Music stand lights are most commonly used by orchestral musicians who need to illuminate their sheet music when playing. This is because they are typically found playing in darker environments where these lights are necessary.
Deciding on the best music stand light is not an easy process, considering there are hundreds of great lights available on the market.
We are here to make your life a little bit easier though, as we have put together a short list of our favorite options and what you should be looking for as you shop.
The Top Music Stands Compared
If you’re looking for a music stand lamp that is the best of the best, look no further than the Aria Brio R1. This rechargeable option gives you a bright and consistent light across 4 full-sized pages of music, much more than most.
It comes equipped with a full range dimmer that allows you to select how much light you need in your specific environment, as well as help you to conserve power if you don’t need tons of light to start with.
You can get up to 3 hours of intense brightness with a full charge, or 12 hours of half brightness.
The cool thing is, the light will stay as bright as a full charge, up until the end. The LED is what will let you know that you need to charge, as it begins to blink when nearing empty. If you do need a quick charge, you can plug it into an outlet using the included cord while still using it.
The light itself is a warm white that won’t irritate your eyes after long periods of use and is also completely shielded so not to distract audience members while in use. It is crafted from a heavy-duty 16-gauge aluminum, giving you the utmost in durability.
Bottom Line: The Aria Brio is a seriously top-of-the-line music stand light. It blends in seamlessly with your music stand and has many great features that help it to excel far beyond others on the market.
The Maestro Gear Clip-On Music Stand Light is a LED-powered light with 10 separate LEDs and two switchable levels of brightness. Even though the lights are very bright, they are warm and natural enough not to hurt your eyes after hours of use.
Because of the way it is built, you get wide enough coverage for two pages without any hot spots. The clip on this lights is incredibly secure and can be used almost anywhere, from music stands to pianos.
It is powered with 3 AAA batteries, though you can also use the included A/C adapter without batteries if you’d like. If you are using the batteries, you can get up to 20 hours of use if not at maximum brightness.
It is made with a mixture of plastic (the base and LED housing) and metal (the neck) for a portable yet durable construction.
Bottom Line: If you are in the market for a high-quality light at an inexpensive price, the Maestro Gear Clip-On is an excellent choice. It has a wide range, nice, warm LED lights, and is both portable and durable, giving you the best of both worlds.
The Lumiens L9 is very similar in design to the Maestro Clip-On, though comes with a few different features that set it apart. Like the Maestro, it can be used on music stands, but also on pianos, orchestra pits, and an array of other places.
There are 9 LED lights in total, as well as 2 levels of brightness for more versatile use. The optical grade lens is made to help distribute light evenly across your pages, meaning you won’t have to deal with funky hot spots.
The light is powered with 3 AAA batteries, though can also be powered using the included 78” power cord. When used with the batteries, you can get up to 20 hours of continuous use if not on the brightest setting.
It comes with a nice 10” gooseneck that can be compacted for storage or flexed the way that you need it. Move on down to the clip, and you see a silicone pad that is perfect for providing scratch protection to your music stand.
Bottom Line: The Lumiens L9 is an excellent music stand lamp with a solid amount of coverage and ton of adjustability. The neutral white light is easy on the eyes, and the adjustability allows for versatility in use.
If you’re looking for something that is a little bit warmer, may we offer the LuminoLite Rechargeable USB as a good option?
The SMD LED technology is easier on the eyes than standard LEDs and up to 3 times brighter. This music stand lamp is comprised of 12 natural warm LED lights for a softer and diffused lighting that helps reduce eye strain. There are even 6 different brightness settings, giving you tons of adjustability.
There are two flexible goosenecks that allow you to position and focus each light onto one page based on your preferences.
On a full charge, you can use this light for up to ten hours. The built-in rechargeable 1000MAH Li-ION battery is equal to 3000 AA batteries, giving you an ample amount of use.
The plastic build makes it both lightweight and portable and the padding on the clip helps to protect your music stand from getting scratched.
Bottom Line: The LuminoLite Rechargeable USB is a music stand light that can be used for a wide array of applications. From its warm, easy-on-the-eyes LEDs, to the flexible arms, to the convenient USB rechargeability, it is truly a wonderful light for the price.
If you are in need of a solid light to support you during your performance, though don’t feel like spending a ton of money, check out the Ecological Mart Light.
It provides a nice cooling illumination compared to many other lights on the market, meaning it is a lot easier on your eyes over long periods of use.
While there is no dimmer onboard, there are 6 levels of brightness that you can choose from to best suit your personal preference. The two gooseneck arms are incredibly flexible, allowing to cover two pages at once, as well as store your light away when you are all done.
The gooseneck is both firm and malleable, even when you consider the fact that it is made out of a lightweight plastic material.
It comes with a replaceable Lithium-Ion battery that can easily be recharged with the included USB charger. The clip is rather big considering the size, though the cool thing is you’ll never have to worry about it slipping and falling during a performance.
Bottom Line: For a music stand light that is inexpensive, easy on the eyes, and extremely portable, you need to look no further than the Ecological Mart Light. It’s cool blue glow will keep you comfortably reading music for hours on end.
What Makes a Good Music Stand Light?
The main job of a light is to help you see the music on your stand, so obviously, the main thing we should consider is how bright that light is.
The light should not only be bright in a short distance but should be able to light up the entirety of the page. As most orchestral musicians know, the bottom of the page is usually just as important as the top.
This means that to measure the strength of a light, you also have to measure its reach.
Battery Powered Vs. Corded
Battery powered lights are much better, as you could imagine how difficult it would be to have to run a corded light to an outlet every time you want to play. When outlets aren't available, you'd be out of luck.
That being said, batteries will eventually run out of power, unlike a cord. You must always have a spare set of batteries on you in the event that your light runs out in the middle of a show; otherwise it could be a total disaster.
While some lights use batteries that you must replace, such as AA or AAA batteries, lights use LiPo or NiMH batteries that you can recharge.
In the case that you do get a battery-powered light, if you don’t feel like replacing batteries all the time, go with the latter option.
LED Vs. Incandescent
Typically, you’ll find one of two types of bulbs used in music stand lights: LED or Incandescent.
LEDs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, though tend to be a bit more expensive.
Fortunately, as we move into the future, LEDs are slowly becoming less and less costly because of their growing popularity. They also come without much warm up or cool down time, meaning they’ll be at full brightness from the moment you turn them on.
You can usually find out how much power is being consumed by looking at the wattage of the light. If you are using a light that is battery-operated, you will most likely want one with less wattage so that you are not changing the batteries often.
If you are one person using a corded light, this may not matter so much. That being said, if there are hundreds of people in an orchestra or pit using corded lights, that power consumption can be massive. In that case, you would certainly want to look at wattage.
If you’re attempting to stay out of sight from the audience (which many orchestra members are), you are going to want to get a light that is shielded from the audience.
You don’t want an audience member being distracted by the glow of your light while they are trying to watch the musicians or conductor. It could largely distract from the overall performance.
You’ll typically find that most music stand lights are made out of one of three types of material: plastic, aluminum, or steel.
Steel is the most durable and the longest lasting. Aluminum is second to steel regarding durability and is also a bit lighter.
Plastic is the least durable of the three, though is also the lightest and most portable.
You may not need your light to be on full brightness all of the time. Some music stand lights come with built-in dimmers that allow you to adjust the light in levels, or in large sweeping ranges from 0-100%.
You might be playing in a dark orchestra pit or jazz club one day and then heading to play a Sunday church service the next day. You might need a light in both cases, though certainly not one with the same level of brightness for both.
The color of the light that you get will entirely depend on your taste. Most lights will either give you a bright white color that can be very bright, yet unforgiving, a slightly bluish color that can be a bit darker, though more cooling on the eyes, or a somewhat yellowish color that can be warm and easy.
Consider the type of light that you might want based on your situation as well.
The Light At the End of the Tunnel
Remember that a good music stand light is whatever helps you to remain comfortable while reading music for hours, all the while remaining a non-distraction for your audience.
If you have the money to spend, we would highly recommend the Aria Brio R1. It is easily the most serious music stand light on the market and is perfect for those who are in the game for the long run.