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Sewing Space lighting
general discussion of lighting options
Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/14/11 12:32 PM

I hope that we can eventually bring lighting under one nice pinned thread - there are so many questions about lighting in general, with OTT lights, regular lighting, compact florescent lighting, etc. all being discussed here and there. It would be an immense help to me, for at least myself, to have a nice central topic on lighting.

I will start by saying my sewing room/den/home office is littered with OTT lights - one floor lamp, and three table lamps. I gave another to my DH who has it on his desk.

The latest one I bought is a "Tulip" style, and I find it has a bad smell, and although that smell is getting less and less, it is sort of a burning plastic smell. It seems to be the bulb, and luckily the smell is going away. After research on the web, I find this does happen in general to compact fluorescents from time to time. Sigh. But if it diminishes over the next week or so, that will be fine. The light from all my OTT lights, even if not marketed as such,, is true color light - colors are shown in the proper color. That is so handy when getting out thread! In regular incandescent light, you can't tell dark dark colors apart, and all colors look differently than they do in daytime.

So - how have you all lit your spaces? I know there are many people interested in this subject!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

poorpigling

poorpigling
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In reply to Mufffet
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Date: 12/14/11 2:35 PM


The older I get the more lighting I need.. Love the Ott lights.. but I also have a few of those plug in night lights in some places.. and two swing out arm lamps over my two desks. Desperately need to replace my ceiling fan.. most likely with a flourescent type light.
Love those daylight bulbs you can buy.. I had those all over the house before we all had to change to the newer type. Am definitely going to be buying those in bulk to use later on. They helped quite a bit in being brighter and the colors were more true with those bulbs. the daylight ones.
I don't like bulbs that cast a yellow light. As with most things. I think a mixture of lighting is best.

SouthernStitch
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In reply to poorpigling


Date: 12/14/11 4:28 PM

Totally agree with everything you said!
I have a ceiling fan with 5 bulbs that I got stuck with. It's better than what was in there before but not optimal. I wanted fluorescent fixtures but DH and I both finally agreed that a ceiling fan would be best for guests, and we all know where that went. The undercabinet lights - OMG avoid Halogen, they are HOT. And they cast shadows too, but are still necessary.

There is nothing that will stop sewing in it's tracks faster than bad lighting. You will find yourself not sewing as much. I can hardly do any hand stitching at all in my LR we have terrible lighting in there too. DH hates ceiling lights to be on, and seems to not mind doing things in the dark.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

Coconuts
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Date: 12/14/11 5:33 PM

My DH replaced the old standard bedroom two light fixture with a kitchen fixture with 2 48" florescent tubes. It's so bright, I absolutely love it!

stirwatersblue
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Date: 12/14/11 5:34 PM

It's amazing how much we take decent lighting for granted, and how fiercely we demand *excellent* lighting! I'm rereading Bill Bryson's book AT HOME, and the chapter on the history of lighting is fascinating. It would not have been uncommon to see a middle-class family clustered around their solitary candle of an evening, reading, sewing, and playing cards.

A candle puts off approximately 1/100th of the light of a 100-watt bulb! Most of us would find it impossible to do *anything* by the light of a single candle, let alone manage exquisite needlework.

***
Anyway, Mufffet, great idea for a thread! It's definitely an issue we won't get tired of discussing.

------
~Gem in the prairie

Mufffet
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In reply to stirwatersblue
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Date: 12/14/11 5:55 PM

:) Candle, eh? Those folks went to bed really early, and they developed really bad eyesight as well as I recall from my reading. If you get up at sunrise and go to bed shortly after nightfall, a candle may do it for awhile.I have read by candlelight - but I had four candles - large ones - in rather a square - two at my sides at the table and two at the top corners of my reading space - electrical outage. I can't stop reading.

My sewing space has a ceiling light which is a ring fluorescent. As it gets dimmer I gradually realize it needs replacing, and often that takes me a long time. Then I use those OTT lights - and vacillate from one to another in placement. I bought the first one - one of the folding type - way back in about 2005 and have never ever had to replace the bulbs in any of my lights. I just hope the tulip light works out. The shade is too light. It lets the glaring white right out at you. But if I position it just so, it can be used.

I do find that the best lighting on any machine I have is on the old Pfaff and the newer Viking. Not as many shadows cast as with the Janomes. I wish all sewing machines had the lights of a Bernina 380 - those surround lights are just terrific! 8 bulbs. I mean interstellar travelers could land on the baby if they could see it through your window. :)

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Judy Kski
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Date: 12/14/11 6:46 PM

Here is a photo of my sewing area before my DH installed LED strip lighting on the bottom of the cabinets. They brighten up the L-shaped sewing desk surface quite nicely. I also have a ceiling fan with four CFL lights in it. I still supplement the lighting of my work area with a floor type OTT light and a desk top (moveable)one as needed.

Sorry that I don't have a pic of the sewing area with the new lighting. No time to prep it for a photo shoot. Maybe after the holidays.....

------
Judy

annsew65
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Date: 12/15/11 1:36 AM

I also found that the older I got, the more light I needed. That was the case until I had cataract surgery - and boy, did someone turn on the lights with that! We forget how much light we were used to as our lenses get yellower and thicker with cataracts!

I've always been a light junkie in my sewing room. My room is in our walk-out basement and I have a couple of small basement windows that let in very little light. On top of that, I do most of my sewing at night - or maybe I should say early in the morning, so the amount of light from outside is a moot point. My room is about 13 X 28 and DH put in 8 double bulb 48" lights. You turn on the lights and it's almost like a runway! On top of that, I have 3 lamps on my sewing area - each with the 100 watt blue reveal bulbs. By the way - if you like the blue reveal bulbs, you'd better stock up soon. The screw in incandescent bulbs are going to be phased out in the near future. (I have my own stash set aside for the future. )

I think you can't have too much light!!! I really prefer the fluorescent for using on a daily basis. If matching becomes really picky, I pull out my screw-in ott light bulb and I do the matching then. I haven't found that to be such a biggie. I just don't care for ott lights. I think they are overrated and too expensive and even at the highest wattage, they don't put out enough light for me. That's just my own opinion and I know there are a lot of ott light lovers out there, but they just didn't cut it for me.

------
Sewing in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
Sewing Room Pics:
http://picasaweb.google.com/annsew65/MySewingRoom#

Mufffet
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In reply to annsew65


Date: 12/15/11 10:59 AM

I Love the sound of your sewing room. I too like overhead long florescents. We have them in the basement. Lots of them. But in my sewing area I have none - what a rush it would be to turn on the ceiling light and have that much lightIt might be a bit of a glare problem for me - at the early stages of the lens thickening they tell me. And that causes the glare problem. As to OTTs - they aren't goof for all over room illumination, no. Point illumination of an area about 10" in circumference I'd say, and the lower you position them the smaller the area and the brighter - but that's what I like about them. And you don't get the radiant heat you get with some desk lamps. Come to think of it, I could do with a bit of radiant heat these days!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines



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Date: 12/15/11 11:04 AM

I use a second hand floor lamp with no shade and a 100 watt bulb. My machine has no light, and I can adjust the lamp where I need it. Hand sewing is done with the overhead ceiling fan lights (4 40 watters) and the bathroom light on (3 100 watters) shining where I sit.

If I need more during the day, I open my front door since my machine sits to the right of it.

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