Last updated: August 6, 2021

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A magnifying lamp is a special type of lamp that combines the functions of a magnifying glass and a lamp. This type of lamp is especially needed when working with very fine and filigree things. This includes, for example, model making or manicure.

In our magnifying lamp test 2022 we would like to help you get an overview of the most important types of magnifying lamps and what they are used for. Here we have differentiated between magnifier lamps with LEDs and with fluorescent tubes as illuminants and show you the respective advantages and disadvantages of these two types of magnifier lamps. This should make it as easy as possible for you to choose a magnifying lamp.


  • Magnifying lamps make working on objects easier by providing a good lamp and a magnifying glass both in one. This allows you to concentrate on filigree work with your hands free for longer periods of time without being distracted by an additional magnifying glass.
  • LEDs or fluorescent tubes are used for illumination. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but nowadays only LEDs are used as illuminants in loupe lamps. These score points for brightness, longevity and energy efficiency.
  • The brightness of the lamp and the degree of magnification play a decisive role in the magnifying lamp. This means that the user of such a luminaire can concentrate on a very small object for a longer period of time while it is also perfectly illuminated.

The Best Magnifying Lamp: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for magnifying lamps

To find the perfect magnifying lamp for your application, you should consider several criteria.

In summary, these are the following criteria in which the individual magnifier lamps differ from one another:

Magnification / Diopters

The magnification of a magnifying lamp determines how much the object to be viewed in the magnifier is magnified and is strongly dependent on the application. The magnification strength is given in diopters.

The following table shows how many diopters correspond to which magnification.

Diopters magnification in %
2 150
4 200
6 250
8 300

Energy efficiency

Since a magnifying lamp is often used for a very long time at a stretch, it is of course also important that the lamp has a certain energy efficiency.

Depending on how important the cost of electricity is during operation, attention should be paid here to ensuring that the magnifying lamp has the best possible rating.

A magnifying lamp should have a rating of at least A in order to keep electricity consumption as low as possible.

LEDs are the more economical light source compared to fluorescent tubes, but they also have disadvantages. More on this topic in the section on colour temperature and types of magnifying luminaire.

Arm variant / mounting

The arm of the loupe lamp is largely responsible for the comfort of use of the loupe lamp. Since a magnifying lamp may need to be moved from time to time, it is important to ensure that the arm is as robust and flexible as possible.

A distinction is made between spring-joint arms, flexible arms and friction-joint arms.

The flex arm can be bent like a wire and is the simplest type of support arm. The spring-loaded arm has the longest reach and is particularly flexible, but is also somewhat more expensive.

In addition, this type of support arm is also somewhat sensitive to rough impacts. The friction joint arm is not as flexible as the other two types of support arm, but it is also much more robust.

There are 2 options for attaching the magnifying lamp and its arm. On the one hand, the lamp can be firmly mounted on a wall or table using a table clamp or wall bracket, or a stand can be used so that the magnifying lamp stands freely in the room. A magnifying luminaire with a stand is of course more flexible in use, but it is also very large and bulky.

Colour temperature

When using a magnifying lamp, the colour temperature plays a major role. Depending on whether you need light that is more like daylight or particularly bright and white light, the luminaire should be chosen accordingly. The colour temperature is given in Kelvin. The higher the number of Kelvin, the more natural and warmer the "light colour". The following is a small list of typical light colours that are usually used for magnifier luminaires.

  • <4000 Kelvin : artificial, bright white light
  • 4000 - 5000 Kel vin: neutral white light
  • >5000 Kelvin: light similar to sunlight

In summary, special care should be taken to ensure that the user of the magnifying lamp can see all the details of the object being viewed and does not experience eye problems because of the colour temperature.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a magnifying lamp

In order to choose the right magnifying lamp, you should consider a number of factors. We have summarised the most important ones below.

What is special about a magnifying lamp and what advantages does it offer?

A magnifying lamp is a special product that is used especially in niches. The combination of magnifying glass and lamp is particularly efficient for users who perform delicate manual work.


A magnifying lamp is particularly necessary for delicate tasks such as soldering electrical components together
(Image source: ThisisEngineering RAEng / Unsplash)

Here, a well-lit workplace with the possibility of visual magnification is of great advantage. The magnifying luminaire covers these requirements perfectly.

What types of magnifier luminaires are there?

Magnifier luminaires tend to be categorised according to various aspects. One major difference is the light source, as there are major differences between the two main sources used in magnifier lamps; LED's and fluorescent tubes.

Magnifier luminaires with LED's as illuminants

LED's are a very popular illuminant for magnifier lights because they have a lot of advantages. With industrialisation, LED's have become more and more powerful and can now be just as bright as fluorescent tubes and still consume less power. That is why most modern magnifier lamps use LEDs as light sources.

  • very bright
  • energy-saving
  • long life expectancy
  • light weight
  • much more expensive
  • difficult to replace

Magnifying luminaires with fluorescent tubes as illuminants

Fluorescent tubes have a longer history than LEDs and are therefore used especially in older models of magnifier luminaires. Especially the bright and constant light makes the fluorescent tube very attractive as illuminant for magnifier luminaires.

  • very bright light
  • inexpensive
  • easy to replace
  • toxic ingredients
  • costly disposal
  • high power consumption

Who are magnifying lamps suitable for?

As already mentioned, magnifier luminaires are particularly suitable for a user group in certain niches that are involved in working on very fine and delicate things, such as soldering circuit boards. Magnifier lamps are particularly popular in the following professions and hobbies:

  • Soldering chips and circuit boards
  • Model making
  • Beauty salons
  • Watchmakers

What magnification do I need in my magnifying lamp?

Depending on what you want to use a magnifying lamp for, you usually need a certain magnification or diopter in the magnifying lamp.

Simple applications, such as reading texts or a manicure, require a rather low magnification of about 2 to 4 diopters. More complex and intricate work, such as working on a small watch movement, requires a magnification of 5 to 8 or even more diopters.

What does a magnifying lamp cost?

Especially compared to a normal lamp without a magnifying glass, a magnifying lamp is significantly more expensive, as the magnifying glass also contributes significantly to the price of the magnifying lamp. Accordingly, you should definitely reckon with 50 - 100 € for good models.


For complex application tasks, a good magnifying lamp can definitely pay off and avoid many mistakes.
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Entry-level models are also available for less than 50 €. Of course, they can be even more expensive, especially when it comes to loupe lamps for doctors' surgeries or industrial applications. Here, a magnifier lamp can cost between 100 and 300 €.

What alternatives are there to magnifier luminaires?

Magnifier lamps have evolved over time from the combination of a magnifier and a lamp. Of course, you can also use a normal magnifying glass with a stand and a lamp, but then you always have two devices at your workplace.

The magnifying lamp is a real niche product that is often unrivalled.

The magnifying glass and the light have to be aligned separately to the respective object, whereas with a magnifying lamp this is done in a single step.

Image source: Yastremska/