If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.
Light boxes and light tables are useful tools around the studio, but they’re generally cumbersome to move from place to place. Fortunately, artists who need mobility to work can opt instead for an easily portable LED panel, which looks like an iPad and weighs about the same (or less, in fact). While there are many models to choose from, only one—BrightPad Go—is made by Cricut, one of the biggest names in the maker market. The company is best known for its line of digitally programmed cutters that can work with materials ranging from paper to wood and can connect with other Cricut devices through a dedicated app. As for the BrightPad Go, it comes with a lit area of 9 by 11.5 inches, making it supper easy to carry. It has a rechargeable battery that provides 1.5 hours or more of continuous use (a USB charging cable and wall adapter are included). It features five brightness settings, the highest of which pumps out 4,200 lumens of illuminating power. It’s perfect for tracing, but you can also use it to weed (remove excess matter from) designs produced by Cricut cutting machines on material with peel-away backings. A special weeding tool (which resembles a high-tech dental instrument) is also available as a separate accessory. Once you’ve traced your drawing on the BrightPad Go, you can use a Critic app on your smartphone to take a picture of it and upload it directly to a cutting machine—or, if you want to alter it first, into the app’s Design Space feature. All told, the BrightPad Go gives you the versatility of using it on its own or as part of Cricut’s ecosystem of products.