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Review of Battery Operated Lights

by Clara Josephs (posted by Deb Shaw)

All BAGSC members attending the ASBA Conference and Workshops in Boston in October should have received notification that power cords are not available for workshops and classes, and attendees need to bring battery operated lights if instructor’s have specified a lamp on the materials list.

Since outlets can be hard to come by in many classrooms, and traveling with lamps add to luggage woes, we decided to post a quick review of some battery-powered options.

The ASBA recommended the following:

  1. Best Color Rendering:  OttLite 290G59 LED Task Light, sold online by many retailers including, J & R Electronics, Sears and Ottlite.  It’s also available in Michael’s Craft stores.

  2. Lightest and Most Flexible:  JOBY Gorilla Torch Flare, sold online by many retailers including, J & R Electronics, and

I read the specs and reviews of the Ottlite battery-operated light and decided that was definitely not for me:  It weights 5 pounds (I was thinking of getting two lamps for the illumination I typically need), cost $99 each, and the battery lasts about three hours before it needs recharging. So, where would I recharge it in the middle of a class, and how long does that take??  I need light for four full days of classes. I looked at the Daylite version of the Ottlite battery light at Art Supply warehouse. It is HEAVY and bulky. So, I ordered the JOBY Gorilla Torch Flare.

After I received the first from Amazon, I purchased a second one. It’s lightweight, small, with a strong light that’s easy to position, and has DISPOSABLE batteries. (I definitely don’t want to run to my room at lunch to try to recharge my light for the afternoon.) So far, I am pleased with the JOBY torch light. It isn’t perfect, but the light is crisp and shows details. I am not as sensitive to color correction issues as I should be, but I would guess the color is not as true as on Ott. I will carry a ton of AA batteries (the ASBA should make sure there is someone in the lobby selling batteries at all times!!!!).  Joanne’s Fabrics had a 50 percent off sale on all Ott lamps, but I don’t know if they carry the battery light. I also tried ordering a flip light from Lamps Plus and it was useless – a glorified book light. I was going to go check REI for a larger dimension spot light, but I haven’t had time. I think I will just go with these two JOBY’s.

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