Ultimate Guide to Magnifying Lamps

At AmScope, we know that many people would love to make their hobbies and DIY tasks a bit easier with a better view. However, how do you sort through the many magnifying lamps that will not magnify their view but also illuminate the area for an even better view?

This article is for those hobbyists and perhaps budding entrepreneurs who are looking to get a better view of their projects but don’t know how to find the best magnifying lamp to meet their needs. You'll learn what to look for in a magnifying lamp, including what some of the features are. You'll also find some of the top magnifying lamps for various hobbies and projects.

What Is a Magnifying Lamp? 

A magnifying lamp combines the vision-boosting power of a magnifying glass with bright, directed light. This illuminates the items under the lamp without casting a glare back into the eyes. Magnification lamps come in many different types, each developed to meet the specific needs of a certain task.

Magnifying Lamp Uses

For instance, a jeweler's lamp is frequently a magnifying desk lamp that attaches to a desk or table. They are usually made with a swivel arm so the lamp and magnification can be directed exactly where the jeweler needs it.

Other magnifying lamps are more compact. They may feature clips or a viewing stand to hold the items a person is working on in place while still providing a magnified and illuminated view.

For example, AmScope's Multifunctional Circuit Board Holder and Magnifier with LED Light will snugly hold things as fragile as a circuit board, freeing up the user's hands to manipulate, add, or subtract from the magnified item. Although designed for use with circuit boards, this type of magnifying lamp may also be used to create works of art like beautiful, intricate lacework, jewelry, and miniature paintings. It can also hold a watch snugly in place while repairs are made.


Other styles of magnifying glass, like AmScope’s Heavy-duty 2.25X Magnification Large Rectangular Glass Magnifying Lamp, offer a much larger area of magnification. Firmly attached to a desk or table at one end, this lamp has a flexible swivel arm that allows the user to position it where they need it. The large magnifying lens makes it possible to illuminate and enlarge a book, computer screen, larger painting with intricate details, or smooth sculpture — without the need for endless adjustments. 

AmScope has a variety of magnifying lamps to meet the needs of any hobbyist. Our helpful staff will talk to potential customers to find out what exactly they need to be able to accomplish with their magnifying lamp and direct them to the one that meets their needs.

Magnifying Lamp Components Explained 

Before beginning your search for the perfect magnifying lamp, it's helpful to know what to look for. This will help you determine which is best suited for your individual needs.


Regardless of the style of magnifying lamp, it will contain one or more lenses to create an enlarged view. For less magnification, a single lens may be used. For greater magnification without losing resolution, two or more lenses may be used. 

Here are some common lens types that are helpful to know for your search:

  • Single lens: These are only able to magnify 2x or 3x times. They also distort colors and lose sharpness at their edges. 
  • Doublet Lens: This configuration is two simple lenses that are not cemented together. The doubling of the lens creates a sharper view by correcting some of the distortion at the edges. This type is still best used at lower magnifications. 
  • Achromat Lens: This is the use of two lenses that have been cemented together. This configuration greatly reduces the color distortion and can be used at higher magnifications. 
  • Triplet Lens: This lens configuration is three lenses that have been cemented together. This lens type creates a high-quality image and virtually eliminates color distortion and loss of sharpness. These are intended for jobs that require higher magnifications and great resolution. 

It should come as no surprise that the price of a magnifying lamp goes up when more lenses are involved. However, there are affordable options for every project. We try to find our customers the most cost-effective type for the tasks they need to accomplish.

Light Sources 

Most magnifying lamps on the market today use LED lighting. It provides a bright steady source of illumination without creating much heat. Some larger lamps with magnifiers still use fluorescent lighting, which will more easily illuminate a large targeted area. 

An LED magnifying lamp is suitable for most DIY and hobbyists' needs. The small lights are carefully configured to illuminate the entire field of vision — and only the field of vision. 

Working Distance 

The distance between the person and the items being viewed greatly affects the type of magnifying lamp needed. There is no need for a large field of vision to magnify small items, like jewelry or watches. This means that the magnification can be high, and the distance between the viewer and objects can be as close as possible. 

A greater working distance is recommended for larger items or for items that don’t need to be magnified as much. This is easier on the viewer and makes it possible for larger tools to be used under the magnifying lamp. 

Stand Types 

The type of stand a magnifying lamp is mounted on may limit the number of tasks it can be used for. However, a more compact, less adaptable light stand may be best for some specific tasks.

Swivel Stands

Most of AmScope’s magnifying lamps come with jointed, swivel stands. These are designed to be attached to a desk or table and are generally not portable. What they do offer is the ability to adjust the working distance quickly and easily.  This type of stand is also helpful if magnification is not necessary throughout the whole project. Users can move it into place when needed and then move it out of the way to complete other parts of the project.  

These stands are also ergonomically safe. The user will not have to bend or stretch to get the best view — they just have to move the lamp itself to the appropriate place.

Stable Arm Stands

Certain detailed work, like jewelry making or watch repairs, may require a different configuration. For these activities, hobbyists may be better served by a stable arm that illuminates an attached workspace. This workspace may include clips or bands to hold the items being worked on securely in place while the work is being done. In these cases, the stand that holds the magnifying lamp is compact, unmovable, and sturdy. 


The amount of magnification an individual needs for their projects determines the type and configuration of all other components. If low magnification is needed, then a single lensed magnifying lamp with an adjustable arm, a larger working distance, and fluorescent lighting may be the best option.  

For intricate electronic, jewelry, or art work, a higher magnification will be necessary. Magnifying lamps for these types of projects will require multiple lenses, a shorter working distance, and LED lighting. In many cases, a compact solid stand may also be required. However, an adjustable arm will work for many applications that need higher magnification. 

The AmScope Magnifying Lamp Collection 

These are the most popular magnifying lamps. They are suited for a wide variety of magnification duties. Whether your hobby is embroidery or doing fine watch work, there's something for every project.

AmScope Magnifying LED Lamp 5" Lens White 

This magnifying lamp is a low-cost option with great features. It offers a clear view of objects at lower magnification. It's ideal for book reading, needlework, and other projects where the eye just needs a bit of help to see the details clearly. 

  • Single, five-inch glass lens 
  • Magnification up to 1.75X 
  • 650 lumens of LED lighting, flicker- and glare-free to prevent eye strain even when using it for long periods of time
  • Stable but adjustable arm. Can be moved up to 270 degrees to provide a clear view of objects of various shapes and sizes
  • Features an attached lens cover to prevent dust build-up or scratching 

40 LED Adjustable Tabletop Magnifying Lamp with 4” Glass Lens 

This tabletop LED magnifying lamp is 15” tall and offers enough magnification for more detailed work. 

  • Single 4-inch lens with spot diopter 
  • Magnification of 1.75X with lens and 4x through diopter spot 
  • Both the head and arm swivel to accommodate almost any situation
  • Features 40n individual LED lights of maximum illumination without glare or flicker 
  • Hinged cover easily pops up when in use and then covers the lens when not in use to prevent scratching and dust build-up 

Heavy-duty 2.25X Magnification Large Rectangular Glass Magnifying Lamp 

This large magnifying lamp is perfect for illuminating and magnifying many things in the home, office, and studio. 

  • 7.5” X 6.25” single lens 
  • Magnification of 2.25X 
  • Sturdy clamp easily attaches to any work surface 
  • Two fluorescent lamps, 9 watts each, provide ample lighting for the entire workspace 
  • Dual pistons on the arms allow for precise positioning, and locking knobs on both arms ensure the lamp stays in place
  • The lamp can be rotated 360 degrees and extended up to 38” 
  • Hinged cover to protect the lens from dust or damage

Multifunctional Circuit Board Holder & Magnifier w/ LED Light 

This compact magnifying lamp may be small in size and price tag, but it has lots to offer. It is battery powered (or it can be powered using the included USB cord), so it can be used anywhere without the need for an outlet. With a higher magnification, it can be used to do detailed electrical work, jewelry repair or construction, figure painting, watch repair, or any number of intricate and detailed projects. 

  • The circuit board holder is adjustable and provides a movement free hold for a wide variety of small objects 
  • Magnification of 3X/4.5X
  • Includes a soldering iron holder 
  • The stand features a wide base and rubber feet to prevent it from slipping or tipping over
  • The clamps rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing the user to access all the sides of the objects they are working on without the need to remove them from the clamps 
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries or the use of a USB cord as a power source

Still Not Sure? Ask The Experts 

At AmScope, we have been selling high-quality magnifying lamps, microscopes, telescopes, cameras, and accessories for over 15 years. AmScopes offers a wide collection of magnifying lamps so customers can find the magnification and illumination for the projects they need to get done.

Our knowledgeable staff takes the time to listen to each customer's individual needs so that they can find the right tool for their hobby, project, or job. We want each of our customers to get exactly what they need at an affordable price. If a customer wants to know which is the best magnifying amp for painting, our customer service representatives will take the time to find out what the customer will be painting and its dimensions so they can make an informed referral. 

If a customer tells our reps that they need a lower magnification over a wider area, the reps will ask enough questions to determine exactly what the customer is looking to illuminate and magnify before making a suggestion. As the number one retailer of magnifying lamps and other items in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, we offer customers the best products and exceptional customer service. 

To find out more about uses for magnifying lamps and which of our collection will best suit your needs, or to find out more about the many other products we carry, contact us at AmScope today. 

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