Company: LightWedge

Price: $35 US for hardcover LW100 version, $25 for paperback PB100 version, $9 / $8 for neoprene sleeves, $10 for lens care kit

It’s the middle of the night. You can’t sleep. The day’s thoughts are causing commotion in your brain. What to do? Don’t want to disturb your spouse (or roommate or partner). You would like to read another chapter of a book, or an article in a magazine, but you can’t in good conscience flood the room with table lamp illumination.

Ah – quietly remove your LightWedge (LW) from its neoprene sleeve (purchased separately), open your book, set LightWedge on the page you’re reading, switch on LW, and finish the chapter as your eyes become heavy and your brain is calm. Sleep soundly until your iPod awakens you with the latest PodCast from

For a modest price, you can successfully read in the dark with full control over page and ambient illumination, using LightWedge Original or Paperback. Each LW takes four AAA batteries, and promises many hours’ reading per set, or fresh recharge (batteries not supplied). The color temperature is very high, meaning LW produces cool, comfortable light that is easy on the eyes, even at low levels (each LW has both a high and a low setting).

In my case, before LightWedge entered my life, here’s what used to take place around 3:20 a.m.

Barbara: John, I can’t sleep. Can you please give us some classical music from the radio?

Me: Ufjklrieo weiurovci peoreiurow (while I press the radio’s “sleep” button).

Barbara falls asleep in approximately ten seconds.

I stay awake now, listening to classical music for an hour, and eventually return to sleep.

Now, using LW, Barbara quietly opens the LightWedge case and her book, reads for twenty or thirty minutes, and goes back to sleep. The room is neither dark nor light, and it doesn’t bother me seriously.

Barbara expands:

I saw an ad for LightWedge in the New Yorker magazine. Then we looked at one at our local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I foolishly chose a cheapo clip-on book reading light instead, to save a little money. The light from this gadget was not bright enough, and gave me eyestrain.

“Using the original LightWedge works well with a hard back book. I can also manage reading a full magazine page. John is trying the paperback size, with no complaints so far. We both are using the highest setting because we each like a lot of illumination.

“LightWedge reading puts me right back to sleep. I place the clear spatula-shape on top of the page I’m reading, then move it quietly from page to page as I progress through the book or magazine, shifting LW from left to right to left.

“The brightness is not as good as my nightstand lamp with its three-way bulb blasting, but it’s sure a lot better for spousal harmony.”

The CEO of LightWedge tells

A fresh set of batteries will go 40 hours before you notice even the slightest hint of fading light. We had a guy report to us that he read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy on one set of batteries.

I hope it wasn’t in one sitting!

Barbara rates her larger Original LightWedge at 4 out of 5, and I agree with that figure for my smaller paperback version. The company sells cleaners and other accessories, and their product lineup will be expanding.

Warning – the two-sided battery insertion tunnel has a couple of quirks:

• all batteries must face the same direction, as indicated

• this little channel is very snug, and the batteries will go in even though at first you think they won’t fit.

LightWedge would receive our highest perfect score of 5 if illumination was absolutely even throughout the spatula shape, but it’s somewhat uneven. Reading is not affected.

There are many potential other uses for a LightWedge. Think of reading books or maps in cars or airplanes, or kids playing with blanket tents, or actual outdoor camping, or working on your car, or dozens more. The company should hold a contest for best unconventional way to use a LW. (A special Night Vision LW using red illumination is available for $45.)

It’s getting late. Time to grab a few hours’ sleep before Barbara does her middle-of-the-night reading session. rating: 4 out of 5

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