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Advice on sewing/reading lamps, please

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Advice on sewing/reading lamps, please

edited 27 January at 9:44PM in Over 50s Money Saving
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huggermuggerhuggermugger Forumite
247 posts
edited 27 January at 9:44PM in Over 50s Money Saving
Dear all - hope this is the right place to ask. I used to do a fair bit of sewing, cross-stitch/soft furnishing but have really struggled in the last few years as my eyesight has deteriorated. Nothing serious, just anno domini... I am considering buying a lamp which I hope would help. Any thought/recommendations? I have used an anglepoise in the past but it's just not enough any more. I am shortsighted but now a bit longsighted as well. I struggle with colour differentiation in particular but also threading needles etc. and generally feel my eyes are under strain when sewing at night, if that makes sense. I was given some money for Christmas but can't decide what to do with it - was looking at these but tbh, have v little idea what I am looking at...


  • LadyDeeLadyDee Forumite
    4.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I use a magnifying light attached to my cross stitch stand (a Daylight clip-on one). For general use like reading, doing jigsaws etc. then I think a floor lamp is best as it's far easier to manoeuvre into position. My preferred lamp would be something like this which you could use for all purposes. Do remember to put the sock over the magnifying bit though when not in use!
    I have one called Daylight Ultimate Floor Lamp which is similar, but I"m not sure they make this model any more although you might be able to track one down. Try Hobby Craft, John Lewis or a good craft shop. If you can get to the Alexandra Palace Sewing & Knitting Exhibition or I think they have exhibition in several large centres - I know Birmingham has one. you'll find a good range on display.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    41.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    What wattage is in the anglepoise, and is it in the right place?

    Also when were you last at the optician?

    Light helps, but it has to be in the right place, and so do the right glasses.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • edited 27 January at 9:45PM
    huggermuggerhuggermugger Forumite
    247 posts
    edited 27 January at 9:45PM
    Hi - thanks for both replies. I was not particularly looking for a magnifying light, but do feel floorstanding is the way to go. Thank you for your suggestions, Lady Dee.

    SS- The anglepoise (old, table lamp) is not really fit for purpose any more, no matter where it is put. As I said, short sighted but not hugely and a bit long sighted but rest assured, I have contact lenses *and* glasses and been going to the optician regularly since I was about 14.
  • leylieleylie Forumite
    104 posts
    As SavvySue says - you do need the 'right light in the right place'.

    My experience is built on providing advice to people with visual impairments but it works for everyone - me included as I've got older!

    Do try and get into somewhere like IKEA or John Lewis where you can try out different lighting (tip - have something with you to use as your test) - i.e. do you do better with a 'white light' or a 'yellow' one - better still are ones that offer a range - a few LED ones offer 'colour temperature' as well as brightness.
    I bought this one from Amazon to demonstrate to people with Visual Impairments - it is a desktop one, and a floor standing one would probably suit you better, but it is useful and great to confirm which light suits you best.
    (Do a search on Amazon for this lamp....the paste link was enormous!)

    TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp, Eye-caring Table Lamps, Dimmable Office Lamp with USB Charging Port, 5 Lighting Modes with 7 Brightness Levels, Touch Control, White, 12W

    Also very important to get the light in the 'right place' - start of with it BELOW your eye level and then gradually move it away until you find the optimum distance for you - and this distance might change throughout the day depending on the ambient light and how your eyes are at that moment.

    The Daylight lamp that Lady Dee recommends is a good light - and the magnifier can be helpful - but you do still need them in the correct position. I found that the light can't always be brought down low enough depending on how high your chair is! Also if using the magnifier you need the actual light BETWEEN the magnifier and the 'object'.

    Have a look at this booklet - pages 8 &9
  • D_M_ED_M_E Forumite
    3K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Friend of ours does a lot of sewing, crochet, lacemaking and suchlike and she also has failing eyesight.

    She has recently bought one of these and says it's a big help.
  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
    3.6K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    I find cool white a lot better to do anything by than warm white.  I have replaced all downstairs bulbs with these but leave all upstairs (except bathroom) with warm white as they are better for relaxing.  But I find that a top light is better for my eyesight than any lamp, although I do have one for extra that I shine on the ceiling.  White paint helps too!
  • BettieBettie Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    I have tried many types of lights but my crochet and sewing, especially dark colours became impossible, yet in my work environment or my kitchen I can see so much better. I think because the lights are a few feet above my head and they are  fluorescent or  LED bulbs, so I bought a giant long arm retro lamp and put in a strong LED bulb and now I can read, sew and do other close up stuff fine.  Its over 6ft tall  
    like this
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