The best Cricut Brightpad alternatives in 2023

The best Cricut Brightpad alternatives; a photo of a lighbox on a table surrounded by sewing materials and tools
(Image credit: The Daylight Company)

The best Cricut Brightpad alternatives can help you improve your crafting and artwork by enabling you to trace designs and pick hard-to-see seams or pieces of card and material from designs cut on a Cricut. While we love Cricut's own Brightpad they can be costly, so in this guide I've chosen the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives. Some are cheaper, some more costly but larger.

Cricut's Brightpad is one of the better lightboxes around, but some crafters may find it too small and restrictive, you can find it in our best Cricut accessories guide. In its favour the official Brightpad is portable and allows crafters to work from anywhere, with five adjustable brightness settings, and a cordless design.

In our guide below we've picked the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives that can match the way you like to work. Some are equally portable as the Cricut Brightpad, while others offer a larger working space and some can be suitable for younger crafters. When looking at these short reviews we paid attention to build quality, size, display brightness and any features that can aid your work, such as dimmable lighting.

If you're looking for a device just for art, then take a look at our guide to the best lightboxes for tracing. All the Cricut Brightpad alternatives below can be used with the best Cricut machines as well as the best Cricut alternatives; we have detailed reviews of the leading cutting machines if you're new to these gadgets, including the Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Joy and a guide to the best Silhouette machines.

The best Cricut Brightpad alternatives to buy now

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A photo of the Wafer A3, one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: The Daylight Company)

01. Wafer 2 Lightbox

The best all-round Cricut Brightpad alternative

Specifications

Size: 36cm x 48cm (A3)
Weight: 1.6kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Dimmable with memory function
+
Offers true colour matching

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive

The Daylight Company Wafer 2 lightbox is comparable to Cricut's Brightpad in many ways, with a similar screen size and simple design aesthetic. Though at A3 this lightbox is slightly larger.

In use we love some of the small design touches that make this stand out from the crowd. The power switch, for example, isn't a mechanical rocker switch but a touch sensitive panel. The longer you hold it down the brighter the panel becomes.

The screen size means the Wafer 2 is good for most Cricut projects and the bright 320 Lumens LED (reaching a daylight colour temperature of 6,000K) is suitable for any art or crafts ideas you have.

It's a little on the costly side compared to others on this list and priced competitively against the Brightpad. If you're after something larger, The Daylight Company has you covered. For $280 / £142.99 you can get the A2-sized Wafer 3 (opens in new tab).

A photo of one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: Dasher)

02. Dasher Products LED Light Box

The best Cricut Brightpad alternativer for detail work

Specifications

Size: 19-inches
Weight: ‎1.38 kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable light levels
+
Comes with accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be glitchy to turn on

This lightbox is one of the best out there for Cricutters, and crafters alike. Similar to the Brightpad, it is an excellent tool to have if you find weeding tedious, and could do with a bit of lighting to help you see what you're doing more clearly.

This box has three different light settings, which allow the screen to be very bright, and the quality ensures no flickering – an essential when trying to concentrate on an important project. You'll also get a clip, and a cable long enough to plug the box into any power outlet.

Brightpad alternatives; a large lightbox with a silver metal frame

(Image credit: Artograph)

03. Artograph Artograph LightPad

The best Cricut Brightpad alternative made to last

Specifications

Size: 23 x 30 cm
Weight: 1.3 kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Metal frame is solid and well-made
+
Bright 9000 lux LED

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a portable lightbox

Unlike other Brightpad alternatives on my list, the Artograph LightPad has a metal aluminium rather than plastic, which affords this lightbox a sturdy and dependable base to work on. The LED light is just as luxury, with an adjustable brightness of 500 lux to a very bright 9000 lux, which ensures it can be used with thick paper stock, fabric and card making it ideal for Cricut.

The downside is the weight means this is a desk-bound Brightbox alternative, unlike the Brightpad Go that offers a wire-free use. Yet, the Artograph LightPad has an equally large surface area and a far bright LED display. If you're after a high-end alternative to Cricut's lightbox, the Artograph LightPad is a good one.

A photo of the Stone TH lightbox, a Cricut Brightpad alternative

(Image credit: Stone TH)

04. Stone TH A4 Pro Lightbox

The best Cricut alternative on a budget

Specifications

Size: ‎35cm x 23.5cm x 0.5cm (A4)
Weight: 680g
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable light levels
+
Has eye protective technology
+
Super lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable can be fiddly

This lightbox comes with a very multifunctional use, and so can be used in the wider crafting world and not just for those looking to finesse their Cricut weeding, tracing and paper piecing.

Designed with an eye protection function that ensures no flickers and no radiation, this lightbox can be trusted to protect users eyesight, and prevent overheating when being used for long periods of time. You can count on this Stone TH box to help you achieve more detail, with less strain.

We do recommend this Pro model over the basic Stone TH lightbox as it has a clearer screen (the basic model has a kind of dotted cover across it). The extra cost is well-worth it.

A photo of one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: Vario)

05. Vario Lightbox Tracing Pad (aluminium frame)

The best Cricut alternative for large projects

Specifications

Size: 420mm x 300 mm (A2)
Weight: 3kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
A large screen size
+
Technology to prevent overheating
+
5 dimmer lights

Reasons to avoid

-
More costly than other options

Not everybody’s Cricut project fits into the classic A4 size, some crafters are looking to do things on a bigger scale - especially those who use Cricut machines at work, or for bigger projects like window and wall decals. This Vario box and its smooth, matte finish is perfect for those looking for a larger lightbox, and something bigger than the classic Cricut BrightPad.

This lightbox has a unique aluminium frame to reduce the LED lights overheating, and a touch dimmer to allow for a personalised brightness setting. We find this is a well-built and nicely designed Cricut Brightpad alternative.

A photo of one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: Huion)

06. HUION L4S Lightbox

The best Cricut alternative for fans of ultra thin devices

Specifications

Size: 30cm x 20cm
Weight: 0.7kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Has eye protective technology 
+
Super lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen can look a bit low quality

The super thin surface (just 5.1mm) of this HUION lightbox allows users to use it as freely as they would a piece of paper or thin notepad, so you can say goodbye to aching wrists and arms when focusing on a lengthy project.

The protective film and eye-protective LED lights ensure that little strain is placed on your eyes, which is really important when using such bright lighting, especially for long periods of time. The slim design is also perfect for use on the go, so you can get crafty on a train, in a cafe, or on holiday.

A photo of one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: Purelite)

07. PURElite Ultra Thin LED Lightbox

The best large and slim Cricut alternative

Specifications

Size: ‎43cm x 26.4cm x 6.1cm
Weight: 0.85 kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Suitable for lots of craft projects
+
Dimmable LED lighting

Reasons to avoid

-
This one's expensive

Although more expensive than other Cricut BrightPad alternatives, this ultra-thin A3 LED Light Box is ideal for Cricut fanatics, and allows you to work on bigger projects than you’d be able to with the BrightPad or many of its alternatives.

This device features dimmable LED lighting that gives users a consistent light across the whole panel face. It is energy efficient, with low heat emission and comes with a two metre USB cable included.

A photo of one of the best Cricut Brightpad alternatives

(Image credit: XIAOSTAR)

08. Xiaostar A3 Lightbox

The best Cricut alternative for kids

Specifications

Size: 37.4cm x 27.1cm x 3.5cm
Weight: ‎‎1.22 kg
Light source: LED

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable light levels
+
Larger size than most
+
Comes with a warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging port can be unstable

Xiaostar is an emerging brand, dedicated to the development and production of tools for learning painting, animation, sketching and more arts and crafts. This lightbox designed for enhancing the tracing experience has a transparent acrylic board across the screen, to allow for an even dispersion of light.

Users really rate the quality of light, which even on the lowest setting is clear and bright. The device itself is well structured and sturdy, so it's perfect to travel with and you won’t have to worry too much about bumping it.

Cricut Brightpad alternatives: frequent questions

Can I turn my iPad into a lightbox?

Technically, yes, but we wouldn't. There are apps that simulate the bright light of a lightbox and for some the size of an iPad Pro or larger iPad is good enough to use to trace and see through material. However, lightboxes and the Cricut Brightpad feature scratch resistant surfaces while iPad doesn't – if you're using weeding tools on an iPad screen it will get damaged.

What can I use a lightbox or Brightpad alternative for?

Bright LED lightboxes and Brightpads can be used for drawing but for crafters they are excellent to see designs cut onto materials for weeding (picking) and to see fabric seams on complex patterned material. They're excellent for tracing designs onto materials if your cutting machine as a scan and print function, for example.

Is a Brightpad alternative worth it?

The reason to use a Brightpad or one of the Brightpad alternatives is to make weeding vinyl and iron-on transfer material easier, so yes. The light from below helps you see the cut patterns with more clarity. Brightpads are designed to be used with Cricuts sharp tools, so when choosing a Brightpad alternative check the product has a scratch resistant coating.

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Ian Dean

Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.

With contributions from