Magnifying Lamps

Posted by Alicia Baucom on Jul 30th 2020

Some people are born with limited vision while others develop lower vision over time. As we age, it is normal to need more light in order to see things that once could be seen in lower light. Things that were at one time legible now need magnification. This is where magnifying lamps come into play. This blog will look at the ins and outs of these type of lamps explaining some of the key areas in which they differ from one another.

Diopter and Magnification

The type lens needed can differ depending on its diopter/magnification strength and how it will be utilized. Understanding the numbers included with magnifiers can help you decide if a particular unit is strong enough for your needs. Magnification and diopters are two different measurements. Magnification refers to how much bigger an object looks through an optical lens compared to the naked eye. Diopter refers to the curvature of the lens. As the diopter number increases the lens becomes thicker and curvature grater.  Since both diopter and magnification are relative to one another it is possible to figure out both when the number is only provided for one.  Using the most common formula, if you are given the diopter number you would divide it by 4 and add 1 to get the level of magnification. Meaning if your diopter number were 4d than your magnification level would be 2X. Conversely if you are given the magnification number you would subtract 1 and then multiple It by 4 where a 7X magnification would equal 24d. (7 minus 1 is 6. 6x4 is 24) Therefore, looking at the LED Desk Lamp with 4.5X Magnifier we can deduce that it would have a diopter of 14d. If math is not your strong suit, you can use this diopter to magnification calculator to do the math for you.

Arrangement of Lights

Some lamps come with lighting built directly into or around the lens while others have separate arms so you can pivot between the light and/or lens depending if you need just one or both.  Here are a few illustrations of when you might need one over the other. If the main thing you need a magnifying lamp for is to work on intricate details, crafting, or anything that you need both magnified AND brightly lit up then the magnifiers with the built in lights might be the best option.  The LED Floor Lamp with 2X Magnifier is a nice option for those that need this type of lighting and magnification situation. It comes with 60 bright LED bulbs circling the 2X magnifying lens. The two are built in together so wherever you aim one you will be aiming them both. If you are in the market for both a lamp and a magnifier but not always both together than an option where they can used together or apart is your best bet. The LED Desk Lamp with 4.5X Magnifier (also mentioned above) is a good choice with two separate, flexible arms to position the light and magnifier either separately or together.

XR Technology and Electronic Ballast

When reading up on various types of lamps you may come across XR technology and/or electronic ballast. While it may be tempting to ignore something you do not readily understand, these two features could be just what you are looking for in a lamp. XR technology, meaning extended realty, is a fairly broad term and can have many meanings and applications. In the case of  the Daylight XR Ultra-Slim 1.5X Clamp on Magnifying Lamp this technology makes the lens 50% lighter, extra resistant and easier to clean. It also comes with an electronic ballast. A ballast regulates electrical currents to a lamp. Without a ballast to limit its current, a lamp connected directly to a high voltage power source would nearly immediately overheat and burn out. An electronic ballast uses solid state electronic circuitry to provide the proper starting and operating electrical conditions without altering the input voltage. This type ballast eliminates any flickering of buzzing. To see what’s currently on sale at ILA please sign up for our newsletter, view our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website.