Work light questions

I already posted this in Armorama. Mods feel free to delete whichever you choose.

What type of lighting are you using when painting (especially hand painting figures)?
I have an Ottlite and a regular task light on an articulated arm but I’m looking for a consensus. I know the ideal is either sunlight (not practical or even available at times) or ~5500K lamps (from what I remember).
Output and color temperature is mostly what I’m interested in.

While I am not at home to give you the model # or brand, I picked up a wonderful desk worklight at Hobby Lobby, was located in the aisle with the easles etc. An LED that allows for several modes of light (sunlight, soft super intenisty etc) and can vary the light level in up to 6 steps I beleive. It clamps on to my desk, white in color and the arm is flexible. I have a floor LED without the adjustments so I use that for big light so to speak and then use the smaller one since ti has a flex arm to move around and eliminate most of the shadows for a nice even light. I think it ran me all of $60.00. Hope that helps you narrow it down if you check them out, my main reason for buying was all the light level and type flexibility.

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I am also in the market for a good work light. Good info. Time to get the HL 40% coupon.

I just picked up an Ott lite at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $57. It sure helps when I’m working on small parts including painting (but not well) 1/700 figures. The close in bright light sure helps me see.

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I was very particular about light in my modeling room. I opted for two Japanese lamps Z-80 II Pro with 5000K/CRI>97. My overhead light is a 5000K/CRI90 panel. And finally I can see the colors well, it seems like a true daylight.


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I have a series of 4’ Fluorescent and LED fixtures in the “Daylight Deluxe” for general lighting, and a series of magnifiers and swing arm lamps for task lighting, that have daylight bulbs as well.

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I use Neatfi XL 2,200 Lumens LED Task Lamp with Clamp, 24W Super Bright Desk Lamp, 117 Pcs SMD LED, 20 Inches Wide Lamp, 4 Level Brightness, Dimmable, Eye-Caring LED Lamp, Table Clamp LED Light (White) - I have three over the work space and one over my spray booth.


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On my painting bench I have a pair of OTT desk lights, one on either side of the work area. I also have a 24" day-light balanced florescent light that is positioned above and behind my head. (Along with all the other normal room lighting.)

I’ve had my OTT lights for years, now, but if I was looking for replacements, I would probably just get a pair of ordinary swing arm desk lamps and put daylight balanced CFL bulbs in them. At one time, the OTT lights were the only game in town, so to speak, but now daylight CFL bulbs are very common and inexpensive.

I’ve also replaced all of the other light bulbs in my workroom with common and easy to find daylight balanced long-tube or screw base florescent units. At one time, these were hard to find, but now they’re everywhere, even Wally World. I have daylight CFL bulbs in the task lighting lamps over my building bench, and they’re every bit as good as the OTT lights over my painting bench.

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I have three Ott lites, one on either side of the work area and one in the center. They all have the dimming feature.
I have regular incandescent lights On the shelving behind me when I work if I need more.


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Im not well versed in equipment like most people here, Im highly on the budget side.
I go with similar set up at my old workshop job: 2 LED daylight bulbs from 2 direction of the table, one is swing arm clamped to the table to move around, the other is the ceilling light (my room is small). 1 LED soft white bulb on small table lamp to add some shade of colour. They are all common hardware store stuff.

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I don’t know about you, but the daylight bulbs I have used always leave something to be desired. There is usually a noticeably blue hue to the light. I really would like a true daylight bulb. However sunlight is tricky. It is made of both Warm and cool light. It also changes through out the day and year depending on the angle of the sun. I would like a swing arm lamp with a true sunlight bulb of about 1:00 in the afternoon…

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When shopping around for “daylight” bulbs, you need to look past the label on the package that calls the bulbs “daylight balanced” and actually check the numbers / specs.

In the category of brightness or “temperature,” you want bulbs that fall in the 5000-6500 Kelvin range. Some bulbs with Kelvin numbers as low as 4000 or even 3500 are packaged as “daylight.” Higher is not necessarily better, and a bulb with a Kelvin number as low as 4500 might be OK, if…

The next number to check is the CRI or “color rendering index.” The higher this number is to 100, the better. Anything over 90 CRI is considered excellent, though.

(In fact, a bulb with a Kelvin temp as low as 3000 but with the CRI of 100 will be better, much better, for seeing true colors than a 6000 Kelvin bulb with the CRI of 70.)

Having said all this, it can be difficult to find bulbs that list the CRI (or even the Kelvin temperature), so some vendor that offers a larger selection is usually better for shopping. Our local best selections are the big box home improvement centers, Lowe’s or Home Despot (although I’ve found acceptable daylight bulbs for general room lighting at our local Wally World).

You can find really optimal bulbs if you shop on line, but some of the specialty bulbs sold for photography or other such uses can be a bit “spendy.” The Solux ColorView bulbs which screw into common light fixtures run about US$2.50 each. This is still cheaper than replacement OTT light bulbs (even if you buy the generic replacements like made by Phillips).

Solux ColorView Bulbs

The thing is you really only need these really good bulbs in your workbench task light lamps, so even if you have to “pay up” a couple of bucks per bulb, you don’t need to replace every bulb in your shop with the more expensive ones.


I did verify which one I got, mine is the Ottlite. However I bought mine w the yellow tag price and they wouldnt double dip on the coupon so heads up. Of course some of the checkout girls are not as attentive so I’ve gotten away with it before. If you go to HL be sure to checkout the clearence, I pick up that Tamiya Sdkfz kit they normally stock----marked down to $4.99 and that Airfix P40 for something like $3.99, and they had them on the regular shelves at normal prices. Never do understand how/why they do it but hard to argue at those prices…

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Thanks to all for your replies and insight!

What are some of the recommended lights for modeling

Some like the Ott lite. But any task light fitted with 5500K LED bulb will work. It seems I need to buy another one. The room is too dark.

I bought two Ott lites fron Hobby Lobby that were on sale. (go two weeks in a row and use the 40% cupon before the end of Feb when the cupons stop.) I bought the model that clamps to a base or can be clamped to something else. It has three brightness levels. I am happy and can recommend the ones I bought.


Thanks for the suggestion but I bought some LED shop lights and they did the trick. Hung them over my work table and is perfect. Very bright, no shadows or heat. Semper Fi

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I too have a 48 inch shop light above my bench but I found I wanted a light that was closer to daylight than the shop light. I use the Ott lites in addition to the shop light.

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