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Best Lamps & Magnifiers for Hand Sewing Quilts

Many quilters have the most free time in the evenings, but this is the time of day with the least amount of natural light available. Quilting in a dim, poorly lit, or artificially lit room can make it difficult to match fabrics, cut with precision, or do delicate hand stitching. Thankfully, many lamps and other lighting products provide a natural-like light that enables you to quilt at any time of day without straining your eyes. Here are a few products that are popular among quilters.


OttLite provides a range of lamps and products made especially for crafting. Their products’ light mimics natural daylight, which provides the perfect environment for matching colors or doing complicated piecework. Some even come with built-in craft organizers, magnifying glasses, and clips. Prices range from $30 for a simple craft lamp to $250+ for a floor model with all the frills. OttLite products can be found at craft stores such as Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michaels, as well as Amazon and the OttLite website.

Stella Lighting

Stella is a specialty lighting company that makes sleek LED lamps that feature three “color temperature” modes. Warm white is similar to incandescent bulbs and most indoor lighting. Natural white matches sunlight and is best for doing detailed work and matching colors, while cool light matches moonlight and is comfortable for working at night. The lamps also have a dimming feature. They come in desk lamp, floor lamp, and clamp lamp models. The lamps are pricey – ranging from $149 to $389, but they come with glowing reviews from quilters, as well as a money-back guarantee and two-year warranty.

Verilux Bulbs

Verilux is known for manufacturing light therapy bulbs and lamps that are used in treating “winter blues” and seasonal affective disorder. Because all their products emulate spectrums of natural daylight, their lamps also make great craft lights. They even carry products designed for those with low vision. Desk lamps start as low as $25 on the Verilux website, and floor models start around $125.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are worn around the neck. They generally feature some type of strap and a small light that illuminates the work in your lap. They are perfect for times when you need a bit of extra light focused in one area, or when you don’t want to disturb those around you. They provide close light and are hands-free so that you can concentrate on quilting. Popular pendant lights include the $20 Beam N Read and $13 Hug Light.

Of course, a good craft lamp does not have to be a specific name brand. OttLite products are trusted by crafters and thus carried in many craft and fabric shops. However, other products, including those named above, may work just as well. If you want to explore products beyond those on this list, try searching craft lamps or natural spectrum lighting on a site such as Amazon. Look for products with good reviews and a satisfactory return policy.

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