Today’s subject is near and dear to my heart. Well, actually, to my eyes.
The older I get, the more light I need to see things clearly.
Age 40 seems to be where light requirements really begin to increase rapidly! A 40 year old requires twice as much light as they did when they were 20. A 60 year old requires five to six times the amount of light they did at age 20.
I’m 58 and really enjoy handwork. Quilting, hand-piecing, embroidery, or whatever, I find it relaxing.
But, the older I get, the harder it is to see. Especially when working with dark fabrics. Recently, I was hand-stitching a dark green binding to the dark green back of a quilt. Oh my, that was difficult to see!
Until I used this.
It’s a headlamp. I found it in the flashlight section of the local home improvement store.
You wear it on your forehead and the elastic band holds it in place.
My husband has one that he uses when doing electrical work in attics or other dark places. He can use both hands to work instead of holding a flashlight or trying to find a place to set one that will shine on his work.
Our son has one that he uses for walking through the woods before dawn on the way to his hunting sight. That way, he can carry all his gear and be ready to hunt when the sun comes up.
I use mine when hand-quilting. It shines the light exactly where I need it. (Here, I’m making progress hand-quilting my hand-pieced Drunkard’s Path quilt. Yay!)
I have a 3-way bulb in the lamp on the end-table next to me, but they give off an incredible amount of heat! I’m a fifty-eight-old woman and use a hoop to hand-quilt, so when I have a quilt on top of me, I don’t need more heat! Plus, if there are other people in the room, that bright light can be hot for them as well and annoying if they are trying to watch TV.
I also have a clip-on desk lamp that I use for handwork. It has an LED bulb which gives off a minimal amount of heat. But when clipped to the end-table, the neck only reaches so far and I occasionally have to lean toward it to get more light.
With this little head lamp, the light shines wherever I’m looking. (Which can be awkward when my husband asks me a question. I have to be careful to not temporarily blind him.)
It only requires three AAA batteries and has four light options.
When it’s on my head, pushing the button on the right once turns on the center light with a high beam.
Push it again and the center light becomes a low beam.
Push it a third time, and the center beam goes off while the two top side lights come on for an over-all light.
Push it a fourth time and the light goes off.
Pushing the left button turns on the two lower lights in red. Our son uses this one as he walks in the woods so that the deer are not disturbed by a bright light.
I haven’t found a use for the red light in my sewing adventures. Yet.
Also the angle of the headlamp is adjustable.
It has 6 different positions so I don’t have to try to angle my head up or down.
Here it is at position 1.
Here it is at position 3.
And here it is at position 6.
This thing is so handy!
I even use it while at my sewing machine.
Notice the bright light spot on the fabric in front of the presser foot and near my right hand? The camera is picking up more light than I’m seeing, so in the photo it looks like a blinding light, but in reality it’s perfect!
Also, notice the area that is lit. You can see the light/shadow area on my sewing machine as well as on my arms.
I know I look a bit silly in this contraption, but I’m in my own house, so I don’t care. 🙂 It works!
Here I’m sewing on a deep navy fabric.
This is how it looks using just the light on my sewing machine.
See how much more light I get with my headlamp on?
These types of headlamps range in price from about $15 to $40 for an average one. I’ve seen some that are $120 and more depending on the brand and the number of lumens. (Brightness)
Mine just happens to be an Energizer and I chose it because it was in my price range. It cost about $20 and is 180 to 200 lumens.
There are some as low as 80 lumens for about $15.
Give this simple tool a try. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can see!
I hope this tool makes your sewing and quilting easier!