Best Lightbox for Tracing in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 06, 2022 •  Guides

A tracing lightbox is a tremendously useful tool for artists, crafters, seamstresses, illustrators, animators, and other creators. So let’s have a look at which one you should get!

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Top 4 Lightboxes for Tracing Compared

This is a quick comparison of my favorite light boxes for tracing. The overview below has more picks and sizes, including A4s, A3s, A2s, USB- and battery-powered picks.

Artist's Pick
Budget Pick
Portable Pick
Professional Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: A/C Powered :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A4 - 8″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A1+ - 38″ x 24″ - Tempered safety glass top :: Dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness up to 5500 lumens :: Color Temperature: 6000 to 7000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs :: Drawers and ledges for pencils, pens and other art supplies

Artist's Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: A/C Powered :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Budget Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Portable Pick
Description:

A4 - 8″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Professional Pick
Description:

A1+ - 38″ x 24″ - Tempered safety glass top :: Dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness up to 5500 lumens :: Color Temperature: 6000 to 7000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs :: Drawers and ledges for pencils, pens and other art supplies

Table of Contents

Overview: Best Tracing Light Box in 2022

Artist’s Picks: Artograph LED Light Pad Light Boxes

Artist's Pick
Artist's Pick
Artist's Pick
Artist's Pick
Description:

A5 - 9″ x 6″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Description:

A2 - 24″ x 17″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Artist's Pick
Description:

A5 - 9″ x 6″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Artist's Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Artist's Pick
Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Artist's Pick
Description:

A2 - 24″ x 17″ - Thin, dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Cool white 6500K color temperature, adjustable from 1000 lux to super bright 5000 lux :: LED lamps last up to 50,000 hours

Artograph specializes in light box design and manufactures the finest lightboxes.

Artograph lightboxes and light tables feature a cool 6500K color temperature, which is great for the eyes and extended work sessions, and a more neutral tone, which won’t interfere with even the most color-sensitive work or skew your vision. 

And speaking of light, the Artograph lightboxes are not only fully adjustable, they go up to a remarkable 5,000 Lux of brightness, which is super-bright and allows you to use a wider range of materials.

And, for many people, having brighter light (as long as it is cool and even) can be even better for the eyes and reduce eye strain.

Superior lightboxes from a company that has been making the best art supplies for over sixty years, the Artograhph LightPad lightboxes and the brilliant Futura Light Table below are the first and best choice for serious commercial and fine artists, engineers, and animators, or for anybody who understands that the best design, the best quality, and most useful tools are always the best value.

Designed for artists by artists, Artograph light boxes are simple, uncluttered, easy to use, and reliable, and they facilitate work and let an artist be in their space without distractions or interruptions.

And the work surface is double-layered, firm, and sturdy, allowing for many different media to be used, and it won’t move or buckle even when you apply stronger pressure.

The elegant, premium quality Atrograph Light Pad lightboxes are available in four sizes, each with the same high quality of materials and construction, the same brilliant functional layout, and the same impressive specifications:

Adjustable Brightness from 500 (or 1000) up to 5000 Lux

Budget Picks: Huion LED Light Boxes and Portable LED Light Pads

Huion is another well-known company for excellent quality products designed and built with artists’ needs in mind.

Huion products have always been quite affordable. In recent years the quality of their lightboxes – and all of their products – has improved so much that they are immediately recommendable and represent some of the best values on the market today.

Huion makes some of the best and most affordable lightboxes today.

No fewer than seven of these excellent products make it on my guide to lightboxes for artists – three from the affordable AC-powered A series and the portable USB- and battery-powered L series.

These are among the most popular lightboxes among artists and crafters, and for a good reason!

Huion LED Light Boxes

Budget Pick
Budget Pick
Budget Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A2 - 24″ x 17″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Budget Pick
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Budget Pick
Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Budget Pick
Description:

A2 - 24″ x 17″ - Thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 4480 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

The Huion A Series of artist lightboxes has very even, cool white illumination, allowing you to work in more detail and with greater accuracy without distorting or shifting colors. 

Their Eyesight-protected technology is very important for those of us who maybe work a little too long without breaks. The step-less brightness control allows for ultra-precise light adjustment.

And the built-in ruler and overall design facilitate all kinds of work and creativity.

Super thin and light, with a solid acrylic work surface, this is an ideal light box/tracing board for any artist or crafter at a very low price.

Huion Portable LED Light Pads

USB Powered
Battery Powered
USB Powered
Battery Powered
Description:

A4 - 8″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1500 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: Wireless battery powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A3 - 16″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1500 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: Wireless battery powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

USB Powered
Description:

A4 - 8″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Battery Powered
Description:

A4 - 9″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1500 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: Wireless battery powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

USB Powered
Description:

A3 - 16″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1110 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: USB powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

Battery Powered
Description:

A3 - 17″ x 12″ - Ultra-thin, adjustable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness 1500 Lux :: Color Temperature: 8000-10000K :: Wireless battery powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs

And if the above Huion tracing boards don’t offer enough of a value for the money (as if!), or if you are simply on a tighter budget, you can still get great quality and artist-centered design of a Huion tracing board for a much lower price – and an extremely light, USB- or battery-powered and portable light box you can use at home or anywhere else.

While the light level seems much lower on the L series than on the A series, make no mistake – this is still an ultra-bright lightbox. 

They still offer the same step-less light level adjustment, the same eyesight protection technology reducing eye fatigue, the same heavy-duty acrylic work panel, the same great overall design, and built-in ruler, and in a package barely .2 inches thick and only 1.2 pounds in weight.

A real value and the best budget lightboxes for artists available today, the L series are the perfect no-compromise tracing table for less money and are highly recommended.

Professional Pick: Artograph Futura Adjustable Light Table for Artists

Professional Pick
Artograph Futura Light Table for Artists

A1+ - 38″ x 24″ - Tempered safety glass top :: Dimmable LED light box for tracing and drawing :: Brightness up to 5500 lumens :: Color Temperature: 6000 to 7000K :: AC powered :: Backlight life >50,000hrs :: Drawers and ledges for pencils, pens and other art supplies

Get it on Amazon

This sturdy and well-designed lightbox would be an easy recommendation simply as an adjustable art/drawing table.

But when you consider the superb adjustable Artograph cool white light source, which evenly illuminates the entire 38 by 24-inch tempered glass work surface, the Futura light table becomes an indispensable artist’s tool and a perfect light box specifically.

Any artist would continuously use and love this table because it will make your artwork and your working experience much easier and better.

What is a Light Box for Tracing?

Also known as a light box, a tracing board, a tracing box, or a light table, a light box is a very simple and ingenious device that has been used for a long time – even before electricity.

Modern lightboxes have improved dramatically, with very thin designs, cool, even lighting, and eye-comforting LED light sources.

A lightbox is a flat, translucent panel with light coming up through the panel from a built-in lighting source.

You can lay a piece of tracing paper, fabric, or other translucent material, which has some sort of art, drawing, or design on it, on top of the panel, and it will be illuminated from beneath.

You then lay a piece of tracing paper on top of the first piece, and you will see the drawing or design and can copy or trace all or part of it.

You can also simply lay artwork on top of a lightbox – especially, again, art or drawings which are on tracing paper or fairly translucent materials, and see that artwork with a kind of illumined clarity that can reveal mistakes, problems with color balance, consistency or coverage, or even just suggest ways to improve a piece of art.

Many artists also swear that viewing their art with a lightbox lets them get a better feel for how it will look after they scan or shoot it and put it on a computer display screen.

We think of lightboxes as mainly used for tracing, but you can also use them to make or view artwork, and the illumination can often help you see things you might have missed.

Of course, tracing and copying are the main uses of a good lightbox, but again they can be used for lots of stuff, including:

I’m sure there are many other reasons to buy and have a good lightbox for artists, crafters, animators, technical illustrators and engineers, and others. 

What to Look For in a Tracing Light Box

Lightboxes are fairly simple tools, and there is not much to consider when purchasing one.

Still, making sure of a few things can make a big difference in how well your new lightbox will work, how easy it is to use, how much it helps you in your process, how it can take care of your eyes and how long it will last.

The most important factors are:

How Can You Find the Best Light Box for Your Needs and Budget?

Assuming that all tracing boards do the same thing, it can be extremely frustrating to find the right tracing board for you and your own usage – there are so many brands out there, all with similar specs and a huge range of prices! 

But until you have held lots of them in your hand and tried to use them, you can’t understand how poor many can be – uneven illumination and flickering light, a clunky or ridged design that gets in the way of drawing, poor or flimsy construction.

That is why my guide can be so helpful. In my recommendations for the best lightboxes for tracing today, you will find several units in various sizes and at different price levels, which have the best design, and overall quality and are best for your eyes and your work. 

I am focusing on two companies – Artograph and Huion – which specialize in lightboxes and make the best of the best in every way.

And I am skipping over some well-known brands which, despite their popularity, don’t offer the same levels of quality and usability – at least when it comes to light boxes.

So if you have an idea of how much you want to spend and what size of lightbox would be best for you, you can select the appropriate recommendation from the guide above whether you are looking for the best light box for tracing and copying, artists, animators, tattoo artists, crafters and for technical drawing and drafting.

And again, even the best lightboxes are surprisingly affordable, and every one of my recommendations is of great value. So if you’ve been wanting to get one, I hope my artist’s guide for the best light boxes on the market today will help light the way!

FAQs – Light Box for Tracing

How does a light box work for tracing?

A lightbox is a flat, translucent panel with light coming up through the panel from a built-in lighting source. You can lay a piece of tracing paper, fabric, or other translucent material, which has some sort of art, drawing, or design on it, on top of the panel, and it will be illuminated from beneath. You then lay a piece of tracing paper on top of the first piece, and you will see the drawing or design and can copy or trace all or part of it.

What is the best light box for artists?

Based on my experience, the best light box for artists comes either from Artograph or, if you are on a budget, Huion. I recommend Artograph LightPad Series, Huion A Series, or portable Huion L Series (USB- and battery-powered).

What should I look for in a tracing light box?

When getting a new tracing light box, you should look for the following features at a minimum: adjustable light levels (I recommend up to 5000 lux), cool neutral LED light for eye safety and comfort (I recommend up to between 7000K and 10000K), size of the working area (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5), quality of construction and materials, light weight, and battery life if you need portability.

What paper do you use with a light box?

If you are learning to draw, using basic white printer paper with your light box is best because it allows for the best light transfer. If you are an advanced artist, you can use any type of paper (e.g., watercolor and even a canvas). Just make sure to adjust the light settings of your light box.

I hope my guide helped you to choose your new light box, and you will have a lot of fun with your creative projects!

Visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles, and other resources.

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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