Reported by Susie Ziegler
The Beam N Read Hands-Free Light from ASF Lightware Solutions is a portable, personal LED light worn around the neck to illuminate the area in front of the user. So useful is this little light, it should also be called Beam N Craft, Beam N Stitch, Beam N Camp, Beam N Check-on-Baby, even Beam N Do-Latenight-Housework, as I did late one night when the urge to sort laundry in our bedroom came over me as my husband and kids drifted off to sleep. The manufacturers explain, “For Light Anywhere, Anytime That Won’t Disturb Others.” Exactly!
I tried three kinds of Beam N Read lights. All three use LED lights that are white color-balanced. White light is essential for me in my crafting, and I loved the clear light of these lamps. All three have an adjustable neck strap, and adjustable, aim-able light, and require AA batteries. Turning on the Beam N Read is simple: simply tilt up the adjustable light and it illuminates immediately.
The BNR LED 3 is the simplest with 3 lights, and a detachable red, night vision filter. It seems to me that the red light filter is really sort of pink and not quite red enough for safe night vision. This 3 LED light version was plenty bright for me and since I don’t need the magnifier, this is the one I preferred.
Some users may like a wider and brighter lighting field, so the BNR LED 6 is for you. This light has one removable 4″ x 5″ clip on 4X magnifier, and a removable clear yellow filter for people who are accustomed to the spectrum of traditional incandescent lighting. The magnifiers are not ideal as they are inexpensive, flat, Fresnel type lenses with concentric circles that may or may not be irritating to you as you work. I am prone to headaches and cannot even observe fish in fish tanks without getting a flash of migraine, so I didn’t use the magnifiers.
However, magnifiers are essential for many crafters whose eyesight is less dependable for their detail work. The BNR LED 103M was a 3 bulb version that I tried had a set of three magnifiers: 2X, 4X, and 6X.
Neck straps are adjustable, but on one of my Beam N Reads, the straps fell off the first time I used it and I had to tie knots to secure them. My husband and I wore our Beam N read lamps completely differently. Husband preferred it to hang lower, while I liked it cinched up high.
We brought our three lamps with us when we were out of town with our kids and we all thought they were terrific. Our sleepy family members rested in the darkened hotel room while I worked on my stitching project until late into the night and my son used his lamp to read books. You can use the lamp sitting up in a chair, in a reclining position, and even while walking around.
I’ve used lightweight LED headlamps when camping to read and work, but the Beam N read is vastly more comfortable. With the Beam N Read, the light is aimed down at the floor when you get up from your work to stretch or get a snack.
- An item you weren’t sure you needed quickly becomes indispensable
- Superior to book lights or headlamps
- Strap breaks easily, although still useable
- Lines in the magnifier take getting used to. You might never get used to them.
- Some of the lamps have many removable parts. A storage sack for all of them would be helpful.
Leave us a comment and let us know what YOU’D use a Beam N Read for, and you’ll be entered for one of your very own. One comment per person, per Beam N Read post, winner will be selected on Wednesday, May 12, 2010.