Lady sewers! Wife wants a desk sewing lamp. Recommendations please
November 9, 2013 8:38 AM   Subscribe

My babe of a wife is hoping Santa brings her a desk sewing lamp with "natural light" or full spectrum lighting. Not a floor lamp and not something that clamps onto the table--but a lamp that sits on a table. Maybe something with a gooseneck or at least adjustable. She does a lot of machine sewing (especially on quilts). She has nothing in mind and asked me to do the research and find something. Santa is willing to spend maybe $50- $60 tops. Less expensive is good too. Any recommendations would be appreciated. (P.S. I bet you read the title as "Lady sewers" as in toilets. Sorry. English is a weird language)
posted by luvmywife to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have several OTT lights that I use in my studio - the best prices on them ironically are at sewing stores like Joanne or Michael's. They come in a bunch of different configurations and go on sale frequently.
posted by leslies at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2013

Dick Blick has a vast array of possibilities at a range of prices. Search for "lamp". Something like the Ottlite foldable magnifier might suit her needs. If you see something you like there, you might search Amazon or Michael's or Joanne Fabrics for cheaper prices, too.
posted by skye.dancer at 8:47 AM on November 9, 2013

Ott-Lites are the gold standard, afaik. Jo-Ann Fabrics carries them and almost always has a coupon available somewhere on the internets for 40-50% off one thing.
posted by clavicle at 8:56 AM on November 9, 2013

My wife has an Ott-Lite tulip desk lamp for her painting. It's nice because the shade pulls out and can be pointed wherever she wants it goose-neck fashion, or you can use the shade for nice soft light.

You can also get an Ott-Lite compact fluorescent bulb that will fit pretty much any lamp.
posted by kindall at 9:00 AM on November 9, 2013

Yes, I totally read "sewers" the wrong way at first!

Everyone I know with a special sewing light uses an OTT light. Jo-Ann fabric and craft stores carry a variety of models, and they often have great sales and coupons. It's probably what I'll get someday.

My opinion as a seamstress is that a piece of equipment like this is something that the user has to pick out for him- or herself. I wouldn't choose a sewing machine or a dress form, or even an iron for somebody else's use - it'd be like buying shoes for someone else without them being able to try them on.

If it was me, I'd probably shop around a little, and then get a gift card for the store and amount that seems like a likely fit, and then write in the card what it's intended for.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

nth-ing OttLite. I've had one for sewing for a couple of years now and very much like the quality of light it puts out; it's a good for general workspace illumination and very good for occasions when I need to examine something really-close up.

One caveat: I have a floor lamp model and the fit and finish of the tube between the base and the actual lamp is kind of crummy; the tube is in two sections which screw together with threads, but either the threads on mine were mis-cut, or the metal is cheap and soft because the join has never felt 100% solid. This specific issue would obviously not affect a tabletop model, but seemed worth mentioning.

I got mine from Jo-Ann fabrics; the whole OttLite range goes seems to go on sale for 50% off a few times a year and otherwise you can almost always find a 40-50% off coupon floating around. (The Jo-Ann smartphone app is handy for coupons.)
posted by usonian at 9:04 AM on November 9, 2013

(Or, make it clear that you're happy if she wants to exchange it. I come from a family where exchanging a gift is considered worse than stealing from the collection plate.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:08 AM on November 9, 2013

You can order them directly from the OttLite website, too. Here is one that has a bendable neck.
posted by fancyoats at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2013

I have had this model for over five years and I use it at my sewing table all the time. Since my model is older, it doesnt have the magnifying unit but I am very happy with it and the light it shines.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 9:34 AM on November 9, 2013

Task lighting.
posted by hortense at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2013

I'll add to the OttLite chorus. I would always do my sewing homework late at night after I got home from work. My wife can attest to the insane amount of times I would yell about how annoyingly dim it was. I bought an OttLite and have never complained about how dim it is since. Get the brightest OttLite you can find and she'll be happy.
posted by Arbac at 12:13 PM on November 9, 2013

I really like my Ikea JANSJĂ– LED lamp. I use mine for illuminating electronics benchwork/soldering.

Ten bucks! Not remarkably bright, but lots of lumens (curiously, the Ikea website doesn't give the spec) on a longish gooseneck that allows you to put it right ON your work.

(If it doesn't work out - certainly, brighter lights are sold - you're out all of ten bucks for a lamp that you'll find the perfect use for somewhere else.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 12:55 PM on November 9, 2013

« Older Mini movie   |   Who should say thank you? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.