Stella Lightining has created a new sytle of LED lamp that allows you to select from 3 different color spectrums (Warm, Natural and Cool) and has 5 light levels within each color spectrum. Warm looks the most like an incandescent bulbs with that slightly yellow cast to the light. Cool is a white light similar to fluorescent bulbs with a slight blue cast. Natural is a mix of the two so more like sunlight. If you look closely at the LEDs in the lamp you'll see 41 of the, arranged in rows of 3. Every other row is a specific color. The odd numbered rows are Warm, the even rows Cool. When the lamp is on Natural both the Warm and Cool LEDs are lit. Stella Sky is the name of their floor lamp, which adjusts from 48" to 70" in height.
None of the lamps marketed to crafters have this ability to change both the color spectrum as well as light level. I actually don't know of any that allow you to change either, much less both. What this means is that you can get a more precise color and light level for your particular task, whether that's working at a desk, sewing at a machine, reading a book or stitching.
At the desk: My first placement for the lamp was next to my desk area in my sewing room. I do have a window next to my desk and since it faces south I get morning and early afternoon sun, which means I don't need extra lighting until about 6pm this time of year. When using it at my desk I preferred to have it on one of the lower light levels regardless of the color spectrum setting, so I got good ambient light, but it wasn't overwhelming. I found the Natural setting (a combo of Warm & Cool) the most pleasing for color with my laptop in use and I had it one one of the lower settings. When I needed to read some paperwork I just increased the intensity a bit. Sitting next to the desk I adjusted the height of the lamp so it was just a few inches above it's lowest height - a good height to illuminate my desk.
At the couch: My second placement and the one I would primarily use the lamp for, was next to my couch where I stitch, watch TV and read. Because of my particular arrangement I can't put the lamp behind my left shoulder, which is ideally where I'd want it to go. Without moving the couch I first tried using it snuggled right up against the front of my couch, so directly over my lap (aka my stitching area). I found that either the Natural or Cool worked well for sufficient color contrast and I never needed to put it at the highest intensity to see my 40 count over-one work. I normally do this type of work with my 200-250 watt incandescent bulb, which generates a lot of heat. So being able to see as well with something that not only uses less energy but produces less heat is really good. It also worked well on the lowest setting as an extra light when my regular lamp was at 50 watts. My personal "I'd rather have" for it is that I wish the lamp were shorter. My couch is lower to the ground and I'm short myself so ideally for me I'd like it to be at least 6" shorter to sit in front me over my stitching area.
Next test was to move the couch a bit so I could put the lamp to the left of me (I'm right handed). Given my particular layout this took a bit of time - but did allow me to do some much needed vacuuming in hard to reach places :-). I found that this was a much better placement for the existing height of the lamp. I still got great light coverage for my stitching and the angle worked better so the height wasn't as much of an issue.
Reading: Both at the couch and at my desk I found that reading a book was more appealing with the Warm setting, even with my Kindle or my iPad as well as an actual book. The cover over the bulbs is frosted so as long as it's not directly over a shiny screen you don't get a lot of glare unless you've got it cranked up. Magazines, which are obviously more glossy were also fine with it.
My overall impressions are very positive. The one oddball thing I found was that the remote can control the clock radio in my sewing room - at least to turn it on. Stella Lightining has had a few reports of this type of behaviour and later versions of the lamp will have remote sensors that reduce the likelyhood of that happening.Pros:
- 3 color spectrums to choose from - one is sure to meet your needs
- 5 light intensity levels
- LEDs last an amazingly long time & take very little energy. Expected life span at 100% is 50,000 hours. After that the output is dimished to about 70%. Using it 4 hours a day, 365 days a year means 35 years before you reach the 50,000 hours!
- the lamp does not get hot, even on the Natural setting with the intensity turned up
- flex arm as very flexible so you can put it in a number of useful positions
- remote makes it easy to adjust without having to touch the lamp
- frosted cover reduces glare
- height adjustability (48" to 70") good for desks and general lighting
- wonderful customer support
- height is a bit too tall for a short couch - not bad but a shorter version would be more ideal
- remote occasionally controls others RF items
- putting it together was easier once I watched the video on their website. There's one connection that seeing someone put it together just makes more sense than a drawing.
Originally I didn't think it was a lamp I'd take to class but I'm re-thinking that. It weighs about 12 pounds and since it doesn't contain any breakable bulbs, I think it could be a good option if you're driving vs. flying. Granted, it doesn't break down into piece parts like the Craftlite Dublin does, but it is definitely more powerful with more options.
My next round of testing will involve my sewing machine and my soldering iron (not together).
I have added a way to order the lamp via our online catalog and we're taking orders now to see what we need to get from our distributor. Stella Sky is $389.00 and while not an inexpensive lamp, is potentially a very good investment for your lighting needs.
If you have any questions about the lamp contact me at the shop and I'll try to help.
Review by Cathe Ray