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Lighting for looms

GregGibson | Posted in General Discussion on

Well,  ( scuffing the toe of his workboot in the dirt )  I’m over here visiting from the Breaktime Forum, looking for some advise.  I’m trying to help my dear wife with a lighting problem with our two floor looms.

I want to provide some good task lighting for these looms, one 30″ and one 36″  I guess the years are working on us . . . the vision isn’t what it once was.  She tells me that floor lamps get in her way, elbow-wise. I want to come up with a solution that will not compromise the residential feel of our living room – although we don’t have living room furniture.  Two looms take up quite a bit of room !

I’ve thought about recessed lights, but I don’t want to put anything permanent into the ceiling in the interest of resale of the house and future furniture arrangement.  I’ve considered track lighting, and I would mount this to the wall since it would be easier to patch and paint than a textured ceiling.  I’ve thought about sconces, but shadows would be a problem.  I guess there are decent quality clip-on lights, but I haven’t seen any.  I even thought about rope lighting, which varies greatly in quality, but is basically a clear plastic tube with a small bulb every 6 inches or so.  You often see this under kitchen cabinets.

Any hand weavers out there with an opinion or a solution ?

Thanks for any input !  Greg.

Edited 6/16/2003 4:33:50 PM ET by Greg Gibson


  1. rjf | | #1

    That is a problem.  My standard answer to that kind of question is "miners' helmet".  But seriously, I weave also and I'm familiar with trying to see.  The real difficulty is that you need light from different angles at different times in the process of threading, sleying and weaving.  Could you arrange something with a gooseneck that was attached to a pole on the side, about where the harnesses are?  rjf

    1. Tish | | #2

      I'm looking for gooseneck lamps, but I fantasize about something like the dentis uses when he works on my mouth: a very bright lamp on moveable arms that I can reach up and move to point where I want it.

      Generally, for weaving and most other things I want two kinds of light.  I want a room bathed in light from good overhead fixtures or well placed lamps, and I want a light source where I work.  So for cooking, I have good overhead light as well a under-counter lamps and for hand stitching I work in a well-lit room with a small light directly over my left shoulder (I'm right handed and I don't want my hand to block my light.) 

      If your living room is a low-light room with lamps at the looms and reading chairs, it may be that raising the over-all light level will do what you need. 

  2. rjf | | #3

    Did you solve the lighting problem?  I was thinking about it because I just disassembled my loom to make room for company.  My loom is right under a big fluorescent ceiling light and it's great for weaving but not so good for threading or sleying.                                                                  rjf

    1. GregGibson | | #4

      No, I'm still pondering.  The short-term solution has been a high-intensity lamp that's designed as a reading lamp for a bed.  It actually clamps onto a headboard, and is directional.  I think I'm going to work on getting the ambient light in the room up to a higher level overall.  You know, brighter bulbs in every lamp, maybe a nice pole lamp - but not a halogen "torchierre" - those up-light monsters scare me to death with the heat they generate.


      Edited 6/30/2003 1:34:52 PM ET by Greg Gibson

      1. SisterT | | #5


        I am not a weaver, but struggle with lighting in the room I use for sewing.  I work on large pieces and I also do detail work.  My first inclination is to go for halogen lamps, but I am afraid of setting a whole convent on fire!  We recently found a three-way incandescent lamp at Office Depot.  The thing has a swivel neck, so that I can either direct the light to the ceiling for indirect light, or toward the table for the detail work.  I would suggest one or two of these.  I also help with the plumbing in the house, so I am on a first name basis with most of the staff at our local Home Depot.  I have not noticed these lamps there, but they MAY carry them.  I won't claim to know their ENTIRE inventory.  We also have an overhead light directly over my table that I can turn off and on, depending on whether I need it or not.  I was lucky enough to be able to stick a table under that standard "middle of the room" electrical hookup.

        Good luck--every artist I have known has complained about lighting!  :)

        Sr. Tracey

        1. GregGibson | | #6

          Thank you so much, Sister !  We have an Office Depot here - I'll check their inventory.


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