For the last couple of nights I've been trying out an unusual book light called the LightWedge. This testing required kind of a role reversal, because usually I'm the one trying to sleep while my wife is reading with the bedside lamp on. Bedside lamps aren't very efficient of course: they send light into all kinds of places we don't need it, like in my eyes. Some book lights aren't much better since they're using bright traditional bulbs perched over the book.
I'm not sure this particular book light is the complete answer, but they get points for approaching the problem from a different angle. It does ably solve the scattered light problem by putting lots of light on the pages you're reading, but nowhere else. The "wedge" in its name comes from the innovative design where tiny LED lights push light out of the base and through the glass. So the page you're reading is completely illuminated, with no dark spots, and there's no eye strain. This would work well on a plane, train, or bus if you're trying not to annoy your fellow passengers.
The downside is, you've got to do some extra work. Since it's a wedge that goes between the pages, that means each time you turn the page you have to pull out the LightWedge, turn the page, and then stick it back in. (But hey, it doubles as a bookmark when you turn it off.) To me this was a minor inconvenience, but to my wife this was a dealbreaker. So now I've got her trying out another one...
The LightWedge retails for $39.95 and uses four supplied AA batteries. A smaller light for paperbacks has a list price of $24.95. (Those two links take you to Amazon, where it's a few dollars cheaper.)
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