The Cricut BrightPad is, no doubt, one of the most advanced weeding and tracing tools out there. It closely resembles a tablet meaning its pretty thin and light in weight. Besides that, it comes with 5 brightness adjustment settings which enable you to easily create a tailor-made workspace. But beyond the good looks and a sleek design, the pad has a few downsides as well. So, actually, the goal of this review isn’t to heap praises on this crafting companion but rather to shed more light on whether it’s worth the money or not.
Unboxing The BrightPad
The product comes in a well-thought-out white box. You simply need to open the box to reveal three things – the pad, power cord, and a user-manual (welcome booklet).
The pad is surrounded by shock-absorbent features which ensure that it arrives safely to you. Besides that, it’s held perfectly in place by a snug-fitting, shock-absorbent side padding.
One thing we’d like to appreciate is that Cricut seems to take the quality of their packaging quite seriously. Everything fits so tightly and nice – it’s almost a lot like Apple products.
The user-manual and power cord are safely tucked beneath the pad. Of course, you don’t need to read the manual if you’re already familiar with how these tools work.
If anything, you only need to connect the power chord to a source of power and then press the power button. Next to the power button are two buttons +/- buttons. These come in handy in the adjustment of light settings.
Simply press on the + to increase the light output or the – button to reduce the level of light. With 5 brightness levels, you can always choose one that works best for you.
1. Uniform LED Backlight
Most cheap lightboxes come with inferior halogen bulbs that often emit uneven light and you have to keep replacing them. That’s, fortunately, not the case with the pad. It comes with LED lighting which is capable of lasting 50,000 hours. Another thing about LED lighting is that it tends to be evenly lit all across the surface. And best of all, the light is on the cooler side of white.
2. Light Adjustment Features
Yet another feather in the cap of this premium-grade lightbox is that the LED light is adjustable. You simply need to rely on the +/- keypad buttons in the corner. A simple press on either of this either increases or decreases the light. Much as this is a pretty good and handy feature, we’d like to see Cricut introduce touch sensitive buttons instead (for convenience). That said, everything else about these buttons seems perfect and it doesn’t take more than a couple of seconds to adjust the light to what you want.
- Basically, the brightness settings are at approximately the following units (from the lowest to the highest):
- Level 1: 400 Lumens
- Level 2: 1300 Lumens
- Level 3: 2200 Lumens
- Level 4: 3100 Lumens
- Level 5: 4000 Lumens
3. Spacious Work Area
The BrightPad’s work area is pretty compact. It measures 9-in x 11.5-in. This goes a long way in providing you with a balance between a generous lit area and portability. So, you get a greater degree of freedom with this unit since you can comfortably use it for small and medium-sized crafts alike.
4. Non-Slip Base
The bottom surface of this lightbox comes with an anti-slip coating. This has been specifically included with the intention of reducing the risk of spills and accidents. So, whether you want to use it on your laps or any other work surface, you can rest assured that its non-slip base will play a huge role in providing a stable work surface.
5. Low Profile Design
The last thing you want to use is a heavy and bulky light box. Fortunately, this unit is incredibly light in weight to an extent that it resembles a high-tech tablet. In fact, it’s 0.35-inches deep meaning even if you’re using it on a desk you wouldn’t need to prop your elbows or even alter your posture.
6. 6-Foot USB Power Cord
One of the reasons why we love this power cord is that it’s pretty well-made. It provides your device with an instant supply of power which comes in handy since the BrightPad doesn’t have a built-in rechargeable battery. So, this well-made cord ensures that the device receives a decent and stable supply of power. This translates into a longer life for your device and overall, an enhanced user experience.
7. High Scratch Hardness Level
Scratch hardness is a level that’s used to determine how hard a material is and whether it’s resistant to abrasion or not. This scale ranges from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level possible, currently reserved for diamonds. But away from diamonds, the pad boasts a 6H level which is pretty high for an electronic gadget. Other lightbox devices provide a max of 3.5H. That, therefore, goes a long way to show you the kind of quality you can expect from this device as opposed to just any other lightbox on the market.
PS: The higher the scratch hardness level, the more scratch-resistant a device is.
Like all other Cricut machines purchase from reputable vendors, this one comes with a 1-year warranty commencing from the date of purchase. However, the warranty is only valid if you use the device for home use – and not commercial use. Also, the limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, misuse or any cases of tampering with the gadget.
Using The BrightPad
This is a multipurpose crafting device. Therefore, there’s no limit as to the levels of creativity you can scale with the BrightPad as long as you know how best to use it. Some roles you can confidently face with this handy device include the following:
Tracing – Thanks to its ultraslim design, it sits comfortably on your work desk enabling you to sit and draw with comfort. What’s more? Thanks to its lightweight make, you can conveniently use it even when curled up in your favorite living room couch.
Detailed Crafting – Whether making jewelry, building models or engaging in fine needlework, this tool has all the light you need to get all the crucial details right. So, yup, you can confidently use this as a comfortable workspace especially when faced with precise crafting tasks.
Weeding – Each time you cut iron-on or vinyl, it’s crucial to weed out the negative cuts. In that case, you’d need to use a sharp weeder and a non-sliding surface such as what the BrightPad provides. NB: You’d still need to tape down the edges for an even better weeding experience.
Handling Glitter Iron-On – As you know, glitter iron-on is a porous material and, therefore, the BrightPad’s light is meant to pass through it. This makes it super easy to cut lines that would, otherwise, be difficult to see. For a better working experience, you simply need to bend the material above the BrightPad surface. This effectively makes the cut lines more visible and wider, for easier weeding.
What We Like About The BrightPad
There are quite a few awesome things about it. First off, we like its overall build and design. There’s no doubt that this is a well-made lightbox. It lives up to the standards set by Cricut and, there’s no doubt that this presents you with a good value proposition.
Besides that, the pad is highly functional. No matter your level of crafting experience, you’re sure to have an easy time using it. Its slim design and lightweight are partly to thank for all that.
And even though it resembles a tablet (you certainly don’t want to take an X-Acto Knife near your iPad’s surface!), the Brightpad comes with a polycarbonate surface. This surface is rated at a 6H hardness scale meaning it’s highly practical for long-term use.
Moving on, we were absolutely impressed by the fact that this tool provides multiple light settings. You simply need to play around with the highly responsive buttons until you achieve the kind of light you need depending on the task and materials on hand.
Above all, we were drawn to its wide surface. As you know, a generously wide surface is of great use especially when intricate cuts and drawings are involved.
Lastly, we couldn’t help but is quite sturdy. And to make the deal even sweeter, the manufacturer provides you with an iron-clad warranty cover that’s valid for one year from the date of purchase.
So, in terms of value, there’s no doubt that this pad is a great product to settle for. But even with that said, the lightbox isn’t perfect.
What We Didn’t Like
Much as it’s a well-made lightbox, it costs slightly more than other products of its caliber on the market currently. But considering the kind of reputation that Cricut has managed to establish for itself, we feel that this unit is worth the extra bucks if you can afford it.
Another gripe we picked with the pad is that it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. This can significantly limit your workspace since you have to stay within a 6-foot radius of a power plug.
We’d confidently say that the Cricut Bright Pad is an indispensable crafting tool. It’s functional, practical, durable, and light in weight – although, we’d suggest skipping it if you’re looking for a lightbox with a rechargeable battery. But besides that, we found it pretty useful and cute.
Hello there, my name is Carole Lokey from Texas. I am a die cutting and scrapbooking enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 15 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page. Learn More>>