One might be able to rightly regard both drafting and drawing as relatively inexpensive hobbies. After all, neither one requires a lot of equipment – usually, it’s just a pencil and paper and maybe some straight edges.
However, while it may not be absolutely essential, it’s a good idea to have a light table for your drawing and drafting ventures. These tables are good for a variety of reasons, which include being able to trace drawings, compare lines of different pieces, and more accurately assess the lines in your own drawings. While it’s true that drawing on a table by itself can work well, having a light table can help you take your drawing and drafting skills to the next level. Below are some things to consider when looking for alight table.
Make sure you have a good work surface.
This is a given, probably, but it’s important to consider. For instance, most of us like a firm work surface as opposed to one that has a good bit of give. A good light table will have a quality surface that will not retain dents from your writing utensil. Sometimes, it’s hard to assess the quality of the surface ahead of time, and this s where other people’s opinions can come in handy. Whether it’s reading reviews, talking to people, or just doing research on surface types, checking out this aspect of the light table for drafting (or for drawing) is well worth your time.
Assess the incline.
Obviously, when it comes to both drawing and drafting, we each have a preference when it comes to work surface angles. The best tables will likely be adjustable, which is nice if you’re picky about angles or if you share the table with others.
However, many tables will have a fixed angle. If this is the case, your best option is to go to a store and stand over each, practicing drawing or tracing. If you can’t do this (for instance, if you are buying online and don’t live near a store), you may want to research the fixed angles of the tables you’re looking at. Then, you can take a piece of cardboard, etc., incline it at the specified angle, and see if it seems like it would be a good angle to use for both drawing and drafting. If it isn’t, you’re better off picking up a table with a better angle (or better yet, an adjustable one).
Consider the lighting.
Obviously, the quality of the light is going to be important in the purchase of this sort of table. But “quality” can mean many different things. For instance, one thing to consider is the type of light used: are the bulbs easy to replace? How expensive are replacements? How long do they last? This is an important factor to assess, as many cheaper table companies may cut corners by using cheap light bulbs. You want something that shines bright and is long lasting. If you’re really penny-pinching, you could still feasibly buy one of these. Just make sure that you look at the bulbs used and the cost of replacing them (presumably) more frequently than others. Ideally, the best desk has high-quality lighting that lasts a long time, but we don’t all have the amount of money we’d like to spend on desks. In this case, it’s wise to deliberately choose where you end up cutting corners.
Think about surface area.
The size of desk you choose is very dependent on your projects. If you work with very small art pieces, for instance, you won’t need an enormous work surface. By contrast, if you work with absolutely massive sketches, you’ll need a bigger desk.
Another concern is workspace. If you have plenty of space, then desk size may not be a big deal. If you work in a tiny space, you may want a foldable light table for drawing or light table for drafting. Alternatively, you may choose a smaller table overall, as folding tables may mean extra cost.
Essentially, picking the best table for you means evaluating all the circumstances of your work and workspace. When you take time, evaluate priorities and budget, and find out what other people have to say about various models, you’ll be well on your way to getting the best table for yourself, your budget, and your situation.