beyond that it is long lasting.

Light Quality:

I can’t say anything against this light when it comes to reading.  It’s bright enough to read by and broad enough to cover pretty much any reading surface.  I would feel fairly safe in saying that you could read a newspaper with little trouble using one of these.  It came with a filter to turn the light red.  This still confuses me slightly, though I get that it’s meant to soften the light and help preserve night vision.  While I appreciate having the option, I suppose, it seems like one of those features that will be useful for such a small percentage of users as to be almost pointless.  Still, better to have more options than needed.  I would imagine that it’s even brighter using the 6-LED model, of course.  One thing related to this with regard to the Classic that I would point out is that reviewers on the Amazon product page claim that the non-LED bulbs are extremely unreliable.

Comfort:

As is almost always the case, there’s an upside and a downside on this one.  The fact that it hangs from your neck makes the Beam N Read an accessory that will take some getting used to, but this also ensures less strain on your wrist compared to a clip-on book light.  You also have to hold your book fairly far away from your face to work with this one.  Yeah, I know it’s better for your eyes, but some people have whole lifetimes of bad habits built up and a bit of nearsightedness to deal with on top of that.  If you’re prone to holding your book right in front of your face, this might be problematic.  The only other complaint that I’ve been able to find is that the light tends to shift with you when you change reading positions. Basically expect to adjust your reading light along with everything else when you’re feeling a bit restless.  Doesn’t sound like too big a deal.

My conclusion would be that if you have need of a reading light, the Beam N Read might well do the job for you.  It’s small, feels pretty durable, and provides a novel solution to the aggravating problem of lights getting in your way that I personally feel is far superior to a head lamp.  Best of all, at $19.95 on Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN), it’s affordable enough for anybody.  Probably useful for more than books too, though why would you want anything more?

4 comments to Beam N Read Light for Kindle & More

  • Bob

    Thanks for the Review. A few clarifications and context.

    Battery Life: The 3 LED light’s 120 hours compares to 20-40 hours or less advertised for most clip on book lights. The 6 LED’s 48 hours compares to 20-30 hours advertised for lights saying they are equivalent to 6 LEDs. Beam N Read LED lights also support AC and Vehicle DC adapters as options. Most clip on’s don’t.

    Light Quality: The LED 3 has 3 LEDs in a row for a wide light that will easily cover all Kindles including the DX in landscape mode. The LED 6 has 6 LEDs in a row for an extra wide light and is useful for tasks like knitting, etc. and extra bright which is helpful for people with older eyes. Some people are still using Classics they bought 20 years ago. All filament bulbs burn out. The Beam N Read Classic’s Ektron bulbs last for 100 hours which is somewhat longer than typical for these types of bulbs in book lights. Today’s LEDs are brighter, don’t burn out, support longer battery life, and are preferred by most consumers.

    Because they don’t have to be attached to the Kindle or a book, Beam N Read Hands Free Lights are highly versatile for many personal lighting tasks including Reading, Travel, Crafts, Power Outages, and even changing diapers at night. Again, Thanks for the review.

    Bob Friedman
    Marketing Director
    ASF Lightware Solutions

  • Andrew McHorney

    My girlfriend would love this.

  • I’d love to have one of these for my new Kindle. I could use it to sit with my husband in the family room while he watches TV because an overhead light bothers his eyes. The reading ligt you described would be ideal.

  • Andrew McHorney

    I would love one of these for reading at night while camping.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>