Monday, July 16, 2007

Advice needed

One of the great things about blogging is the abilty to tap into worldwide knowledge. After reading the comments on my last post I now know how many days are in each month! So can I ask you all two specific questions this month?

First - specialist lighting
As part of my continuing room makeover I am thinking about lighting. My ironing space is in a room with no windows - there was originally one but it was on a wall which was knocked out to create the extension where I now quilt, so the remaining 'library' area is quite gloomy. My sewing space has patio doors behind me and a window to the right but of course at night (and at the moment depsite it being summer, because of rain clouds, frequently during the day) that doesn't help.
I am thinking about specialist lamps. In particular the one above from Ott light and maybe a portable one for hotel rooms. So my questions are:
Is there any difference in quality between The Daylight Company and Ott Lights.
Or indeed is there another company I have missed looking at?
In the case of Ott Lights their bulbs only fit into their lamps which are expensive. Are they worth it?
Does anyone have these long thin ones as shown above ( or similar) and do they shed light over a wider area than just the spotlight type desk lamps?
Which portable ones shed enough light to be worth toting around?
Do you have any other advice?
Secondly - quilt university
I have never done a course with them but I have noticed ( OK yeah, I was surfing when I should have been working again!) that they have a cousre on machine feet which would be very useful to me. However, it kicks off in August when I am barely here. I know some of you have used them - Erica, I know you in particular!
Would I get my monies worth if I downloaded the lessons then did them in my own time or do you really need to be following along at the speed of the lessons to benefit?
I am off now to Stafford and Lancaster for one night each - a trip which involves 4 hotels ( 2 to sleep in 2 to teach in!). So I look forward to your advice on my return.


Vicki W said...

Just my 2 cents - I don't there there is any more important tool in your sewing room other than lighting. I use Verilux Happy Eyes for my sewing but I think any of the natural spectrum lights are good. Although I really like halogen lighting, I'd avoid it because of the heat it generates. Personally, I don't think you can have too much lighting - ever!
On quilt university - It's certainly better to be able to participate in the forum and if you are in town for any part of the class you can ask questions about any lesson. You do not have to follow exactly with the plan every week - at least that has been my experience with the teachers I've taken classes from. I would think that the class materials for a machine feet class would be pretty thorough and would make good reference material.

Thimbleanna said...

I've had an ott light floor lamp for about 2 years and the POS just died. I debated for months whether or not to get one because I'd read bad reviews on them, so I knew better. They're expensive and I succumbed to a 50% off coupon. I took the bulb to my local JoAnn's, plugged it in to their light and it still worked, so I know it's my lamp. And of course I haven't saved any paperwork. So...I say skip it, find yourself a pretty light ('cause I think Otts are pretty ugly) and buy a natural spectrum lightbulb. It used to be that Ott had the corner on the natural spectrum market, but now the bulb manufacturers are making them for regular lamps. And that's a good thing!

Erica said...

I agree with thimbleanna about buying a natural spectrum lamp bulb. Having them in my normal lamps and ceiling lights have changed my sewing room dramatically. I can never have too much bright daylight.

You know I have enjoyed five Quilt University courses now. The forum is good to ask questions and clarify anything that's unclear, but I found the galleries more useful. This is where students could post photos of the work as it progressed so you could see how people were interpreting the lessons. Most of the courses I have done were design-related rather than project-based. Certainly I have kept the notes from all courses and use them for reference. During the last course I did, I wasn't able to do much of the lessons at the time, but I will go back to the notes later in the year.

Jennifer said...

Well, I can report good experience with the 2 Ott lamps I have -- one is a fold-up, portable version and the other is a desk-lamp that has a base or it can be taken out of the base and clamped on with a clamp attachments. The bulbs are regularly put on sale, so I stock up when I see them cheap (and each bulb lasts a good long time for me). I've never tried any other type, but can say that these make a huge difference over regular bulbs or even sunlight -- just very clear, bright, clean lighting.