After comprehensive research, we identified ten of the absolute best light boxes for artists.
A great light box is indispensable for any artist. With it, they can really work with even the most intricate details in their pieces.
Accordingly, it’s necessary to find the best light boxes for artists, but this isn’t easy to do with so many options available.
Read on to discover which model is right for you.
Best Light Boxes for Artists:
1. LITENERGY Portable A4 Tracing LED Copy Board Light Box
Slim and lightweight, this is the best light box for the artist who wants to work anywhere. The overall thickness of the unit is just 0.2″, which is equal to about five millimeters.
The visual working area on this product is just nine inches by 12 inches, so it may not be ideal for larger pieces. Still, the energy-efficient, LED bulbs guarantee that you’ll never see a flicker and that your eyes will be protected from strain.
A single-touch switch controls both the on/off function and the intensity level of the light. Simply hold your finger over the button until the correct brightness level is achieved. Once the lights reach their brightest point, they will automatically begin to dim.
This light box is powered by a USB cable that can be attached to any power bank, laptop, tablet, PC, or other suitable device. Use an adapter to plug the USB cable into any wall outlet.
This economical lightbox is a favorite of many consumers who love that it has so many different light levels. Nonetheless, some wish that it had rules along the top and sides.
Economical and reliable, this is an excellent value for a lightbox.
- Easy to use
- Can be powered up anywhere
- Combats eye strain
- No rulers printed on the edges of the work surface
2. HSK A3 Light Box Light Pad Aluminum Frame Touch Dimmer
This A3-size light table for tracing is just five millimeters or 0.2 inches thick, which means that it’s not at all bulky. Accordingly, this light box is ready to be taken with you wherever you go.
Arriving with a storage bag and two clips, this item is prepared for use from the moment you receive it. It comes with an adapter so that it can be plugged into a wall outlet, giving you a steady and predictable flow of electricity.
Interestingly, this light box has an on/off button and two additional buttons, one for brightening the light intensity and one for dimming it. Many users may appreciate this as it makes it slightly less difficult to turn off the pad while in use. Nonetheless, the placement of the buttons is suspect as they can easily be touched while using the lightbox.
Saying that it makes their projects much easier to complete, many people love this light box. Critics wish that one end of the cord wasn’t permanently attached to the unit as this causes wear and tear during transportation.
Equipped with some nice extras, this light box is a good value for artists.
- Separate power and light intensity buttons
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with clips and a storage bag
- The permanently attached part of the cord is subject to wear and tear
3. Voilamart A2 LED Tracing Board Light Box Light Pad
Although more expensive than many of the products here, the Voilamart lightbox performs so well that dedicated artists probably won’t mind spending extra.
This is the best light box for tracing projects with a large 17-inch by 23.8-inch work surface. That makes it suitable for projects that are up to A2-size. Arriving with a special carrying case, this light box is ready to go wherever you are.
This model is powered by an adapter that plugs directly into a wall outlet. Accordingly, it can achieve brighter light levels than units that are only powered by USB. While this feature may be desirable to some, others may not like that they have to be tethered to a wall outlet.
A switch controls the light box’s power and its three levels of illumination: 25 percent, 50 percent, and 100 percent. Rulers are included on the tracer surface.
Overall, customers love how large this lightbox is, and they also appreciate that the button that controls the light intensity isn’t so sensitive that they are routinely changing the intensity by accident.
Nonetheless, some users wish that this board was a bit more portable.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more to have an excellent experience, then this is the lightbox for you.
- Extra-large work surface
- Comes with a carrying case
- Less sensitive control switch
- Not as portable as other models
4. Huion L4S LED Light Box A4 Ultra-Thin USB Powered
This convenient option is the best A4 light box because it’s so portable. Ultra-thin at only 0.2 inches, popping this lightbox into any bag is a snap.
It’s equipped with a micro USB port, which means that it can be powered with any tablet, PC, laptop, power bank, or wall outlet. A USB cord and an adapter are included.
Press the unobtrusive button to adjust the light intensity to just the right level. The box remembers your previous setting so that you can hit the ground running on subsequent similar projects.
Attach your paper to the light box with the included clip. You’ll benefit from using a light box that’s easy on your eyes so that you won’t get fatigued even after hours of work.
Lightweight, thin, and portable, this is the perfect light box for the artist on the go. People love it because it is well-made and sturdy.
Nonetheless, some users are unhappy with the placement of the button that doubles as an on/off switch and an intensity adjuster. Because the button is on top of the unit on the left side, many people accidentally rest their hands against the button, turning it off in the middle of their project.
Relatively inexpensive and reliable, this light box is a great choice for artists.
- Thin, light, portable
- Light intensity is easy to adjust
- The placement of the on/off button
5. Tiktecklab A4-Size Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box
This LED tracing light box is definitely affordable, and at just 0.19-inch thickness, it also is lightweight and portable.
With a warmer, 7500K light, many users find that this lightbox is easier on their eyes and more attractive than many alternatives. Like many other light boxes, this one is powered by an included USB cable so that it can be used with a wide range of devices or plugged into a wall outlet with an adapter.
The flicker-free lights are perfect for a wide variety of projects. Because the light surface is suitable for A4-size papers, it’s compatible with many quilting, diamond painting, calligraphy, scrapbooking, and other projects.
People frequently say that this unit is sturdy but lightweight. The thin design is perfect for taking the lightbox on the go.
Nonetheless, some people wish that this lightbox had more than just three light levels, which is pretty limited when compared with the competition.
If budget is a major consideration when you’re purchasing a light box, then this one is a good investment.
- Only three light-intensity levels
6. Picture/Perfect Best Light Box for Tracing
This is an interesting selection that may be especially appealing to artists who like to draw and trace. That’s because this product is particularly geared toward these activities, and it has features that are designed to support them.
A specific light box for tracing, this model is suitable for use with 8.5-inch by 11-inch tracing paper. With a built-in filter, your eyes will feel less fatigue and strain as you work.
This light box also is ultra-thin at just one-eighth inch or four millimeters thick. It weighs only 11 ounces, which means that this item is perfectly portable. Additionally, it’s made from ultra-durable acrylic, so you don’t have to worry about this lightbox standing the test of time.
Along with the light box, you receive tracing paper, a paper holder, and a six-foot-long USB cable. This model even has an outstanding five-year guarantee.
Described as lightweight, thin, and bright, many people love this light box. However, critics say that the paper clip is just way too tight and difficult to use.
With a decently sized work surface and great portability, this is a fantastic selection for many artists.
- Perfect for tracing and drawing
- Ultra-thin, light, and portable
- Made from durable acrylic
- The included paper clip is far too tight
7. ME456 A4 LED Light Box 9×12 Inch Light Pad
This nine-inch by 12-inch tracing light box is just five millimeters thick. This makes it large enough to handle a variety of projects but small and light enough to still be portable.
You won’t be bothered by shadows or glare from this light box, so you won’t experience eye strain. The super-bright LED lamps have a life span of up to 50,000 hours and are guaranteed not to flicker.
Like many others, this product is powered by a USB cable that can be plugged into any suitable device. Use an adapter to power it from a wall outlet.
With a single touch button, users can control the on/off function and the brightness level. A maximum level of 4,000 Lux can be achieved, and this light box remembers the level to which you set it the last time you used it.
Calling it powerful and praising its ability to adjust brightness levels, many people swear by this lightbox. However, there are numerous complaints about the weakness of the USB port.
As long as you are careful about inserting and removing the USB cable, this inexpensive lightbox will serve you well.
- Super-light and portable
- Easy to adjust brightness
- No eye strain
- The USB port is definitely a vulnerability
8. Huion LB3 Wireless Tracing Light Box
Powered by an LB3 battery, this light table for drawing can be used absolutely anywhere because you don’t need a cord or cable of any kind. This makes it the ultimate choice for portability.
The battery lasts approximately two hours on a full charge, and it requires about one-and-a-half hours to achieve a full charge. Use the USB cord and the power adapter or get a full charge and take it anywhere without the need for a cord.
With adjustable brightness, this lightbox is able to provide 2280 Lux at maximum brightness. The transmitted light is uniform and stable without any flickers, and a filter protects your eyes from any glare or strain.
At just 0.31 inches thick and boasting a work surface that measures 12 inches by 16 inches, this lightbox is large enough for most projects but light enough to carry with you.
Users love that they can charge up this light box and take it with them anywhere without having to worry about a cord or a power source. Nonetheless, critics say that the USB port is pretty finicky.
A little higher priced than other models, the ability to work anywhere without a cord is definitely worth it.
- Lots of light levels
- Can be used anywhere without a cord
- Lightweight and portable
- The USB port is finicky
9. Luditech A4 LED Light Box Tracer
This A4-size artist light table is economically priced so that it will appeal to even the most budget-conscious artist. Unlike most other best light boxes for artists, this one is not completely surrounded by a frame. This gives it a really futuristic look but also makes it seem less sturdy than other selections.
Once again, this light box has just one touch button to control the power and the brightness level. In lieu of a frame, this model has just one bar located on the left-hand side. This bar is where you’ll find the button and the port for the USB cord.
The stable, soft light provided by this lightbox is easy on the eyes yet bright enough to illuminate even the most intricate of designs.
Remarking that it is simple, straightforward, and reliable, people often recommend this lightbox to their friends. Others wish that it came with a frame for better stability.
Affordable, thin, and lightweight, this light box is a reliable choice.
- Stable, soft light
- Straightforward and reliable
- No frame, which can be detrimental to stability
10. Mlife B4 LED Light Pad Kit
This B4-size light box for drawing is a wonderful selection because it comes with a metal stand. Use the stand to adjust the box’s angle to 12 different levels, making this light box convenient for use anywhere.
Because it has a larger light surface, this product is ideal for bigger projects. It’s powered by a two-meter-long USB cable. All you have to do is plug it into a power bank or computer. Use an adapter to plug into a wall outlet.
The touch sensor switch turns the light box on or off with a touch. Hold your finger on the sensor switch to adjust the brightness level. The LED lights are easy on the eyes so that you don’t experience fatigue even when during those really long, difficult projects.
In general, people praise this lightbox while using it for things like diamond painting, quilting, sketching, and a variety of other crafts. The metal stand, adjustable light intensity, and lightweight frequently are lauded.
Some critics say that the USB cable isn’t very sturdy. It might be wiser to buy your own.
Buy a high-quality USB cable, and you’ll be ready to create with this lightbox.
- Larger size for bigger projects
- Comes with a metal stand
- Easy to adjust the intensity
- The USB cable fails too soon
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Light Boxes for Artists
When buying a tracing light pad, the first consideration is the power source. Most light boxes are powered by a USB cord, an AC outlet cord, or a battery. A USB-powered light drawing pad is quite versatile because it can be plugged into any electronic device with a suitable port. Alternatively, it can be attached to an AC adapter so that it can be powered by a wall outlet.
Light boxes that are powered solely by an AC cord must be plugged into a wall outlet for use. This provides a steadier, more reliable source of power, but keeps the artist tethered to the indoors.
A battery-powered light box can be used absolutely anywhere, but it must be charged first. If you are out and your battery goes dead, you may not be able to use your lightbox until the battery gets charged again.
Size of the unit:
The size of the unit also is a major consideration. If the lightbox art that you work with is quite small, then you’ll have plenty of options. However, if you tend to go in for larger pieces, then you’ll have to take careful measurements to ensure that the artist’s light box has a sufficiently sized work surface.
It’s also worth considering how bright the lightbox is. Some boxes have only three brightness levels while others can be adjusted to any level between the minimum and maximum points.
Light Boxes for Artists FAQs
What kind of projects can be completed with a light box?
Artists rely on light boxes for a multitude of uses. They are popular with animators, quilters, watercolorists, and diamond art painters alike. Whether for tracing or drawing, a light box is an economical addition to any artist’s studio.
Do I have to spend a lot of money on a light box?
If you are a dedicated, professional artist, then it’s wise to spend some extra money to get a high-quality model. Amateurs or people who are trying out a lightbox just for fun will find that they can enter the market with a reliable product at surprisingly little cost.
Which power source is the best?
This one really comes down to personal preference. If you tend to only work on your projects inside your studio, then there’s no reason to go to the extra expense of a battery-powered light pad. You’ll do fine with a unit that plugs into the wall or your computer.
Making the Decision
For artists on a budget, the best choice likely is the LITENERGY model. It’s thin yet has a large work surface, and we love the way that it fights eye strain.
However, if you’re willing to spend more then choose our pick for the best light boxes for artists: the Voilamart A2 LED Tracing Board. We love its large size and the reliability of the touch button.