- Sophie &Friends
In October of 2018 the good folks over at Brightech sent me one of their LED lamps to review. It was one of those items that I really valued and used. But when my mom came to visit the warehouse, she literally fell in love with the lamp. Who am I to deny the woman who has done so much for me. The lamp went home with my mother.
I was at my folks a few weeks ago helping them cut down some trees (that will be a later blog, I promise) and I realized that the lamp has actually become a central part of their lives. I should explain, both my parents are artists. My dad, whom I call "Deed", retired from the US Mint where he was one of six sculptors responsible for not only the State Quarters Series but many commemorative coins and medals. He is also an amazing painter who graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. My mom, an artist in her own right, is a painter, jewelry maker, self-taught gemologist, and amazing seamstress (she made all my clothes growing up, and allowed me to be the "richest" kid in school because my Barbies all sported wardrobes that would rival all of the Kardashian's combined).
I realized I had the perfect opportunity to interview my parents about the lamp, since they've been using it daily for the last 7 months. Here's what they had to say:
So Al, tell me what are your three favorite things about this lamp?
Al (aka Deed): Number one I would have to say that it's highly mobile but very substantial. It's armature and so forth is a good quality. It never feels like it's losing it's adjustment. The components, going into the manufacturing of it, are excellent, very high quality. Number two, I appreciate the fact that when using the lamp over a project you can change the color value from warm to cool and also have the bonus of magnifying the image to get better detail...examination...and to work underneath the lamp is very good and frees you up from wearing headsets and so forth. I think it's a very fine, high quality, tool.
And Mom, what about you?
Sue (aka Mama): Well I would add to that, the arm on it will let you get the light right on the project. So you can get it low down and illuminate it much more, or you can hold it up over, and then you can get a good overview. It's just good. The lighting is very, very good.
So, now Deed, you've worked with a lot of lights and magnifiers in your business. How does this product rate as compared to the professional ones you were used to when you worked for the Franklin Mint or the US Mint?
Deed: Well actually the lamps that we used to use in the business of commercial art and printing and engraving and art reproduction and that kind of thing, this is a finer grade lamp. Like I said before all it's construction features are better. Better quality and the illumination factor is the biggest improvement over the things I used on my profession in my day.
Explain going from "cool light" to "warm light". What exactly is that? What do you mean by that?
Deed: Well color has value, and the value can either be warm or cool...and it has an awful lot to do with the perception of color and the practice of using color.
Mama: I can add to that. The difference is...one is a blue light and one is a yellow light. So when they are both on, you get almost a natural light, or a more even light.
Now as far as magnifying goes, I know that for myself I've used magnifying lenses, and sometimes there's that "fisheye" kind of thing that you get...you know that thing that almost makes you sort of dizzy? How's the magnifying lens of this light product?
Deed: I've found if you position the lamp right over the piece your working on there's very little distortion and it actually doesn't impair your ability to make judgements. So I find that to be very satisfactory.
If you were to have any changes that you would make to the lamp itself, what would those be?
Deed: I could envision a larger model, maybe? I don't know...I'm so pleased with it that I can only imagine an instrument of this quality on an another scale, maybe?
Mama; I would say maybe a longer arm..that you could get the light over a little bit...I'm thinking of the sewing...you've got your machine..and you need that light right where you are working..so if the arm was just a little bit longer it could be right where you need it. Now with what he's talking about, he can get the lamp in closer, but if you've got anything large, like...uh...
Mama: Yes, exactly. Something like that. Then it would be a little bit short. To get it centered over where you worked.
That brings up a very, very important point...what do you utilize the light for? So I know you each use it for different things. So Mama, what do you use the light for?
Mama; Well it would be for projects like sewing or like something spread out on the table...um...
Deed: Jewelry construction...
Mama: Could be that too...that's true...jewelry...the painting I have not used it with painting, so I don't know...Al's been doing that more than I have.
So you use it primarily for jewelry and for sewing and...
Mama: So far...
Sophie: Anything else you use it for? You used it once for making a puzzle...
Mama: Yeah...that's true. And there again if the arm had been a little bit longer....could have pulled it right into the center, because the puzzle's fairly large.
And Deed, what about you? What do you primarily use the light for?
Deed: I am presently using it for portrait painting...I've used it for coin identification...to identify bugs in the garden...that kind of thing. It has many multiple uses. Hobby uses...all sorts of uses.
Well thank you guys...that was a great update.
As you can see...my family loves this light and has found many ways of using it daily. To the creators I would just say this - keep up the good work. It's definitely illuminating!