Part of the unexpected interactions that stem from having an online column in a woodworking magazine is that, on occasion, a distributor or maker of craft/woodworking related tools or supplies will approach me and propose to send an item for review.
Two months ago, Brightech, a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing magnifying lamps wrote to me and asked if I would like to receive one of their products and report about it to my readers. I said that I was open to this idea as long as my review would not be subjected to any constraints.
Unpacking and assembling the Lightview Pro
Brightech agreed and gave me a free hand in choosing a lamp from their impressive fleet of desk, mobile and tall stationary lamps. I decided that the Lightview Pro Magnifying Glass with LED Floor Lamp & Rolling Base Stand Black with a light spectrum of 4000K to 6000K would be the most appropriate for my line of activity. I speculated that it would probably address both my curiosity to try this new lamp, plus satisfy my present and future needs. As a woodworker who is past the prime of his eyes, a lamp with an integral magnifying glass, which can be moved conveniently around the bench or be used to illuminate the band saw or table saw for work or maintenance jobs, etc would be, so I though, a beneficial fit.
Most of us who work in shops that rely on artificial lighting need to shed more light on the direct area which we work on. This enhanced flood of photons makes life easier. In addition to a few ceiling bulbs, in my own shop I use a standing lamp with a 100W bulb and a portable desk lamp from Ikea. I use these two lamps mainly to light my bench. In our shop at school we have pendent light elements right above the benches in addition to the fluorescent lights on the ceiling. In comparison to my own 100W standing lamp which is adjacent to my bench, the Lightview Pro is rated as a 9W LED or 800 lumens brightness, which is equivalent to 60W incandescent bulb. Therefore the Lightview Pro cannot replace my main bench light but rather it can become a task light to help during close up activities such as chiseling, detail and dovetail work, hand tool tuning and more.
One of the Lightview Pro’s unique features is its versatility in allowing you to adjust both its light intensity and temperature. In other words you can control, to a degree, the strength as well as the warmth or coolness of the light that the ring of LED bulbs omits. In effect, the lamp has two dimmers: One for controlling the cool white light and the other for the warm yellow light. It is up to the user to decide how much of each light to omit. For people like me, who don’t like to work under white light and prefer a bulb that produces white-yellow or warm white light, this feature is really an advantage. In addition, controlling the light temperature is especially important for paint jobs and in situations where accurate work on finishes and veneers is required.
Structure and Versatility
The Lightview Pro is a well built articulated lamp that is easy to adjust. Most of the structural elements and all of the friction hinges are robust and are made of steel. The tightening screws function well and the casters under the weighted base move smoothly on flat surfaces. That said, I would have loved to see a version of this lamp with wider casters to improve its mobility on carpets and to overcome obstacles such as wood shavings etc.
The lamp that I chose to review comes with a 5 diopter glass which magnifies objects 2.25x or 225% bigger than their original size, but the company also offers the same lamp with magnification of 175% or 3 diopter.
The Lightview Pro is a well-built and reliable accessory. It is a great lamp that can be utilized in numerous ways. Its main strength is as a supplementary light source near the bench which can be easily moved and adjusted to fit one’s needs. The magnifying glass is a nice feature that can be instrumental in determining, for instance, whether blades are dull, checking the saw set and identifying that delinquent tooth that needs to be persuaded back in line, plus many other close view tasks that a woodworker needs to perform. As I stated earlier, it would have been nice if the Lightview Pro came with a stronger bulb and with beefier casters, but even as it is now it will serve me well and will enhance and contribute to my work environment and my productivity.