Having a hard time reading particularly small text isn’t an uncommon problem. It’s a difficulty that arises due to age and illness, and it has a wonderfully practical solution: magnifying glasses.
You may think it’s not a necessity. Although it’s no reason to panic, this inability to read can grow into a concerning hindrance. Maybe you can forgo reading the daily newspaper, but what about reading prescription bottles? or even personal hobbies?
This is where a good quality magnifying glass comes in. Today, we’re diving into some pretty interesting details about magnifying glasses for reading, and magnifying glasses with light. Read on to find out more!
What’s a Magnifying Glass?
Simply put, a magnifying glass is a lens or combination of lenses used to enlarge an object. Objects viewed can be anything: books, newspapers, coins, art, foliage, and insects.
The magnifying glass goes back all the way to 1250 when Roger Bacon invented it. Fast forward, over 750 years later, magnifying glasses became among the most popular gadgets.
Best Magnifying Glasses with Light for Reading
Good lighting is essential to a good reading experience. However, that doesn’t mean that illuminated magnifying glasses aren’t useful. Here are some magnifying glasses with a light that are both practical and lightweight.
This is a 3X magnifying glass that’s perfect for a variety of activities: reading the newspaper, classroom work, and even hobby observation.
It works to supply an enlarged image with zero distortion, improving eye strain and image clarity. This is all due to an optical grade glass lens, which provides a viewing area of 4.5 “x 7”.
Its size is the best thing about it. It’s big enough to accommodate the pages of most books, making it super reader-friendly.
At less than half a pound, it’s also ultra-lightweight.
Then there’s the handle, which is designed to be extremely ergonomic. It’s made of soft anti-slip rubber, making it super easy to use and handle.
This 3X magnifying glass is an ideal choice for coin collectors as well as stamp collectors. It allows for viewing even in dim light conditions. The LED lights are both long-lasting and energy-efficient.
As for the lens, you should expect nothing but clear images and zero distortion. It’s also durable and scratch-resistant, which is usual for any acrylic lens.
This magnifying glass has two magnifiers: 3X and 45X. The focal length of the 3X lens is 4.92-5.9 inches. Meanwhile, the focal length of the 45X lens is 0.1in-0.2 inches. Once you set the object farther than 1 focal-length away from the lens, the image becomes inverted.
This magnifier is designed for reading, circuits, and even evaluating jewelry. It has an anti-slip handle that’s detachable. On top of that, the 3X 2.75 inches optical lens provides extra sharpness and clarity for viewing minuscule objects.
This magnifying glass can also be used in other ways. It can be utilized to focus light by concentrating the sun’s radiation for fire starting.
Even though it’s handheld, this magnifying glass doesn’t cause arm fatigue. After all, it only weighs less than half a pound.
The appeal of this magnifying glass lies in its size. It has a diameter of 3.15”. Compared to some other models out there, it’s pretty large.
This lens provides high-power magnification. It’s also equipped with 12 pieces of illuminated LED.
This magnifying glass is ideal for reading small print, observing insects, classroom science, and other hobbies. Using it, you’ll notice that there’s some distortion around the outer periphery of the lens. However, if you hold the glass and look straight through, the magnification is pretty much top-notch.
Handheld magnifying glasses aren’t always suitable for all activities. For example, they aren’t exactly practical when you’re sewing. And this is where lamp magnifiers come in.
This 2.25X lamp magnifier is a table magnifying glass that’s made for comfort. It’s ideal for sewing, knitting, painting, and working with circuits.
The 9 Watt integrated lights are responsible for 650 lumens. The light can be dimmed and adjusted, as well as the light color. Best of all, it doesn’t heat, so you won’t burn by accident.
The 2.25X lens has a diameter of 5 inches. It has a 9-inch focal point. It’s also made of genuine diopter glass, which is scratch, warp, and heat-resistant.
How to Use a Magnifier
There are many ways to hold a magnifying glass, whether it’s equipped with a light or not. Here’s how to use one.
- Find An Area with Good Lighting
When it comes to reading, good lighting is important. While reading in dim light causes no long-term harm for your eyes, it can cause short-term eye fatigue. Nothing serious, but still a nuisance.
Eye fatigue, when combined with an inability to see small text, is even a bigger annoyance. It’s better to use your magnifying glass in an area with sufficient lighting, even if your magnifying glass has a lighting feature.
- Use Your Dominant Eye
Do you have a dominant eye? Try to wink. Studies have indicated that your preferred winking eye is the non-dominant one. That means if you can only close your left eye when winking, then your right eye is the dominant eye.
In that case, you must use your right eye to see through your magnifying glass. This can take some practice, as habits don’t change easily. However, it’s important that you hold books in front of your dominant eye.
- Hold Your Books Far Away
Avoid holding books at close proximity. That might be your instinctual reaction since more words will come to view. However, it’s tiring, and it can often cause arm fatigue.
For those not used to it, it can be uncomfortable. Holding books far away is better for your sight and for your magnifying glasses.
Most importantly, holding books far away will let you see better. It’ll also help you avoid eye strain.
How to Pick a Magnifying Glass for Reading
When someone says “magnifying glasses”, most people think about the classic handheld model. However, magnifiers come in all shapes, sizes, and magnifications.
There are illuminated handheld magnifying glasses, stand magnifying glasses, opera glasses, and bar and dome magnifying glasses.
Of course, each magnifying glass meets a particular need. To buy a magnifying glass that meets your needs, you need to know a couple of things. Here are some of them.
The lens size is a critical aspect of any magnifying glass. It’s usually measured in either diameter or in length and width.
Lens size is important because it dictates the field of view. It determines how much you’re able to see through the lens.
For example, some people prefer magnifying glasses with larger lens sizes. This preference is because they can see as much of an object as possible through the lens.
On the other hand, other people prefer magnifying glasses with smaller lens sizes. This is because a smaller size is more compact; it allows them to keep the magnifier in their pocket, purse or handbag.
Magnification is the process of visually enlarging an object. This process is normally done through an optical lens.
To understand matters a little bit better, you must know that magnification is the ratio between the apparent size and the true size of the seen object behind the lens. If an object behind the lens appears ten times larger than its true size, then the magnification is 10X.
The focal length is another term you’ll hear thrown around a lot. It refers to the distance between the magnifying glass lens and the object behind the lens.
Why do you need to know this, you ask? Well, the stronger the optical power is, the shorter the distance between the magnifying glass and the objects seen.
For example, if you’re looking at a picture through a 10X magnifying glass, your picture and eye need to be very close to the magnifying glass.
Meanwhile, it’s an entirely different affair if you’re reading a book with a 2X magnifying glass. For one, your magnifying glass needs to be a couple of inches away from the book. Your eyes need to also be a couple of inches away from the 2X handheld magnifier.
Link Between Lens Size & Magnification
As the lens grows bigger, the magnification strength of the magnifying glass decreases.
Similarly, as the lens size grows smaller, the magnification strength of the magnifying glass increases.
All of this is due to the curvature present in the magnifying lens. After all, magnification power is determined by the degree of curvature in the lens. As lens size grows, the degree of curvature decreases. In turn, the magnification power decreases. Of course, the opposite is true.
It’s also the reason why lenses with more significant magnification are generally smaller in size than lower magnification lenses.
Field of View
The main purpose of magnification is to give you an “enlarged” view of an object. Generally, the larger the lens’s diameter, the larger the field of view of the lens.
However, not all magnifiers are the same. Some magnifying glasses have larger fields of view than others. You must keep in mind that some manufacturers don’t even identify the field of view as a specification of the magnifier.
Types of Lenses
A magnifying glass’s main role lies in its lens. To make sure you’re getting the best of it, you need to give the lens some attention. What’s the material being used? For instance, acrylic lenses don’t degrade as quickly as other lenses.
Now, there are two types of materials used for magnifying glasses: acrylic and glass.
There’s a common misconception surrounding acrylic optical lenses. They’re widely thought to distort the image of the object seen through the lens. This is 100% untrue.
Acrylic lenses are designed to provide greater magnification power. They’re also designed not to distort any images.
Additionally, they’re known for being lightweight, compact, and completely scratch-resistant. They don’t break as easily, which is helpful. You can depend on them to be ultra-durable and sharply accurate. An acrylic dome magnifier is always good to have with you when reading.
You might be surprised to know the glass lenses came first. You may be wondering why, then, is there a shift towards acrylic lenses.
Here’s the answer: weight.
The weight of glass optical lenses is simply impractical. Handheld magnifying glasses are one reason. Using them, you’d have to hold the object and the magnifying glass for hours. The weight could strain your arm and cause hand fatigue.
Magnifiers are available in many shapes and forms. You might look at a headband magnifier and think, “That’s for me!”
And then, you find out it’s not wearable on a friendly basis due to discomfort.
This poses an important question: are your magnifying glasses comfortable? You need to choose a pair of glasses that can be used for hours without causing fatigue or falling short on performance.
If your magnifying glasses aren’t going to last, then you shouldn’t buy them. Durability should be your number one priority when making the purchase.
As such, you should check whether the magnifier is durable or not. Look at its construction. If it has a high-quality frame, it’ll last with you for a long time.
How Strong of a Magnifying Glass Do I Need?
People’s inability to read small text varies. Similarly, so does their definition of “small.” This makes it hard to determine the strength they need for their magnifying glasses. Of course, you need to go to your optometrist to determine your needs.
If you’re struggling to read this sentence, then you need a strong magnifying lens.
Meanwhile, if you can read this sentence, then an extremely weak magnifying glass is suitable for you.
As human beings, we use our maculas to read. A macula is the part of your retina that has the highest density of cone cells.
To understand how a magnifying glass works, think of it like this: magnification is the amount of area your macula is using to see something.
For example, if you’re using a 2X magnifying glass, your macula uses 2X the area. A 2X magnifying glass is typically suitable for all small texts, even the sentence above.
However, if you have to deal on a regular basis with small text, you can go for something stronger. A 3.5X can guarantee you clear and comfortable sight.
What Kind of Magnifying Class Should I Buy?
Weak magnification can help anyone with reading tiny text. However, if you have presbyopia or just poor sight in general, you’ll need strong magnification. Unfortunately, this will make reading much slower. Here’s why.
It’s a rule: the larger the size of the magnifier’s lens, the lower the magnification. The lower the magnification, the quicker it is to read, since more words can be seen through the glass.
The opposite is also true. The smaller the size of the magnifier, the higher the magnification. The higher the magnification, the slower it’s to read, since the field of view is much smaller.
Deteriorating eyesight isn’t a reason to panic—nor is it a reason to let go of reading books! With the right magnifying glass, this common problem could be easily solved. All you need to do is buy one that meets all of your needs.
Have fun reading!