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All About The Eschenbach SmartLux Digital Video Magnifier

Several years ago, I told my low vision ophthalmologist that I was having trouble with reading paper materials and that traditional magnifiers frequently hurt my eyes due to the glare and reflection from classroom lights on the ceiling. They asked me if I had ever tried using a video or electronic magnifier for reading printed materials, and then told me all about the Eschenbach SmartLux Digital video magnifier, which was their favorite tool to recommend to patients with low vision. After trying out a few other video magnifiers and reading their reviews, I decided that I liked the SmartLux Digital the best and we purchased it later that week. I’ve been using the device since then, and today I will be talking all about the Eschenbach SmartLux video magnifier and how I use it with low vision.

What is the Eschenbach SmartLux Digital?

The SmartLux Digital is a type of portable video magnifier made by Eschenbach that uses a camera and a screen to enlarge text and images so that they are easier to see. The SmartLux Digital is fairly small in size, with a five-inch display and approximately eight-ounce weight, and can easily be stored in a backpack or purse for people who need to read text or enlarge images while on the go or in a variety of different environments.

Options for purchasing the Eschenbach SmartLux Digital

There are several options for purchasing the Eschenbach SmartLux Digital, as well as options for receiving the device at a free or reduced cost:

  • It can be purchased directly from the Eschenbach website for $650 USD
  • It can be purchased on Amazon with free Prime shipping for approximately $600 USD (prices may fluctuate)
  • It can  be purchased on the MaxiAids website for $595 USD
  • Some low vision specialists or ophthalmologists sell the SmartLux at a discounted rate- ask your specialist for more information
  • People with low vision who receive vocational rehabilitation services may be able to get the device at a reduced cost or for free- talk to your case manager for more information
  • Used devices may be available at a free or reduced cost through your state’s assistive technology system or through classified ads with major blindness organizations

Related links

SmartLux Digital Device Overview

Device characteristics

The SmartLux Digital measures 6.5 inches in length, 3.5 inches in width, and 1.25 inches in height, and comes with a protective case for the device to be stored in when not in use. The device has a 5-inch LCD display that is hard-coated to prevent damage and has an additional layer of anti-glare film that makes it easier for users to read information in bright sunlight.

The SmartLux Digital has a battery life of approximately 2 hours and can be recharged with the included power cable. Make sure to charge the device prior to its first use.

Device operation modes

There are a few different ways to hold the SmartLux Digital magnifier for materials:

  • Handheld operation- hold the device in your hand over the material
  • Contact operation- unfold the built-in stand at the bottom of the device and rest it on a page or surface
  • Writing operation-  unfold the built-in stand at the bottom device as far as the first snap-in position and position the device vertically
  • Lanyard operation- follow instructions to thread a lanyard through the device to hold it around the neck

The device can automatically sense what operation is in use, and the user does not have to select any options on the screen to switch between the various modes.

Device buttons and controls

The SmartLux Digital has four buttons that are marked with tactile symbols so that they are easier to locate. These buttons include:

  • Change contrast/screen color- a  bright red button with a circle
  • Change magnification level- a yellow button with a magnifying glass
  • Photo- a bright blue button with a camera that can take a screenshot of the screen for the user to look at later.
  • Power on/off- a black and white button at the bottom of the screen. The device will automatically power off after 5 minutes of inactivity.

Display settings for the SmartLux Digital are automatically saved when the device is powered off, so users do not have to adjust settings every time they use the device.

Color contrast options

There are several different contrast settings for the images, which can be activated by pressing the contrast button until the desired color settings are located.  The contrast options include:

  • Natural light
  • White on black
  • Black on white
  • Black on yellow
  • Yellow on black

Users can also turn the LED lights on the bottom of the device on/off by holding the contrast button for three seconds.

Magnification levels

Users can switch between magnification levels by pressing the magnification button, which displays the various magnification levels. The display brightness can also be adjusted by pressing and holding the magnification button down, and releasing the button when the desired brightness level is displayed

For contact and writing operation, the magnification levels are as follows:

  • 5x
  • 7x
  • 9x
  • 12x

For handheld or lanyard operation, the magnification levels are lower and measure at approximately the following values:

  • 1.9x
  • 2.6x
  • 3.4x
  • 4.5x

Saving images

For users who want to look at a still image from the display, the photo button allows users to either temporarily freeze the screen to look at an image, or to save up to 20 images to the device gallery.

To temporarily freeze an image:

  1. Press the camera button
  2. Adjust the contrast or magnification level if needed
  3. Press the camera button briefly to return to the live video mode

To save an image:

  1. Press the camera button
  2. Adjust the contrast or magnification level if needed
  3. Hold down the camera button for three seconds

To access the device gallery:

  1. Hold down the camera button for three seconds
  2. Once in the gallery, hold down the camera button until the desired image is displayed
  3. Press the contrast or magnification buttons as needed to edit the appearance of the image
  4. To delete an image, press the contrast button and then press it again to confirm, or press the magnification button to cancel
  5. Press the camera button briefly to return to live video mode

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Ways to use the SmartLux Digital

In the classroom

  • Read a graphic novel or comic book with the contact operation and natural light color mode to preserve the colors of the book
  • Complete classwork or a worksheet with the writing operation
  • Use the lanyard operation to carry the SmartLux Digital around the classroom for an activity
  • Read a longer book with the handheld operation, holding the device close to the page

In the workplace

  • Use the contact operation with the LED lights turned off to read a laminated page
  • Write information on an outline or give feedback on a paper with the writing operation
  • Attach the SmartLux Digital to a lanyard when reading materials from different workspaces
  • Use the handheld operation to look at images or charts on a page that may require different magnification settings

In the home and other settings

  • Use the contact operation to read a letter, card, or handwritten page
  • Fill out forms at a doctor’s office or other location with the writing operation
  • Hang the SmartLux Digital on a lanyard when reading a menu
  • Use the handheld operation to look at photos or images

Additional resources for Eschenbach SmartLux Digital


All About The Eschenbach SmartLux Digital Video Magnifier. A comprehensive guide to using the Eschenbach SmartLux video magnifier with low vision. Everything you need to know about using the device at home, school, and work