Lamp with magnifier - any recommenations

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Brenda_md wrote
on Apr 12, 2013 12:39 PM


I need to buy a table top lamp that also offers a magnifier for beading.  Lighting is my primary need with magnification as an option when needed.  I have seen lamps where the magnifier is centered within the lighting and other lamps allow you to swing the magnifer into place when needed. 

Which type do you use or find best to work with with?  I don't want to spend a fortune on the lamp.  Thanks.





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MigotoChou wrote
on Apr 12, 2013 12:58 PM

Hi Brenda!


I recommend getting an Ott Light.


They are wonderful for beading, and they have a couple of desk lamps with magnifiers.  If you live near a Joann craft store, you can use one of their great coupons and save 40-50%!  Plus you could also look at them in person and see which one would work better for you!  They may sell them at other stores, but that is were i definitely remember seeing them.



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D.M.Z wrote
on Apr 12, 2013 1:21 PM

Brenda, I've had a number of those combos and most of them work ok to well. Optivisors are great with any plain lamp that is good for beading. That does not FORCE you to work in a specific place, you can move the lamp where ever you need it the most, and move your head ditto. 

The OTT lamp that has the flip up and down wide rectangular magnifier makes you hold  your head in one position. It is a great lamp and if you just use the magnifier like for unloosening a knot or like that it is ok, but sustained work with it will make you hold your head and neck in one spot. So this would work for you needing magnification only as needed.

The others with a lamp and a magnifiere on a separate stalk are better, more like the optivisor in that you can move a bit or swing the magnifier out of the way totally.

There is only one I would NOT recommend for general beading use. That is the one with the magnifier in the center and a circular bulb around that. That type of lamp is great for tiny soldering jobs where ALL your work is concentrated in a small area. Otherwise, you are looking through the magnifier, then around it to pick up beads and it gets really old really fast. It also limits you vision to a very small space. I had a student one time try to use one of those to string her about impossible, but she swore she couldn't do without it. Turns out she couldn't as she wore glasses that were just not right for her..........she couldn't see much of anything with ease.

After trying all of these out over the years, I would spend my money on a table top OTT lamp with a 13watt bulb in a natural color. My first one cost me .............well, the best part of $100 by the time I had it shipped. I still have that one after almost 20 years and use it daily. The bulbs were sold as 10,000 hour lifetime and I used mine for years before the bulb finally gave up. That is a very cost effective investment, I can also read under it. My whim, when I needed a separate lamp for light on a large loom pattern sitting on the opposite side of the beads that I had lined up was a newer OTT lamp, and it came from Jo Ann's fabrics and I even found a sale.......much cheaper and virtually the same lamp but in a different color plastic. No biggie. 

I have had visors from several sources also, just buy an Optivisor and get it over with. They come with several lenses, so you can chose one that works for the distance you need. The Optivisor was also the most comfortable and they come in nice colors not unlovely gray like most of the others. If you are working with larger beads, just leave the Optivisor in the drawer, drag it out when needed only and keep your work surface cleaner. Both the lamp and visor can nowadays be had for maybe $50.00 total and if you have to order, some shipping. 

You said you don't want to "spend a fortune" on a lamp, if you buy cheap you will buy more often and you won't get the best bulb and it just is not going to get you anywhere. Donna

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tcwhit wrote
on Apr 12, 2013 9:41 PM

Just an added thought here: The "background" you're working on plays a large part in what you're seeing also. Dark beads on a dark work surface, white or pale beads on a white surface... I found I'm better off with two different bead mats. One is white, one is a slate. Mush easier to see. Of course I still have to wear my reading glasses, but switching out my work surfaces helped tons

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Brenda_md wrote
on Apr 14, 2013 3:57 PM

Thanks all for your input on the lamps.  I totally forgot about the discount coupons from Joanne's Fabrics, need to look into that.  That was a good point re buying better quality lamps vice cheaper ones and longevity.  Since I usually just need the magnification from my drug store reading glasses, perhaps one of the Ott lights with the flip down magnifying lense would be the most appropriate at this time.  I am looking forward to having a lamp that will give me good lighting at my table instead of just the over head hanging lamp.  Thanks again for your comments.

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