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daylight bulbs/fading

katina | Posted in General Sewing Info on

It’s possible you all know about this, but just in case….

I asked at my local hardware store what would be a good light bulb to use in my workroom, to supplement my area-specific lamps. Today I noticed that exposed fabrics and projects have faded. There’s no exposure to sun, so I can only conclude that the high temperature light bulb, which I was advised to use as it simulates natural light, is the cause. Such fading had never occurred unti I installed the bulb only a few months ago.



  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Katina, did you buy a grow light or a natural day light bulb? There is a huge difference. Grow lights do not have filtered light, and can cause fading, while the natural light bulbs are not supposed to. Although they both produce natural light, the grow light bulbs also produce the light that plants need to grow. The daylight bulbs do not, and they are not interchangeable. Visually, they both give you good light to work by. All light sources can and will eventually cause fading, even diffuse or indirect sources. Just adding overhead lighting to a room, or adding brighter sources of light is often enough. This is why the lighting in many fabric stores is so dim. Cathy

    1. katina | | #2

      Hi Cathy

      Something grew for sure - my rear end! Seriously, that's a good point and I'll check what they sold me. The fading had not occurred prior to this though.

      Greetings - Katina

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #3

        I had experienced this when I used a grow light in one of my lamps. I was unable to get the natural light bulbs easily at that time. Now that the daylight bulbs are easily found, I have not experienced the same fading. So I looked it up. Amazing what you learn when you talk to the people in lighting places too. Amazing the amount of trivial stuff stored in my head...too bad I can't find the important papers I put away for safekeeping.... :( Cathy

        1. katina | | #4

          I've replaced it with the energy saving kind - light's very dim though. I've two OTT lamps in the room, so will make do with task lighting until I can find the right bulb.

          Thanks - Katina

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            Sorry to burst your lighting bubble like that! Working in a hardware store has some benefits, like understanding the different types of light fixtures and bulbs. The new energy efficient light bulbs do take a while to "warm up" to their maximum light output. It can take up to 20 minutes for that to happen. You may find it brightens the longer you work in your room. I also found that hanging a couple of small mirrors or bright reflective surfaces in the darker parts of the room helps to reflect light and lighten up a room. Even a cheap mirror to reflect light upwards from under a lamp in another part of the room can make a big difference in the overall lighting. I just make sure it does not reflect into my eyes and cause a headache. Cathy

          2. katina | | #12

            Mirrors - excellent idea. Thanks Cathy


          3. sewluving | | #13

            I find that mirrors on the walls opposite my windows really help to brighten up my sewing space and make sewing much easier on my eyes.   I just found this site and this Gatherings and am having a grand time reading everything here.


          4. katina | | #14

            Thanks Heather; I'm planning on getting mirrors when next we go to town. Just reading Gatherings brightens the day, doesn't it?


          5. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #15

            I just bought mirrors to put in my shop. I'm glad to know others have tried this and it works. Welcome to Gatherings. I just got home from a trip to my beloved home town for a reunion and several days of supping and laughing with old friends. The first thing I did when I got home was to pull up this forum and begin reading. I'm afraid not to read absolutely every post, even those that, at first glance, appear to be a topic in which I'd not be interested. One never knows where the various conversations may wander and what what wonderful nuggets of insight might be included. So much knowledge and experience here.

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            You and me both! I read every post, just to see what is going on. Learn something new, or a new link to explore. Like many good conversations amongst friends, the original topic has little to do with the good stuff discussed as the conversations meander around.... Cathy

          7. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #17

            Indeed! The conversations are like a coffee klatsch among friends. I explore every link posted here and find so much useful information more often than not.

          8. Ceeayche | | #18

            I don't do coffee, but I love me some Gatherings.  I'm just returning after a couple of intense weeks at work.  And, I've learned some things, got inspired, and had a couple of giggles.  Thank you Gatherings!

          9. jjgg | | #19

            Have a cup of tea!

          10. sewslow67 | | #22

            Hi JQ:  I still remember some of your wild and wonderful stories from last year's trip.  What a blast you had; any new mischief to share with us this year?  Inquiring minds want to know.  tee hee ...

          11. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #25

            ss67 -- I had a wonderful time and came home with sides sore from laughing. I do wish we lived close so you could get a blow by blow account. Better yet, you and DH could go to one of the soirees! We are an equal opportunity group and welcome fun loving newcomers. One of the guys tells all these stories that have just enough truth in them that you can't say they are lies, doncha know? Thing is, these characters are still so entertaining, and might I add eccentric, that we don't have to tell OLD stories. I did get to see one man I had not seen in 50 years, which was a real treat. And my old HS sweetheart, too. He's still got it..... TeeHeeHee. I set up a Power Point presentation from old pictures that various people contributed which was a lot of fun, albeit work. We played it in a continual loop at the party on Saturday night. There were at least 300 people there. I feel so blessed to have such good friends whose company I enjoy. Going back in August.......

          12. sewslow67 | | #26

            Thanks for sharing that JQ; I really needed a giggle this morning, as my left eye kept me awake much of the night; painful, weeping thick liquid, very red, blurred vision.  Good grief!  Now what is that all about???   So off to the doctor today instead of sewing.  Drats!!

            Thanks again for sharing your good time.  What fun!!!  And yes ...I wish I could have joined you all. 

          13. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #27

            ss67 -- what'd doc say about your eye?

          14. sewslow67 | | #28

            Thank you, JQ.  I couldn't get in to see him (small mountain village with only two doctors; will see him on Monday).  In the meantime, I saw a man who is "almost" a naturopath and he recommended washing the eye with Colloidal Silver, which is a natural antibiotic.  It is still red and weeping, but not quite as bad as yesterday.  But the wash burns like the dickens.  Good Grief!  As you have experienced:  No one wants problems with the eyes ...especially not those of us who need them to do what we all love best:  SEWING!

          15. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #29

            ss67 -- happy to hear you are better. With that degree of irritation, I'm not surprised anything you put in your eye burns! Please keep your Monday appointment anyway. My vision went to pot again recently. Exam showed my right eye is now suddenly lower than my left eye. I'd been having horrific pain in one side of my neck, too. Turns out I was compensating and tilting my head to the left to even up my field of vision. I have also been just one click off of motion sickness for weeks with bouts of excruciating vertigo -- nausea, room spinning, unable to walk. Got glasses with a prism in the right lens and viola! My neck is pain free. We do not know what is causing this phenomenon yet, and it may be temporary and correct itself. I plan to see my internist, whom I trust implicitly, to guide me to a resolution or at least explanation either by himself or through well directed referrals. What is is with all these vision problems? Several of my local friends are also having problems.I'm anxious to hear what your doctor says Monday.

          16. sewslow67 | | #30

            Hey JQ:  I am so sorry to hear of all your physical challenges.  Good Grief!  That is too much for any one person. 

            As for the vertigo:  I have a friend who has had that problem and she finally went to see an ENT.  After giving her a thorough exam, he discovered that a little bone in her inner ear was "off" and had doing some sort of exercise as well as holding her head a certain way when she washed her face, hair, brushed her teeth, etc.  The little (floating?) bone(s) finally got back in place, but it was frustrating until then.  I hope your internist can direct you to the right specialist, as you sure don't need this on top of the eye problems you've had for way too long.

            Let me know how it's going, OK?  You can always send a PM, too.   No problem with that either.

      2. MaryinColorado | | #5

        Thanks for the giggles this morning!  I was confused when several clothing items in my CLOSET had faded in strange areas...really!  Turns out that the basement laundry room light was being left on and shining through the laundry chute!  Crazy, huh? 

        New Neurosis: openning my closet door to peek through the laundry chute to see if the light is on downstairs!  My family is threatening to change my name to "Whinny" for being such a nag about wasting electricity as it is.  They ain't seen nothin yet! 

        Creative Opportunity:  make shorts from pants that are ruined by strange pale stripes across calf area. 

        Family's Solution:  Board up laundry chute since I don't use it anyway.  "What I don't know won't hurt me". 

        1. katina | | #6

          This almost demands an article on salvaging our clothes - call it "The Light of our Lives"?? Embroidery on the faded areas?

          Yes, board the chute up or it'll drive you crazy.


          1. MaryinColorado | | #7

            "The Light of our Lives" also sounds like a great name for a soap opera, lol. There'd be a wealth of story lines with all the creativity, adventures, and real life experience of everyone here at Gatherings.

            Yes, I think it will be good to board that chute up.  It was quite the relief to finally figure out what was causing those strange pale marks in strange places on my clothes.    It was quite the mystery for awhile.  Hopefully I won't find myself out in public some day and find any more!  Embroidering is a great idea, thanks for the suggestion! 

            Was your bulb a plant bulb?   Mary

          2. katina | | #8

            DH had a look at it and he thinks yes, it is a light bulb. Live and learn.


            Duh!! of course it's a light bulb - I meant it appears to be a grow bulb

            Edited 6/4/2009 10:14 am ET by Katina

          3. jjgg | | #9

            There may be a few other factors involved in the fading. Yes, light plays a very big role in this (that's why museums always have very dim lighting and often don't allow flash photography. this is one of my pet peeves, I can't see things as well as I'd like in museums but that's getting off track)Fibers of the fabric that faded have an impact on this - things like acetate will fade no matter how they are stored. Moisture (perspiration) humidity will fade acetate. I love acetate but it's just such a cheapo fabric.The other issue is they type of dye used in the fabric, and was it set properly. dome dyes in some fibers are much more permanent than others (and this is about the limit of my knowledge of dying fabrics!)I did not know about the difference with the grow light and the day light bulb. That's good to know, I will make sure the grow light we have never gets near my sewing room. My fabrics are stored in a closet that pretty much stays shut all the time (not a good thing - I should be in there more often playing with my fabric. (this brings back childhood memories of hiding in closets playing) WEll, coffee break is over, back to tent making...

          4. MaryinColorado | | #10

            giggle!  Thanks again! 

          5. sewslow67 | | #21

            >>>DH had a look at it and he thinks yes, it is a light bulb. Live and learn.<<<

            Now that is just toooooooooo funny!  Thanks for the giggle. 

          6. katina | | #24

            We certainly need lots of giggles in life!


        2. sewslow67 | | #20

          Gee Mary; I thought your family might start to call you:  "Inspector Clouseau"!!  ;-)

          1. MaryinColorado | | #23

            ha ha ha

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