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View Full Version : Lighted Hands-Free Magnifiers (for crafting)?



BittyBug
01-15-2011, 01:21 AM
I find myself struggling more and more often to see while sewing (starting with threading the needle, LOL). I think it's partly a lighting issue and partly a sight issue (I wear contact lenses for distance at the expense of my close range vision), so I was thinking of purchasing some type of lighted magnifying lens that could operate hands-free.

The first product my search turned up was this (http://store.dazor.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=10), which is a lot of money but appears to be very high quality. Subsequent searches surface products like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Carson-DeskBrite-2002x-Magnifing-Lamp/dp/B003EW1ZNC/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1295053447&sr=8-18) for less than $50 that seem like they might get the job done.

Have you ever used a similar device for sewing or some other type of crafting? If so, what type of magnifier do you use? Does it help? And do you think there would be appreciable difference in quality between the lower and higher cost options?

Thanks in advance for your collective wisdom. :D

myhoneyhoney
01-15-2011, 01:36 AM
Perhaps something like this Ott-Lite (http://www.amazon.com/Ott-Lite-W9437T-18-Watt-TrueColor-Craft/dp/B002PNRBKC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1295055266&sr=8-3)? I've also seen them in Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics where they're pretty good with giving out 40-50% off coupons.

skatemommy
01-15-2011, 02:05 AM
Perhaps something like this Ott-Lite (http://www.amazon.com/Ott-Lite-W9437T-18-Watt-TrueColor-Craft/dp/B002PNRBKC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1295055266&sr=8-3)? I've also seen them in Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics where they're pretty good with giving out 40-50% off coupons.

Wow, very cool product! Alway check Ebay for electronics, they are usually cheaper than retail. I never pay retail. And yes, I just bought my first pair of cheaters (.75x) off of Ebay brand new for $7.00 because I could not find that low of strength of magnification in the usual haunts.

BittyBug
01-15-2011, 02:50 AM
Perhaps something like this Ott-Lite (http://www.amazon.com/Ott-Lite-W9437T-18-Watt-TrueColor-Craft/dp/B002PNRBKC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1295055266&sr=8-3)? I've also seen them in Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics where they're pretty good with giving out 40-50% off coupons.I did see that model in a couple of places. What I'm wondering about that design, though, is whether having the light separate and above the magnifying lens would create shadows. Has anyone ever used this type of device?

Blue Bead
01-15-2011, 03:31 AM
Another option you might consider is an Opti-Visor to be used in conjunction with the Ott-Lite. http://www.doneganoptical.com/optivisor.php The combination of the two would solve both of your problems. The visor can be purchased with one or more changes of lens, each increasing the magnification of whatever you're working on. I use mine to do up close work in jewelry production with an Ott-Lite shining over my shoulder. This combination works very well for me.

Anita18
01-15-2011, 06:46 AM
My mom bought an OttLite (what myhoneyhoney linked to) on Black Friday from Joann's a few years ago and LOVES it.

KatieC
01-15-2011, 08:14 AM
You might also benefit from using a jewelers loupe. They're cheaper for the most part, and smaller to carry around. I grew up having them in the house and automatically run to get one if the eyes aren't quite good enough.

BittyBug
01-15-2011, 01:30 PM
Another option you might consider is an Opti-Visor to be used in conjunction with the Ott-Lite. http://www.doneganoptical.com/optivisor.php Are the visors comfortable?

Blue Bead
01-15-2011, 09:16 PM
I guess I should say that "comfortable" is a relative term. :lol: If you are engrossed in your work you won't notice you've got the visor on your head, otherwise it can be a distraction depending on the shape of your scull. There is an adjustment screw in the middle of the back head band which you can tighten or loosen to fit the vagarities of your head. On some days I wear mine nearly all day and don't really notice it because I'm so tuned in to what I'm doing. If I'm not that involved in my work I find myself fiddling with the visor's adjustment screw to get must the right tension in the headband. The headband part of the visor is a made up of a fairly firm plastic and could be a real distraction for some people. On the other hand the visor does an excellent job of magnifying your vision allowing you to see up-close details with both eyes, which most jewelers' loupes won't do. These visors do fit comfortably over eye glasses, too, although most of the time I use it without my regular prescription glasses.

emason
01-17-2011, 12:12 AM
If there is an LNS (local needlework store) for either cross stitch or needlepoint anywhere near you, go in and ask around. I don't use a magnifier; I find the naked eye, without my contacts in, works best for me, but I'd say 90% of the women I know who stitch use some kind of magnifier and they all have different models and different preferences. Ask a friendly shop owner for advice and find out what his/her clientele is using the most.

Anemone
01-17-2011, 12:32 AM
I haven't yet used a magnifier for stitching myself, so I don't really have experience with one. However, a stitching friend of mine recently bought this one: http://www.keepsakeneedlearts.com/productdetail/95270/---CRAFTLITE-DUBLIN-LED-MAGNIFIER-LIGHT.htm and loves it.

pat c
01-17-2011, 01:24 AM
http://www.herrschners.ca/Product/Magnifier+Swing+Arm+Lamp.aspx

We've had one of these for years and have used it in a variety of ways.

BittyBug
01-17-2011, 03:07 AM
Thanks so much for all the suggestions! FSU rocks. :cheer2:


I don't use a magnifier; I find the naked eye, without my contacts in, works best for me.It's funny you should mention this option. I'm always shocked at how clearly I can see at close range when I take out my contacts. (Sometimes it's scary though. Those eyebrows that I thought were so neatly plucked? Not always. :yikes: )

suep1963
01-17-2011, 04:44 AM
BittyBug--do you just need contacts/glasses for distance? I do, and the eye doctor told me to wear my glasses only when I need them (for me, it's driving) and to take them off if I do not. He said my close-up vision will be better, and it'll delay the need for bifocals.

I refuse to believe I'm getting into bifocal range yet, but that's another story! :drama:

BittyBug
01-17-2011, 05:02 AM
Yeah, it's just distance that's a problem. After my last eye exam about a year ago, my optometrist tried to compensate for my issues (I like to wear contacts but really only need them for distance, yet I spend most of my time viewing things at close range) by dialing down my prescription in one eye. I'm not sure it's really working for me, so maybe I should try wearing my glasses more often, especially just around the house because then I could take them off for reading and FSUing.

It's been really frustrating to not even be able to thread a needle, never mind execute any work that doesn't end up looking like a 6th grade home ec project. :o