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Best lighting for my quilting room?


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We are setting up our room to have ready for our new quilting machine. We are wondering what is the best type of lighting to use? Should we use track lighting in the ceiling, fixed lighting with 'natural light' flourescent light, or what? What has worked best for you to avoid shadows or any other visual obstacles when doing your quilting? We look forward to hearing from you.

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Great question, Cynthia! I've often wondered the same thing myself, if we couldn't plug in a light into the machine. I know when I was first looking at buying my machine, I saw a clamp-on light that was plugged into the machine, but then I never could find it again :(. I guess I should have snapped it up when I saw it, but I don't think I even had my machine yet. I did get a light that plugged into the wall but it is such a hassle I rarely use it; it would be great if we could plug into the machine instead.

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We hung 5 shop lights (double 4 ft. flourescent bulbs in each) in our quilting room. My husband mounted them directly to the ceiling (8 foot ceiling), spaced equally. The 2 directly over the machine are right over the panto pattern table area. 2 are directly opposite them on the other side of the room, and one across the end of the room at right angles to the machine. I have no shadows anywhere, but I can still see the quilting just fine. He attached long cords with switches in them, and plugged them into the outlets on the walls, then used a few cord staples to keep them in place. Works like a charm, and was very inexpensive.

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Guest Linda S

I have a great clamp on lamp that I got from Eclectic Lighting. I haven't plugged it in to the slot where the laser goes because it has a three-pronged plug, so I just ran the cord down the back of the machine into my power source. I really need to get better overhead lighting in my studio. I thought I wanted track lighting, but I know they put out so much heat. I cannot abide flourescent lights. I have them in my office at work and I never turn them on, but use two small lamps instead. The flourescent mini flickers drive me wild. I'm still not sure what I will get, but I need more light.

Linda

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My first post but have been around for a while. I also have had problems with poor lighting. Solved the problem by fitting a Tri-phosphor tube to the light on the machine, brilliant !!!. We have also replaced the normal flouro tubes with Quad-phosphor, almost have to wear sun glasses in that room. These Quad-phosphor tubes are dearer than the usual flouros but they are worth the money ( haven't noticed any flickering either)

Esther Sunshine Coast Aust

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Guest Linda S

Esther - thanks for the info on those lights. That might be the answer for me. The standard florescent lights drive me crazy. Of course, I'm prone to migraines, so I guess my brain picks up on that flickering pattern. If these are a bit different, they may be just the ticket for me. I also like the idea of the more natural type lighting.

Linda

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I thought I would add a few thoughts to the lighting issue. Fluorescent lights come in several varieties depending on your use. The daylight bulbs are much like outdoor lighting. They also make a bulb that is produced to give you the best color rendition. We selected bulbs for color purity rather than the brightest. I think that light is much a personal preference. I would not recommend shop lights (biggest advantage is $1 each rather than $5 or so each for specialty) they will not give you the best lighting for quilting.

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Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents here, because one of the things I could not quilt without is my Illuminator. It's a snake-neck light that clamps on the top of my machine. Got it from Donita Reeves at www.lovetoquilt.com. I have overhead fluorescent lights with full spectrum bulbs and don't always need the Illuminator, but having a light that is cast sideways across the stitching means you can really see very well where you have been and where you need to go.

Much of the time I don't really need to have the Illuminator on, although I'm learning to appreciate it and use it more often. But when you're sewing dark or very light thread on a matching background, it makes the difference between being able to see what you're doing -- and have already done -- and not seeing well at all.

So whether you get the Illuminator or not, find a way to get light that goes sideways across the stitching. Even if you don't always need it, when you DO need it, you really need it to see -- especially when you're moving fast.

Mary Smart

Millenium

Vermillion SD

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  • 11 months later...

I moved into my new basement studio a few months ago. (We added onto the existing basement while building an addition to the house). The lighting is 6 4'x2' 4 bulb lights which use full spectrum lighting. It also has 2 15" x 6' windows at ceiling level. Believe it or not, its almost too much light in the morning!! :cool: You'd never believe it's a basement! The other cool part is I have a stairway from my bedroom down to the studio so I sneak down there and work when the kids are sleeping! I used to use a snake light plugged into the laser plug and it worked well!

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  • 5 months later...

Talking about lights. I have read somewhere to turn off the light on the machine, if you have enough light from another source, in order to see better what you are doing. Does anyone do that? I also wonder how you could switch it off without switching the Millie off... Remove the bulb?

Happy birthday to Sherry and happy mother's day to all the ladies in the States!

Brigitte

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  • 7 months later...

I am certified with the ALA- American Lighting Association. I know a thing or two about lighting, particularly for specific situations.

I use Mini Fluorescents in clamp lamps used in garages (I work in a garage after all). I can put them anywhere and they eat up less juice. I suggest using fluorescents registering on a Kelvin scale around 6800 or there abouts. That number most closely approximates sunlight and gives excellent results. Be aware, most people don't look at their quilts out in broad day light. Just like clothing, the color changes quite dramatically when moved from fluorescent to incandescent.

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