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Thread: Questions for the Light Experts

  1. #1
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    Questions for the Light Experts

    When scrolling I use a magnifying light to look through as I scroll. I have been having some serious headache and visual problems, that I think may be caused by the strain on my eyes doing this. The magnifying lamp I use has a florescent bulb. I have read in the past that florescent lighting flickers all the time, even though the naked eye does not see it. According to what I have read, this can bother some people and cause headaches, irritation and whatever. I do not know if this is true or not.

    Anyway, I am getting to where I want to try some things that may help. I see there are magnifying lamps that can be bought with different types of lighting.

    Florescent - what I have

    LED - I know nothing about, but it looks like there are no replacement bulbs for the lamps that use it. I don't know if this is a problem. Do they last a long long time? Do they "flicker"? ??

    Halogen - what I know if it is the halogen lights I have get very hot. Bulbs are expensive and fragile.

    Anyway I am curious if anyone can give me info on what might be best for the eyes. Anyone use magnifying lamp a lot and had experience with one with LED or Halogen lights?

    I realize this may not be the problem. I have astigmatism and staring through a magnifier could contribute to my current problems. I have a hard time staring through binoculars, telescopes. But that usually does not cause headaches, just a pain over my eyes while I am looking.
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  2. #2
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    I wonder if a decent quality headset magnifier would work better? I've used both the flourescent lamp magnifier and headset when doing electronics work on small circuit boards. I find I like the headset a bit better.

    It moves with you're head and is more flexible. I went for a Donegan headset with a full set of lenses. It works well for me.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  3. #3
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    +1 on the head mounted magnifier.
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  4. #4
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    Don't know about lights specifically made for magnifiers, but the GE Reveal incandescent bulbs are my favorite for lighting up a workpiece on the lathe. I suspect a Reveal bulb or two and a headset magnifier would be a great combination.
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    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    This is the set I got. I did not pay that amount for it, I had gotten very lucky and got mine as a warehouse deal for less than 100$. I really like having the different lenses with different power and focal lengths.

    It's a very different quality than the ones I've gotten from harbor freight and the like in the past.

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    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  6. #6
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    Hi, this is a bit wordy but it will help educate you to make a better magnifying choice.

    As an optometrist I had access to all sorts of magnifiers. Among the units I tried were several magnifiers on stands. Some of these had lights, some were on arms that let you move them almost any place and some cost a heck of a lot more than others.

    They all seemed great when buying them. However, I found that I just plain did not use them.

    I did use the headbands that had magnifying lenses. I have used units that were around $250 in today’s money. I have used units that Harbor Freight gave away if you came to the store. I will probably surprise you here; units from all prices worked well in certain conditions.

    Example: One of my dad’s hobbies was cutting and faceting gem stones, including diamonds. He won awards for some of his diamonds in competition. He did not use a cheap loupe. He also did not use a real expensive loupe.

    The cheaper units did not let him see well enough to facet the stones well enough to win the big prizes in competitions. The expensive units were overkill. As things become more expensive (be it a sound system, a car or an etc.) you reach a point where it takes a lot of money to make a very small increment of improvement. This holds true with magnifying devices also. Real expensive is probably paying for a name---You know how that is.

    Example: On the other end of the stick, I use my $5.00 Harbor Freight loupes frequently. They give me all of the boost I need to see that detail on the joint or the turning. I mean checking the facets, where the facets meet, surface condition, etc. on a diamond is a much meaner task than checking the pupil of the eye of a carved bird, a chisel edge, or a saw blade tooth.

    What do I do when I really want to see a detail in something made of wood. I use a loupe that cost about $30.00. It gives more clarity than I need for the project. If I want to check the quality of a chisel edge when I did a regrind, a $15 to $30 loupe is going to give me all of the vision I need. If I want to check the edge of a chisel I sharpened a while ago, the $5.00 Harbor Freight loupe will do the job. It will tell me if the edge is rolled, nicked or anything else just as well as a more expensive unit.

    Comfort and flexibility usually come with a small extra cost. My Bausch & Lomb unit has three sets of lenses that snap in or out of the headband. This gives me three different focal lengths. Now that I said that I will add that I rarely change the lenses. The 7X is the easiest to use and the magnification is quite adequate. The padded headband is nicer for the long haul.

    If your eyes do not coordinate with each other easily, you will probably get some stress from any loupe, regardless of price. You will probably get some stress from a hand magnifier also. There are some simple exercises that will improve eye coordination for almost anybody. Don't hesitate to ask if I can help you.

    If you are not going to use a headband loupe (or the loupes that you put on like a pair of glasses) and use a hand magnifier you should see clearer with an aspheric lens. It will cost more however. The cheap hand magnifiers usually have optics that are poor enough to be noticeable.

    I will also say that a hand magnifier that is stylish or cutsie is pretty apt to have poor optics, even if it is an expensive magnifier. I would avoid magnifiers from department stores, discount houses, etc. I would look at stores that sell magnifiers to craft people, rock people, jewelry making people, photographers, etc. You can probably find a good lens at many places however, in general, your odds are better in the places I mentioned. The photographers, minerologists, jewelry makers, stamp collectors, etc. are people where detailed close work is involved and the quality of that vision is important. People do not normally look at wood articles with a magnifier.

    To slightly paraphrase my brother-in-law, “This is one darn fool’s opinion.”

    Enjoy,
    JimB


    PM me if you wish. Jim C Bradley
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 04-01-2015 at 04:27 AM. Reason: One sentence didn't say what I meant. So what else is new?
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  7. #7
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    Eye headaches

    This is only going to catch a couple of the headaches caused by eyes...heck there are books on the subject.

    A headache above your eyes is called a "frontal headache." Frontal HA are the most common symptom for under corrected hyperopia (farsightedness). Presbyopia is the condition that causes people over the age of 45 to hold the book further away. Presbyopia is an age of the eyeballs problem; if you live long enough you are going to get it 100% of the time. If it is not corrected properly, you are very apt to have a frontal HA because of it. Lay people frequently confuse presbyopia and hyperopia.

    As far as farsighted self analysis is concerned, you just cannot be sure: People who have a lot of farsightedness cannot see well at any distance. Moderately farsighted people see in the distance very well but cannot see up close, like reading. Those lucky people who have a slight amount of farsightedness can see at all distances. These three samples assume that there is nothing else wrong with the person's vision.

    Every curved surface that is organic or machined and is spherical has astigmatism. The rounded end of a broomstick has astigmatism, a hundred million dollar telescope has astigmatism, any organism that has eyes has astigmatism. I cannot remember the statistics, however I do remember that only a very low percentage of eyeglasses wearers are wearing glasses because they have astigmatism. However, a very large percentage of glasses wearers have astigmatism correction in their glasses. They got the glasses for some other reason. Since the person has to wear glasses for some other reason the astigmatism correction is just added to the problem correction; it does not cost the patient any more.

    The subject is so complex that I will stop here; if you have questions PM me.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the responses gentlemen. Jim, really appreciate the detailed explanations. Mind if I ask you another question? Have you knowledge of what is called "Painless Migraines"?

    Two reasons I have been skeptical of the visor type magnifiers are, 1) I do not know how far away you can be and still focus with them. 2) I have trouble looking through binoculars, I wonder if the visor would give me the same problems.

    Of coarse with them, I still need to answer my concern on the type of light to use. I guess only experimenting with different thing will answer it for me.
    "We the People ......"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglass View Post
    Two reasons I have been skeptical of the visor type magnifiers are, 1) I do not know how far away you can be and still focus with them.
    Not trying to push these on you, just offering information.

    With the set I got, it varies by the lens. The higher power the lens, the closer you have to get.

    I've got lens plate #2 in my visor right now that Is pretty good for doing my electronics work.


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  10. #10
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    Good info, thanks. Looks like a 3 and/or 4 would work.
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