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Hobby Lighting – What do you use?

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    Cult of Games Member

    One of the hobby related items ive been meaning to upgrade for a while has been my lighting. I’d noticed in these dark evening’s I’d often be struggling trying to see minatures while painting.

    I’ve had a bit of hobby down time in the last week clearning up my office/hobby space to some extent, these are shared spaces so I have to balance between work (and many monitors/laptops etc.) and hobby. As such im somewhat limited in the lighting arena, not wanting something too bulky or that cant easily be moved aside and my desk makes those clamp on lights a bit tricky to use.

    Yesterday I finally decided to sort this out and picked up one of these, I already had a few lamps from this brand and the quality has been good:


    Three colour temperatues, including daylight, and dimable, USB powered so no more power cables either and too my suprise when i opened it, and pressed the button its actually battery powered, something i completly skipped over in the description.

    So far im impressed, minatures are much cleared to see and im looking forward to some painting this evening.


    What ligthing if any do you use?

    What would you recommend to our fellow hobbyists?


    Cult of Games Member

    I have two things. One is the LED light on my mobile paint station and the other is the LED light over my desk bolted to my shelf. They both are bright white with 6000 K colour brightness (aka daylight)

    Only trouble is: they only bring light from above. To make it even more better and easier to paint there should be light comong from more angles. Like the arc that Warren has made. But those take up a lot of space.


    Cult of Games Member

    Moving on from a normal room light and desk lamp with 40 watt yellow coloured bulb.

    My lighting saga started with a small angle magnifying daylight thing, bulb but not LED. Wouldn’t recommend. And apparently you can no longer buy it anyway

    I then got a 100 Watt equivalent daylight bulb for the ceiling light. this was ok but bad as it was in the centre of the room and a single small light source but it was good enough. I chose to paint under this than the angled light.

    I then got photography lights and used these for painting for a while (bulbs are the same as candles the brighter they are the faster they burn). These were the best but very uncomfortable to paint under for long periods. Very very bright even with a soft box. This has a 75 watt energy saving bulb. The last equivalent was something like 18 Watt I don’t think this math works but that would make it a 400 watt equivalent bulb. I loved two and liked one. But the bulbs are large about the size (and cost) of a whiskey bottle, expensive and  it was uncomfortable to paint for 6 hours under it.

    I replaced the ceiling light with a 1200mm / 600mm daylight LED panel this is good at keeping the colour in the room correct but not good for painting, would recommend overall. Only painting if you can suspend it from about 3ft away directly above you.

    I then got two small USB led angle things that were cheap but not as cheap as I had hoped. these were ok but they were to dim I had to move then about an inch away from the model at points. I cant recommend these.

    I replaced these a few months ago with a single broad light.  I like this but I sometimes wish it was more then 2200 lumens just for a bit when painting eyes for example. But I just drag it forward and it’s good. I can recommend this. This is also good as I don’t need to have it in my eyes only on the model by tilting it slightly forward and this is easy to do. But for a light, I think it’s expensive.

    In hindsight I could have stopped at the 100 Watt bulb or also got two more 100 Watt bulbs and Ikea lights to put them in. Then put all the money, apart from the photography lights as they were not bought for this into one amazing light made by angels.  The difficulty I have with these things is I cant find a shop and try before you buy. Sadly even then, the rest of the lights in the store would impact the quality and strength of the light.  Also Lights don’t tend to get a large hobby budget, even then keeping £25 for 5 years before spending it doesn’t work unless lockdown lasts for 5 years. Just doing the best you can at the time is probably the best bet.

    Yes, I am on a self imposed ban now from buying more painting lights until I either move or something breaks. This all started in about 2010 so 11 years so not too bad.





    Got an OTT light. $30. Not sure if I’d recommend it over another primary light source.

    Those lightweight USB-charged LED lights are GREAT. Use them for an alternate direction of light, indirect lighting for photos, reading in another room, anywhere I need a powerful light source! Has to be charged, of course, but, yes, it’s a great an inexpensive supplementary light source!


    Cult of Games Member

    I use a daylight LED desk lamp I found from Amazon.

    I use it for painting and for all of my miniature photography.


    Cult of Games Member

    I use 2 IKEA Tertial lamps (£9 each) with 2 Amazon Basics cool white led bulbs (£7.59 a pair). Haven’t looked back since.

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