Music Stand Light Recommendation?

Edited: February 2, 2019, 3:02 PM · I'm looking for recommendations for a good music stand light at a reasonable price. The problem is that as I happen to wear progressive lenses, I cannot wear my glasses when playing the violin if I actually want to read music... It's a good distance so I can actually see the music quite well without my glasses, but this means I need really good light. So far I've bought two separate LED music stand lights that just aren't cutting it. Trying not to toss yet more money at this in hopes that the 3rd time is the charm without getting some input. It needs to be bright, and there needs to be two LEDs- or some other design that equally lights up both pages.

So what do you use? Any recommendations would be appreciated, and thanks in advance!

Replies (33)

Edited: February 3, 2019, 4:27 PM · I posted a similar thread a few months back: LINK

I bought a Lotus Pro 14 and I have been very happy with it.

February 2, 2019, 4:35 PM · Thank you Lydia, I searched for the topic but missed it.
Edited: February 2, 2019, 5:49 PM · I've been using a Fermata by Lampcraft:

for some years now. Even though it only has a single LED bulb it easily illuminates 2 pages and does OK with a 3-page spread, which I often use in chamber orchestra (one player per stand) to avoid having to drop out for a page turn. Its portability is unsurpassed. Other players in my ensembles use wider, multi-bulb lamps, but I don't see that they get any more lumens than I do. I have had some of those wider, multi-bulb lamps in the past

Let me say this: if you are using a stand lamp in an ensemble be thoughtful of your compatriots; aim the light straight down so that others do not have to see the glare of the bulbs directly - it will give you more uniform illumination on the pages and your sensitivity will be appreciated.

Edited: February 2, 2019, 6:09 PM · Thanks Lydia and Andrew! Currently am only playing at home and for my teacher as I learn/re-learn, but that will change at the appropriate time. It would be nice to not have to have separate stand lamps for home and travel. My current one has two LEDs on the clip - and both have 2 LEDs, but it's amazing how little light it puts out. Well, it was quite inexpensive...

It looks like they are coming out with a new version of the Fermata. Very interesting, both this one and the Lotus.

Edited: February 3, 2019, 12:35 AM · Here another recent thread on my own search for a stand light, which contains useful feedback. So far I am happy with the Lotus, although the Mighty Bright was also a good alternative.

February 3, 2019, 2:24 AM ·
February 3, 2019, 6:03 AM · Thanks again - don't know how I missed these in my archive diving (probably a typo or two I didn't catch) but it's appreciated. Good information to consider. Pity the Fermatta doesn't seem to be currently available though it may still be available on a 3rd party website. Considering my need for very bright I'm leaning toward the Lotus, but if there is a local store with the Mighty Bright Orchestra I will try it out due to the price difference (hate dealing with internet returns, always a pain).
February 3, 2019, 6:22 AM · Catherine - one issue that is not entirely clear from your post is whether you need a light that operates on battery or whether one that plugs into an outlet will work for you. If you do not need a battery-operated one, there are other options that are not LED-based.
Edited: February 3, 2019, 9:33 AM · At home I use a "plug-in" Manhasset stand lamp (on my Manhasset stand) that I have had for at least 50 years. See:

I also have a Giardinelli Universal Klip-Light that will fit on most sturdy stands (not just Manhassat):

But I have recently inserted small cylindrical LED bulbs in both lamps that fit perfectly. It is much brighter than the standard 40 W incandescent bulb usually used in these lamps. There is a 60 W incandescent that also fits the lamp, but it burns out very quickly from the confined heat it generates - the 40 W doesn't do that well on longevity either - but the LED is great and brighter than either - also brighter than the portable battery operated I recommended earlier.

both lamps are too heavy for wire stands or most folding stands - and the Manhassat will fit even a more limited number of stands than the Giardinelli.

Edited: February 3, 2019, 1:05 PM · Andrew - thanks for the additional suggestions!

Tom - I think I may want one that will do both but I've not yet made up my mind on this one. It would be good to not have multiple lights for future use for when I do start playing with my teacher's adult student orchestra. My home stand is a Manhassat and I will likely just go with a folding wire stand for when I'm ready to start playing with others again.

February 3, 2019, 1:26 PM · I bought one of those mighty-brite things and replaced the bulbs with a strip of radium. (Wouldn't it be great if you could actually do that without your whole orchestra getting leukemia?)
February 3, 2019, 2:37 PM · I'm using a whole bunch of these for my pit orchestra:

They can run on both batteries or AC power, and are cheap enough that we can just replace them if they break. :P

February 3, 2019, 3:08 PM · Gene - how bright are they and what's the color of the light? I need as bright as I can get - with my 50+ year old vision AND I can't play with my glasses on... That's why the Lotus and Mighty Bright Orchestra are the current contenders.
February 3, 2019, 3:39 PM · Lotus is awesome. If you need portability that the Aria won’t give you, it is an excellent choice. No idea about that model of Mighty Bright, but based on others I have seen (just barely) I would need to be convinced.
Edited: February 3, 2019, 4:27 PM · If you're going to use a stand light on a Manhasset stand, plugged in, I recommend an Aria Diva. It's the brightest light on the market (with a dimmer function), with wide coverage. 1300 lux.

The top-of-the-line Lotus (the Pro 14) is 1000 lux. Its portability is excellent, but it is definitely not as bright or broad-coverage as the Aria Diva. However, because there is no light shield, it is easier for my chamber music partners to see me. It has longer battery life than the Aria Brio, and it is very lightweight, so I just toss it into my stand bag. It also charges relatively quickly, so "emergency" charging is very doable. Because it can USB charge, I've also charged it in my car when I've forgotten to plug it in at home.

I also own an Aria Brio. This is the rechargeable-battery form of the Aria Diva. Its light shield is great for orchestra, pit playing, and the like. However, at maximum brightness, the charge is basically just enough to get through a performance, and woe betide you if you forget to charge it. (At this point I would replace it with the Aria Forte, a new and longer-charge model.) It is also heavy.

Edited: February 6, 2019, 2:12 PM · Thanks Lydia, and everyone for your very helpful comments. Good to know the Lotus isn't as bright or covers as much as the Aria. I need to do what I can to avoid eye strain, at home this is definitely a problem. My teacher's studio has much better lighting and that's with no stand light at all. Right now I need to address my home environment and that need not be an expensive solution. At least I don't think so.
February 3, 2019, 8:35 PM · By the way, ditch the folding wire stand. Buy a Peak music stand. They're lightweight, inexpensive, and vastly better; they are "real" music stands, with solid desks and a sturdy build. And you can clip a Lotus or Aria music light to them.
Edited: February 4, 2019, 12:23 AM · Catherine, they have two settings, low/high. At high setting they are kind of excessively bright, and the color is mostly white although I've seen some variation between the batches I've ordered. When they're this cheap, they're never all that consistent. I had someone using two of them at a church performance in low light and it seemed like their end of the sanctuary was glowing. :P

We own 20+ of the Mighty Bright Duet+, with the dual LED lights on each of the two "heads" but they're not anywhere near as bright as these cheap ones.

February 4, 2019, 4:57 AM · Thanks Gene and Lydia. Lyida, the only stand I currently have is my Manhasset - good to know about the Peak when I need a portable stand. The folding stand I saw at my music store seemed way too unstable for my taste.
February 4, 2019, 7:00 AM · Catherine - you should be aware that the Aria and Lotus lights lots of people have been touting are quite expensive. I have a stand light from Amazon that is probably quite satisfactory and cost a great deal less:

I also have a Manhasset stand light that plugs in and is quite good while not too expensive.

February 4, 2019, 8:28 AM · My orchestra stand partner has the light that Tom has. It's decent, but it's definitely not as bright or as broad-coverage as the Lotus Pro 14 that I have. I find that it's okay illuminating a single page of music that has been centered, but does not provide (at least for me) enough light on a two-page spread.
Edited: February 4, 2019, 10:25 AM · I have an Aria Brio stand light and find it is unsatisfactory because the light at the top of the page is OK, but the illumination fades quickly as you look down the page. The illumination at the bottom of the page is about a quarter of that at the top. This defect was mentioned in an earlier thread on stand lights; someone suggested putting a wedge in the light to tilt the lamp so more light gets to the bottom of the page, I tried this but it simply does not work. I was hoping I dould find a stand light that is much better than Aria. BTW, the Arie comes with a zippere4d, fitted case so it is easily transportable; I have been using it for orchestra for a couple of years. It is better than Mighty Brite, but I wonder what the next step up is??? Is the Forte better?
February 4, 2019, 12:33 PM · Lydia - I find that my stand light has no problem illuminating for me a two-page spread.
February 4, 2019, 2:58 PM · Hmm. I haven't noticed the light fade at the bothersome level with my Aria lights (either the Diva or the Brio. I agree the illumination at the bottom isn't what it is up top, but with my lights, it's a modest fade-off -- not a quarter of the illumination. (Perhaps my models are newer?) And that light spread is true with every light. Also, I keep the Aria lights turned up to their maximum brightness. I find the lowest position of the Aria dimmer (i.e. maximum power conservation) to be too dim, and that bothers me more on the lower half of the page.

February 5, 2019, 10:11 AM · OK thank you, Lydia. Looks like my problem is more due to faulty vision than a faulty light. I wish there were a brighter light for lousy vision...
Edited: February 8, 2019, 4:32 PM · My local music store had both the Manhasset 1000 light in stock and the Mighty Bright Orchestra. I like the warm light of the Manhasset, so am giving that a shot. Andrew - I think it's the same light that you mentioned. I will know tonight if it will work, deliberately putting off my practice session a little later than normal so it will be after sunset.

With the lighting in my apartment as it is even with lots of lamps, and the inability to play wearing my glasses, I may well need to go the expensive route, but they've a good return policy so the experiment is worth it. Hopefully I won't NEED to go that far, but I really appreciate the conversation and guidance from all directions. If the less expensive lights won't work for me then I've a much better idea for other options, thank you!

February 8, 2019, 8:10 PM · A Manhasset 1000 or Mighty Bright Orchestra puts out about one-tenth the light of an Aria, just FYI.
February 8, 2019, 9:11 PM · Lydia - WOW! That is really helpful information to have, thank you!
Edited: February 9, 2019, 12:16 AM · ...keeping in mind that this is on a logarithmic scale if I am not mistaken I.e 10x the value = 2x the brightness, good nonetheless. I agree with you Catherine, that is what I did (try out), trying the Mighty Bright before setteling down with the Lotus. I liked being able to keep the Mighty Bright plugged in, while I hesitate to do that with the lotus as it has a rechargeable battery so it was trade off. The colour temperature of the Lotus tipped the balance for me, but the Mighty Bright Orchestra is pretty good too. One thing I didn't like with the Mighty Bright is that the brightness decreases as the remaining battery power goes down.
February 9, 2019, 9:49 PM · 1) Mighty Bright orchestra is a good product for a reasonable price (about $60) Mighty Brights bought in the last couple years will be MUCH brighter than lights from a few years before. They are using better LEDs.

2) Aria lights are great for pit orchestra duty but not good for chamber music when you want to be able to see your partners. The big hood kind of blocks the view.

3) Lotus lights are super bright, probably the most light you can get without an Aria hood contraption.

If you don't want to pay $200 for the Lotus 14 (a very wide light), you might consider the new Lotus Pro 6 for $120. It's so bright you have to be careful how you aim it so you don't get it in other people's eyes. It has three degrees of brightness -- I need a lot of light and I usually use the Lotus on level 2. The 6 Pro can illuminate 3 sheets pretty well. If you want to light 4 sheets across, buy the super wide Lotus 14.

I have my doubts about the cheap stand lights on Amazon. I suspect this might be one thing where you get what you pay for.

February 10, 2019, 1:14 PM · I suspect that you're right about getting what we pay for regarding lights. I tried out both the Manhasset and the Mighty Bright at my violin store. They actually both seem to be about the same level of brightness, just a very different color of light. They appear to have the same amount of page coverage. I'm trying out the Manhasset now, if it doesn't work out/I note ANY sign of eye strain at home I will get the expensive option. My VS will take the light back within 30 days if it doesn't work out.

Interestingly enough I'm fine in my teacher's studio - and he doesn't have stand lighting at all. His studio, however, is VERY well lit, unlike my apartment - which seems to be a light sink no matter how many/style of lamps I have.

February 10, 2019, 3:05 PM · I have an inexpensive LUMIENS L9 - Music Stand Light Clip On from Amazon. It looks very similar to many of the clip-on lights from other companies. I have to wonder how many are actually manufacturing these types of lights or if there is just one. Anyway at it’s highest setting it is a nice bright white light that is further helped by a high Kelvin LED lamp I bounce off the ceiling above my music stand. Higher kelvin lamp bulbs could be a solution at home.
Edited: February 12, 2019, 7:21 AM · Interesting idea David, hadn't considered a high Kelvin lamp bounced off the ceiling combined with my stand lamp. Will consider it. My Manhasset appears to be bright enough but the light isn't consistent in that there are areas of shadow on the page here and there. Probably the angle of the light or hood and if I could wear my glasses it might not be noticeable

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