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Sewing, either by hand or using a machine, demands a lot of skill and precision to create beautiful seams. This makes sewing machine lights extremely important, especially when working with darker materials and threads, or when you are working on a complex design. Getting the right amount of light when sewing by hand is simple, but things change when using a machine. These devices are large and heavy, so moving them is not always an option.
Some sewing machines have sewing lights integrated into their design to help the user see the work area, but none are created equal. Certain models may have LED lights that are too dim, or they don’t have any at all. Furthermore, many of the lamps that are integrated into your machine are difficult and expensive to replace or repair, making it important to always have an alternative on hand.
We have looked at the most popular sewing machine lights currently available on the market to determine which light deserves a closer analysis and have selected the most durable and easy to use. Having said that, keep in mind that it is important to understand what kind of features you need from a product like this to make an informed decision for your next sewing projects at home. The buying guide below will help.
Top 10 Products
1. Wenice Sewing Machine Light – A cold sewing machine light LED strip that comes with a touch dimmer
OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10
A good choice for anyone who does not have a lot of room on the worktable for an additional electronic device, this sewing machine LED light from Wenice can be easily attached to the inside of any sewing machine using an integrated double-sided adhesive tape. The device also comes with several self-adhesive cord clips that can be placed on the back of the machine and used to keep the power cable out of the way.
One thing that we loved is how responsive the touch dimmer switch is. The touch controls are extremely easy to use and the switch is not placed too far from the strip itself, making it easy to reach at all times. Furthermore, the strip comes with a 6.6ft. power cord, which is more than enough to reach a nearby power outlet. Lastly, it is worth mentioning the fact that the strip can be cut down to size and it will continue to work.
2. Madam Sew LED Lighting Strip – A powerful self-adhesive LED light strip is easy to install
OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10
The Madam Sew Strip comes with 24 lights on the strip which is more than enough for larger sewing machines. Measuring 12-inches, the strip can be cut down to fit smaller models and comes with double-sided tape as well as 5 adhesive cable clips and 4 hook-and-look cord organizers.
We found that the touch dimmer function is easier to use than on other devices since the buttons are separate from the on/off switch and are marked. Furthermore, the sewing light can be powered using a wall plug, a USB power adaptor, a laptop, or a computer.
Unlike other similar models, the strip can be cut at any length and is not limited by a certain number of LED lights, offering a lot of customizability.
3. Rezon Sewing Machine Light – A white light LED light strip that can be connected to a USB port
OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10
The large 11.8-inch LED strip from Rezon comes with a long 6.6ft. cord and 5 adhesive cable clips. Attaching it to the sewing machine is done like with other similar devices, and the strip can be shortened using scissors until it reaches the desired length.
Overall, the strip offers a color temperature of 6500k and its sewing machine light can reflect off the surface of the sewing machine and prevent shadows from forming. The color temperature is relatively cold when compared to other models and can increase your ability to concentrate.
This having been said, the device also comes with a dimmer function which is useful if the normal intensity of the light is too much or if you are working with fabrics that reflect light. It is important to also mention that the sewing machine lights will not distort the color of the fabric, regardless of how bright it is.
4. Takeoff Sewing Machine Light – A flexible LED strip that relieves eye fatigue
OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10
As far as self-adhesive LED strips are concerned, the one from Takeoff offers a large amount of customizability since it can be cut anywhere to change its length. So no adhesive tape necessary. The device also comes with a small control panel attached to the power cord which allows the user to turn the strip on or off, and also to change the intensity of the light.
The main thing that we loved about this product is the fact that the lights emit continuous sewing machine light and do not pulsate which makes it easier to work for prolonged periods without having to worry about eye fatigue.
5. LED Insights Direct Sewing Machine Light Strip – A durable LED light strip that comes with cut markers
OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10
Most self-adhesive LED strips tend to detach themselves after a few months, as the glue that holds them in place dries up. This having been said, the LED Insights Direct Light Strip is guaranteed to remain in place for up to 1 year, provided that you clean the surface before attaching it.
The LEDs themselves emit a clean, white sewing machine light that does not strain the eyes and is not reflected by shiny fabrics and with relatively cold color temperature. Furthermore, the strip can be resized with scissors, making it easy to ensure that it will fit in any type of sewing machine.
As with other models, this one uses a USB plug and can be connected to a wide variety of devices, including portable USB power adaptor and laptops. The strip also comes with 5 self-adhesive power cord clamps that can help attach the power cord to the back of the sewing machine.
6. Inspired LED Sewing Machine Lighting Kit – A complete lighting kit that’s compatible with all sewing machines
OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10
The kit from Inspired LED is, for all intents and purposes, a professional lighting kit that will work with any type of machine. Unlike other similar products, the included LED strip does not come with a USB plug and must be connected to the power supply.
We loved the fact that the strip is larger than others, measuring 24.5 inches. It is important to mention that the strip can still be cut with scissors to fit your machine, but the larger length offers more lighting possibilities. Another design choice that we found interesting is the fact that the lamp is entirely modular, making it easier to store than other models.
Overall, this sewing machine light does require a bit of assembly but it is made using professional-grade components that are built to last. The LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours, which makes them some of the most durable currently available on the market.
7. Dritz 910 Sewing Machine Incandescent Light Bulb – A powerful incandescent light that’s compatible with most sewing machines
OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10
The 910 Incandescent Light Bulb is compatible with any type of sewing machine light socket that supports push-in bulbs. It can be used as a replacement or as an upgrade if the one that came with your machine is not bright enough. Installing it is simple and can be done without any type of technical skills or tools.
It is also important to mention that the light bulb measures 2×1/8×3/4 inches. You will have to make sure that your sewing machine has enough space for you to install it. Generally speaking, the size of the sewing machine bulb makes it primarily useful for an older sewing machine.
This having been said, please keep in mind that the 910 Light Bulb is incandescent, not LED, which means that its sewing machine light will have a yellowish tint because of colder color temperature, making it more comfortable to use for extended periods.
8. Akozon Sewing Machine Light – A powerful, 50-LED light that works with any sewing machine
OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10
The Akozon Light has one of the most powerful sewing machine light bulb there is. It features a vice-base that enables the owner to easily attach it to any type of desk. It is important to note the fact that the lamp does not mount on the sewing machine, so it is compatible with any model. Furthermore, the device can be used for a wide variety of scenarios, although it comes with a big price tag;
In terms of usability, we loved the fact that it features a gooseneck lamp and can be pointed directly at the area around the needle and the foot of the sewing machine. This will put less stress on your eyes and protect your sight when you work for more than a couple of hours at a time. The expected lifespan of the lamp is 50,000 hours.
9. Cutex Sewing Industrial Lamp – A basic yet durable table lamp designed for sewing machines
OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10
This Cutex Sewing model is as durable as they come. The body of the lamp is entirely made out of metal and it can be attached to any type of table using a mounting C-clamp. Unlike the other products on this list, this one can use any standard lights that you prefer. Furthermore, it comes with a regular AC wall plug.
We loved the fact that the lamp gives the user the freedom to choose any type of light bulb that he wishes, and that it emits uniform sewing machine light that floods the workspace and is not concentrated on a single spot.
The industrial lamp is larger than most other products of this type, however, it should fit on any worktable. The device measures 17.6×6.6×4.6 inches and the mounting clamp will work with tables that are up to 2.5 inches thick.
10. Cutex Sewing Gooseneck Work Lamp – A reliable and flexible sewing machine lamp designed for industrial settings
OVERALL RATING: 9.1 out of 10
The Gooseneck Work Lamp from Cutex Sewing offers the flexibility of a gooseneck lamp paired with the amazing durability of an industrial-grade design. This is not a particularly pretty sewing machine light, but it is built to last for many years.
It is important to mention the fact that the gooseneck lamp does not come with a base or clamp, and must be installed directly through the table. Furthermore, it does not come with an AC plug and the owner is free to decide whether to connect the power cord to an outlet, the motor of the sewing machine, or another power supply.
The main feature that we loved about this one is the fact that the gooseneck lamp measures 22 inches, which is more than enough for any type of industrial or professional sewing machine light.
Sewing machine lights are important components and not having one that works well could result in accidents or poor stitching. There are several types of ways in which you can improve the lighting conditions at home while you are sewing, but the most reliable one is using a sewing machine LED light. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are strips that can be attached to the machine while others look like lamps.
Generally speaking, LED lights are some of the most durable sewing machine light solutions around and most devices that use them are rated to work for over 10,000 hours, which is good value for their price. They are more powerful than regular sewing machine lights and generate close to no heat. If set up properly, some sewing machine lights can illuminate both the fabric under the needle as well as the entire worktable.
Sewing machine lights may seem simple, but there are a lot of things to consider when buying one, and many of these features can make your sewing jobs easier or more tiresome. Here are the main things to keep in mind when getting a new lamp for your machine:
Use a healthy type of sewing lights
There are several light-sources that you can use to improve your sewing experience, but not all of them are healthy for your eyes:
- Sunlight – Natural light is always the most comfortable on your eyes, however, you can only benefit from it until the Sunsets, after which you’ll be left to work in the dark. In any case, always try to position your sewing machine near a large window and only use the sewing machine lights when the light from the Sun is to dim to see what you are doing;
- LED light – Most modern sewing machine lights use LED lights to light up the work area. They can emit a wide variety of colors, but the most common ones are either white or yellow, depending on the color temperature. The main advantage of these is the fact that they are very durable. A sewing machine LED light has a lifespan of around 10,000 hours and will continue to work if you accidentally hit them or drop them to the ground;
- Tungsten-filament lights –These are regular filament sewing machine lights. They are cheap and can be found in most households, so your eyes are probably already used to the soft, yellowish light that they generate. The main downside with these is that they use a lot of electricity and they aren’t particularly durable. Furthermore, they are big and emit a lot of heat which can become an issue if you position them close to your face or hands;
Please keep in mind that incandescent lights usually take a bigger toll on your eyes, and working in the lights that they emit can be harmful to your eyes. LED lights, on the other hand, are generally more comfortable to work with and are better for your sense of sight.
Choose a comfortable light color
When it comes to LED lamps, most products emit either completely white light or a yellow one, depending on the color temperature. Both of these colors have advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration before making a purchase:
- White light – This light color has a colder color temperature that is generally great if you need to focus and to see everything. It is very useful if you are working with darker materials and black thread as it will make it easier to distinguish between the two. The downside is that your eyes will get tired faster so you will need to take frequent breaks;
- Yellow light – Lamps that emit yellow light are softer on the eyes, have a warmer color temperature and can be used for extended periods without any ill effects. This having been said, their light can distort the colors of the fabric and may also make it difficult to see some smaller elements and details;
Measure your worktable and find a product with a proper cord length
It is important to ensure that the power cord of the lamp is long enough to let you position it wherever you need, but also short enough so that it won’t get in the way while you are working. The best way to ensure that you find the perfect power cord length is to measure the distance from the power outlet to your worktable, then the height of the table legs, and finally add a few inches to give you a bit of wiggle room in terms of position placement.
Keep in mind that most products may have somewhat short power cords. This is not necessarily a problem since you can always use an extension cord. In most cases, it is better to get a lamp that has a shorter power cord that you will then be able to extend than to buy a product that will constantly get in the way.
Pay attention to the neck type
Most sewing machine lights have a gooseneck lamp, which means that they are flexible and can be directed towards anything you like. This kind of articulation is extremely important since it allows you to point it only at your hands, and away from your eyes. Regardless of the type of sewing light that you choose, you should always avoid pointing it at your face or eyes.
If you are interested in a model that has another type of neck, like a traditional hinged one, take into consideration that you may not be able to position it exactly the way you need. This also applies to LED strips. These products are very bright, but they are not directional so the sewing light will flood the area and may give you a headache after a few hours of continuous use.
Get a model with a power supply that fits your needs
Depending on where you get the sewing machine light from, it may have different power requirements than your other electronics, which means that you will have to use an adapter or a power supply. It is usually better to go for a model that will work out-of-the-box and can be used without making any modifications to it.
Furthermore, decide if you want a lamp that can also be powered using batteries. These devices are more tedious to use because you will have to constantly worry about replacing the batteries, but you will be able to use them even when you have no power or if you simply do not want to have to move your sewing machine near a power outlet.
Look at the stability, the shape and the size of the base
Other than in the case of LED strips, all sewing machine lights will have a neck and a base. Pay attention to the base of the device and ensure that it is heavy enough to prevent the lamp from tipping over and falling.
The shape of the base is equally important since it will be another object that will take up space in your work area. Look at multiple designs and pick the one that you know won’t make your job more difficult. Usually, lamps that have a heavier base are better than the ones that have a wider one because all the weight will be concentrated in a smaller area.
Portability factor and repairability
A sewing machine light should be easy to pack so that it doesn’t get in the way during the day or when you are not working. Look for LED strips that can be attached to the machine, or for models that are small enough to store in a drawer when not using them.
Furthermore, although LED lights are extremely durable, accidents can happen. Look at how your chosen products can be repaired if you accidentally break them, and at how affordable the spare parts would be. These lamps are not too expensive, but having one break down when you need it the most can cause a lot of trouble.
What kind of light is best for a sewing room?
The best way to illuminate your sewing room is by using sunlight. This type of light is not only the healthiest for your eyes, but it will also not distort the colors of the fabric. The downside is that the UV radiation that is part of the natural light from the sun can harm certain types of dyed fabrics, causing discoloration.
Generally speaking, try to set up your sewing workspace in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, but do not place the sewing machine or the fabrics in front of the windows to avoid direct exposure.
This having been said, if you do want to work at night, the best illumination solution is an LED lamp. Preferably one that attaches itself to the sewing machine so that it will not get in your way.
What issues are faced due to improper lighting when sewing clothes?
There are two main ways in which using the wrong type of amount of light can cause problems. First, using the wrong type of light may distort the colors of the fabric and thread, making it difficult to distinguish between the two while sewing.
This having been said, not having enough light, or having too many lights can cause much more severe problems. Improper illumination can cause your eyesight to deteriorate over time and, in the short-term, can put a lot of strain on your sight, giving you blurred vision, light sensitivity, headaches pain around the eye sockets.
Lastly, there is the issue of position. If the lights are not in a position that you are comfortable with it can cause back pain, neck pain, and even lead to work accidents.
Are sewing machine LED strips better than sewing lamps?
Both of them are equally useful and it all depends on details like how you work. LED strips are easy to attach to the machine and can flood the whole area with bright light. The main downside with these is that the light that they emit cannot be directed to specific points so a large amount will fall on your face and eyes, which may cause a lot of issues in the long run. Make sure that you take regular breaks if you use LED strips to avoid sight-related complications.
On the other hand, lamps that have a regular design can be pointed at whatever you need, making it easy to aim them at your hands and shield your eyes. Unfortunately, these usually need to be placed around the sewing machine and may get in your way if you have a small worktable at home or if there is a lot of fabric on it. Besides, they usually have a bigger price tag.
Whether you are looking for a small sewing machine light to fit your home sewing setup or you need industrial-grade sewing lamps that can handle the workloads of a factory, it is important to keep in mind that using these devices should increase your comfort, not only your precision. Look for a type of sewing machine light that doesn’t hurt your eyes and take regular breaks to maximize your productivity.
The models that we have chosen offer a good balance between quality and price, however, choosing the one that suits you best will depend on details like how you work. We loved the Gooseneck Work Lamp from Cutex Sewing as far as durability is concerned, though it will require a bit of assembly.
As far as home-use sewing machine lamps go, the Akozon Light can light up the whole table while also enabling you to point the LED lights away from your eyes to protect them. This having been said, for casual users that only use the sewing machine on occasion, the LED strip from Wenice may be a better choice since it can be easily attached, it comes with responsive controls and it provides a lot of light without cluttering the table.
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