Tanja's Lush and Lacy Cardigan
My new long, lace shawl-collared vest

Knitting or crocheting in the dark? A product review and giveaway.

In recent years, there's been such an amazing selection of new, innovative things for knitters and crocheters!  I never had a chance to try them yet, but I remember the knitting needles that light up (are they still around?) being all the rage for a bit.  I suppose I do knit in low light situations more than I even realized!  Late night knitting and crocheting is such a little luxury when the house is so quiet and you just want to do "one more row"!

So, for you fellow late night knitters and crocheters,Beam_Read_Lt here's an interesting product that was sent to me for free so I could review it... a special reading light that leaves you hands-free! 

Does it work well for us knitters?  Read on for my thoughts. . .

It's called the "Beam N Read".  I received 3 versions, 1 with 3 leds (the one you see at the left here), another brighter one with 6 leds, and a special 3 led one with magnifier attachments.

They all come nicely packaged in shrink wrapped VHS-sized or slightly larger boxes.  Yes, the packaging looks like something you'd find in a hardware store display more than in a yarn shop, but that's because it's not specifically for knitting or crocheting.

It's really being sold as an all-purpose light that can be used for reading, walking, for emergencies, while commuting, and working in any kind of low-light situation.  It's hands-free feauture does lend itself quite well to knitting and crocheting or any other kind of needlework or crafting.

Here's how it works.  You hang it around your neck and you can angle the light beam down in front of you.  The neck strap adjusts very easily by just sliding the little adjusters along the cord.  It's really nice and simple.  No on or off button.  Laying the light beam flat will automatically turn the light off, angling it will turn it on.

It's powered with 4 AA batteries, which is convenient, although it does add a bit of weight to your neck.  They say the battery life should be at least 120 hours, which sounds great!

It uses low entery LED bulbs, which won't burn out.

The 3 led light is decent enough light for basic knitting or crocheting, but I would go with the 6 led version if I was doing any detailed work, like lace or any other special techniques that required me to see the stitches more clearly.

The magnifier attachments are nifty on the magnifier model - they come in 2X, 4X, and 6X power levels.  They are simply plastic magnifying plates that attach to the light easily and vary in magnification depending on what you need.  Great for those of us that are needing a little help seeing smaller stitches and don't like reading glasses.  Plus, they come in nice protective pouches so they won't get scratched if sitting in your knitting or crochet bag.Beam_Read_Lt2

I did have to fiddle with the strap and placement of the light on my chest to get it to angle correctly.  I tend to knit with my arms up a bit, not actually in my lap (like the knitter in their photo here), so the light could only angle up enough if I made the strap quite short.  This would not be an issue if you were working at a table or really did knit or crochet lower on your lap.  It's farily adjustable, so it should work for most people with some fiddling.

So, this light is a great idea!  A nice thing to have in your knitting or crochet bag if you do often knit or crochet in the dark and don't wish to turn on the lamp (and disturb a sleeping DH, for example).

It's not perfect, but I don't like the reading lights that my DH has used for my nightime knitting either.  The one he wears on his ear like a bluetooth runs out of batteries (special, harder to get and pricier types) too fast and everytime he looks up at me or turns his head my way, I get blinded by the beam.  His other reading lights are not hands-free for knitting or crochet since they must all clip to the book cover.  So, this Beam N Read is the best option I've seen.

Beam_Read_Lt_6ledBeam N Reads retail for around $13 to $25 and are sold by the company at http://www.readinglight.com.

** Want your own Beam N Read for your night-time knitting or crocheting habit!? **
I'm giving away the 6 led version.  All you night knitters and crocheters, please leave a comment on this blog post to enter this giveaway!  Please leave your comment by March 21st, 9pm PST.  One lucky random commenter will be chosen.  One comment per person, please.

DO YOU HAVE A PRODUCT FOR SWEATERBABE TO REVIEW?  If you do, please email me at: [email protected].  Read the submission details.

*** March 25th Winner Chosen! ***

Congrats to Bonnie, who left her comment on March 9, 2010 and was randomly chosen from the 124 comment entries!

Bonnie has won the 6 LED Beam 'N Read Light. 



This beam n read would be very helpful to me for I have limited vision.


Hmmm. I find I'm needing more and more light (even when the regular light is on!) as I get ... wiser. So it wasn't too annoying to have a light hanging around your neck? Heck, if it's free, it'd definitely be worth a try!

tracy scott

I am a mom to 5 and they like to watch movies all the time. I am not a movie buff, but still like to be with them during the movie. This would allow me to crochet and let them watch the movie all in the same room. Great!!!

Liisa Martin

I would love to have a Beam N Read for knitting in the corners of the family room.


Thanks so much for offering this giveaway -- looks like a great gadget for those of us who manipulate yarn in low-light conditions!!!

Carolyn Ross

I've used the kind of led light that straps onto your head, makes me feel like a miner, to do some night time knitting - this would be a lot less silly looking! I'd love one of these since I can't seem to put the knitting down and love to keep my hands busy with the needles while watching TV.


This would be so perfect in my little cottage, I love to sit up all night chatting and knitting with friends and neighbours!


Looks like a great product to have - would be useful in a variety of situations!


More light would be great! My night time knitting is sometimes limited by my not so great vision. Great idea!

Carla Lyons

This Beam N Read would be a wonderful addition to my piles of crocheting/knitting projects. My husband and I have been traveling back and forth across the state, ~5.5 hrs one way, to see my mother every weekend as she is recovering from a massive hemorrhagic stroke (going on 5 weeks of onset and many many more for recovery). Most of the miles include night time driving. The addition of the Beam N Read would be an extreamly great item to help the time go by quicker and would also help me complete many of my projects.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your quest to find someone that would enjoy the "Beam N Read" for a night-time knitting or crocheting habit!?**.


i want this!! yippee for giveaways!


That light looks really nice, and definitely easier to crochet with than the headband lights. We tend to get power outages here because of a neighbor who won't take care of some dead trees, so I tend to do a lot of crochet then to while away the hours.

Jeanne M. Sprague

I would love to get the Beam N Read light. Since I crochet into the evening this would help a great deal when I'm doing thread crochet.

Valerie K

What a nifty little light! I love to knit and crochet at night while watching TV, so this would be perfect to illuminate my work without having to turn the room lights on. Especially nice for those darker colors of yarn that are harder to see.


This is really amusing that I got this message today. I was crocheting last evening and am losing my sight slowly due to an eye condition and struggling. My daughter made the comment I might need to look into a light specifically for my craft. So I find your information very much to my benefit. Thank you.

Renne' Lindberg

I think I love this for knitting in the car or dark sock yarn on teeny needles. I'm at THAT age.....
Thank you for the review and ordering info.

Mary S

I am always trying to adjust where I am sitting to get the best light so this would be amazing.


I would love this! The only time I have for knitting/crocheting seems to be at night, and often it's when my 5-month-old son is sleeping in his cradle next to my bed, so overhead lights make it too bright for him to sleep. This would be perfect for that!



I loved your honest review and could definitely use one!

Ann-Kristin Skoglund

This looks like a great thing to have :-) More gadgets!!

Gina O'Leary

Ah, count me in for the free give-away. Looks interested. I, too, have tried the over the ear (batteries do run out REAL fast) and sometimes I use a flashlight and angle it up from between my thighs (TMI?).

Josie Dinwiddie

I'm always knitting in bed while my DH sleeps. I've tried many things including clipping a book lite to my pajamas and covering a crafting lamp with a crocheted bag. My latest attempt is covering a paper lantern with lace. I'm always looking for the perfect gadget to try. Unfortunatley due to a disability I'm forced to be in bed more than I wish. Thanks for the review & contest, its truly appreciated.


What a wonderful idea!

PJ Gaumond

I love this light. I tend to knit in areas that aren't well lighted and end up with more than one light on so I can adequately see stitches and even the pattern sometimes.

Jane R. Cecil

This is a great idea for those of us who have vision problems & special eyeglasses already. Too bad the 6 light version doesn't also come with the option of magnification. Maybe they will in the future. I'm book marking the web site to watch for that possibility. I would probably buy it then. It is less expensive then the other crafting lights with magnification I have been looking at on both crafting & low vision aids web sites.


Great gadget!


Looks very useful - count me in for the give-away as well!


I've been looking for a totally handsfree knitting light that was bright enough to actually knit by for quite a while now. This sounds like an awesome fit.

Krista Nielsen

I have tried many self inventions and just havent gotten the desired effect. This looks like it would be awesome and work wonerfully, we do alot of trips in the car and this would be perfect!!


How coincidental! I was just looking at the "Knit Light," which has a flexible light, so your review is quite timely for me. I'm in the car a lot at night so some type of night light is exactly what I need. Thanks for your review.

Jane Plaugher

I have a light that is awkward and gives minimal light. I especially like the idea of a magnifier option. As I get older (ahem) I need more light and more focused lighting. Don't think the weight would be an issue.

Joan Siegel

I love to knit and find that the older and wiser that I am getiing, the more light that I need to see properly. However, my hubby does not appreciate my lighting up the room like a plane runway. This Beam N Read sounds like it would be perfect!

Elizabeth Krentz-Wee

I am so glad I got to read your review! This looks exactly like what I need. My sitting area where I knit at night is around a corner from our bed, where my husband goes to sleep earlier than I. He asks, "Can I turn out the light" and that's always been my signal that it's time to stop knitting.
Of course, then there are the times I want to read a paperback. This seems much better than the lights that clip on to the book, usually too heavy for a paperback.

Debbie H

This would be perfect for our dark winter nights here in Alaska. I have a long car ride to and from work, so while I'm riding I would love to be able to knit. thanks for the contest. Debbie in Alaska

Trish SL

My night light is my bedside lamp underneat a "tent" of my pillow and blankets thrown over....my husband is such a heavy sleeper, it doesn't bother him, but this light would do wonders for my sore neck! ;-)


That would be a great thing to have. I'd love to win one.


I knit in the car, and the light from the visor is ok until I make a mistake. Then I have to put it away until I get to where we are headed, so I can correct my error. This is a great idea! Lytha


I think this would be great for knitting, needlework, and reading! It's almost impossible to see dark yarn stitches at night.

Patricia Galloway

I crochet at night all the time while watching tv. It would be great for this.

Debbie R.

I was knitting in a hotel room just a week ago and made a mistake in the low light. I thought I better not knit at night any more and this would help solve the problem and let me keep knitting in low light. Thanks for the review.

Martha Ann

I would love a beam and read light for all my needlework, knitting, crochetting and cross stitching, especially a freeby. Thank you for making us aware.

Robin Diebold

I would love the light. I do a lot of crafts in the evening since I work all day.

Catherine T. Cordeiro

It would be a great addition for my knitting projects as my eyes aren't as good as they use to be so a lot of the time I have been unable to knit in the late evening. I think the unit with the magnification would be great for working with charted patterns.


looks like it would work well!

karen dewllers

I have used the strap on the head type of lighting for knitting and hiking. It felt awkward and discovered I need a wider beam of light for the things I want to do at night. But if I win this unit it will be going to my friend.

Peggy has Macular Degeneration and even though I have given her jumbo needles and super bright bulky yarn, I believe this unit would be a great help to her. She truly misses her knitting. I hope I can give her this unit.....with the magnifier feature.


After reading all these comments, I think I would like someone else more deserving to win it! I have been nearsighted since I was a young child, around the age when I learned to knit, so I've always arranged for bright lighting, and I take my glasses off and hold the knitting closer when I need to see fine details. It does sound like a great product, but I think other people have more pressing need for it, especially someone who knits in a car at night. Good luck, everyone!

Debbie McGahen

More light works great with me especially when I use dark colors in the evening.

Sandy H.

This is such a cool gadget. It'll allow me to knit while I am watching TV since I like the lights dim, but am not a good enough knitter yet to knit without checking on my work periodically.

JoAnn McGowan

I love to work on my projects while camping but always run out of light in the evening by the fire. Would like to have a light like this to try!

Mary Fox

This looks like a great little light. I use a small book light with one led, but find it doesn't illuminate a very large area and hard to see my knitting unless I hold my work directly under it. Plus I have to clip it to my shirt and it always seems to slip.


I love stuff like this because my vision is suffering due to diabetes.


This looks like it would be perfect for my midnight knitting. I have a newborn, and the only time I can find for knitting these days is for the couple of hours that he sleeps in the night. Trouble is my little babe has to be monitored while he sleeps for a health condition, and I so dearly hate to see him squirm when I turn on the lamp. Has anyone seen "lighted knitting needles?" Yuck, not practical and yet hilarious! Thanks for the chance to win!

linda h

This would be grea to have, as I spend a great
deal of time in doctors offices with my husband. I always take a small project to work on and the lighting is not the best.
Thank you for a chance to win.


Ooooh, nice! Perfect for night-knitting in the car! As a passenger, of course!

Cynthia Wilbanks

I wish I had had this last night! I couldn't sleep, so I got up & had to go sit in the "cold" living room so I wouldn't wake my husband up with my knitting. He woke up at 2:00 a.m. & scolded me - so I went back to bed & the last time I looked at the clock was 3:00 a.m.!

Linda Banney

I have several projects in Navy and Black yarn that I can only work on during the day...and since we have had so many overcast days lately it looks like these projects will be for next winter...lol. This would certainly help me with seeing the stitches and maybe it will be this winter they will be completed...lol!
Thanks for the opportunity! Love your work!

Darlene Tasso

Great lighting makes for great crocheting! This light is great!


I think this would be a great product while knitting in the evening watching TV since others in the family prefer to watch TV with little or not lighting on.

Susan Spiers

Great idea! This would be perfect in the evenings, without disturbing others watching TV!


Sounds like a great product - thanks for the review and the fun of a give-away!

Shirly Pardee

I don't see the post I made the first day this went up :( so goin to post again. I hope that's ok.

I truly appreciate the review you gave and would love to have one of these! It would come in handy for my knitting before I fall asleep also for reading before I fall asleep! Hope I win one! lol

Cyndi Swank

I think this light would be a great option for me. I often end up in the car with my husband driving after dark. It really frustrats me to have to put my knitting away just because it got dark. With being able to adjust the cord, as well as the angle of the light, I'm sure it would be possible to make it so that it wouldn't be a problem for my husband driving. What a great idea!

Renee Zinck

I've used a reading light with a flexible neck. I clip it onto the neckline of my blouse/shirt. I've used it in the car, and during the superbowl party, both times using a chunky yarn and easy pattern. It'd be great to see how this worked with finer patterns.


This is a very interesting product, thanks so much for the great review and the link. This would be a very handy thing to have for early morning knitting as well as camping trips and I'll definitely be looking into it. Thanks again.


With two little boys, my favorite time to knit is traveling in the car at night. With my husband driving of course! In order to do this I usually try to clip a flashlight to my seat belt with a rubber band and a big paper clip. Not very pretty and only temporarily effective as it keeps sliding down. But, when you're obsessed with knitting, you do what you have to. ;p I would love to win the hands free light as I'm sure it would be much less frustrating. Thanks.


Hi, I'm from ASF Lightware Solutions and want to answer a few questions. 1) A magnifier does come with the 6 LED light (BNR LED 6). 2) For those who have said more light will help them see better, this light will help. 3) However, the magnifiers are not intended as a low vision aid nor for extended use such as reading a whole book with magnification. The magnifier will not help macular degeneration (we know - the inventor has it). The magnifiers are for short periods of detail work for someone with normal vision. One of our principles, in her 80's, is an avid knitter and uses the magnifier when working with dark yarn. It helps her see stitches better. 4) For a lot of situations described in the comments, it should work very well. 5) For the mom with newborn, these lights are also great for changing diapers at night without turning the room lights on. I have triplets and changed a lot of diapers at night with these lights. The clip-on red filter that comes with the LED 3 model softens the light and is a real asset for checking on babies at night without disturbing them. Mine were premies and so there were other issues besides diapers where I had to check on them at night. Hope this extra information has been helpful. Good luck to you all on winning the light.

Amanda Castro

I am ADDICTED to all things yarn. I taught myself how to crochet and knit and have turned into an obsession. Thankfully my husband is a supporter. I would love this!


This item would be great to have. Knitting in the evenings can be difficult with low light. This would open a door for more knitting for me! YEA! I already have three projects going on and my mom just gave me her sweater that she has been working on because she is afraid she will mess up the placket, so I have stopped everything I have been working on to finish up her sweater....and it is cream and black stipes...and the placket is in BLACK...yikes!!! I need this gadget! Oh do I need this!!!!!!


Love all your beautiful things!!! Nite lights are a great additiion to a knitters stash!!!


I think this would be very good for knitting with dark wool, especially at night time although not for long sessions. I like to stretch out on the couch when knitting and watching TV so it might be a bit restrictive. Fine for sitting upright in the chair. Also good for my 93 year old mother for reading.

Candy Butzlaff

Your site is great and a night lite would be a great addition to any knitters tools!!

Virginia Tallent

EXCELLENT! 'spot lighting' great idea! - now my husband won't have to wear a brimmed hat while we watch TV in our living room - the 'highhat' lighting there throws a lot of glare on the screen and takes the 'coziness' away from the room - so I could have 'focused' light on my project and we could have the coziness of our living room back! WONDERFUL --

Pat Reece

Exactly what I need for knitting in my small motorhome! I don't have room for lamps but lighting can be a problem. Thanks for reviewing and letting us know of this grat product.

amy in ne

I would love to have one of these, I frequently knit at night and in the car--I like the portability of this. Thanks for reviewing this product. Now I know. I might just buy one if I don't win.


Katherine, you always come up with great ideas. This lamp would be perfect for use on an airplane -- and wonderful at any time for casting light on those dark colors!

Margo Lynn

I wonder how well these adjust for a "pneumatically cantilevered" person?


WOW! I could knit in bed! My husband puts up with my playing IPhone apps in bed, that would be funny if he woke up with a size 19 digging in his back. LOL

Loren Gaggini

Thanks for finding this product - I have tried lights that fit around the ear and they are hard to use. This sounds ideal. I have poor night vision and this would be great for me for any low-light situations.

Susan (sjanova)

Interesting option for car kitting also. I use a little light that I clip onto the shoulder belt for knitting in the car at night. It's so small tat it doesn't distract the driver but then, it's so small that I really have to direct it carefully onto my knitting. This might be better since the beam isn't so tiny.


Oooooh! A little light so I wouldn't bother dh while he's watching a movie & I'm knitting & keeping him company! What a great idea...would also work great for car trips if they run on into the evening.


This sounds interesting. I had wondered how the clip on lights worked. I do still use my lighted knitting needles, but they are long enough to poke someone else if I am trying to knit at a sporting event that doesn't have enough light in the seating area.


I would love one! It would be perfect when sitting in front of the fireplace knitting and not wanting a big light on!

Sally Richardson

I'd love to have this. My DH likes me on the couch next to him in the evenings watching TV/Movies while I knit, but the lighting is not good, so I move to the other end of the room with better light. There are so many avid knitters with eye problems who could really use this gadget. I hope someone very deserving wins it!

Amy White

I want that light! It would be great to have in the car. What a great idea!


Seems the older I get the more "opportunity" I have for middle of the knight activities like knitting ;-)


I'd like to be entered please !

Sue V

Great idea. I need one of these.


I missed out on the lighted needles a few years ago - because I kept thinking it would be impossible to read my knitting pattern in the dark.
This led lighting system would solve that problem for sure.

Fingers crossed.


I think it would be a wonderful to have in the camper. Knitting or reading becomes a problem after dark.


I need one of these! I'll cross my fingers... :-)


This would come in handy for late night knitting especially when I wake up at 2am and cannot get back to sleep!

Jennifer K

This looks like a neat idea!


THis would be great to have, as it wouldn;t keep my husband up!

stephanie mcguckin

i think this is a great idea i work at night driving a bus and knit on my breaks either with the iterior lights on or ithe dark mostly i the dark this sounds just like what i need

nicole ivey

I think this light is an excellent idea! There are lots of versions out there, but for all of us, that one makes sense!!

laura light

This sounds like a great idea. I'd probably use it when watching TV or a movie at home as I feel the need to be more useful when just sitting there! Also there is a greater need for good light as our eyes age!

Doti Roraback

I think this would stop my family from complaining about the glare from my lamp when i am knitting and watching tv.

Thanks for reviewing it and offering the chance for a free one. I like free. Smile Doti


I never get enough light when I'm knitting lace - this sounds like a great solution!

Cheryl Godwin

This would be great for my DH got me book light to try but it doesn't work as well as this would.

Cindy W.

Sounds like a nice product. I don't like the miner lamp.
Cindy W.

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