From Eric Godfrey
Posted November 26, 2008 at 08:23 PM
Christmas is coming, and I'm getting older: I'd swear the music gets dimmer every day -- A's merge into B's, sharps dissolve into flats, and I can't read my own fingering. Time to either start wearing glasses when I play violin, or finally get a good music stand light (dropping holiday hints to the right people). I need a living-room chamber music variety of light; I rarely if ever play on a stage. Something that plugs in is better than battery-powered. So let's hear from v.com members: what models would you recommend? Which would you avoid? Thanks!
Assuming you can plug it in, I use the Universal Klip Lite made by Weise Mfg. (Shar has it: http://www.sharmusic.com/search.asp?skw=accstandlights§ionID=5) with a 60-watt compact fluorescent bulb. If you need something that operates on batteries, good luck. I have yet to find anything affordable that makes a real difference.
I posted this the day before (US) Thanksgiving. As there has been only one response I guess the timing was bad, and this query got lost in the holiday shuffle. Certainly many v.com members must have had varied experiences with stand lights, so I will give it one more try with this message to bump the thread up the list into view. I really do want to buy a suitable stand light, and I should think others on the site would be interested.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I have a small, affordable, battery-powered light from Mighty Brite. The single one, which is unfortunately the one I have, is really not bright enough (although it is convenient and fits in a violin case). The first stand of cellos in my orchestra have the "duet" that is also on that page and it is better because you can position a light over each page of music. ($24.99)
I personally don't like the plug in ones in situations where you have to set up and take down the chairs and stands, it's hard to find an outlet and people (well me, anyway) are always tripping over the cords.
We bought a caseful of little clip-on booklights to help kids see sheetmusic on a stage w/dark areas, glare and lighting difficult to adjust. I can't recommend that sort of thing for you situation, except that they are inexpensive & packable. // I'd point you towards as wide a bulb design as you can find, since this sheds relatively even and wide lighting onto a whole page, unlike the little clip-ons for books or from music-item catalogs. I suspect these are typically plug-in. They used to be brass, which is $$, of course, but maybe someone is making black sheet metal or heat-resistant plastic at this point. Try Musicians' Friend catalog. They have more funky stuff than the major string-accessory catalogs. Or look for the sort of light you sometimes see in homes or businesses lighting up paintings. Sue
Eric - looking at the further responses, I think you are right to want a plug-in light, particularly if this is for use with a stand that you do not transport but leave at home or wherever you normally play. I stand by my recommendation concerning plug-in lights.
As far as plug in lights, you really only have a choice of about 2. The Manhasset or the Universal. The Universal has 2 pluses going for it--it extends higher over the top of the stand, so that you can handle oversized music more easily on the desk, and it will also clip to a variety of stand desk thicknesses. With a Manhasset, you will have a problem turning oversized pages, because it only sits an inch or two above the top of the stand (so forget turning those oversized French parts). Also, the Manhasset will not clip to the top of any desk that has a lip on it (ie plastic Wenger)--the 2 clips only open about 3/8". Now if you want an integrated light/stand combo, there is always the RAT, but last I knew, they run $450+. Nice quartz lights though...
If it is just for personal use at home - I'd suggest going to your local mall and taking a stroll round the various lighting departments. I recently picked up a really cheap and cheerful adjustable floor lamp, which has one up-lighter and then on the stem an adjustable "reading light" branching off which I can adjust the angle of to suit whether I'm wanting light to fall on my music stand or the sofa where I read. So much less hassle than having to clip something to a music stand and much less danger of tripping over wires.
I am curious to see what everyone else is using. I used to use the Klip Light, and my first metal one lasted for over a decade. The eventual replacement was made of plastic, and was about as useful and long-lasting as a sandwich bag. What a waste. I didn't have one that lasted a year. Bleh.
After giving up on the Klip Light, I tried the Mighty Bright telescoping model, with the extra adaptor. It is light, portable, works with batteries, and bit the dust this summer. The 100,000 hour bulb must be taking an extended rest. And when it worked, the light wasn't all that great. Not worth the $$$. Another waste.
I am really tired of buying stand lights that don't last. Short of getting a 15 inch Klieg, are there any decent options out there? I really don't mind dropping the rubles, as long as the product is quality! (End of rant, thanks for listening).
Johnson has a brand called "Lotus". Has anyone tried this one?
Rosalind's suggestion is an interesting one. I think that in terms of cost, the Universal is a lot cheaper than any floor lamp. But, if you practice in a place where you would have a floor lamp anyway, that would work.
I have a clip on piano light. It is the cat's meow. It is wide, bright, and plugs in with an off/on switch on the cord. I ordered it through a lighting store. It was around $90 but well worth the money invested. I'll try to find it again online and link it here.
Okay, here it is. This site has a list price of $101.00. I called local stores with the model number and found one who would order it for me. Highly recommend this lamp. It stays in place, has not come loose, the gooseneck is adjustable but is not 'floppy' so it stays where you put it. Uses light bulbs you can buy in most stores (that feature was important to me)
Tess - it looks great and may give more light than mine, but the Universal clip-on I have, which can take a 60-watt fluorescent, is about $22.
When it is just me, I use either a Manhasset light, or move a floor lamp closer. For quartet nights, I got some sort of a battery operated LED clip-on. It wasn't quite bright enough to cover two pages, but they are cheap, so I'm buying a second set - one light for each page. "The guys" love them. In ensemble, it is easier to have battery operated than cords lying around to trip on.
I have a bunch of them and I don't really like any of them. The newer LED lights seem to be best for battery driven ones.
Don't just choose based on brightness because I have a couple that are bright enough but weirdly colored and make reading music really uncomfortable.
I wish I could find a nice bright really white LED light.
Try one of the book lights you can find at book stores. They tend to be more of a white light vs the blueish colored light some LEDs create. A book store will usually allow you to open the package and test the light before you buy it.
I do believe there is a special through ASTA for $10...a book light will need to be moved too often. Get a light specific for the music stand. The bulb can always be changed for type, quality, hue, and brightness ...check ebay too...they have everything
I have the Klip Lite that Tom has but as I recall the shade is black plastic inside and out. I lined the inside with tin foil and it made a huge difference in the light distribution. With the foil the 60 watt flourescent was almost too bright.
Wiese now makes an insert for the old Universal Klip-lite. It is an 8 LED unit, and can run off AA batteries, OR with an ac adapter. Just got mine the other day, and it lights up the sides AND the bottom of the page.
I purchased an adjustable boom arm halogen floor lamp (60 watt ) that I simply aim at the music stand when practicing and point down over the sofa when not. Works great, really bright - just what I was looking for.
Gee Roland, I can't wait to use that light at the next wedding gig...does it come in black???
(Insert smiley face here).
I have used the Mighty Bright Duet 2 Ultraflex at gigs, and I didn't like it so much. The light was not very strong, and it does not clip sturdily to fold-up stands.
Has anyone tried the Lotus? It looks good on paper, but at over $100, I don't feel like making yet another expensive experiment...
I too have looked long and hard for the perfect music stand light. Although I have the concept of such a stand in my mind, the closest thing I have found to perfect is this one:
The price is right and shipping is only $3 anywhere in the world. I was lucky to find that I had an old DC power wall adaptor that works well with this. So, I have a nice light on my stand for practicing at home and a wonderful light for those poorly-lit places we so often find ourselves. I use rechargeable batteries (NiMH) and they last a long time between charges.
I like the flexibility of the arm which allows very good light across two orchestral pages. I clamp it on with the battery compartment at the back of the stand so that there is nothing in the way of the music. I also like that you can have different number of LEDs on depending on the situation.
I have no connection with this company in any way--just a very satisfied customer.
Personally, Id stay away from the Mighty Brite....its mighty dim. It does have a plug in option but you buy it seperate.
My wife bought one of those multi colored shade lamps that are on a bendable conduit. Once she tired of it, I wisked it off to my music room and use it as a music light. :)
I use the Mighty Bright Duet2, which comes with an AC adapter and a battery compartment (It takes 3 AAA batteries). I plug it in at home, and use NiMH rechargeable batteries when I take it to my lessons. It's compact, easy to carry and clip on the music stand, cute (according to my teacher), inexpensive (paid $25 for it), and appears quite well made, but I feel that it's still not bright enough for my aging eyes (My eyes are not that great to start with). Has anyone tried Mighty Bright's Orchestra Light (retail price:~$70) or other music stand lights that are brighter than Duet2 but not too expensive? Thanks!
The new, Super "Giglight" is bright enough for anything - and it definitely lights 2 large pages.
I carry one tucked in the C bout of my cello case at all times and I can fit another in an oblong violin case when I'm going to play in a new (unkown) venue.
If you want the option of portability : http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000NTMG28/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0015FHUOI&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=12JP3Z3P85R2YZHXDEFB
the Mighty Bright Duet2 is the one for me.
-it has 2 flexible heads, each with 2 LED bulbs.
-there's a switch on each head that allows you to use 1 or 2 of the bulbs.
-it's light enough that it can be used on wire stands
-it includes an AC adapter for when you have access to an outlet & can save your batteries
-it looks like a pair of bug antennae
When I was playing full-time, in the local opera house we had special stands with two 40w bulbs in a holder that swung out over the music. I arranged to buy one from them, and it's the best investment I ever made. Since then I've played in so many "pit" orchetras that aren't in a proper pit - and offer many sorts of clip-on lights which are universally awful. I just bring my stand along and there's always a power point available somewhere within range. In fact, I've possibly even got bookings because people knew I'd be able to see the music!
Even has a ledge below for a pencil and rubber.
I bought the duet 2 a couple months ago. I found them to be niether mighty nor bright; their output is about a step above bupkis and the wiring inside is cheap and came loose just from turning it on and off. Had better results just swivelling my desk lamp around since portability is not a selling point at present.
I have the Mighty Bright Duet 2 for personal use, and have about 20+ at my school for use in our musical productions.
I've not had any issues with them...they are quite bright, and the flexible arms are wonderful, and you have a choice of using batteries (to not have any wires around) or using the included AC adapter (which is small and easy to fit on those surge protector blocks). We went through at least ten different brands of lights, and my students and I preferred these to all the others.
We also have another 15 or so Might Bright Duet (the original ones) that have lasted several years (and quite a few school productions) with no issues.
has anyone tried the Lotus Light with 34 LED?
I like the K&M 12286 Battery Light with adapter and case:
The attachment mechanism uses a padded screw so the light doesn't move around on the stand. Also, the part that goes between the stand and your music is thin.
These lights are very sturdy. Everyone in our ensemble has used them for years without any problems.
I either plug it in or use rechargeable batteries. It works with 3, 6, or 9 AA batteries.
These batteries are great and available on Amazon:
Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries
This charger is great and available on Amazon:
La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
I also keep two small lights in my case for emergencies, either Mighty Bright Triple LED, or Mighty Bright Duet2 LED.
I happen to be a light nut of sorts, though not of the musical instrument type.
If you want a battery operated light (which you don't), Zebralight's wide angle LED lights are amazing. Flashlight enthusiasts rave about it - and these are guys who pay upwards of $300 and more for flashlights. http://www.zebralight.com/Headlamp_c_7.html Get the non-reflectored type such as model 501. I don't think anything beats it for a wide angle even illumination.
HOWEVER, since you are at home, I strongly discourage you get a LED light as they have low CRI. (Meaning they do not have full spectrum color and fatigues the eyes.)
Since you are at home in a permanent environment, I encourage you to get any type of halogen fixture that can use the SOLUX branded halogen bulbs. These are the world's highest CRI light and are used by some of the top museums. Colors pop. Depth perception is wonderful. Everything just looks lively and less fatigue on the eyes. These are what we have in our study and it really is wonderful for your application.
check this : http://staging.naotek.com/uk/eclairage/orchestra/orchestra.php
This light is absolutely awesome
New World Symphony, Oslo Opera House or Frankfurt Opera House are already using it!
How about this :)
When I'm practicing I wear one of these...
not only do your ears get protected from poor intonation but the visor provides excellent insurance against snapped strings/tail gut and bowing injuries to the face and eyes.
I use the Lotus Light 34 LED stand light and love it. The light is more white than the Mighty Bright LEDs and brighter. The lithium battery last 6 hours on low and 3 on high. It does not dim until the very end of the charge. It will light 3-4 pages of music very well while using the lower setting. It is well worth the price.
Julian, Ha! That's great!
Two of the LEDs on my Mighty Bright Duet2 bit the dust after 9 months. I wanted to see if I could fix it myself, but was appalled to see how the wiring was done and didn't bother... I contacted the company and received a replacement in two days. Then I bought Mighty Bright's Orchestra Light ($35) last December - I like this light much better - it's brighter and illuminates two pages evenly, whereas Duet2 shines 2 bright spots but does not have enough light for the rest of the pages. However, after two months, the AC adapter failed to plug in. Mighty Bright sent me an AC adapter first, when that didn't fix it, they sent a replacement light, and it has been working nicely since. So, I'm not really sure whether I should recommend this light or not - the light has many good features, but it seems that the quality of this company's products leaves something to be desired, based on my limited experience. The saving grace is that they stand behind their products and their customer support is good.
You should try the Lumian Design Mini LED light. It has no clip, but it's so bright that I'm sure you'll find a way to make use of it. Hopefully I could get one soon. Plus it's eco-friendly!
> Plus it's eco-friendly!
It's not eco-friendly as far as being biodegradable or something, but it lasts longer than most portable LED lights.
The Belmonte Universal is fantastic. I've had great experience using a 15 watt standard bulb CFL. It's as bright as an LED, and it produces a white light!!! But don't drop it.... Anyway, it really lights up the pages on my music stand. I like the sturdiness of the stand lamp. On Amazon there are a few reviews that it seems that the screws can seem loose and slowly move downward (depending on how well it was built of course). From my perspective, I think the problem can be fixed with a few rubberbands... (I'll figure that out if my lamp has the same issue).
I realize this is an old thread, but I recently purchased a "Mighty Bright". Battery or plug-in. Attaches well to stand. Decent light (not too bright either). No complaints! :D
I've been using an Aria Diva (www.arialights.com) on my music stand for the last two years and haven't found anything brighter. It gives me strong light even at the bottom of the page, which always seems to be the hardest to see.
I have a violin teacher friend in Portland who uses their rechargable version (Brio, I think). It's pricey, but she has the same passion for it I do. She told me she leaves it plugged in in the studio to charge and then unplugs it for gigs so it's alwyas charged. Being cordless would be nice. That may be my next purchase.
Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles is in New York to cover the biennial event at The Juilliard School, including classes by Brian Lewis and Sarah Chang.
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