Let There be Light

One of the joys of “maturing” is that my eyes do not like to look at lots of crochet stitches without good light. They will punish me by creating whirling vortexes of pain in my head if I persist.

So every time I have seen a good sale on OttLites my little ears perk up. I do not work for the OttLite company in any way shape or form. I simply adore their lights, because they really do live up to their claims to reduce eye-strain.

Currently I own 5 different desk-style OttLites. I also purchased a portable OttLite that has a large rechargeable battery.  It reminds me a bit of those first mobile phones. The ones called “The Brick”.

It weighs about  3 1/4 pounds with an adaptor that allows it to be plugged into an electrical outlet that weighs an additional 1/4 pound. I purchased it because I wanted a good OttLite to use at classes at conferences.

Lighting in convention center rooms is typically not great for working on needlearts, and I usually find myself dealing with the aforementioned whirling vortexes of pain. Electrical outlets in these same rooms are also a bit hard to come by, so something that doesn’t have to be plugged in is quite handy. I purchased my “portable” OttLite in preparation for the Buffalo Chain Link conference in August, 2009. Thus began a bit of an educational adventure.

First of all, I think that the solid brickish nature of it alarmed TSA. It was in my checked baggage and when I opened my bags at the hotel I discovered a nice note from TSA telling me my bag had been searched.

Being that the light is actually pretty hefty I decided to use my small rolling carry-on bag to schlep the light and my other class materials about with me.  It was handy to have the light, but hauling it and the bigger bag around got old quickly.  By the end of the conference I was leaving the light in my hotel room to use while stitching there in the evenings.

I still use it a lot at home, it’s especially great to grab when I want some extra lighting for shooting photos. But it hasn’t gone to anymore conferences. Too much additional weight in my luggage and to lug about at the conference.

So I was very excited this past Thursday when I was doing some retail therapy at Michaels and I saw a small LED Flip Light by OttLite. I was even more excited to see that it was regularly $20 and on sale for $10. I quickly grabbed one of the lights to purchase, the light had a white housing and was just a bit bigger than a pager.

Unfortunately, I had not checked the package very well. After taking the package out to open it at home, I discovered someone had already opened it.  The compartment for the batteries was broken. It was a very sad moment.  Fortunately, my family and I were planning a trip to Denver the next day. So I put the light and the receipt in my bag to take with me.

That morning we stopped at the same store on our way to Denver and I exchanged the broken light for a new one. The clerk at the shop was very nice and I looked over the packaging to be certain it hadn’t been opened.  I set it aside and had a fun outing at the Aquarium with my family.

Once I was home again I quickly grabbed a couple of batteries and opened the package. I was talking on the phone at the time with my friend Stacy and she got to witness first hand my displeasure on discovering that the clip on the back of this light was broken.  The packaging had disguised that fact earlier.

The following day I was headed to Denver for my monthly stitching group meet-up.  Which was the reason for Stacy and I’s phone call…we were planning out our day and when to get together.  Of course, discovering I would have to exchange the light again put a wee dent in our plans. I would need to stop at Michaels on my way to Denver once more.

Then Stacy came up with the brilliant idea of me taking the light to a Michaels near where we would be having dinner in Denver.  That way she could purchase one of the little lights too and we would have more time to visit.  I decided to bring batteries, a small screwdriver and my utility knife with me so I could open the package and check that the light worked at the store. I really did not fancy another trip up the mountain and back down to get a working light.

Saturday afternoon I headed down the mountain and picked up Stacy.  We arrived at the Michaels store, which was one of the largest I’ve ever been in.  We began wandering around the store looking for the OttLites, but couldn’t find them.  Finally I accosted a Michael’s employee, who turned out to be the store manager. He quickly took us back to where the OttLites were displayed.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have the little flip light.

I had told the kind manager the tragic story of the 2 broken lights and he said he would check with some other Michaels stores to see who had them. In the process he discovered that they were supposed to have the lights in stock at his store. So he had us make ourselves comfortable in the store class room and he went on a hunt for them.

A little while later he returned with this package. I was excited because the light was PINK!  And not just pink but “in-your-face” Fuchsia Pink, one of my favorite shades.  Note: this photo was taken today after I had already customized my light with my 2hands logo. 

Fortunately they also had the light in white or black so Stacy wasn’t stuck with a wild pink light. She does not share my enthusiasm for pink. Though it’s a good thing there wasn’t a purple one as we might have had a battle over it.

A Wonderful Palm Sized Light

We opened the packages and put in the batteries I had brought to test that our lights worked. Then we did a bit of shopping in the store, made our purchases and headed off to have some dinner.  After dinner we went to PJ Jam where we both showed off our nifty new lights.

I am thrilled with my little light. It is very light weight in my project bag and the light output is marvelous.  The clip on the back will allow me to attach it to my clothing or on my notebook to use it easily at conferences.  It is also going to be very handy when I am doing color matching for fabrics and yarns when I go shopping.

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