Tattoo artistry is serious business – working with needles and inking your skin is no laughing matter. But the perfectly rendered image, design or pattern makes the time spent carefully crafting a tattoo on a canvass of skin – not to mention the pain of the person on the receiving end – completely worth it for all parties involved. And while skill, dedication and practice are all right at the top of the list of things that make a great tattoo artist, there’s one factor that some may overlook contributing to success – lighting. Like all other forms of art, tattoo artistry involves careful and critical attention to detail, and the proper lighting is crucial to aid you in the process, making sure the colors and details you spent painstaking moments creating come out the way they’re intended to. While some artists find overhead fluorescent lighting suffices, we’d strongly recommend considering a task lamp – particularly one of daylight color temperature.
At 5,000 degrees Kelvin and above, daylight ranges of color temperature emulate natural light, and not only allow shades to stand out true to color (whereas yellow- to red-tinged light may warp how a color appears compared to its actual shade), but also sharply illuminates what you’re doing, making for better precision and attention to detail. Not only is this external factor likely to enhance the effectiveness of a tattoo artist – considering the permanency of the art, mistakes are big no-no’s – but also reduce the strain you put on your eyes, without pressuring them to focus on tiny details in lighting we often don’t realise is too dim for us. Here are our picks for the best lamp for tattooing.
TROND Clamp Desk Lamp
The lamp is programmed with a color temperature range between 3,000 and 6,200K, as well as 5 levels of brightness adjustable with a touch control dimmer situated on an intuitive touch-sensitive control panel, so you can pick whatever degree of lighting you’re comfortable with or require for maximum precision. The premium diffusion film utilised in this unit also helps ensure the LED lamp – which saves energy and prevents the unit, and subsequently you, from overheating – directs light vertically, throwing a focused cast at the specific area where you need it. This is extremely handy when it comes to pulling off the intricate needle and ink work tattooing involves, the daylight color temperature options ensuring all details stand out crisp and sharp, and colors appear true to form. The unit comes with a 6.6 feet power adapter.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
OttLite T81G5T-SHPR 18-watt Wing Shade Floor Lamp
Place this lamp by your tattoo chair, and with the elongated shade over your workspace you won’t have to bother with headlamps or finicky lighting. The repositionable wing shade rotates, while the flexible gooseneck allows you better control to position the light directly where you need it. The opaque, wing shade also throws a focused path of light where it is required rather than allowing it to diffuse or create unwanted glares – OttLite’s Natural Daylight Illumination is bright enough to show your artwork crisply, clearly and true to color, without pressuring or straining your eyes or leading to eye fatigue. Patented OttLite bulbs used with this unit are also energy-saving and low-heat emanating options, promising better longevity than incandescent or fluorescent options.
Esthology Facial Magnifying Lamp
Want a lamp you can easily move around in a bigger space? One of the features that immediately caught our attention with this unit are the smooth rolling caster wheels, adding another dimension to this lamp’s flexibility – you can roll the lamp over between chairs, and for particularly tricky tattoos move your light source around the chair, giving you full control and illumination where you need it when you need it. Add to this the magnifier lens of this lamp, 5 inches in diameter at
Add to this the magnifier lens of this lamp, 5 inches in diameter at magnification level of 2.25X and with an inset lens at 3X, and you get even more control over precision and accuracy for the most complex or intricate of tattoos. The lamp comes with a hinged lens cover, so you can use this unit exclusively as a light source, with a 360-degree swivelling head and 39-inch long, rotatable and retractable arm giving you complete flexibility in positioning and angling light where you’ll be needing it. Five sturdy steel legs and adjustable tension knobs and position locks give this unit rugged stability, with an adjustable height between 36 to 72 inches.
Brightech LightView Pro Magnifying Glass with Light and Stand
The Brightech flexible magnifying floor lamp is a hands-free solution for close work that includes a bright light. The lamp can be bent to focus the magnifier and light on the exact spot where it’s needed, and the extra-wide rectangular lens can magnify an entire page in a book. This work light allows you to use both hands while reading, doing professional tasks, or working on crafts and hobbies. The diopter glass can magnify your work up to 175%.
The Brightech standing light is a dimmable magnifying floor lamp that includes a built-in dimmer and a 9 Watt, integrated LED light. The LED light has a lifespan of 20 years, so there’s no need to replace it. The adjustable color temperature ranges from 3,000K warm white to 6,000K cool white. The LEDs output 800 lumens brightness, which is equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb. The focused light makes the item being worked on very bright.