Brightech LightView XL 2in1 magnifying lamp
Like many of Antique Trader's readers, I'm getting on in years. I'll let you in on a secret: I'm "only" 51 and my eyes are aging faster than most. I've already been dealing with a serious eye condition for ten years. I see an ophthalmologist for regular treatment to keep blindness at bay.
Then, late last year I was dealt another blow - cataracts. (No wonder it always felt like my eyeglasses were dirty!) My optometrist referred me to yet another ophthalmologist - one who specializes in lens replacements. He said, "You're too young for cataracts." I agreed, but what can you do? I had the lenses replaced in both of my eyes. My vision is much better now, but it's still not the best.
That's where my interest in the magnifying lamps from Brightech come in. I saw them online at the Brightech website and was intrigued. Knowing how many times I pick up a magnifying glass to inspect jewelry and other makers' marks, postmarks, postcard and printer's marks, I thought this could be really handy. Sometimes I even need help reading subscribers' letters. (Yes, some people still write letters longhand. And their writing isn't always the clearest, so bigger is better.) I thought, "If this works like I hope, this will be great!"
I contacted a representative at the company and asked for one for a product review, saying, "I've been considering your magnifying lamps and how they might be of use to members of the antiques & collectibles communities." The company was gracious enough to provide me with a Brightech LightView XL 2in1 for review.
When I received the shipment, I had my doubts. The box, which was really quite heavy, looked like it had taken some abuse during shipping. I was concerned that it had broke on its way to me. I opened the box to find the lamp none the worse from the bumpy trip. It was in a few pieces, ready to assemble. Assembly was very easy.
The base is heavy for stability. The rod, which converts the lamp to a floor model, and the extension arm slip together easily. They are fastened securely by finger tightening a screw. The clean, sleek design fits nicely in a modern office.
At first I thought plugging in the power cord to the extension arm (rather than the base) was a bit awkward, but quickly realized it was an excellent way to be able to convert the lamp from a desk-top model to a floor model. All you have to do is loosen two screws, put in the extension rod, and tighten the screws again.
But that's not the most impressive detail about the lamp by a long shot. It also has a hinged cover to keep the magnifying glass clean of dust. And the magnifying glass is actually glass; diopter glass to be precise. Not plastic. It works well with or without the light on.
I am impressed that the light head stays in position. I think every extension lamp I've ever used has frustrated me because it would never stay in place; I would have to prop it up in one way or another. This model has a wire stabilizing "foot" so I can extend the lamp-head/magnifier far in front of the base without worrying that the lamp will tip over. Stretch it forward and it stays put. Up, down, over, angle it sideways - it stays in position. Impressive.
These are all excellent selling points for me. But, I have to say the best feature for me is the ability to adjust the light intensity. Some projects (and some days) require more light than others. All you have to do is turn the light on and touch the up or down arrow on the top of the light-head to create the desired lighting level.
The LightView XL 2in1 magnifying lamp would be an asset to any professional or hobbyist whose work involves intricate details. It is perfect for stamp and coin collectors, comic book collectors, sports card collectors, and others who don't quite feel the need to pull out a loupe.
In addition to collectors (and dealers, of course), artists who work in fine detail, carvers, sewers and crafters will all find this lamp very useful.
When considering all the previous product reviews for Antique Trader's "Things We Love" feature, the LightView XL 2in1 ranks at the top.