As long as I can remember, I have always crafted.  The force to be creative is very strong in this one! So every spare moment I have is spent making jewelry or doing crochet. That includes while watching a movie/tv at home or on long journeys as a car passenger.  I've tried all sorts of personal lights in the past so as not to annoy others with bright overhead lights.  None were ideal - flashlight (awkward),  clip-on lights like book lights (too dim) and Ott-lite lamps (not convenient if the table is too far or if one is in a car; floor models are also expensive).

So I was pleasantly surprised to come across the Beam n Read LED 6-3M Hands-Free Personal Craft Light ($35 from Amazon) made by ASF Lightware Solutions.  The manufacturer sent it and a power kit to me recently for review.  This is their new BNR LED 6-3M model ($35 plus S&H from ASF Lighting) which comes with 3 magnifiers.  It available through some craft stores as well as Amazon. They also have the  BNR LED 6-3F which is the same light but with orange and red relaxation filters.

The main unit comes with an option of 6 or 3 LED lights depending on how much light one needs. As soon as the light section is flipped up, 3 lights come on.  The rocker switch actually refers to the 6 light option. The amount of light one gets is excellent for crafting.

The printed instructions (no photos) were pretty minimal so I was briefly stumped looking for the battery compartment.  Removing the filter holder reveals the arrow on the slide out cover.

It seems like a small thing but I liked how they marked the filter holder with "BACK". This makes it easy to remember to place the holder over the arrow of the battery compartment.

4 AA batteries are required which gives a runtime time of 100 hours (3 lights) or 50 hours (6 lights). There is also a separate USB/AC power kit USB/AC Power Kit available if an outlet is nearby - this will save on batteries. The outlet can be the USB port of a computer (or that of modern cars) or with the 2 pin adaptor into a wall socket. International users will have to use a USB adapter for local outlets. There is an extension cord to add a further 6 ft, for a total of 12 ft.

It's hands-free because the light is worn around the neck.  The strap is adjustable.  I found it best to wear it high on the chest as demonstrated by Lola, my mannequin. The manufacturer did think to make that strap elasticated for easy wearing and taking off especially with a shortened strap.  Both the light section and the magnifier holder do pivot as shown by the red arrows so I was able to get just the right angle for both.

The Beam N Read personal light can also be used as an additional table top task light as the base is stable. However, I found that it is really too low for practical uses unless the height is boosted for e.g. with some books as I did.

The magnifiers are fresnel lenses (2x, 4x and 6x). Each lens has two tabs which allow it to be placed in either portrait or landscape orientations. There are ridges in them because it means these can be made much more compact (and lighter) than the conventional convex lens (see comparison below).

Fresnel lens vs plano-convex lens

The circular ridges of the fresnel lenses do cut down on visibility somewhat although it is less obvious in actual use with the LED lights on - I took the photo below in daylight.

I preferred to use the light without the fresnel lenses as I had a clearer view.  There is always the option of popping one on when I got to a tricky part and needed to see more clearly what I am doing.

This is the best solution I have seen so far for a very bright and portable craft or reading light. It is great for all sorts of crafting like quilting, knitting, sewing besides jewelry making.   There are also many other potential uses to this handy device.

I  wish I had this light years ago when we did a lot of camping as a family.  It would have enabled me to properly read and craft around the campfire! Not to mention negotiating my way to the camp facilities in the dark with children in hand.

I would certainly keep this handy for when there is a power outage as the light leaves my hands free to do tasks safely wherever I go. Lit candles in the house with 3 cats around is just asking for trouble!


If you'd like to a Beam n Read Personal Light - the BNR LED 6-3M model  like the one above,  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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This giveaway is for US and Canada only.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, August 10, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


I used my iPhone 5 with the camera+ app and the Modahaus TS320 tabletop studio mostly in natural light except for the dark pictures.   Check out more about my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar class.

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Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips