You won’t believe how cheap a reading light can be on Taobao. I recently bought this one for 65.80 Yuan (S$12.80). During the upcoming Singles day sale, it would cost only 58.90 Yuan (S$11.50). Like many Chinese products, it goes by a lame brand name – “Staycation”, but thankfully the branding isn’t imprinted anywhere on the actual product.
There is an overwhelming number of competing products on Taobao, especially for a product deemed to be important for the academic performance of students. While trying to narrow down the choices, i noticed there is actually a national rating for the reading lights – A and AA. It’s good to know that this particular product i have chosen meets the A rating requirements.
What caught my attention was the interesting design – it consisted of two 23cm panels which can be unfolded to form a long strip that is 54.5cm in length. The rationale behind the unfolding mechanism is to reduce shadow cast by the head (or pen) while reading. Many of the other products on Taobao also have designs meant for reducing shadow (such as a ring design), but this particular design is both effective and functional. It seems to me that, when fully unfolded, it could allow two persons to share the reading light, which may be useful at times.
It uses a clamp type base, which is good and bad. It’s good because it is space saving, but you cannot clamp it on the side of the table that is against the wall (it would create a 3cm gap between the table and the wall). Also, i find that the light isn’t tall enough (46.5cm). If clamped nearer to the wall, it may not extend far enough. Otherwise, i am quite happy with this reading light. I seriously cannot think of any advantage the other expensive competing products might have (for example a Philips branded one would cost 3 or 4 times more). There is no flicker, and the light is cool white (4000K) which is ideal for reading.