Stitchqueries: What kind of lighting?

Bad lighting can make your stitching seem difficult and really strain your eyes, so this week’s question is an important one.

I’ve been doing needlepoint and cross-stitch for over 30 years but now that I have older eyes I don’t see as well at night to work on my projects so would like some recommendations on the best lighting or lighting attachments to use so I can work into the night. What do you use, recommend?

This is a great question and I would love to hear from some other stitchers on the topic as well. When it comes to lighting Ott-Lite seems to be the standard of best, but they’re quite expensive, so I honestly just put full spectrum light bulbs in the whole house.

You can just go to Lowes or Home Depot and pick up a package of regular looking light bulbs that capture a fuller spectrum of light than the “standard bulb” and it helps a lot. I’ve never used an Ott light, so I can’t really compare, but so far the spectrum style bulbs are working for me.

(They might not be true full spectrum, but I guess they are “more” or “most of” spectrum) On a side note, the fuller spectrum light bulbs make a great improvement on everyone’s mood as well!

If you decide to go with an Ott-Lite there are several styles available from floor lampsLamps & Light Fixtures) to portable lamps that you can put in your bag, so you can choose whatever works best for your stitching situation.

I hope that helps shed some light on things 😉

Happy Stitching!

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About Loretta

Passionate stitcher. Mom of four amazing young men. Wife to a comic book geek who makes me smile every day. Transcriptionist by trade. Gluten-free by necessity. Writer at heart. Seeker of knowledge and reader of novels. Dreamer of big colorful creative dreams.


  1. Holly via STNA's Facebook Fan Page says:

    I have never found any lighting really good, OTT lights just dont cut it for me. SO what I have is a lamp with an additional Halogen bulb for my general task lighting, but I also have one of those headlamps one uses when camping to put a spotlight on my work, the only drawback for this is that I go thru toms of AAA batteries.

  2. I’ve had to do extensive research on full-spectrum bulbs for my parrots. This is a small portion of what I’ve learned…and its most likely way more than anyone needs to know…

    Most “normal” bulbs are made at an 86 CRI (color rating index, the higher the number, the more colors visible). The specialty spectrum bulbs are typically 91 cri, but try to find a 93 if possible. There is a 96 CRI bulb available, but I don’t believe they come in compact bulbs, rather in fluorescent tubes.

    Also note the Kalvin (Kelvin?) rating, I don’t suggest going over a 5000K. I once had a bulb that was a 5500k and it gave off a really odd and irritating shade of blue.

    And the wattage of the bulb doesn’t compare with the normal compact bulb wattage either. Generally Full Spectrums have a lower watt because the light they give is truer. So don’t be surprised when you can’t locate a 60watt FS bulb!

  3. Thank you for the extra info Joni, that is really good stuff! Very helpful for bulb shopping (and I didn’t know the birdies needed those)

    • Yes, they are said to give off UVB that helps them process Vit D or A…i can’t remember…but then I’ve also read that they don’t give off any UV and the light is to just help them see a wider spectrum of colors. Eventually I stopped researching it because it became so confusing. The birds enjoy the light though, their feathers have improved since I put one in their room….maybe I should sit in there and see if it does the same for my hair. LOL

  4. I use an OTT Light on a floor stand and really like the difference it makes to allow me to stitch at night. I have a desktop OTT light also, but have never really been as happy with it, of course it could be me…

  5. Anita Sorrells says:

    I actually have an OTT light, but prefer stitching with a regular light that I use the full spectrum bulbs in. This is because this light (kind of looks like a tree with a large light at the top and a smaller light coming from the middle) is very adjustable, and I find that my OTT light does not give me enough light in the area I am working on.

  6. I have two OTT lites… One is a floor model and the other is the task lamp. It depends what I am stitching and where for which lite I use or if I need to use both!

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