A light drawing box is an essential item for any artist or illustrator. If you like to draw and sketch, you can improve your work by using a lightbox. It’s a simple but clever tool that gives you a bright, clear surface to work on. By illuminating your paper with LED lights, you can easily make out details. As a result, your work will be more elegant and accurate than ever before.
Light boxes are also known as light boards. And compared to light tables, they are much more portable and versatile. All sorts of artists can benefit from using a light box. For example, a cartoonist can trace their sketch design with ease. This saves time and means you don’t need to rely on using tracing paper.
Read on to find out what is the best light box for tracing. I’ll explain the essential features you need to look for when choosing a light drawing pad. Then, I’ll share my recommendations for the best light boxes for artists.
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How to Choose the Best Light Box for Tracing
Here are the factors you need to keep in mind when shopping for a light box!
Light boxes range in size from A4 right up to A2. You’ll need to think about where you’ll use it. Is it for use in your studio? Or do you want to trace and draw on the go? If so, you’ll need a compact and portable light box. For this, I’d recommend an A4-size light box. Otherwise, you can go bigger – especially if you draw on larger sheets of paper.
The brightness of your lightbox is a critical factor. When you use it for tracking, the light needs to pass through both sheets of paper. So, you need it to be quite bright, or it won’t do the job. Luminosity is measured in lux. Generally, a light box that provides 3000 lux is suitable for any task.
On most light boxes, you can select the intensity of the light you need. They often have several settings, for example, a brighter light for detailed tracing. If you don’t need such a bright light, you can go for a dimmer setting. This feature allows you to create the optimal environment for your work.
Not all light boxes are made to the same standards. You want a quality product that will last. That means buying one made from durable, decent materials and excellent craftsmanship. It can be worth spending a little more for a product that will last for years.
There are some great low-cost light boxes. But make sure that you read reviews and go for a recommended model. Some brands cut corners to save on cost. But that could mean dodgy connections or cheap components that break after a few uses. In the end, that could work out more expensive than a reliable mid-range light box.
There are two main options when it comes to the power supply of light boxes. You can buy light boxes that come with their own power supply. These models tend to provide a brighter, more consistent light.
The second option is to go for a light box with a USB cable. You can connect it to your laptop out USB port and plug it into an outlet. So, it depends on when and where you’ll use it. If you want it to be completely portable, it’s best to buy one with a dedicated power supply. Or, you could invest in an external battery if you choose a USB light box.
As with anything, you should always consider your budget before buying. How much money can you spend on a light box? Can you invest a little more now for a high-quality product that will last a long time? Or maybe you need an affordable model to tide you over for now. Either way, you’ll find the perfect light box for your budget in my list below!
The Best Light Boxes for Artists – My Reviews
This light box from Huion is full of user-friendly features. The luminosity is adjustable from 0 to 2800 lux, making it suitable for any situation. You can adapt it to meet your needs, from dim to very bright. At its brightest, it’s ideal for tracing even on very thick paper.
The LED lights are even and consistent for a reliable result. The eye-sight protected technology ensures your safety, no matter how long you work.
This model can last for 3.5 hours and is fast to charge. You can also choose between battery and USB-mode. So, you can continue working by plugging it into your laptop, even when the battery is empty. You get the best of both worlds!
The Huion LB4 is slim and portable, so it’s perfect for use on the go. It’s A4-size, and you can easily fit it into your bag. At 1kg, it’s lightweight enough to carry anywhere.
Overall, the LB4 light box offers everything an artist needs. It’s compact, powerful, and has long battery life. Plus, it’s very affordable.
- 3 modes of brightness – easy to adjust
- Long battery life of 3+ hours
- Not suitable for A3+ pages
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If you’re looking for a larger lightbox, check out this model from Yaufey. It’s A3 sized, allowing you to create larger sketches. But it’s still compact, lightweight, and portable. That’s down to the super-slim design. It measures 0.31 inches thick, which is impressive. Despite the bigger size, you can take this light box anywhere.
It’s intuitive and easy to use. You can increase or decrease the dimness from 0 to 100% luminosity. So, you get complete control over your work environment.
The Yaufey Lightbox also comes with some cool extras. These include 20 sheets of tracing paper, binder clips, and a rotating pad. You also get a woven bag to carry it, although you might prefer something more secure.
The LED lights will last 50,000 hours, so this light box should serve you well. It’s durable and hardwearing, so you’ll be all set for many happy hours of drawing and tracing.
- An affordable light box
- Simple, effective control over the brightness
- It’s not as portable as a smaller model
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For serious artists, only the largest light box will do. If that’s you, go for this A2 model from Huion. It provides everything you’d expect from this respected brand. You get excellent adjustability and crystal-clear brightness. You can easily see through thick paper, thanks to the intense light it emits. At the same time, smart eye-sight technology will protect your eyes during use.
While the Huion A2 light box measures 20.8×13 inches, it’s only 0.32 inches thick. This size makes it easy to use. It won’t take up precious space in your art studio, either. Plus, you can use it for as long as you like without it overheating.
The team at Huion has constructed this to the highest standards. You also get a 1-year warranty for your peace of mind. If it breaks during this time, you can get it repaired or replaced, free of charge.
- Very bright – ideal for tracing
- It’s slim and compact
- There’s no way to attach your paper to the light drawing board
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The Lightmaster artist light tracing box is one of the best models on the market. At 24 x 17 inches, it’s huge. These dimensions allow you to trace any paper up to A2, so you’re not limited by the size. There’s no need to work section by section with this jumbo light pad. You can see the whole picture and trace it smoothly and seamlessly.
What’s more, the LED lights are reliable and of high quality. They provide a consistent illumination with no flickers – we all know how frustrating that can be. You can dim or brighten the lights gradually to find the perfect setting.
The Lightmaster light drawing pad is startlingly thin. This means that it’s a joy to use and doesn’t get in your way. You’ll hardly even notice it’s there. It’s lightweight but sturdy, and easy to clean with a wipe down.
- Massive size makes it suitable for any projects
- It’s straightforward to adjust the brightness
- It’s not a portable option due to the size
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The Artograph light pad doesn’t come cheap, but it is one of the best options. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you won’t regret buying this beauty.
This model measures 9×12 inches, making it ideal for tracing on the go. As you’d expect, it’s lightweight and portable. It comes in at 2.6 pounds. It’s also beautiful. The clean, minimalist lines and smooth aluminum design make it stand out.
The Artograph light pad provides incredible luminosity up to a maximum of 5000 lux. So, it’s possible to work on even the thickest paper with ease. You can also adjust it to the correct brightness, and the light is UV-free and safe for your eyes. Artograph values your safety and puts that foremost in this design.
If you like to buy only the best products, the Artograph is for you.
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This model is another generously sized light box for tracing. It’s ultra-thin and super lightweight at 1.05 lbs. So, it’s easily portable, even for its large size.
The Sun Cling light box comes with a USB cable rather than its own power supply. Just connect it to your laptop, car, or even a power bank for the ultimate versatility.
It’s easy to operate and very responsive. You can dim the lights with a touch. The light box has a scale around the top, allowing you to measure your designs. This feature comes in handy when you need to be precise.
- Great low price
- Large, versatile size can hold paper up to A3 size
- You’ll need to plug it into your laptop to use it
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This artist tracing light box is about as thin as they come, at 5mm or 0.2 inches. You will hardly even notice it’s there while you sketch and trace. It prevents awkward drawing positions and allows you to sit ergonomically.
The slim light pad won’t get in the way or cramp your style. Rubber pads on the back of the board hold it firmly in place while you work, so your pencil shouldn’t slip. You can use this light pad to create intricate designs or simple drawings. For extra precision, you can refer to the scale around the edge.
While it may be too large for sketching on the go, this light pad is lightweight and practical. Its thin size allows you to store it neatly away when not in use. And despite the large size, it’s robust. The sturdy aluminum frame means that it’s hardwearing and durable.
Most importantly, it’s easy to use. It turns on at the touch of a button and adjusting the settings is straightforward. You can choose from 5 different levels of brightness according to your needs!
- Super-thin yet sturdy
- Comes with its own power supply
- Not very portable – it’s too large
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Last but not least is the CO-Z light board. Measuring 26×18 inches, this model can handle up to A2 paper. So, it’s suitable for even the biggest projects and sketches! You can use this light box for sketching, illustration, calligraphy, and more.
The quality LED lights illuminate the board uniformly. They will last for 30,000 hours with no flickering, and they don’t heat up with use. This light box should last for years!
The lights protect your eyes and prevent eye fatigue so that you can work longer. It’s bright enough to shine through thick watercolor paper. It’s ideal for transferring your sketches to other media.
The smooth acrylic board is a joy to draw on. It’s resistant to scratches, providing the perfect surface for your tracing. Adjusting the brightness is simple – hold down the button until you reach the desired setting.
- The bright light and large size make it suitable for all artistic projects
- It’s very thin, so it doesn’t get in the way of your work
- You need to be able to plug it into an outlet to use it
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To Sum Up
So there you have my guide to the best light boxes for tracing. A light box is an essential tool for any artist who likes to sketch and draw. I’ve selected these products with you in mind. No matter your needs, you’ll be sure to find the right artist light tracing box here! So click the links and buy your favorite model.
Not sure about which one to go for, or do you have any other questions? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll get back to you soon!
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