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What is a Clip Light?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many people require an extra source of light for various tasks like working at a desk or at a computer desk, sewing, or reading, but they may lack the room to use a lamp nearby. This is particularly the case when working at a small desk, or trying to do something like read in bed. Instead of having a lamp nearby, which may not fit, people may want to consider purchasing a clip light or clip on light.

The clip light comes in several forms and most have a few features in common. Many have an adjustable “neck” which allows people to change the lighting direction. Most also have a clamp or screw in style closure, although some, like book lights may simply have a bottom section that can be inserted between pages to provide light for reading.

With this light, all that is needed is a small stable surface on which to clip or screw in the lamp. This can be fantastic because the lamp doesn’t need to sit on the surface it lights. It can be stably installed on any hard surface, such as the back or front corner of a desk, and it can be moved if required.

Though people often think of the clip light as in use on desks, there are other locations where a clip light may be perfect. Work tables in garages, for instance, can be easier to see with direct lighting from a clip on light. Some people attach them to sewing machines or sewing tables. They also work well on nightstands.

A few lights of this type are designed specifically for reading with extra light, without bothering companions. Book lights can light up pages read, but don’t spread that light elsewhere. For couples or kids who share a bedroom who go to sleep at different times, book lights may be great for the member of the couple who stays awake longer. Unlike using a lamp in a room, the book clip light isn’t likely to disturb the person who wants to go to sleep earlier.

One thing people must pay attention to when using a clip light is whether the clip has the potential to mar the wood or other surfaces to which it is attached. In particular, the clamp/spring style closure may not be great for inexpensive wood types like pressboard, and can scratch or even deteriorate the wood. To avoid damage to surfaces, look for those lights that have a little bit of padding or purchase some inexpensive foam padding and glue it to the inside parts of the clamp.

Clip on lights can be found in numerous locations, including many drug and department stores, and in lots of home improvement stores. Price varies from less that $10 US Dollars (USD) to well over that amount, depending upon the light’s additional features. Though many of these lights are plug in style, a number of them are also battery powered, which may make them even more attractive.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a EasyTechJunkie contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
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Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a EasyTechJunkie contributor, Tricia...
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