5 Best Tracing Light Box (Reviews and Buyer’s Guide)

Best tracing lightbox is a necessary tool for any artist. But how do you find the best tracing light box? It’s not as easy as it sounds! Tracing light boxes come in different shapes, sizes, and prices. That means there are many options out there – so how do you choose the one that’s right for you? In this article, we cover what makes a good tracing lightbox and give reviews of our top five favorite products on the market today!

Best Choice
HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad
HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad
The best tracing light box
The HSK A-Light Box is a great overall tracing light box that’s perfect for artists and crafters of all levels. It comes with a number of handy features, like the five brightness levels and plastic clips, and it’s backed by a two-year warranty.
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What Is a Light Box for Tracing?

First, let’s establish what a lightbox is. A lightbox (also referred to as tracing boxes, drawing lights, or artist lamps ) is an essential tool for artists of all kinds! They’re used by photographers, graphic designers, and even quilters! The best ones are designed with crafters in mind, featuring adjustable brightness settings so you can see your work clearly no matter the time of day or the amount of sunlight pouring into your home workspace.

Lightboxes come in various sizes and shapes – some have horizontal surfaces while others feature vertical displays that make it easy to view large pieces at once without having to turn them over repeatedly. Some models also include built-in storage compartments which allow you to pack away unused supplies when not in use.

Benefits of Using a Light Box for Tracing

There are many benefits of using a light box for tracing, the most obvious of which is that it helps you see your work more clearly. Whether you’re trying to trace an image or simply adjust the brightness of your drawing, a good lightbox will help you do so with ease. This is especially important for crafters and artists who often work with intricate details and small pieces. A good lightbox will help you to avoid mistakes and make your project look its best!

A great benefit of using a lightbox is that it keeps your hands free. When you’re working on a large or complex project, having both hands available can be really helpful!

Instead of juggling a penlight or trying to hold a magnifying glass in one hand while you work, why not use a lightbox instead? It’ll provide all the illumination you need without any extra fuss.

Another advantage of using a tracing light box is that it helps you to save time. When you can see what you’re doing, you’re less likely to have to go back and fix mistakes. This means you’ll be able to finish your project more quickly and easily!

Finally, tracing light boxes can help reduce eye fatigue. By providing even lighting across your work surface, they help minimize the amount of strain you’ll feel when working on your projects.

How Does a Lightbox Work for Tracing?

A light box is a translucent surface lit from behind by fluorescent or LED lights. This type of illumination is even and gentle, making it perfect for tracing images or adjusting the brightness of your drawing. Some light boxes also include magnification lamps, which make them ideal for detailed work.

Models with adjustable brightness settings are great for crafters who often work in different environments – like artists who sometimes prefer natural sunlight and other times need the extra light provided by a lightbox.

The term “light box” can be a little misleading. In addition to being used for tracing, light boxes are also great for helping you draw in the dark – no more struggling with working on your art project at night!

In fact, there are some professional designers and illustrators who swear by using their lightbox every time they create new artwork (regardless of whether or not they’re actually going to trace anything).

So, if you’re looking for a way to take your artwork to the next level, a tracing light box might be just what you need!

How Can You Find the Best Light Box for Your Needs and Budget?

With so many tracing light boxes out there, choosing the best one for your needs can be a daunting task! Here are some of the things to consider before buying:

Weight

Lightboxes can get quite heavy, especially if they’re made from glass. If you have to move your light box often (for example, if it’s being used by different members of your family), the weight could become an important consideration for you. If this is something that will matter in your decision-making process, make sure to check out the product’s shipping weight before purchasing (usually located in the “Specifications” section of each item description).

Try not to bring too heavy so it will be easier to carry around when needed.

Size

How big do you need your lightbox to be? Will it just be used for personal projects, or do you need one that will be large enough to accommodate commercial work?

You want a model that’s large enough for you to see your project, but also small enough for you to set up quickly. The best light boxes are designed to fit comfortably on your work surface – whether that’s an artist’s desk or a kitchen table. Choose one that’s the right size for your needs!

Adjustable Brightness Settings

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a light box is its adjustable brightness settings. You want to be able to control the amount of light that’s hitting your work surface so you can see your project clearly, regardless of the time of day or the ambient light levels in your workspace.

Some light boxes feature built-in timers which allow you to preset how long the light stays on before automatically shutting off. This is a handy feature if you’re working on a project and need both hands free – it means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off the light box and running up your electricity bill!

Quality

As with any other piece of equipment you’ll be using frequently, it’s important to invest in a tracing light box that is made from high-quality materials. Look for one that is sturdy and well-constructed, so it will last for years to come.

Power Source

Tracing light boxes are available in both plug-in models and battery-operated varieties. If you want to be able to take your lightbox with you wherever you go, choose one that runs on batteries so it’s easy to transport.

If you’re planning on tracing images or other objects that don’t require a lot of detail, your light box can be powered either by batteries (usually AA) or an AC adapter.

Lightboxes with built-in power sources are especially convenient if you need to use the equipment in different environments – like at home and while traveling! You won’t have to worry about bringing extra batteries wherever you go.

Type of Panel

The two most common types of tracing light box panels are fluorescent and LED.

Fluorescent panels give off a warm, natural light that is ideal for artists working with traditional media like pencils and charcoal. If you’re someone who likes to work in natural light whenever possible, a fluorescent panel might be the best option for you.

LED panels emit a bright white light which is perfect for detailed projects involving small letters or intricate designs. If your work requires a lot of precision, an LED panel might be the better choice for you.

Extra Features

Finally, there are a few extra features that you may want to consider before purchasing your light box:

Magnification Lamp

Some light boxes include built-in magnification lamps, which can be really helpful if you’re working on detailed projects.

USB Port

A USB port allows you to plug in your phone or tablet and use the lightbox as a power source, which is really convenient if you need to work on the go.

Artwork Holder

If you like to reference other artwork while you’re tracing or drawing, an artwork holder can come in handy. It will keep your project flat and easy to view while you work.

Price

Lightboxes range in price from around $20 to well over $200, so it’s important to set a budget before you begin shopping. Keep in mind the features that are most important to you and try not to overspend on features that won’t be helpful.

You might also be interested in our article about Top 5 Best Art Projectors.

Warranty and Customer Support

Finally, don’t forget to check the warranty and customer support policies of your chosen light box before making your purchase. A good warranty can be reassuring in case something goes wrong with your product, while customer support can help you resolve any issues that may arise (such as a defective light bulb or a broken stand).

Now that we know what to look for, let’s take a closer look at our top five favorite tracing light boxes on the market today!

Best Tracing Light Box: Comparison Table

ImageProduct
Best Overall
HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad review
HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad
  • Super thin 5mm/2inches A2 Light Pad
  • 4500 lux
  • High-quality aluminum

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Best Portable
HUION LB3 Wireless Tracing Light Box review
HUION LB3 Wireless Tracing Light Box
  • Wireless, thin and portable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Gradual light changing

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Best Budget
Portable LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab review
Portable LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab
  • Comes with a USB cable
  • Not chargable
  • Portable and slim

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Best Value
Crafty Mint Large A2Tracing Light Box review
Crafty Mint Large A2Tracing Light Box
  • 10-foot cable
  • Adjustable light
  • Lightweight, thin, and easy to use

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Best for Professionals
U.S. Art Supply Lightmaster 24.3" Diagonal Professional (A3) review
U.S. Art Supply Lightmaster 24.3" Diagonal Professional (A3)
  • Most realistic look
  • Half-skin and half-muscle detailing
  • Same standards as the original statue

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1. HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad – Best Overall

HSK A2 Light Box Light Pad

Unpacking and First Impressions

The HSK A2 Light Box is the perfect tool for any artist or crafter! It is a high-quality, plug-in model that comes with a number of handy features.

This super thin light pad is just 6.5mm thick, making it ideal for use with delicate materials like diamond painting and sketching. It’s also very lightweight, making it easy to move and adjust.

The five brightness levels make it easy to find the perfect lighting, and the handy plastic clips make positioning your artwork a breeze.

Plus, the power connector is on a cord, so you don’t have to worry about having to reach awkwardly behind the lightbox to plug it in. And if something goes wrong, no problem! The robust coaxial power connector is serviceable/replaceable.

The light box comes with a two-year warranty and excellent customer support.

Performance

This light pad is perfect for diamond painting, comics, sketching, tattoo transferring, sewing project, etc. With 5 brightness levels and a very lightweight and slim design, this lightbox is easy to set up, move around, and adjust. It’s thin so you won’t notice your arms resting on its edge when you use it.

The bright LED technology ensures your projects are illuminated with precision and the various brightness levels up to 4500 lux on the surface make it perfect for use with watercolor paper and other hefty papers. Plus, the cord design stays in place so you can easily position the light box wherever you need it. And to top it off, there are grid marks on the edge so you can perfectly align your project.

The actual lighted screen area is 23 1/2 inches x 17 inches – plenty of room to work on even the biggest projects. And because it’s so smooth and comfortable to draw on, you’ll be able to create masterpiece after masterpiece with ease.

Pros and Cons
Thin and lightweight design
5 brightness levels
Plastic clips
Power connector is on a cord
Some customers report power button issues

Verdict

Overall, we highly recommend the HSK A-series light box for anyone looking for a quality tracing light box that comes packed with some great features. It’s well-constructed, easy to use, and provides great illumination for detailed tracing and drawing work.

Durability
9
Brightness
10
Accessories
10
Size
10
Price
9

2. HUION LB3 Wireless Tracing Light Box – Best Portable Option

HUION LB3 Wireless Tracing Light Box

Unpacking and First Impressions

The HUION LB-series light box is a great choice for artists and crafters on the go. This battery-operated model is ultra-portable, with a lightweight design that makes it easy to take with you wherever you go. The work surface is 16 x 12 inches.

This tracing light box is as lightweight and thin (8 mm) as an acrylic pad this size can be, with a sleek, modern appearance. Plus, it seems to be sturdy and long-lasting. The charging cord is a generous 6 feet long, giving you plenty of room to work.

Performance

This tracing light box uses LED technology to provide bright and consistent illumination while you work, and it has an impressive lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. The included rechargeable lithium battery means you can use this light box anywhere without having to worry about finding an outlet. And if you do need to charge it up, the included charging cable does just that in just 1.5 hours.

This light box is perfect for small or delicate projects. Whether you’re sketching out a new design, transferring a drawing, or working on a detailed sewing project, this handy light box will make the process easier.

It features touch-sensitive fully adjustable brightness levels from 0 up to 2280 lux (not just low, medium, or full), so you can work in any environment and get the perfect level of illumination every time. The light is bright enough to clearly see through 2 pages of 100 lb. paper.

The long-lasting battery means you can work on your projects wherever you go, and the 8+ hour runtime between charges means you’ll be able to get a lot done.

The downside is that there have been some complaints about the quality of the materials used in construction (specifically the power button). However, overall this is a solid choice for anyone looking for a portable tracing lightbox.

Pros and Cons
Ultra-portable
Lightweight design
Fully adjustable brightness
Some customers complain about chord or plug issues
The light may flicker sometimes

Verdict

Overall, we think the HUION LB-series tracing light box is a great choice for artists and crafters who need a portable model that offers plenty of workspace and brightness options. The included rechargeable battery makes it easy to use anywhere, and adjustable brightness makes it perfect for any project. It’s not our top pick for a lightbox, but it’s definitely one of the best on the market.

Durability
9
Brightness
9
Accessories
10
Size
9
Price
9

3. Portable LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab – Best Budget Option

Portable LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab

Unpacking and First Impressions

The LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab is a budget-friendly tracing light box that still offers some high-quality features.

This lightweight and slim lightbox is 5 mm thick. It’s easy to transport and has an even, bright illumination. Whether you’re tracing a pattern, drawing a picture, or creating a presentation, this tracer is sure to come in handy! The work surface is just 12.6 x 8.6 inches – perfect for smaller projects.

It also has a gradually adjustable brightness level, so you can get the perfect amount of light no matter what project you’re working on. The touch sensor switch makes it easy to turn on/off and adjust the brightness.

Performance

Overall, this tracing light box does everything it promises to do.

This lightbox is USB powered, so it’s easy to power up from any computer, power bank, or USB plug. The only downside is that the included cable doesn’t have an adaptor to plug it into a wall outlet. It’s not chargeable and doesn’t contain a battery. However, the affordable price tag makes up for it. It’s also very easy to set up – just plug it in and you’re ready to go.

The LED lights have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, so you can use this box for years without needing to worry about replacements. The brightness allows you to trace even through 110lb cardstock and 140lb watercolor paper.

Pros and Cons
Gradually adjustable brightness
Durable construction
Affordable price
Poor designed connector

Verdict

Overall, we think the LED Light Box Tracer by tiktecklab is a great budget option for anyone looking for an easy-to-use tracing light box. It has adjustable brightness levels and a durable design that makes it perfect for artists and crafters on the go.

Durability
9
Brightness
9
Accessories
8
Size
8
Price
10

4. Crafty Mint Large A2 Tracing Light Box – Best Value

Crafty Mint Large A2 Tracing Light Box

Unpacking and First Impressions

The Crafty Mint A-series tracing light box is a well-rounded option that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It has A2 illuminated work surface, making it perfect for larger projects. The LED lights are bright and even, so you can see your work clearly.

It comes with accessories to make it the perfect tool for your needs. The large 4-inch clip secures your art projects, while the 10-foot cable with DC plug allows extended reach to any outlet.

The Crafty Mint A-series is also made from durable materials, ensuring that it will last through many hours of use.

Performance

Overall, we were impressed by this tracing light box! It has an impressive illumination area and even lighting across the entire surface. The Crafty Mint A-series is also very easy to set up and has 3 levels of brightness.

It’s a great option for artists, crafters, and students who need a large work surface for detailed projects. The adjustable brightness is perfect for any task, from tracing patterns to drawing pictures.

Pros and Cons
Large work surface
3 brightness levels
Durable construction
Sometimes arrives with missing power cable
Not bright enough

Verdict

Overall, we think the Crafty Mint A-series tracing light box is an excellent value for anyone looking for a quality tracing light box. It has an adjustable brightness level and a durable design. Plus, the large work surface is perfect for detailed projects.

Durability
8
Brightness
7
Accessories
8
Size
10
Price
9

5. U.S. Art Supply Lightmaster 24.3″ Diagonal Professional (A3) – Best for Professionals

U.S. Art Supply Lightmaster 24.3

Unpacking and First Impressions

The U.S. Art Supply Lightmaster tracing light box is a high-quality option that is perfect for artists and professionals. It comes in A3 size (12 x 17 inches) and has an ultra-thin 3/8 inch profile.

It also comes with transparent grid accessories and soft foam feet to make it the perfect tool for your needs. The adjustable brightness level allows you to get the perfect amount of light no matter what project you’re working on, while even and smooth surface ensures stability during use.

Performance

This thin and lightweight tracing pad is perfect for professional artists, with a large working surface and super bright LED lamps that last up to 50,000 hours. Plus, the touch button technology makes it easy to adjust the brightness of your light source, so you can get the perfect level of illumination every time.

It’s a great option for artists and professionals who need a high-quality tracing light box that is built to last.

Pros and Cons
Large illuminated work surface
Durable construction
Bright and even lighting
Poor quality of power cable

Verdict

Overall, we think the U.S Art Supply Lightmaster tracing lightbox is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a professional-grade tracing light box. It has a durable construction and a large illuminated work surface. Plus, the LED lights are bright and evenly lit, making it perfect for any task.

Durability
8
Brightness
8
Accessories
8
Size
10
Price
7

For more inspiration check out our Pan Pastels Comprehensive Review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better: USB or AC-powered light box?
Do lightboxes heat up?
Can I use my tracing light box for sewing projects?

Final Words

With so many options available, choosing the best light box for your needs can seem daunting! But with these suggestions in mind, you should be well on your way to finding a model that will help you create stunning art every single time! Happy crafting!

Leave a Comment

Which is better: USB or AC-powered light box?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It really depends on your needs and preferences. Some people prefer USB-powered light boxes because they are more portable. While others prefer AC-powered light boxes because they offer more brightness options. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Do lightboxes heat up?
Some lightboxes may get a little warm to the touch, but they should never be hot. If your lightbox is getting too hot, try turning it down to the lowest brightness setting. Alternatively, you can move it to a cooler location.
Can I use my tracing light box for sewing projects?
Yes! Tracing light boxes are perfect for sewing projects because they provide even lighting and allow you to see your work clearly. Plus, they're portable so you can take them with you wherever you go. Just make sure that the tracing light box you choose has an illuminated work surface that is at least 17 inches wide. This will give you enough space to work on larger projects.