It’s a fact of life that when you need a light table, you really need one. This week I needed to ink over a dozen different scenes and characters using my rough sketches and a blank sheet of paper. I could have used the childhood tracing trick and taped the sheets to a window but wanted to be able to ink on a horizontal surface. So I found a glass-topped coffee table and set it on top of a rubber tote, then put a desk lamp underneath and shone it upwards. It worked, but it was warm. My parents noticed this ridiculous assemblage and ordered me the Huion L4S LED Light Pad off of Amazon as an early birthday surprise.
Let me tell you, this is a much better solution than my table stacking. This light pad is thin, sturdy, and bright. It measures 360mm x 270mm x 5mm (about 13″ x 10 5/8″ x 13/64″) with a total illuminated area of 210mm x 310mm (about 8 5/16″ x 12 1/4″). This is the second smallest size in the range–I wouldn’t want one much larger because it fits perfectly on my desk! It weighs very little and would easily slide into the laptop sleeve section of my backpack. It comes with a long cord that has an A-type USB on one end and a Micro USB B on the other. This micro USB is the same as on most Android phone chargers, meaning it can be plugged in anywhere you have a phone charger handy. The light pad is powered by plugging the larger USB end into either a computer or a wall charger with a USB port. The cord that comes with this light pad is super long so it could reach to a wall socket if needed.
When you plug in the light pad, a red light on the side (not shown) indicates that it has power. In order to turn it on, you touch the power button icon on the top left. If you touch and hold, the level of brightness will gradually increase. I don’t think I would ever use the light pad on full brightness because it’s almost too bright; however, I could see this being useful if you’re trying to see through a thicker or patterned stock. My only criticism of this light pad so far is that it’s hard to figure out how long to hold the button in order to set a certain level of brightness. I’m sure that this is something I will become better at with practice.
Another useful feature of the Huion Light Pad is the rulers along the edge of the lit surface. For an even more useful product, there could be inch increments as well. However, the fact that these markings exist at all will be helpful when I need to line up different sheets.
I threw a page of calligraphy practice on there to show you how the light pad works. The first photo shows the light pad turned off while the second shows the light shining through and illuminating the script on the other side. Pretty nifty!
Finally, I took a photo of the light pad beside my 13″ Macbook Pro to show you how big it is. There’s an LG G3 beside it in the photo at the top of this post as well.
Overall I would say that I am very satisfied with how this new design tool is working! I won’t comment on the price because it was a gift, but if you search for “Huion L4S LED Light Pad” on Amazon you can see the price for yourself.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear suggestions of other cool and affordable design tools I could review. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you like to use.
Till next time,