Clamp lights are a good addition to any artist’s or photographer’s studio or hobbyist’s workshop. Compact and portable, these lighting fixtures feature a gripping device so you can attach them to tables, beams, and other surfaces. Since they can be directed like spotlights, these lamps are great options for artists who need to illuminate specific areas of a work space; versions with large reflectors are also capable of illuminating broader portions of a room. Ahead, find our five favorite clamp lights for your artistic or crafting use.
1. Woods Clamp Lamp
This lamp features a reflector that measures 10 inches in diameter, which is great for dispersing light into an entire room. It is rated to accommodate bulbs of up to 300 watts, and since it is made almost entirely out of metal, you can fit it with a heat bulb to generate warmth too. It is outfitted with a 6-foot cord—not the longest, but that’s why extension cords were invented. The clamp is easy to squeeze open with one hand, yet it hugs tight once it’s in position. It is also covered in a non-scratch sleeve so it won’t harm the surface that it’s gripping. The head swivels, so you can change the light direction without moving the clamp.
2. Keystone A-1100 Clamp Lamp
If you don’t like the industrial look of metal lamps, consider getting one with a plastic head. This one looks sophisticated, featuring a black casing made of high-impact polycarbonate. This also helps the light remain cool to the touch, and its overall light weight prevents the head from drooping. The light capacity of this lamp is 75 watts, and the reflector has an 8-inch diameter, which will amply illuminate most artists’ work spaces. The clamp, which resembles a pair of pliers, is also made of plastic with a rubberized grip and is designed to be easy to open.
3. Globe Electric Desk Lamp
If you’re looking for a clamp light simply to brighten your workbench or tabletop, consider this nifty little metal model. It features a solidly constructed clamp that you open and close by loosening and tightening screws; while this requires more time than with spring-based clamps, it also ensures a tight hold once in place. Its easy-adjust, spring-balanced arm is jointed at the center and at the base of the lamp head so you can smoothly adjust it to achieve your ideal lighting. Fit it with a 60-watt bulb.
4. Lovork Work Light
If you’re willing to spend a little more on a lamp, we highly recommend this one, which can be used outdoors and features a rechargeable array of 15-watt LED bulbs. It is relatively small, measuring just a bit more than the size of an adult hand, but it is powerful, capable of brightly illuminating a large area. The heavy-duty plastic clamp can grip any ledge up to 1.6 inches thick, and the light head can be tilted across a 900-degree angle as well as pivot a full 360 degrees. The battery lasts 7 hours at 50 percent brightness, 2.5 hours at full illumination.
5. Simple Deluxe Clamp Lights
Sold in a pack of six, these clamp lights are a good choice for anyone seeking to illuminate multiple or large spaces. Each light comes with a 6-foot cord and can accommodate bulbs of up to 60 watts. The aluminum reflectors are on the small side, measuring 5.5 inches across, making these models ideal for directed light rather than full-room illumination when used alone. But when used together, they can create dramatic effects. Simply affix the non-marring spring clamps to a beam or similar base and pivot the reflector to cast light as desired.