Bottom line: This bright and extremely flexible lamp helps you see the tasks at hand to get the job done.
Large lamp head illuminates 4 sq. ft. of workspace
95 Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Adjustable brightness up to 3000 lux
Adjustable color temperature from warm to cool white
Four points of articulation
Energy-efficient LED lights last 40,000 hours
Look won't appeal to all
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Proper lighting is everything, whether you're crafting, making, reading, working, or taking photos and videos. Cricut is best known for precision cutting machines beloved by makers and crafters. As anyone who has struggled to see close-up work knows, you need a good lighting source to be able to see what you're doing and avoid eye strain. Since a sunny window isn't always available, the Cricut Bright 360 is a convenient substitute.
Cricut Bright 360: Price and availability
You can find the Cricut Bright 360 at Cricut, Amazon, Target, QVC, Michaels, Walmart, Jo-Ann, and other retailers that sell Cricut machines. It comes in two sizes: the smaller table lamp and the larger floor lamp. There is just one color, called Mist, which is a very pale neutral-looking blue. It's pretty much the same color as the Cricut Maker 3. The pricing is about the same everywhere, $200 for the table lamp and $250 for the floor lamp.
Cricut Bright 360: What's good
Regular indoor lighting doesn't compare to a good task lamp when it comes to close work, such as detailed crafting or reading. The Cricut Bright 360 is a high-end task lamp that can help you see whatever you're working on better. It can also be used as supplemental lighting so your photographs, videos, or Zoom calls look better.
The floor lamp and desk lamp versions of Cricut Bright 360 are pretty much the same, though of course, the desk lamp is smaller, lighter, and slightly less expensive. The only other difference is the floor lamp is up to 3000 lux (a measure of brightness over a certain area) while the desk lamp is 1500 lux. However, they offer a similar amount of brightness. The difference in lux is due to the distance that the power needs to travel up the lamp.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures the ability of a light to show true colors as compared to the sun on a scale of one to 100. The Cricut Bright 360 has a 95 CRI which puts it pretty close to sunlight.
The lamp base is heavy, so you can adjust the lamp as you please without worrying about it tipping over. There are four points of articulation and so the light can be placed at just about any angle and any spot the arm can reach. I find the lamp easy to adjust even with just a finger or two, and it stays just the way you put it.
There are two sliding switches. The top one lets you adjust the color from a cool white to a warm white. The lower switch is a dimmer that slides up to 3000 lux (or 1500 lux for the desk lamp). The light shines evenly over a four-foot square area, giving you plenty of room to work. I'm pretty sensitive to light and glare but I find the Cricut Bright 360 quite comfortable to use.
I also like the Cricut Brightpad Go, but I tend to prefer top-down lighting like the Cricut Bright 360 for most things I do. You could use both at once for a "light sandwich" if you want to see it all.
While the Cricut Bright 360 is intended for crafting and other close-up tasks, it can also be used to add light to a specified area for photographs without the harshness of a flash. You can also use it to brighten up your face for video calls or videography; for softer indirect light, try bouncing the light off of a wall or bounce card (even a white poster board).
The bulbs are not replaceable, but you shouldn't need to anyway. The thousands of LED bulbs inside should last up to 40,000 hours. No part of the lamp ever gets hot to the touch.
Cricut Bright 360: What's not good
I really don't have any critique of this lamp, other than you may or may not like the look. Plus, it's quite expensive.
Cricut Bright 360: Competition
Before I got the Cricut Bright 360, I used an OttLite as my task lamp of choice. OttLite lamps replicate sunlight with a CRI of 97 to reduce eye strain and give you an advanced color rendering. I did like the light output, however, my lamp's hinge wore out after several years of use, so the lamp was no longer usable.
You also might consider a smart light, which you could control from the Home app on your iPhone. A brand you might check out is Phillips Hue which is primarily known for smart bulbs; you can find their products at both brick and mortar stores and online.
Cricut Bright 360: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You need a high-end, long-lasting, LED task lamp
- You want up to 3000 lux, 95 CRI, and warm or cool light settings
- You want a flexible, multi-position lamp
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a different look or color
- You're looking for a smart light you can control with HomeKit
- The price is prohibitive
This is a lamp for the person who needs a specific kind of lighting, not a casual buyer. If you want a long-lasting LED task lamp with 3000 lux, 95 CRI, warm/cool settings, and four points of articulation, this is the lamp for you. However, if you just want an inexpensive lamp, or you're looking for a different decor style, or you want to be able to control it from HomeKit, then look elsewhere.
While the Cricut Bright 360 is fairly pricey, it ticks all the boxes you could expect from a task lamp. With four points of articulation, it's easy to adjust the placement and angle of your light. It lights up a four-foot task area pretty evenly. With up to 3000 lux it's plenty bright, while also avoiding an annoying glare. You can adjust the color temperature to your liking or keep it in the middle for a true color reveal; at 95 CRI it's pretty close to real sunlight. This lamp will last you for years as the LED bulbs have been tested to last for 40,000 hours.
Bottom line: This top-notch task lamp will light up your workspace for years to come.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.