My Substitute for a Dazor Lamp

Quest for the Lamp

I began looking for a lamp for needlework when I saw a friend using one for her quilting. It was a floorlamp with a halogen bulb, and she swung it over her lap. My friend raved about the illumination it gave her. Since I am (ahem) thinking about slowly *approaching* middle age, I thought maybe that would be good for me. And maybe I'd add magnification, to boot. Live it up for when I'm an old woman wearing red and purple together.

Then I attended the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival and worked with a Dazor lamp in classes. I was not particularly impressed. I didn't like hunching over a table, the lamp and magnifier could not be used separately, and the light was quite hot to work under. To focus, I had to move my body rather than adjust the lamp. Harumph. There had to be a better way.

On the merchandise floor, I purchased a clamp-on lamp that had the bulb and magnifying glass as separate pieces; each was on a gooseneck-type stem. It was exactly what I was looking for EXCEPT it wasn't a floor stand. (I stitch on the couch--well, I sit on the couch and stitch; I try pretty hard not to stitch things *to* the couch - - not like Dawn Lewis and her dog's tail--but that's another story!) Anyway, the gal assured me I could buy a "universal" lamp stand from IKEA, a Scandinavian furniture dealer. When I got home, I ran up quite a phone bill trying to track down this store but couldn't find one. (Since then, eight years later, a store has opened in my area.)

Luckily I had asked her for an alternate in case I could not find an Ikea. Her suggestion was to "have my husband" build a stand, such as a dowel fitted into a "Christmas-tree-type" stand. Quoth he, when I requested this, "No way am I going to try to build a stand for a cantilevered lamp!" I then got to thinking about how I would actually attach the lamp to the pole should I be lucky enough to find a stand. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this lamp was not the solution to my problem. So I sent the it back.

Then I started prowling lighting stores. (Hey! It could have been *worse* places!!)

I found a lamp that looked better than the one I had purchased at the festival. As you might guess, it was expensive, since it came from a lighting store. They said they could order me a stand that was guaranteed to fit. I estimated the cost would be about $180. Keeping that in my hip pocket as insurance, I decided to keep looking.

I went to Best Products for another reason and on a lark decided to look at their lamps. Lo and behold: I found the very same lamp I had found at the lighting store - - same manufacturer! - - for $20 cheaper. Best also had the floor stand (also a LOT cheaper)! And all in stock! I could satisfy my craving immediately! Bonanza!

Lamp Description

The lamp unit has lamp and magnifier separate. The lens swivels 360 degrees and thus can be focused. By moving the lamp arm (one of those ostrich-leg kind that hinge in two places - - am sure there is a proper name for it), you can adjust the distance of the lens from your work. The lamp itself swings through a 90-degree arc, so the beam can be adjusted where you need it. Each part can be used independently as well as together (the way I usually do; I'm practicing for middle age in case I get there). The lamp comes with a table clamp, so I can carry it with me to stitch-ins. It's black steel and plastic.

The lamp takes a 20-watt halogen bulb. I worried it would not be bright enough, but it is. The bulb does not produce a lot of heat, but I do turn it off when not actually stitching (answering phone and such). I guess I'm worried about burning out the bulb! I've had the lamp for over a year and the original bulb is still working. I am sure this is because I have an extra bulb at the ready; had I not, it would have burned out long ago.

The stand itself comes with a drafting table lamp (and an optional table clamp - - I'm really set for table clamps should I decide I want to hunch over a table!). The stand is heavy, stable, and doesn't tip. Color is white. Enameled steel. (I gave the lamp - - and clamp! - - to my son and kept the stand.)

The parts fit together perfectly as though made for one another. (Good thing, as I'm not mechanical!)

The only problem is that the lamp is black and the stand is white, but that can be solved with a can of black spray paint. (I've been too busy stitching to do anything about it, however!)

I've set the lamp up in front of my place on the couch and swing it over my lap, but I guess you could set it up behind or beside your chair. (Or you could set it up behind or beside *my* chair and then I could see really well!) Here's a picture of me using the lamp in my stitching nest. Here's a close-up showing how the magnifying mirror lifts up if you want to use the lamp alone. If you want the magnification alone, you just don't turn on the lamp!

The Stock Numbers

The stock numbers (from Best) are: magnifying lamp: #858617 (Dana Manufacturing) $80 stand: #759341 (Grandich Manufacturing) $20 If you can't find the lamp in your area, it is available (I understand) through Affordable Products at 800- 235-2720; their price is about $100. You might also be able to get it through your local shop. No stand, on the Affordable Products lamp, but you should have little trouble finding a cheap drafting lamp, the way I did. (See annual updates at the end of this file.)

Best also has an 800 number and will mail order to you: 800-777-8220. I'd try this option first.

Another contact: Dana Lighting at 800-729-9596 (fax: 508-584-4927). Again, no base - - only the lamp - - but you might be able to find a base (with a drafting light that comes one it) at an office supply store, Target, Wal-Mart, or other store.

Other Details

I am very pleased with this set-up. Although it is not all that cheap ($100 for lamp and stand), I feel the cost is justified, as I use it all the time and will use it for many years. Also, it is cheaper than the lamp unit alone I bought at the festival, cheaper than the same set-up from the lighting store, and a lot cheaper (and more flexible and comfortable to use) than a Dazor.

Note: Be sure to check the lamp unit in the store by plugging it into a wall socket to make sure the light works. (I had to try 2 of them before finding one that actually lit up.)

I made a flannel "bag" to protect the magnifying lens from little fingers and dust. I also hot-glued two magnets to the rim of the magnifying portion, and I park my scissors on one and needlethreader on the other to keep them at hand. I'm happy as a clam!

Best also has a Dazor-type lamp (#460842). I don't know anything about the quality or brightness, however.

I have another file about needlework lighting/magnification in a boat or RV.


1995: (December) When I was at Best, I saw the lamp for $59! Wow! (Stand extra, of course. This was just the lamp.)

1997: I understand Best is going belly-up in many places. If you can't find this lamp locally, try Dana's 800 number. I also saw this lamp for $100 recently in the Lark Books catalogue (800-284-3388), which has a lot of cool stuff in it of other kinds. And it is also available for about $50 at Staples Office Supply. A friend told me that she saw it in the Damark catalogue (800-729-9000) for $40.

1999: Also try Affordable Products, cited above; they are still supplying to needlework shops.

2001: Here is the page from Affordable Products that illustrates the lamp. The floor model, "Halogen Magnifier Floor Lamp, Model#: FS128" is what I recommend; it's about $150 (which includes shipping). The table model is about $80. Checks only. 1-800-235-2720 for other ordering information. Thanks to Barb Tuttle for all this info!

2002: copyright 1996-2002, Martha Beth Lewis
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