The newest Kindle has a light bundled with its case, but there are plenty of eReader owners still stuck in the dark, unless you find yourself a decent light source. There are a couple options available that were specifically meant to fit a Kindle. We tested the Belkin eBook Light ($24.99) and the Octovo Kindle Light ($29.99) to see how much they brightened up our eReading experience—check out our impressions after the jump.
Belkin eBook Light
At first glance, Belkin's eBook Light seems a little goofy. The hefty battery pack requires three AAA batteries (sold separately) and the 7-inch flexible arm—which supports the light—looks like a rejected add-on from "Inspector Gadget," but thankfully, the light's performance makes up for its appearance. Note: this add-on is purely for the Kindle; the mounting clip slipped off of our Barnes & Noble Nook.
The lamp head features three LEDs, and even on low—the light toggles between two brightness settings—it still provided ample light to read by. To attach the accessory, pull out the retractable front half of the clip and slide the light over the top of the Kindle. Rubberized surfaces on the front and back side of the clip fit snugly without leaving scuff marks.
The battery pack makes up most of the 4.3 ounces. The dimensions measure a mere 1.4 x 1 x 2 inches—so there's little wasted space. The lamp head can be slipped inside the clip for easy travel, but even when it's put away, the adjustable arm still sticks out from the top of the light by several inches.
The Octavo Solis's svelte design makes it an instant eye-catcher. The top section of the light sits on a swivel—moving it onto a 90 degree angle activates a single LED.
The top arm moves into place with a satisfying pop, but there is only one brightness level to this light, and it was not nearly as effective as the Belkin eBook Light. The rubber and plastic mounting hinge holds onto to the Kindle very well, but because it's not adjustable we couldn't fit the light onto a Nook.
The sleek brushed aluminum body is not much larger than the included AA battery that the light requires. The battery does give the Solis most of its weight, but even then this device weighs less than 1.8 ounces.
Winner: Belkin eBook Light
The benefits of a few extra LEDs are easy to see on the Belkin eBook Light. It literally blows the Solis' single LED away in terms of brightness. The Solis is an adequate light source for a little light night reading; the single LED works and looks good. However, given the choice, we'd much prefer to save our eyes the strain and would go with the Belkin.