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Ott-Lite VisionSaver Task Lamp

Ott-Lite VisionSaver Task Lamp
Ott-Lite Technology. www.ottlite.com. 1-800-842-8848. $60-$70.

VisionSaver lamps certainly aren’t a Mac specific accessory. The Ott-Lite representative told me that he goes to trade shows for needleworkers, hobbyists and even fly fishermen. The common denominator is work that requires excellent lighting.

VisionSaver lights are low wattage, glare-free lights designed for seeing details clearly. They come in sizes ranging from the 13 watt portable lamps to 18 watt desk and floor lamps. Ott-Lites are also available with TrueColor bulbs, which are designed to replicate full-spectrum sunlight and are optimized for color matching. As someone who is constantly battling eyestrain, I was ready to give one a try.

I chose the portable 13 watt VisionSaver Task Lamp. In design it reminds me of a slim, semi-cylindrical camp lantern. There’s even a fold-down handle on top for convenient carrying. The lamp shade folds flat into its base, and stands 11 inches tall on a 5 inch diameter base that rotates 360°.

There’s no on/off switch; to turn it on, one simply pulls the shade up from the base. Folding the shade back into the base turns the lamp off. The angle of the shade can be adjusted from 45° to straight up, and it holds whatever position it’s placed in. This, coupled with the rotating base, makes the lighting amazingly versatile. It’s also very lightweight, though stable on rubber feet, and is easily moved and stored. I find that it slips neatly between the living room sofa and the end table when I’m not using it for reading.

The quality of the light is very cool compared with incandescent lighting, though it’s not as blue as most fluorescents. And details really do show up with startling clarity. The first time I turned it on at my desk, I reached for the dustcloth! I’ve find that it makes working at the computer easier on my eyes, especially on those dull days so common at this time of year. It’s lighting my workspace as I write this article.

The VisionSaver Task Lamp is a real pleasure for reading and close work, especially for deciphering blurry pages of newsprint. It’s lightweight and compact enough to tote along to wherever you need it, so one lamp can really do the work of several. At $60-$70 the lamp is a significant purchase, but the investment in my eyesight made it well worth the expenditure.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the March 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.