Beam N Read personal LED reading light review

In the world of travel gadgets, simpler is usually better – and there is no better example of this than the Beam N Read personal portable LED light. The Beam N Read is a compact battery operated LED light that you wear around your neck. The product really isn’t much more than a strap, a couple of LED’s and a battery pack.

The Beam N Read is available in a version with 3 LEDs and one with 6 LEDs. The practical applications are endless – but I came across the product when I was searching for the perfect reading light to use with the Amazon Kindle.

Using the Beam N Read won’t require a user guide – you simply hang it around your neck, and turn it on. Even that part can’t go wrong – turning it on involves little more than folding the light up to the angle you want it.

With the 3 LED version (the BNR 3), a set of 4 AA’s will keep things powered for 120 hours – the 6 LED Beam N Read lasts 48 hours. The Beam N Read 6 comes with a magnifying lens and a light filter designed to make the white LEDs less harsh.

Using the Beam N Read in real life is where I realized that this simple looking product really performs perfectly – by keeping the design simple, the folks behind this product (ASF Lightware Solutions) managed to create what I consider to be the best Amazon Kindle reading light.

Of course, the uses don’t stop there – the light is also perfect for working on your laptop in your bedroom (or on a dark plane), reading a book in the dark or even for some extra light in your tent. The photo above is of a Kindle in a totally dark room – and the photo was taken without a flash.

Best of all, the prices are very reasonable – just $19.95 for the 3 LED version, and $25.95 for the 6 LED version. All in all a very simple and effective product. You’ll find more information about the product over at

Amazon Kindle 2 – making a great gadget even better

It’s no secret that I love the Amazon Kindle – the electronic book reader made our top 25 lineup of best travel gadgets for 2008, and despite several minor shortcomings, most readers picked it as their favorite gadget as well.

The Kindle has been a massive success – and ever since it was released, it’s been fairly hard to get, with shipping often taking about a month.

That is probably not going to improve any time soon, as Amazon just announced the new Kindle 2 – thinner, smarter design, and a host of other new features make this $359 device a clear winner.

In fact, I’d say the new design is so good, that we’ll see the “iPhone effect” where many original Kindle owners upgrade to the new version.

The device has a better e-ink display, capable of displaying 16 shades of gray, a faster refresh of the screen, and the ability to convert text to speech for the new “read to me” feature. But best of all, they updated the page turning buttons, which were always a massive annoyance.

Needless to say, the new Kindle is probably going to be just as successful as the old one, and should help keep Amazon on top of the ebook market.