Enlightenment for the Travelling Tier.
Good lighting is vital for fly tying. Lamps balanced to daylight colour temperatures have been around for some years, They make the best, most comfortable, lights to tie under, reduced eye strain and true colour perception (if that is possible) are the main advantages. For about the last 8 years I have been using an Daylight as my light source for tying. I can say that it has been the best light I have used, and I had many different ones over the years.
As a bench light it has been perfect, lots of light and not in my way, what more can you ask? Well there is more, I don’t only tie at home. The light does fold up quite neatly, which is good if space and weight are not an issue. Also the lamp is mains power only, again no problem at home, a different story on the road.
Last month the bulb in my lamp gave up the ghost. This is only to be expected, and as this is the second new bulb in 8 years I’ve no complaints about the longevity of them. Replacements, though, are a little difficult to track down, and at 1/3rd the cost of the original lamp, quite expensive. I am also concerned that in the future these older bulbs may become unavailable.
With all this in mind I thought it a good idea to find a lamp I can use as a back up at home and for tying when away from home. What I wanted was something easy to carry, with a choice of power sources. Today my new Daylight Foldi LED Lamp arrived. Excellent service as I only ordered it the previous morning.
Being an LED lamp it gets around the blown bulb problem. It is also much more compact than my other light. Surprisingly it is also brighter than my desk light. For power it uses 3 AA size batteries, which, they claim, last 8 hours; a good tying session by anyone’s measure. I’m sure there will be some fade off towards the end of this period. In addition to the batteries it comes with a USB power cord. There is also a mains adapter available as an optional extra. Those three options give me the ability to use it just about anywhere. With a folded size of 23.3cm X 7.5cm X 3.3cm and weighing in at just 1 lb it will travel very easily. The light comes with a draw chord sock to store and transport it in.
The light operates with a courtesy light switch, a bit like your refrigerator door. When the light is opened it comes on, to turn it off just push the head down. The folding foot can be left down when the head is pushed down so you can turn the light off when taking a break during your tying session.
A friend pointed out that the light is not very high, However as the adjustable head will go above the horizontal almost to the vertical it is possible to raise the head without the LEDs being in your eye line, meaning you can move the light well away from your vice.
One great use I put both my lights to is the simplest form of light box I have ever seen. Simply tape the ends of a piece of paper or card together into a large tube, and slide it over the head of the light. Pop your flies inside the tube for photographing. I’ve been using this method for a couple of years with my bench light. However you must, for safety’s sake, remember to turn it off, as the lamp gets hot. My new LED lamp doesn’t get hot. It may get more use as a light box next to my bench than anything else.
My new light came from craftlamps.co.uk Cost £39.99 post free and was delivered within 24 hours of ordering it. Exceptional service as, living in the Highlands of Scotland, delivery can take a day or three longer than usual. Craft Lamps also have the optional mains adapter, £19:99. If you are looking for a new tying lamp, especially one you can use when travelling, I can not recommend this one highly enough.
The lamp in its carrying case.
Folded up, compact enough to take anywhere.
Simply unfold for lots of light.
Daylight balanced to reduce eye strain.
30 LEDs for plenty of light.
3 batteries for 8 hours of light.
The USB cable. Power it from your laptop.
Using a paper tube as a light box with the lamp.
The “light box” working well.