How much light is enough for sewing and quilting?

How much light is enough for sewing and quilting? How about if I told you that it depends. Not a very good answer but I am afraid it's true. Let's try to figure it out together.

light re 4

I think the first thing to consider is overall room lighting. I just discovered that there is an actual formula to figure out how much general lighting you need. Using their guidelines, my general lighting is a bit low.

These two light fixtures have 3 bulbs each for a total of 6. The recessed lighting has two bulbs.light re 5 I need about 16,000 lumens and I have about half that with the 8 bulbs. (You can also see the lamp I use over my ironing board.)

I used the lumen number needed for a general kitchen. I have two windows and a sky light in here which helps in daytime. I also am in a loft so the missing wall has an overhead light which spills over from the great room ceiling.

This overall lighting seems to work for me for the cutting table and design wall. The light on my longarm is pretty darn good, it really lights up where I am. light re 3For piecing I have the machine light and a standing light.

I was thrilled to get the standing light when gradually, the light on the machine didn't seem to be enough. I put it in place about 10 years ago and thought I was set for life. Problem solved.

Or was it? Lately I feel like those two lights were just not cutting it. Maybe their bulbs were fading or the lamps weren't as efficient?

Or maybe Kathy's eyes aren't what they used to be.  At first I denied this, blaming the lamps. In Paducah, I saw this little light to add to your machine.light re 1

Ha, I thought, other people's machine lights must get dim also. (Yes, I was in denial!) I picked it up and when I saw it was over $50.00 I put it right back down.

I came home and did a little research. I found a pretty illuminating paragraph on the VisionAware website. (Did you see what I did there?)

"Most older adults require three to four times more light than they did previously to perform many everyday activities. Seeing clearly enough to read,write, sew and knit, or perform home repairs usually requires a brighter, more focused light in addition to reading glasses or bifocals."

Hmmm, MOST older adults. I was definitely older and an adult. My mind was quickly made up when I saw this light on Massdrop for a bit over 20 bucks.

BAM, I ordered it and it was delivered pretty quickly. My husband picked me up a power strip and I added it to my machine.

light re 2

I love it. And you know what, it seems like maybe those other lights were working just fine. I just needed a booster.

To answer the original question, How much light is enough for sewing and quilting, I would again repeat that it depends.

  • The size of your room.
  • The amount of general lighting.
  • How clear you want the sewing area to be.
  • Your age.

I now feel I have enough light. I can see everything I am ironing, sewing, cutting and designing. I have light exactly where I want it.head-light

Next step will have to be one of those lights strapped to my head!

Sew happy!

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My older eyes need a bit more light but getting old is great. Read why I like it here.

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