Have you ever been working on a task that required that you were completely, totally, utterly focused on every single minute detail of whatever it was that you were doing? If so, you are not alone. You might be a healthcare professional, a dermatologist, a dentist, an elderly stamp collector, or you might just be a hobbyist who is making animal figures out of toothpicks. If either of these people is you, then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on a lamp that not only magnifies whatever it is you’re getting your hands on, but you’ll also want it to shine some light so you can actually see what you’re doing.
Why A Magnifying Lamp?
If you are too focused on a chore that requires you to look at tiny little details and it requires a lot of eye strain, then you are going to be suffering from eye fatigue before you know it. And once eye fatigue sets in, you’re not far away from developing a major splitting headache that’s going to ruin your entire work day. So don’t let this happen to you. Instead, invest in a decent magnification lamp that you can put on your desk to light your way in the dark as well as in the details. These days, they don’t cost that much anymore. And they are simply a really great investment.
Which Kinds Are There?
You’ve basically got 3 kinds:
As I’m sure the cleverest of my dear readers have already figured out, this is a lamp that you put on the floor. The upside to it, is that it doesn’t take up any space on your desk at all. The downside to it, is that it takes up space on your floor. So it you are working in a work space that has a small desk, but lots of work space besides the desk, then you might want to opt for a floor lamp.
You’ll never guess, but this is the kind of lamp that you put on your desk. Most people have regular lamps standing on desks, and a magnifying lamp is no different from such a lamp, except for the fact that it also magnifies, ofcourse.
This is where things start to get interesting. A clamp lamp is a lamp that you clamp to the side of your desk. It has the best of both worlds of both the desk lamp as well as the floor lamp. The reason for this, is that it doesn’t take up a lot of desk space or work space. It’s clamped to the side, so you don’t actually have to put it down on your desk.
This is the type of lamp that most people prefer. However, unclamping and reclamping it is sometime a bit of a hassle. It certainly costs more time than it does to simple move a regular desk/floor lamp from one spot to another spot. For this reason, it is best if you clamp it onto a really strategically placed spot and then just let it sit there until the end of days.
It will help to get a lamp that you can adjust properly so that you won’t even feel the need to move it from one clamp position to the next.
What Features Should I Look For?
One of the most important features is the adjustability. If you’re getting a lamp that will your clearly show you what you’re working on, you have to be able to turn it in every angle you want. If you can’t, you’ll be straining your neck instead of your eyes. Not good. Technology exists to serve you, not the other way around!
Not all mag lamps are created equal. Some of them are more easily adjustable than others. And it’s not all about adjustability. It is also about how well such a mag lamp can manage to keep its position. You get what you pay for, so you might as well invest in a good one that has good joints, which are easy to operate.
There are many kinds of lights:
- Full spectrum
Make sure you are buying one with a type of light that you actually like looking at.
Incandescent bulbs are bulbs that create light by being heated. This brings a lot of warmth that you can feel when you have it close to your face. This is very uncomfortable. Thankfully, incandescent bulbs are on their way out. You’ll be hard pressed to still find one in any modern day store somewhere.
Fluorescent light bulbs are comparable to incandescent bulbs. However, fluorescent bulbs last longer than incandescent ones and they also convert electricity into light more efficiently. Most people do not prefer fluorescent bulbs either, however. The type of light that comes from them is not considered to be pleasant by most people. And they contain toxic gases.
Full spectrum light is really great for people who want to be absolutely sure that they are capable of distinguishing colors. This would be a good fit for an artist who is working up close with a painting or some other work of art with minute details.
Both halogen and LED are good. But LED is generally preferred. LED light is just a really nice type of light, which is easy on the eyes. It also uses very little power, so it’s very unlikely to rack up a power bill any day soon.
Most mag lamps will have a lens that has a diameter of between 5″ and 6″. Any smaller than this, and you won’t have enough of a view. Any larger than this, and you’ll have too much view. But it turns out that the aforementioned sizes gives most people a really great view of an area that is about 9″. If you’re working with anything larger than 9″, you are unlikely to require a mag lamp in the first place!
It is typical for a mag lamp to have a 5 diopter magnification. In practice, this translates to a magnification factor of about 2.25x. For most people, this should definitely be enough. And if it isn’t, you’re probably looking for a microscope instead.