When you are performing as a musician, it is usually in the dark, or in a spotlight, where it can be tough to see what is going on around you. Having a music stand light is always a good idea to ensure that you get a good view of your sheet music and anything else you might need to perform to the best of your abilities. You might think that choosing a music stand light is simple, and that there can’t be many choices, but actually there is quite a lot to consider before making your purchase.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
What Makes a Good Music Stand Light?
How do we define the best music stand lights? What sort of features are you looking for when it is time to get a light for music stand purposes?
Brightness of light is measured in lumens, and though you might not think it needs much to illuminate the music stand in front of you, it is always best to be safe. Ensure that you have a high quality stand light, but also one that can deliver plenty of brightness when needed. This way, you can ensure that you aren’t left squinting to see while you perform.
The brightness also needs to consider distance, so it can be a tough thing to measure accurately, but music stand light reviews will usually give you a good idea of whether a light is suited to playing on stage or in dark practice rooms.
Because the brightness you need can vary so much based on the space you are in, it’s often a good idea to go for stand lights that have dimmer options on them, allowing you to totally control the level of light. This works just like a dimmer switch on a light in your home.
If you can’t get a dimmer, you may find that looking for an option with multiple brightnesses gives you a bit more control. Dimmers let you choose anywhere between 0% and 100% power, which is ideal. However, you might pay extra for this, and if you can accurately predict the light levels where you’re going to be able to play then you can choose your music light level accordingly.
A quick note on color temperature. The vast majority of music stand lights will give off a white light, but some have a different temperature to them and you might find magenta hues to the lights. It’s a matter of personal preference, and which you think will make it easier to read music (and look cool on stage).
This is a big consideration. If you need to be plugged into a power supply to use a music stand light, it can be awkward if you are playing an acoustic show and don’t have power nearby. For example, if you are busking. In this case, you can often find a better option is to go with batteries, such as AAA batteries, which can allow you to be totally portable. Of course, this way, you do risk your lights cutting out, as battery powered items are always susceptible to the battery running out of juice.
In the modern age, there are a number of options when it comes to power. You can choose which is most suitable for your own. You can even get USB rechargeable stand lights which is great for those who want to take a little extra care when it come to the environment as you aren’t using disposable batteries.
Attachment and Portability
If you buy a music stand with lights then the chances are that it has been well-designed with the stand light as a part of the construction. This is not such an easy look to achieve when adding lights to music stands yourself. Most of the lights on the market attach with some sort of clip. A clip-on music stand light makes it easy to use the lights for other purposes, and it is also great for taking out and about with you. You will need to ensure the clip is reliable and that you don’t accidentally knock it while playing or turning your sheet music, as this can lead to some embarrassment as the light ends up on the floor and you can no longer see your music!
Many clip on lights for music stands come with adjustable heads so you can tilt them to the direction you wish and ensure you can properly see the music you want to play. No matter where you clip the light, you should be able to direct it to see the stand.
LED Lights or Incandescent
The types of bulbs might also come into your consideration. LEDs are built to last longer and often use less power than incandescent bulbs, but they also cost more. LEDs also don’t take any time to “warm up” which some incandescent bulbs do. Generally, music stand lights seem to be going the way of the LED light, which makes sense in a lot of ways, and is probably what you will opt for when you come to choose your stand light.
Best Music Stand Lights Reviewed
1. Royal Super Bright 29 LED Music Stand Light – Best Overall
The Royal Super Bright is a very good choice for those who want a lot of control over the light. There are different brightness levels as well as infinite color temperatures to choose between, making it easy to get the exact feel you are going for. The light source is stable, with no flickering, which means your eyes are protected.
The 29 LED lights can illuminate quite a large space, up to 4 A4 pages. It has an anti-glare shine, too.
One of the best things about this music stand light is the fact that it has a rechargeable battery. There’s an inbuilt lithium ion battery that can give up to 60 hours of charge time without having to recharge.
This light features a clip design, and can easily be attached to your music stand. It is a bit bigger than some of the other options so the only real downside is if you are looking for something a little more discreet.
For the musician who knows that they want a bright light with plenty of different controls, look no further than the Royal Super Bright 29 LED Music Stand Light. It’s not the cheapest, or the smallest on the list, but it has so many light controls you will find endless options and flexibility.
2. Aria Forte F1 Rechargeable LED Music Stand Light – Professional Option
The Aria Forte F1 has a really professional look and feel to it and doesn’t have the “stuck on” afterthought feeling some other lights for music stands have. It’s rechargeable and though it doesn’t clip onto your stand in the same way, so isn’t as flexible, it has a hard-wearing and professional design.
On top of this, it has a dimmer switch so you can totally control the level of power. If you use it on half power you can get up to 36 hours of battery life. It has an impressive 9ft cable if you want to keep it plugged in and ensure power while you are using it.
As this has been designed with professional use in mind, it is listed as fitting a load of the best music stands including “Manhasset, Hamilton, Belmonte, On Stage, Peak, Desca, Wenger, K&M, Petersen, and others” which means that it should fit your stand no matter which brand you are going with.
This is not the model we recommend if you’re just getting started and looking for the best music stand light for beginners, but if you are playing with the pros then this ensures both quality and style.
3. Music Stand Light, Clip on LED Book Lights, USB and AAA Battery Operated – Best Dual Arm
With this model of music stand light, you’re sort of getting 2-in-1. It has a dual arm, and two separate gooseneck allow you to point two directional lights and help you to see exactly what you need to while playing. This is a great function for those who need flexibility from their music stand light.
This can easily be used for other things, which is why it is also marketed is a book light. It has the option to power via USB and via 3 AAA batteries. The lamp isn’t rechargeable though, so the USB power running through it just lights it up, rather than charging a battery. The lights are anti-flicker in order to protect your eyes.
To use this, you can clip it onto the surface of your music stand, and you can also attach it to other areas if needed such as on a table. It could do with more brightness and temperature options, but if you aren’t too worried about this, it could be the light for you.
This is a simple and affordable light and though it doesn’t have the most advanced features, it functions as a quality music stand light for those who don’t need to change the brightness of the LED lights.
4. Kootek Clip On Book Lights Music Light Stand – Best Portable Option
Are you looking for music stand lights with a lot of simplicity and portability? The Kootek LED lights give exactly this. It is so easy to take the light out and about with you wherever you need to play, and light up your music stand.
There are 10 bright LED lights within, and a rechargeable li-ion battery. You can charge from either the AC power or from USB. The power switch gives you control of whether it is on or off, and there are a couple of different brightness levels to choose from. You can use this as a reading light or elsewhere if you don’t always need it to function as music stand lights.
It’s incredibly small and lightweight, making it a great option for those who are constantly on-the-go and don’t want to add a music stand light to their considerable list of equipment.
If you’re happy with a slightly smaller lit area in return for an amazingly portable design then this LED music stand light could be ideal for you.
As you can see from our list, there are many different considerations when choosing music stand lights. Consider the power supply, portability and brightness before you make your final decision on which light to take out and about on tour with you!