Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Light tables are important tools in the film and photo industry as well as in printing shops. They are also often used in the medical field. In radiology, they are also called light boxes.

Nowadays, the light table has been developed to such an extent that it can be used in many different ways, whether in research, art, industry or even therapy. It has also gained more importance in the design sector and is thus used as a furnishing item (1) in the living room or as a luminous accessory in the outdoor area.

Meanwhile, these are widely used as ‘drawing tables’ among children and thus in many kindergartens. The world of light boards is large and to create an overview of different products, we have compared some with each other and looked at the most important features.

The most important Facts

  • Light tables are not only available in several sizes, they can be used in many ways and therefore also have many functions
  • Depending on the functions and the manufacturer, there are light tables in the price range between 15-190 euros
  • Important criteria for buying a light table are the size of the light pad and the adjustable height, the adjustable brightness, the weight and the energy supply

The Best Light Table: Our Picks

Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Light Tables

We have thus compiled a list of some important features here to help you decide on the right light table:

In the following section, the above-mentioned buying criteria are explained again in detail:

Light pad size

When it comes to the size of the light pad, it should be noted that it can range from A0 to A5. Here it is important to consider what the light pad will be used for, as slide viewing or sand painting require larger monitors, smaller ones more for children who want to paint and trace.


The brightness of the light table is a particularly important factor, especially when very precise work needs to be done. It would then have to be adjustable and also have a protective effect on the eyes. After all, working for a long time can tire and damage the eyes.

This is especially relevant when tattoo drawings have to be made, as here special attention is paid to accuracy. There are even light tables that have an intelligent memory that stores the previous light level and recalls it when switched on. In the meantime, even environmentally friendly LED lamps are being produced for light tables.

Energy supply

There are light tables that are either battery-operated or have a rechargeable battery. It is important to ensure that the batteries used are of high quality and have a long service life so that they do not have to be constantly replaced. A rechargeable battery, on the other hand, can be easily recharged at any time and this can be conveniently connected to the PC or even to the car.

Light table height

Light tables that are used for retouching work or quality control, for example, should be flexibly height-adjustable. This makes it possible to stand for long periods and work more easily. Older light table models are still cranked up with a lot of effort, but the technology has developed to such an extent that this has now been replaced by modern gas spring technology. Nowadays, light tables are even available that can be adjusted at an angle.


Flat, thin and lightweight light boards are always a plus, especially because they are compact, fit easily into a bag and can therefore be taken anywhere. For freelance graphic designers or photographers, this is a particularly practical factor. Because no one wants to carry around a heavy light pad unnecessarily.

Guide: Frequently asked Questions about the Light Table answered in Detail

Again and again, consumers ask themselves what to look for when buying a light table. To make this a little clearer, the following section lists important questions and answers on the subject of light tables.

What is a light table and what is it used for?

A light table (2) is a work table that is used for drawing, painting, tracing, sewing or photographing. LED lamps are used to illuminate a transparent surface which makes it possible to shine through, work on and fix transparent working material. This technique is also used in radiology, in which case light tables are called light boxes and are often mounted on the wall.


Professional graphics tray with a magnetic pen (Image source: Pexels / Steven Buissinne)

A light table comes in many sizes, depending on whether you want them to be mobile or fixed to a location.
Light tables are also tables that are used in residential or outdoor areas and are more for lighting and beautification.

What does a light table consist of?

A light table basically consists of the main component, the screen. This consists of either frosted glass or acrylic glass, which is illuminated by LED lamps. Frosted glass is opaque and permeable to air, while acrylic glass is a transparent plastic.

Acrylic glass is now used more frequently because it is more resistant to wear and tear. The housing is often made of synthetic material for small light pads and of wood or aluminium for larger, often high-quality products.

What does an average light table cost?

The following overview shows to what extent costs for a light table should be planned.

Price range Available products
15 to 50 euros Up to 3 brightness levels

No touch type

2D instead of 3D animation

Low illuminance

Adapter not included

Single-button system

50 to 150 euros accessories included (such as magnetic pins)


0%-100% brightness levels

Environmentally friendly LED

Up to 4 sizes

Higher quality light panel

150 euros upwards Larger

Multiple functions (multi-coloured)

High-quality housing

Accessories included (such as magnetic pins or stands)

Larger monitor inch

What accessories can I buy with a light table?

The material for light tables is incredibly versatile:

  • Toys: play sand, acrylic paint blocks, magnetic sticks, transparent shapes
  • Electrical accessories: USB cable, rechargeable battery, batteries
  • Accessories: Magnifying glass, stand, magnetic pins and pens


Nowadays, no light table should be missing in the household, because the time when tracing with butter paper is over. Such a drawing table is incredibly practical in every respect, whether in radiology, for children as a toy or learning tool.

It can also be used in research, because the light table is increasingly being used to recognise even worms (3) when gutting fish. An incredible product. Not only that, these light pads are also a compact working tool for freelance graphic designers and photographers.

Since light tables vary in price range as well as features, it is only necessary to determine which features are important to the consumer, whether it is the design, height, size or brightness.

Image source: Shironosov /

References (3)

1. Möbel und beleuchtete Tische

2. ist ein Leuchttisch?


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Leuchtende Möbel und beleuchtete Tische Möbel und beleuchtete Tische
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Was ist ein Leuchttisch? ist ein Leuchttisch?
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