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Roberta Robertson

Studio Lighting

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I'm moving to a new house the end of April. and will have the entire lower level for my sewing studio.  I feel this is my last chance to get it right.  I want the best lighting I can get (non shadowing)  I was thinking that track lighting would be my best bet ... that way I would have some leeway on where I will need to put my cutting tables, sewing machines, ironing press and board, etc., etc   I don't like halogens but is there full spectrum floods that would work in the track lighting.    I (think) I remember hearing something years ago (when my studio was a far off dream) about balloon lighting  ... don't know what it does, what it is or if it would give me the lighting I need    Bobbe Robertson

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Many will have differing opinions on this...and my answer should be taken with a grain of salt as I worked in Operating rooms for 25 years so I like LOTS of light... My preference is daylight balanced fluorescents (with the no noise ballasts) or their (way too expensive to consider for most of us) LED equivalents. I use lots of fixtures, it give a bright daylight feel. I did this in my garage/shop and I can't tell when it's night as my light is so even. It is overkill though and you have to install all of those fixtures so maybe not practical unless you are building.


Dave

2013 Millie

 

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Using some track (with LED) would be good in some places, but also the daylight fluorescents would be good.  Be sure the check the style of light your bulbs will give, the more yellow glow lights (in all varieties) will not be a bright as the daylight (white) lights, the blue lights will cast a color change onto your fabrics so be careful with that aspect. 

 

Track lights don't need to have flood bulbs or spots.  Those will get too hot when they are directed on you.  (I about burned up just sitting on the bed folding clothes with floods--we got LED and they are great, give bright light but don't heat us).

 

My best suggestion would be to have different areas lit with fixtures that can be turned on and off separately from the others in the room.  I have a 4 bulb fluorescent over my dsm, another one over George, and the track back by the bed so I can direct one light to the closet, one on the bed for block layout, and one to the other side of the room.  All are able to be turned on or off alone, sometimes I need the neighboring light when I work more in the middle, but it is nice to not have them all on every time I am there to work or just walk through.


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Bobbe:  A track lighting system would be a good way to start because it is very flexible.  It is a simple matter to move fixtures, or add or subtract them, or even pretty easy to add track if you didn't get it right to begin with.  I've used track lights extensively throughout my house, and use them in my quilting room and in our sewing studio.  The system is easy to wire, and the track is simply attached to ceiling and routed any where you think you might need light.

 

I initially started out using halogen bulbs, but have pretty much switched to LEDs (our laundry room still has haolgens).  I have become a fan of the open gimbol fixtures because they seem to be easiest to adjust, and they dissipate heat better than a closed fixture (that was important when I had halogen bulbs, not so much with the LEDs)  I chose floods of one type or another for all the bulbs.  The "warm" bulbs  (2700k-3000k) give off light that is pretty natural.  Higher Kelvan ratings seem pretty white to me, so we've opted for the warm versions. 

 

The LEDs seem expensive to begin with, but they use small amounts of electricity, and have a very long useful life, so they do pay for themselves over time.  In our sewing settings, I've used mostly Par 30 or Par 38 bulbs.  Good luck with your project.  Jim

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Over your longarm I say invest in DeLoa's lights.  Her husband, Dave, makes them and they attach right to your frame.  They swing out of the way if need be.  The BEST thing I ever did as far as lights.  They are so bright and do not throw off any heat.  LOVE THEM.  For the rest of my room I have track lighting.  They're ok and they work, but I find I still would like a little extra light over certain work areas, especially at night.  Thank goodness I don't do much at night.


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Serendipity: The discovery of something wonderful quite by accident while looking for something quite different.

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Visit your local electrical supply store and tell them what you want and they will devise a plan of how many lights ; what kind and where to put them. Call first to see if they provide this service for free. They will need to know the room dimensions and ceiling height. It may take them a day or two to get back to you; but they are professionals! We have done this on a couple occassions and have no regrets. We didn't buy our lights from them the first time and they also did not pressure us to buy.


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APQS Millenium in

Spring Creek, NV

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