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The Ott-Lite is a must for any work with colors. No other commercially available light source comes closer to matching natural sunlight than the Ott-Lite.
The Ott-Lites we stock are not the same as the Ott-Lites you can purchase at Office Depot, Home Depot, etc. In fact, they are a different lamp and you can visually see the difference, including the light they cast, the shape of the bulb, and the color and features of the lamp itself. For color work, our lamps offer significant advantages.
Information about the differences between various Ott lamps/bulbs is scarce and confusing and we have had people question the claim that there is a difference in various modes of Ott lamps/bulbs. So, this web page goes into a lot of detail substantiating our information. Pricing for the bulbs/lamps we offer is at the bottom of the page.
The major issue is whether or not all Ott lamps really cast the same light. We had the same question ourselves...so, to make sure the information we obtained from the Ott company was accurate, we took a Task Lamp purchased from Office Depot and a True Color lamp that we stock and placed them next to each other then placed various fabrics under the light.
This is our test setup with the Task Lamp on the
left and the True Color lamp on the right. We placed a piece of foam board between
the lamps to separate the two light sources.
We then took a closeup picture of the fabric
Conclusion: There is a significant difference between the lamps/light. Frankly, the difference is quite startling...much more than we expected to see.
Recently, the Ott company started placing the words "True Color" on the lamps and the packaging of their True Color products. This makes it very easy to tell whether you are purchasing a True Color fixture/bulb. For color work, you want a True Color bulb.
In essence, Dr. Ott has developed two different "full spectrum" fluorescent bulbs which, for ease of discussion, we'll call the "Task" bulb and the "True Color" bulb.
Artificial lighting is rated using a rating system called CRI (for Color Rendition Index) where sunlight has a CRI of 100. The higher the CRI, the more the light from a bulb is like natural sunlight. Following are the CRIs for the Ott bulbs:
Normal non-Ott fluorescent bulb - 70 CRI
Task bulb- 83 CRI
True Color bulb - 93 CRI
This tells us that the light from True Color bulb, as measured under controlled laboratory conditions, is almost identical to natural sunlight.
Chain stores typically carry Ott lamps equipped
with Task bulbs. Unfortunately, the description of the light being "close to
natural sunlight", etc. on the packaging for both types of lamps/bulbs is
identical. That is, you cannot read the information on the packaging to
determine whether a lamp is a True Color lamp or a Task Lamp.
Either look for the words "True Color" or, if you are dealing with the 13 watt bulb (vs. the 18 watt bulb installed in their floor lamp, etc.), you can also tell the difference by looking at the shape of the bulb. The True Color bulb has a rounded end.
TRUE COLOR BULB WITH ROUNDED END
Task Bulbs do not have rounded ends.
(PLEASE NOTE: The 18 watt True Color bulb found in the Ott floor lamp and the Flex-Arm has square ends also.)
TASK BULBS WITHOUT ROUNDED ENDS
REPLACEMENT TRUE COLOR BULB SHOWING THE WORDS "TRUE
COLOR" ON THE PACKAGING
You can also tell the difference between a Task Lamp (sometimes called a Desk Lamp) by the color and the presence/absence of a carrying handle. A Task Lamp/Desk Lamp is black and has no carrying handle as shown below.
The True Color Lamp is gray and has a carrying handle as
shown in the picture below.
Note the True Color Lamp is a higher quality lamp overall in addition to having a True Color bulb.
True Color Lamp (including bulb) OTL 13 TCG: $80.00
Ott-Lite True Color 13 Watt Replacement Bulb: $27.00
Click Here to Order
Ott also manufactures a Floor lamp, a Flex-Arm Plus lamp
and a Flex-Arm lamp (all pictured below). The Floor lamp and the Flex-Arm
Plus lamp use an 18 watt bulb that gives approximately as much
light as a 100 watt incadescent bulb (some sources say "replaces up to 130 watt
incadescent bulb"...whatever that means!). The Flex-Arm lamp uses a
13 watt bulb. Once again, the Ott Floor Lamp
available at chain stores is usually not a True Color Floor Lamp. Rather it comes
equipped with a 83 CRI bulb just like the Task Lamp. Our Ott True Color
lamps have 18 Watt/13 Watt True Color Bulbs.
True Color Floor Lamp w/18 Watt Bulb
Four feet tall with totally flexible gooseneck. Shown with Magnifier Attachment for Ott-Lites.
Floor Lamp (including 18 watt bulb - not including
Magnifier Attachment No longer available for this model lamp
Ott-Lite True Color 18 Watt Replacement Bulb: $32.00
Flex Arm Plus Ott-Lite
The True Color Flex-Arm Plus provides more light and
flexibility. Sturdy clamp is included to easily attach to shelves, quilting frames
or tables. Also comes with a unique base for desktop use. Flexible at neck and
base for precise placement of light right where you need it. When used with clamp,
it swivels a full 360 degrees.
Flex-Arm Plus Ott-Lite (including 18 watt bulb)
OLFTX 18 TC:
Magnifier Attachment: $100.00
Ott-Lite True Color 18 Watt Replacement Bulb: $32.00
Authenticity: We obtained the above information
directly from Mr. Robert Lydic of Ott-Lite Technology / Environmental Lighting Concepts,
Inc. At the time Mr. Lydic was the National Sales Manager for Ott-Lite.
** Ott-Lite is a registered trademark
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