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Thread: Lighting for above sewing area???

  1. #1
    Super Member spartan quilter's Avatar
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    First, let me say thanks to anyone who responds to my question.

    We recently had a mishap with a tree crashing onto the roof of an addition on our house. This addition had my office/sewing room and also a family room. We got everything moved out of both rooms, and are waiting for insurance and contractors to fix up the mess.

    So, when I look at this empty family room, which has been a catch all for whatever for a couple of years, and now it is standing empty, I realize just how much room is in it. It is 12x20. So, now, I am making plans to move my sewing area into this room, making it possible to TRY to get it all in one room, instead of scattered all over.

    My DH needs to do some wiring for the lights where I plan on putting the sewing and cutting areas, and I was wondering just what any of you would recommend. I am going to use the search engine here on remodeled rooms to see if I can figure out what others have used. So, between that and replies, I hope to get a good idea of what works for others.

    I am telling myself not to expect this done soon, and so this is a Christmas present to myself. I hope to be in there by that time.

    Again, I say thanks to anyone who can give me any advice on this subject.

  2. #2
    Junior Member quiltnmore's Avatar
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    I bought an OTT light and it can be moved around in case you decide to change your sewing area around. The other light I have is an old floor lamp - I just prop the shade to get perfect lighting on my project. Both work to give me light and are inexpensive. I bought my OTT light used for a lot less than new! Actually, I bought a second used OTT light with a magnifying glass for my computer stand.

    I am in the living room corner, so I can't turn on overhead lights with my husband in the room. Someone else may have better suggestions on overhead lights.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mariebaker's Avatar
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    When we redid a little room off of the family room my husband suggested both recessed cans in the ceiling above each table and also tracts that point onto the design wall and the bookcases of fabric. It works great. the overlap of the two takes away any shadows.
    My opinion:you can't have too much light.

    Oh,I also have a full-spectrum "gooseneck" style lamp that I can bring right down to the work on the cutting table and at the sewing machine that I bought at a local art supply store.

    sounds like you're going to have some fun getting a new studio :-D

  4. #4
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    For every door that closes a new one opens. So sorry about the damage to your home but wow! a new sewing studio for you!!! Cool!

    I have no overhead lighting in the rooms I work in and have discussed having them put in with an electrician. Lamps are for the birds in my opinion!! He suggested that fluorescent lights would give the most even lighting in the room. They should be placed above you, not behind you so that there are no shadows from your body getting in the way. I'm hoping to have mine installed before winter. I have to have them put in two rooms since my LA is in a different room than the rest of my sewing stuff. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Fluorescent Lighting in the ceiling and lots of it! Use the daylight bulbs to give you as close to clean clear lighting as possible. Put in more than you think is necessary, and have lots of switches, so you can turn off the excess, should that be the case.

    When I did my basement I hadn't planned on it becoming my sewing room. The lighting is great ... though now, I need just one more put in, to fill in a hole between the fixtures, as of course, that's exactly where my sewing machine sits!

    Better to have too much light, and turn it off, than not enough and want more!

    Have fun planning your dream room!

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the tree damage.

    Fluorescent lights are a must for me and LOTS. I have OTT light for close
    work but I also need a well lit room. Plan all your cutting, sewing, ironing
    stations and make sure you have lights above. My sewing room doesn't have
    all the lights that I wish so I have to play musical tables all the time. LOL

  7. #7
    Senior Member kathyd's Avatar
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    My DH put in a short track light over my machine area. I like it cause I can adjust where the light goes.
    kathyd

  8. #8
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I have two flourescent lights in the ceiling and a ott gooseneck lamp over the sewing machine. Both give me great light.

  9. #9
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    What a mess for you. But it sounds like the new room will be a great place for you in the end. I'm an Ott light fan all the way. Our electrician was out Friday to look at some things dh wants done and I decided to have recessed lighting put in the sewing room. It has enough lighting now but I'm wanting to get more coverage and brighter without having to move the Otts...part of getting older..lol. Hopefully he'll get started this week.

  10. #10
    Senior Member janeknapp's Avatar
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    I work in the basement. My husband hung fluorescent shop lights over my sewing area, and I love them!

  11. #11
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i have cans in my studio.

  12. #12
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    I have fluorescent lighting in my sewing area, I like all of the light it gives me for sewing and cutting. Have side lighting on the walls as well, I can turn these on too.
    My sewing is in the basement too, lucky for me, there was a pool table sitting in this area some years ago, so the good lighting was not for my hobby. No matter the reason it is good light to work under.

  13. #13
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    Main lighting in the room for general work and specific lighting at each work station. Have the areas controlled by their own switches so that you don't have to burn electricity if you're not using an area. The adjustable track lights are very good for lighting by your machine.

  14. #14
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    You should consider using LED lighting in the recessed lighting if you go that route. The LED lighting is nice and bright, uses less electricity (more money for fabric!) and they last many times longer than flourescent. For me that's the key part because I'm pretty short and I don't do ladders, and neither does my husband. They are more expensive initially but the price has come down a lot.

    Enjoy your new room!

  15. #15
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I have fluorescent lights and then also use an ott light over my sewing area. Never can have enough light!

  16. #16
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    My 10 x 13 sewing room has a centeral overhead fan with 4 posable lights, then I have 2 track lights with 4 light units on each mounted on the ceiling of the west and south areas with a good size window over the south side of the room. along with 2 lights (over needle and throat area) on my Pfaff, it seems to work well for me. I do use my free standing Ott light for hand work. So many options out there - I wish you luck on pulling the right arangement(s) together for your sewing needs.

  17. #17
    Member Jazz's Avatar
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    How's your Ott light doing? My partner and I bought desk styles a few years ago, but neither one worked at all. We returned them and bought two floor style ones, and they didn't work, either! We got tired of returning them, and gave up.

    I'd like to try again, but now those coil-type light bulbs seem to be so good that I wonder if Ott lights are still worth their expense?

  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz
    How's your Ott light doing? My partner and I bought desk styles a few years ago, but neither one worked at all. We returned them and bought two floor style ones, and they didn't work, either! We got tired of returning them, and gave up.

    I'd like to try again, but now those coil-type light bulbs seem to be so good that I wonder if Ott lights are still worth their expense?

    I don't have an OTT, but hear that it's the cat's meow, and honestly, when I've tried it in stores, I haven't really noticed it as being superb.

    So now you have me curious? do you mean didn't work as in not at all ... or didn't work as in not giving you enough light to be worthwhile?

  19. #19
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    I have track type fixtures in my sewing area. I like them because you can adjust the 4 lights in each of them every which way. I also have floor ott lights that shine directly on my sewing machine areas. They didn't do the trick for overall light in the room so we added the track fixtures- perfect now!

  20. #20
    Member Jazz's Avatar
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    They didn't work at all. They didn't turn on. The first time we bought them we also purchased extra bulbs, and the lamps would not turn on with the other bulbs, either. We suspected that the lamps must have been damaged in shipment.

    It was months later (although from the same JoAnn's, so may have been same shipment) that we tried again, this time with the floor models, but we had the same problem, so we gave up. I haven't tried again.

  21. #21
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    As in so many tools of the trade, there preferences and individual needs.
    For my self, my favorite "bright" lite that I take to retreats, camping, traveling is my "Day Light" that I got a number of years ago from JoAnn's on clearance. It's on an extremely heavy base but has an adjustable neck arrangement so it can go from 24" to 48" in height. It has a half moon shield to reflect all the light in whatever direction I need and swivels, too! Lots of features on one $20 light.
    I aso have a number of Ott lights (floor, desk, battery) but as others have said, not as bright as I would like them so my DH added the track lights in my sewing room to get what I was looking for. And as my eyes get tired (and yes older) I'm seeking more light.
    So as we all know there are so many perference to sewing machines there is also the perference and needs for lighting. I see it as an adventure and have even come find the new halogen lights help in some aspects.

  22. #22
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I have a round fluorescent light that has a magnafyer with a long arm on it that I can screw onto the table and move it and ajust it over what I am working on.

  23. #23
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    I have track lighting that I position the lights "just so" that I like very well.
    I also have a floor Ott light, that I have near my sewing machine. And I have a desk top Ott light that I placed on a wall shelf over a my table so working with colors is easier.
    I don't think you can ever have too much light in a sewing room. Being able to move some are good for flexibility.

  24. #24
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    I'm so sorry to hear about your mishap. I would think about getting track lighting. As others have mentioned I use a floor lamp, a bendable gooseneck lamp, and an adjustable arm lamp along with other regular lighting in the room.

    What I would be most concerned about is getting enough additional outlets situated around the room. Think about them being not only at the regular floor level but having some additional outlets raised to make it easier to access them depending on how you intend to situation everything in your room. You may also want to think about having all the additional wiring for other electronic items such as computers and tv's while the room is being renovated.

    You may want to think about getting some free-standing book cases/storage closets to keep all your sewing fabric and supplies. With a storage unit, you can open the doors while you're working and sewing but then close them to allow the room to appear neat and tidy if company happens to come.

    Also think about adding locking wheels to the bottoms of larger items which makes it easier to move for cleaning.

    Good luck with your getting your "new" room.

    Pam M

  25. #25
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    My personal preference for clean, clear lighting regardless of application are halogen lights. When/if I have the choice I will put halogen track lighting in my sewing room. I have track lighting in my home office which are incandesent bulbs. In our stairwell we have the halogen track lighting for both general lighting of the area as well as spotlighting photos. Love it. Have halogen lights under my kitchen cabinets for task lighting. The lamp that I use next to my chair for handsewing is also halogen. Can't beat the clarity of the color and the brightness.

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