Monday, January 23, 2017

New lighting... and some peeking

As some of you know, my sewing room is in the basement. The lighting is not the best, especially for sewing on something dark... especially at night. I wanted to brighten things up a bit, so I considered getting one of those LED strip lighting sets made for sewing machines. (I'd kept trying to win one every time SewCanShe had one in their giveaway, but that never happened. I was delighted, however, when my friend and faithful commenter, Annie Dee, recently DID win one! Yay!) 

I went to Amazon.com to look for a lighting strip, and in doing so, I found one of these which I purchased instead. It's an LED light on a flexible goose neck that has a magnetic base. I love it! I can adjust it to wherever I need it the most (or could even take it to another room for a different project if I wanted to). Very bright and helpful. 


(Side note: Apparently my sewing machine is not magnetic, which totally surprised me, so I had to rig up an alternative way to attach it. It was easy and worked very well, so if anyone wants to know how I did it, tell me in the comments and I'll do a separate post about that.)

A couple of weeks ago I got to thinking about how long my sewing machine light bulb has been in use (years), and I decided I should buy a new one to have on hand. I went back to Amazon (who doesn't shop on Amazon?!) to look for one, and much to my surprise and delight, I found LED sewing machine bulbs! So I bought this one.


It makes a world of difference! Here's a shot of the old incandescent bulb's brightness (or lack thereof)...


... and below is the brightness of the LED bulb.


To compare more easily, here they are side-by-side (LED on the right), with color comparison of a piece of fabric below them.


Quite a difference, eh? I thought some of you that sew might appreciate knowing about the availability of the LED bulbs. Some newer sewing machines come with them, so you'll have to check yours. But if you have an older machine, you might want to invest in one. They cost more, of course, but they should outlive the incandescent bulbs many times over, plus the extra brightness is well worth it!

There are two different kinds of sewing machine bulbs - a screw-in and a push-in, so be sure to check your bulb type before ordering. Mine above is the push-in type. I was also given the tip that you should handle the bulb by the base, especially with the push-in type, because they push in kind of hard, and handling it by the bulb itself might cause it to break.

On another note... a few weeks ago, Jess ordered something fun - a box of leather scraps to use for trim pieces on bags, etc. It was a nice assortment of colors and sizes, and the quality was great. Inspector Josie approved wholeheartedly. Annabelle seemed to appreciate the box more (which, as you can see, was again from Amazon - no, they are not paying me to advertise for them - ha!). You can expect to see leather-trimmed items in future posts.


Just to let you know I've not been sitting idly doing nothing, here's a sneak peek of my latest sewing completion, made from Jess's new Spring Quartet corduroy collection (which unfortunately has been pushed back for a July release instead of March, and the new Holding Pattern barkcloth will be released in March instead) for Cloud9 Fabrics.


I'll be showing you the rest soon. Jess should receive the package today and will be taking more photos for me.

I also have another project over half done, but it's on hold for the moment, pending a new zipper technique I'm waiting to learn about. I can't wait to get it finished, though, because I love it a lot! Hopefully I'll get to show you soon. Meanwhile, my mind is clicking away with all kinds of project ideas......

8 comments:

Jenny said...

Huh. I never would have thought to get an led bulb for my sewing machine. But then I see in my craft room, which is pretty well lit most of the time. Might look into getting one anyway.

I am looking forward to seeing the rest of what ever it is in that peak. It looks a bit cozy for a bag, which that fuzzy lining(?), but I don't have any other good ideas about what it could be. Hmmm...

Grandma G said...

Hopefully you won't have to wait much longer, Jenny! 😉

annie dee said...

I never would have thought that adding LED lights would make a difference but yee-ow-zah! It really does! I am so happy to have won the set of lights from SewCanShe's giveaway. They aren't that expensive if you want to make them a win for yourself (Inspired LED). I guarantee you will find yourself sitting up straighter at your machine cuz there's no need to squint in the dark! I need to check Amazon for a replacement bulb too - that's a brilliant (yuck yuck) idea, Grandma G!

Grandma G said...

Brilliant, Annie Dee... for sure! Haha! They definitely light up our lives! :)

Geneviève Thiffault said...

I already have an LED light on my machine, but now I think I need a whole LED sewing room instead. :P Seriously though, I showed the side by side picture to my Mom and she is very interested in buying new lightbulb, so thanks for sharing!

New year, new projects eh? You seem to have a lot of things planned in the sewing department. I can't wait to see all those things coming to life! :)

Grandma G said...

I would love a whole LED sewing room, too, Gen! Basement sewing rooms leave a lot to be desired in the lighting department. 😏

After talking to Jess yesterday, the sewing list got considerably longer! 😄

Sheila C said...

Just checked my machine to find that it is also not magnetic. I would love instructions for how you attached your LED light. Next I will check my bulb type and head over to Amazon to buy an LED bulb. I just found your blog today through a link on Sew She Can and I think I will be spending a lot of time here reading through past blogs.

Grandma G said...

Thanks, Sheila, for stopping by and for leaving a comment! I hope you find more posts you enjoy. In case I don't get around to posting soon about it, I'll give you the short version on attaching the light. I used Sugru (google it if you're not familiar with it) to fasten a metal washer to the back of my machine, then the magnetic base of the light would stick to the washer. Quite simple and effective!