Dear Fellow LightScriber,
Along with the associated questions about discs: Where can I buy a LightScribe drive? or LightScribe burner?
Followed by, What are my options and what advice would you give? Are the subjects of emails I receive on an almost daily basis.
I’m not psychic, but I’m guessing as you are reading this, you want to know this too 🙂
LightScribe Drive/Burner Options
As you can see from the image at the top of this page, LightScribe drives come in 3 types (excluding LightScribe Duplicators – I will get to them later)
Desktop Internal Drives
External ‘Powered’ USB Drives
Slimline External USB Drives
Burner Options in 2021 – Online Only
I’m not going to beat about the bush; the options now in 2021 are not as great as they once were.
As far as I know (if you know differently, please let me know…) there are no physical stores that sell LightScribe drives anymore, you can only get them online and then only from a few places.
Amazon and eBay
To my knowledge (once again, please if you know different tell me) the only two places to reliably but LightScribe Burners (or Discs) are Amazon and eBay.
I have used both sites myself with great success and have always encouraged others to check them out to get the best deal (even when we could get stuff in stores), so nothing has change with that.
Below I will list each category of LightScribe Drive/Burner and a button that will link to the corresponding search listing on Amazon.com and eBay.com, from where you can see the currently available stock and their prices.
Please Note: All the links are for the USA sites.
I know you may well live in the UK, Europe Asia, South America, and Africa or like me, Australia, but I can’t have links for every conceivable version of Amazon or eBay, apart from any other consideration it would be a mess… So if you are from somewhere other than North America please do a search on your local site for the LightScribe product you are interested in.
I’m sorry for the inconvenience; I know it’s not ideal 🙁
Also, the images are there to represent a type of LightScribe Drive; the specific model may or may not be available when you check the stock yourself.
3 Types of LightScribe Burners
Let’s now look at the 3 main types of LighgtScribe burners, starting with…
Desktop Internal Drives
As desktop PCs, let alone desktop LightScribe burners become scarce the choices for Internal drives become ever more limited.
To that end, I suggest you take a look at this LightScribe burner from Compaq (HP)
The image shows no LightScribe logo but the reviews by buyers say it is a LightScribe drive. Read the reviews on Amazon to check for yourself.
Compaq LightScribe DVD Drive
Although there is nothing wrong with re-fitting an internal drive, I have done it many times, these days I would always advise you buy an external USB LightScribe DVD Drive.
Firstly because of the choice – Far more external LightScribe drives are available and, for me this is the main thing, you can move them from PC to Laptop etc. So you have a much more flexible labeling setup.
So, moving swiftly on…
Powered USB LightScribe Burners
Just to clarify what I mean by ‘powered’ these are drives that have a separate power supply and although are USB connected, they are powered via a mains adapter (included of course).
I have two LG External drives like this and they have been excellent. Mine are the GSA E10L and GSA E60L.
They are still available used. But with all used technology you have to exercise caution.
Here is a current example on Amazon:.
What I said about Internal drives regarding choice applies here too.
In 2021 your best option for both choice and value is to go for a LightScribe DVD drive in our last category:
Slimline External USB Drives
Please Note: These are the same search results as above. The Mains Powered and USB Powered drives are all together in the search results.
Here I suggest you take a look at the Pawtec External USB 3.0 8X DVD-RW LightScribe Drive.
What makes this drive so good is it’s modern (available in black, silver, red and orange) and uses USB 3.0 which has 10x faster data transfer than the older USB 2.0.
What this does NOT mean is that it will burn a LightScribe label 10x faster
It just means it will transfer the data much faster, and as the USB cable is being used to ‘power’ the drive as well as transfer the data, this is a good thing 🙂
Frankly, these are expensive and are only of use if you need to produce LightScribe labels in semi-industrial quantities.
To put this in perspective, I have produced somewhere in the region of 20,000 LightScribe discs over the last 12 years, which works out to be about 4 a day on average. In none of that time, (and there were many years when I was selling my LightScribe Toolbox on disc) that that number was 20+ a day, did I ever think I needed a LightScribe duplicator.
That said, if you produce your own music CDs or Movie DVDs then yes, a duplicator is a good idea.
So let’s take a look.
The Vast Range
Duplicators start from Single Copy Machines – This way you can duplicate single discs without tying up your Laptop or PC.
After that you can get anything from 2x to 15x or more. So depending on your need, and budget, there is a LightScribe Duplicator for you 🙂
Here are a couple of examples…
Spartan Champion 1x Duplicator
As stated above, if you want to copy your LightScribe discs without needing to use your PC then this is a great solution. You can just pop a new disc in and copy it as you are working on your PC with no effect on what you are doing.
Spartan 1x Duplicator
Produplicator 1 to 3 24X CD DVD Duplicator
Produplicator is the top flight of duplicators. Now we are starting to see the real benefit of using a LightScribe Duplicator as you get 3 copies at a time.
This starts to make sense as creating 3 LightScribe labels 1 by 1 will take anything up to 70-90 minutes depending on the software used.
So if this is a time saving you are looking for here is a good option:
Produplicator 1 to 3 Duplicator
So if you have a small recording studio, get yourself one of the above.
However, if not and like me, you just want to create LightScribe labels when you need to then I would seriously suggest you look at getting a USB External LightScribe DVD drive, like the Pawtec.
You can swap it from your PC to Mac to laptop and back again.
A lot of folks who buy my LightScribe Toolbox, ask if they can install the software on both a PC and their Laptop, so having a portable LightScribe Burner makes so much sense. 🙂
I hope this has been useful and you go on to find the perfect LightScribe drive for your needs.
As always, if you have any questions please Contact Me and I will be glad to help.