Best lamp for tying flies


5th July 2019

Tie flies for several hours can be painful for your eyes. Have a good lamp on your desk is really important, it can help you during the process and make your hobby more enjoyable.

There are 2 main types of lighting in the house:

  • Ambient lighting, or general lighting, is the most common type of light, you can find it in almost every room. Its purpose is to provide the necessary light during the night when the daylight is not available.
  • Task lighting, as the name says this is useful to accomplish some tasks, like work saw, read or tie flies. It helps naturally stimulate your mental ability. The contrasting light allows you to be more alert. This will help you see more details as you work, creating higher quality results.

There are as well several types of bulbs:
Incandescent bulbs, those are most commons in the house. Fluorescent lamps, mostly used in the public service and in the workspaces because they use less energy and can last longer.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), introduced not so far to replace the incandescent bulbs in the homes.
Halogen lamps, they are advanced versions of the classic incandescent bulb. The halogen lamps are brighter and smaller in size.
Light emitting diode (LED), LEDs are becoming very popular, it’s common to see them in many houses and desks, they are tougher, long life and with better energy efficiency.

The most important feature to consider when you choose a lamp is the color temperature lighting, it is the way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb.
It is measured in Kelvin which is abbreviated K.
Anyway, in everyday life, color temperature is expressed as soft white, warm white, and daylight.

Go through all the details about light and lighting would be a broad topic to be covered in this post, but it is good to have an idea of what we are speaking about.
Read this article in Wikipedia if you are interested in more information.

So which one is the best light to tie flies? It is absolutely the daylight, cold light between 5000 and 6000 K. We can have this kind of lighting on a bright day, during the hours around midday. But, unfortunately, for most of us, it’s not possible to dedicate time to our hobby during these hours and in front of a nice and wide window. This is the reason why we need to get the best artificial lighting for our purpose.

There are a few options to achieve our goal:

  • Basic desk lamp with a specific bulb: it consists to get a basic architect lamp (click here to see on Amazon) and add a specific bulb with the necessary technical characteristics (click here to see them on Amazon). This is the cheapest way.
  • Led lamp: probably the best solution, these lamps have different features, the main one consists on the possibility to change brightness levels and color modes (click here to see a good sample of a led lamp for tying flies on Amazon). They are as well energy saver, with eye protection function and some of them are equipped with a USB port, where you can plug in a UV torch (click here to see it on Amazon).
  • Mag lamp: the mag lamp can be really useful to tie really tiny flies, like midges on hooks size 24 or above, or if your eyes can't focus small details really well. The mag lens in the lamp helps you to focalize better what you are tying ( click here to see a good sample of the mag lamp on Amazon).

We must also consider that the light should light up not just the fly but all the area around the desk and the whole room. What you don’t want is the contrast between the fly-tying station and the rest of the room. The eye, sometimes, will watch away from the fly you are tying.
As the eye drifts from a bright area to a darker one, it dilates, and this can cause fatigue.
For the same reason try to avoid shadows where your eyes are focusing.

However, there are to consider more aspects of this topic, as the age: the more you get older and more lighting you need. It isn’t easy to say what is better for you, because everybody are different but, more or less, the lamps in the post are what works well. In any case, your eyes will tell you if they are comfortable in a determinate situation, or they will show you a sign of fatigue.
Don’t overload your eyes, especially if you are at the beginning, take a break every 20-30 minutes.

Now what works well for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.