Friday, October 8, 2010

The Amazon Kindle 3 cover w/built-in light and the Beam N Read Light

On the left is an excellent video on the Amazon cover with light.

BEAM N READ 3-Led light, made by ASF Lightware Solutions.

  I'm including a couple of photos below to show light coverage on my Kindle 3 with the Amazon cover with built-in light and when using my new favorite light for the Kindle, by BEAM N READ.

This is worn around the neck and has a light, adjustable strap.  The light is said to last about 120 hours, and I've been using it for weeks and it's still going.  The 3 leds are the type that will likely go for forever, as long as there are batteries powering them.

  It comes with 4 standard alkaline AA batteries and a clip-on red filter to minimize night blindness and soften the light if needed, they say (I've never needed that).  Really lightweight and flexible with a patented flip-up design, reflector, and the adjustable strap, I now usually have it on when I'm home.  Going downstairs at night or to a darkened room, or when I just can't see something well enough, I can save on lights by just turning this on, which is done by flipping up the hood/reflector.

For reading a book or an e-book reader, you can also reverse it if you prefer (as I do) to hold the book higher than on your lap, and then flip the reflector down instead, so that the light angles up.  But if someone is sitting across from you that may not be very comfortable for that person, as the Led lamps would be directed at their eyes too.

 I love that it's always available when I need extra light.  No, I'm not associated with the company that makes them.  I was just tired of clipping on a light and adjusting it, as much as I love the ease of the Mighty Bright Xtraflex 2 which has the little foam pad where the clip-on meets the top of the Kindle's bezel.  The Beam N Read is pretty good at keeping the light from reaching the other person for night reading in bed.  There are times that I would like a somewhat brighter light, and when I do:

The 6-led version
 They also have a 6-led version that is VERY bright and probably overkill for reading a Kindle 6" reader, though I sometimes use it for situations where the light is just dim.  I am trying one for other uses, and for my DX in Landscape mode.  The batteries for this will last, they say, about 48 hours.  This one doesn't come with batteries included but has a magnifier for short-session, detailed craft work, but I found the texture quite hard to see through and I don't do crafts and probably wouldn't use the magnifier.

  I DO use both Beam N Read units for piano music though.

  I had bought a head lamp for a trip I took last October since we needed to go into some unlit places, but I don't like wearing something around my head just to read so I wondered if there was anything like this.  Amazon doesn't make this easy to find, but it is extremely useful, in my view, for any e-reader.

Clip-on lights
My favorite Kindle clip-on light has been the Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Clip-On (Black, Kindle Version) for which they added a foam pad where the top clamp meets the Kindle's bezel and protects it from scratches from that clamp.  That's been $20 at Amazon (you might be able to get it elsewhere at $13), and I like that I can clip it right onto the Kindle instead of having to use the cover while reading, and the neck is very flexible so that I can bend it to avoid glare on the screen.  Some find it too bright for those sharing a bed at night although there is a 2nd, lower setting which is bright enough and maybe not as bothersome for another person nearby.  I did use it on a 10-hour airplane flight and needed to be careful it wasn't shining onto other people's areas.  It requires 3 AAA batteries,

A few months ago I actually bought also the "Travelflex" by Mighty Bright because it uses only one Led lamp and one AAA battery (vs the XtraFlex2's 3 AAA batteries), is extremely light and clips onto a pocket in my purse for use with the cover for the Kindle if needed, when I'm out.  That was before I got the Amazon case with light, which I've loaned to someone who really likes it.  It of course is less bright than the XtraFlex2, preferred by some for that reason, and takes almost no room in a purse or briefcase.

Screen coverage
Here are some pictures of the effect of some of these lights on my Kindles.

Lit by the Amazon cover with light, the upper right hand corner is lit more than the lower-left of course, and the light isn't as bright as I like but it's useful if you're out and need a light for reading.  The light needs no batteries but runs off the Kindle's own battery, and it shuts off automatically if the Kindle goes into sleep mode after about 10 minutes.

Lit by the Beam N Read, the lighting is even and brighter overall than the one built into the cover, but one would seldom wear the Beam N Read when out, probably, though I've done it :-).

It's worth remembering that the Amazon case alone is $35 and the one with the built-in light costs an additional $25.  Clamp-ons usually run $10 to $20.

This is an older shot of a silver Mighty Bright Xtraflex2 used on my Kindle DX - now sold only in Graphite color and with the new Pearl screen also used in the Kindle 3  (UK: K3).

Click on any of these three images to get the larger versions.

I hope that helps some who are looking for good lights to use with the Kindle.  I missed a day here, as it takes more time to get the various photos done but expect this might be useful, as choice of a light is one of the most asked questions on the Kindle forums.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

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  1. I can't imagine buying some of the gizmos in this review. My needs are modest -- I don't want something extra to lug about or remember to pack. But, that's me.

    I bought the Kindle 3 WiFi and invested the $50 savings in the $60 cover with the built-in light. I don't need a light normally; but sometimes travelling the lights near the bed are inadequate. (Also, I had to have it because it's so delightfully geeky.) The light does what it needs to do; the uneven page coverage doesn't really interfere -- for me that's aesthetics more than function.

  2. Alexander,
    One of the gadgets mentioned (the first one) IS that $60 cover, which I think is a wise investment in that you need nothing else.

    Some consider that a luxury, but I think you made a good choice for the reasons you gave. I think it's ingenious what someone put together there though I find it just a bit more stiff and maybe bulky than I personally like and somewhat dimmer than is comfortable for my own eyes.

    Others have cheaper covers they like while using other lighting add-ons that work for them.

  3. I am wondering if Amazon is planning to provide a cover with built-in light for Kindle DX.


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