My mom has been talking about Ott Lites for a while now. All I knew, until very recently, was that they were supposed to be great for seeing true color… generally marketed to quilters trying to match colors. But they are soooo expensive! The lamps sell anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the model. The bulbs, specific to that brand, were also very expensive. I had never seriously considered buying one for myself.
But I just happened to be at the fabric store when they just happened to be having a major sale (surprised?), and all the Ott Lite merchandise was 50% off. When I walked by, I noticed the bulbs. They actually had ones that worked in a standard socket. I could get a 100W incandescent replacement CFL for $7.50. That’s still expensive in my book, but for my basement work room, I wanted to try it out and see if it was worth the hype. I bought 3, just in case, and planned to return them if I wasn’t $7.50 thrilled with them.
When I got home, I removed the CFL that was in my cutting table pendent lamp and put in the Ott Lite. I flipped the switch and it was a glorious moment where a skylight opened into my basement and poured forth heaven’s rays on my work surface (cue the angel choirs).
OK… it wasn’t quite The Rapture I make it out to be, but it was still pretty flippin’ AMAZING. It really did feel like natural light. My doctor had suggested a sunlamp to aid with seasonal depression and vitamin D deficiency in our cold wintry northern clime, and I think these will help make me happier chugging away at projects in my subterranean studio this winter, if only because it reduces the feeling that I’m in a basement. Ott Lite doesn't make any claims to better health other than that their light reduces eye strain, so I’m guessing that studies haven’t proven any anti-depressant qualities. But I’ll keep you posted about that. In addition to better light, these bulbs have the same benefits of ordinary CFLs… much cheaper, less energy waste as heat, longer life span. Ott Lites also have a 1 year manufacturers warranty against defects. I am so satisfied with my new light source that I can honestly say it was worth every penny, and would have been at full price too. But I might go back and snatch up a few more while they’re still half off :)
*Update: I haven’t even posted this yet, but it was waiting for publication when I heard this from OttLite after a Facebook discussion where a friend mentioned that she was hoping OttLite bulbs would help with seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.): “...Believe it or not, Dr. Ott worked with Johns Hopkins using our lighting for S.A.D. patient treatment so although we can't legally make medical claims, I think OttLite might really help you…” Cool! Not a claim, but it might. Which is better than not, eh?*