Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Wide Light for Large Embroidery Frames & Work Space


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I was debating two topics for today: embroidery thread (I know, I know – it’s practically everyone’s favorite topic) or a lighting solution for certain embroidery and work situations.

The thread topic’s on hold for a little bit. I need to finish some more stitching before we can delve into thready wonders together.

So today, it’s lighting!

I bought a new light and I’ve been thinking about sharing it with you for a while. This light solves two problems for me, which is why I had it on my radar. I finally caved, because one of the problems was getting rather annoying…

Wide task light for work spaces and embroidery frames

There are lots of decent task lights on the market. But there aren’t a whole lot of task lights that cover a wide work area. There are some, but not a lot!

In my workroom in my studio I have a long table where I do a good amount of work – stitching, writing, planning, sorting, organizing, selecting threads. It’s my main work table.

But all of my task lights are typical task lights – they illuminate a small space well, but they don’t illuminate a wide space.

That’s what initially put me on the hunt for a wide task light. In the winter in Kansas, where gloomy days can outnumber sunny, all of my lights are put to work regularly. But lately, I’ve been rather annoyed that I can’t seem to illuminate my whole work area at my table. Some part of my task is always in shadow.

The solution? A wide task light that floats over the whole work area.

Wide task light for work spaces and embroidery frames

I ended up settling on this particular light because it checks off all the things I was looking for:

  • It is one wide continuous light head.
  • It clamps on.
  • It’s bright.
  • It offers different temperatures (warm, cold, and a mix).
  • It’s dimmable.
  • It’s somewhat flexible.
  • It has good reviews.
  • It’s affordable.

Wide task light for work spaces and embroidery frames

It illuminates my work area on my table wonderfully. The light is very bright, especially if it’s set to the white (all cool) setting.

I can do all kinds work related tasks under it without being restricted to a small well-lit area. This thing is Wiiiiiiiiide. The lighting part is approximately 31.5″ wide. And the light distributes evenly down the width without a break.

It’s just swell for what I wanted! I can set up a table top stand under it for small projects when I’m working at the table. And I can still do regular table tasks under it with room to spare.

Over Wide Embroidery Frames

But I also had something else in mind, which is why I wanted a clamp on light.

I figured if I were going to invest in a wide task light, it should be easily usable over a wide embroidery frame.

And while I wouldn’t clamp the light right onto a wide embroidery frame (because then you couldn’t easily access the back of the embroidery), I would clamp it onto a small table or perhaps an extra piece of wood situated between two trestles, so that I could set up a wide embroidery frame below it.

And that is exactly what I’ll be doing with this light!

The Clamp and the Gooseneck

I love both the clamp and the gooseneck on this light.

The gooseneck is encased inside a rubbery sleeve, so you don’t have the typical sensation of a gooseneck light. It is very flexible, vertically. But the gooseneck is situated on a stiff, aluminum non-bendable section of the spine that’s about a foot (maybe a foot and a half?) up the back of the light. So the whole back of the light doesn’t bend.

I like this feature because it gives the light more support (it’s a very sturdy light). But just know that you can’t pull the light head down to the table – it will always sit above the table.

Wide task light for work spaces and embroidery frames

The clamp is large and extremely reliable. It is made up of two flat sides that meet flush together when the clamp is closed. And this is how a light clamp should be, in my opinion. It keeps the light more stable.

But it also means it doesn’t clamp well on any table that has a lip. And my work table is a folding plastic table from Sam’s, and it has a lip.

To solve the problem, I clamped the light to a small wooden folding table (the kind that are sold as “TV tables”), which fits right under my work table.

When the time comes, I can easily situate that folding table between my embroidery trestles, slap a wide frame down, and stitch under good lighting that covers the whole width of the work area and doesn’t have to extend in over one side of the trestles or the other.

What it Is and Where to Find It

The brand of the light is Phive, and in the US, you can find it on my Amazon Recommendations page here. It’s around $75, which isn’t too bad for a good specialty light.

I tried to find distributors in the UK, but I didn’t have any luck for this particular light.

It looks like they do carry this light at Amazon in Canada – just look up Phive LED light and you’ll see a variety of them. The wide clamp light is the one I’m reviewing here. They are significantly more expensive at Amazon in Canada.

For those who live in other countries, I’m guessing you will be able to find a wide LED task light somewhere. It doesn’t have to be the same brand – just look for the features you want. There’s a lot of variety these days to task lighting, and it’s become increasingly more affordable.

And for those of us who rely on good lighting for our work and our hobbies, I think that’s a good thing!

This article contains an affiliate link to my Amazon recommendations page, which means that any purchase made through that link results in a small commission for Needle ‘n Thread with no extra expense to you.


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(22) Comments

  1. Thanks for the review of this light. I too have the same frustration with lighting and stitching. I think I will give this one a try.

  2. Mary, thank you! The search for adequate lighting is so important. Even though posts on threads may be more fun, this post is also essential. We can’t enjoy our threads unless we can see them.

    Thanks a million.


  3. Thanks for this review…I have an older Ott light which doesn’t get the job done anymore with my aging eyesight and I am finding myself not sewing in the evenings anymore because of it. I am going to try this 🙂

  4. Morning Mary ~ what a wonderful find you have. I have a work table in my sewing room that has 3 functions (for a quilter) going at once. It’s a folding leg conference table with a formica top. At the right end is a hole cut in the table to take my sewing machine, in the center is where I place my large cutting mat, and the left end has some folding toweling yardage for pressing. The only problem was, as you say, good lighting. I had thought of hanging Florescent tube shop lights over the table, you can get them warm and cool to help with that. But then I’d have all sorts of framing at the sides and back of the table getting in the way when it comes to webbing a quilt top. (I’m in a rental so can’t hang it from the ceiling.)
    Your clamp on lamp solves all those problems, plus it’s dimmable and probably doesn’t flicker either as a tube is prone to do. As it would be a permanent feature on my table I’d probably use a block of wood under the table to support the clamp, but your tv tray table is a good idea to, it makes it a portable light feature.
    You come up with the most wonderful ideas Mary and when I come back and read the comments later I know I’ll find more ideas.
    Best regards and happy thread research ~ Brenda

  5. Perfect timing on your post, once again, Mary. I just finished a complete clean, purge and rearrange of my home. In the process I moved my sewing/craft room from a bedroom into my living room and doubled my space. But now my lighting doesn’t work and I’m struggling with my (getting) old eyes. This light looks perfect and the clamp on will allow me to move it to my hand quilting frame as well. I almost bought another clamp-on Stella but hesitated because of the price. Now I’m happy I did. Thanks for all you do. You’ve made my day.

  6. I see you have the Bright Tech light in your Amazon list. I ordered a floor lamp with magnifier, different model though and I love it but again, I would like a wider area lit up. I’m going to put this light in my wish list as I can’t buy much until I get a medical bill paid off. I do love the LED lights because the previous bulbs produced so much heat and wasn’t as bright. I’m also glad I visited your page because I see they have the Darice 82 container back in stock. I’ll put that in my wishlist also.

  7. A lovely -looking light, thank you for the review.
    I don’t really consider myself a serious enough embroiderer/maker to justify the purchase, but I enjoy reading your thoughts about these specialty tools, because you never when the need for them arises… 😉

  8. This light looks like a perfect solution to my sewing table lighting challenge. Do know the measurement from the base to the outer edge of the lamp. That is looking at it from the side how far does the lamp extend from the edge of the table?


    1. There’s a stiff aluminum spine about 15″ up from the clamp, that doesn’t bend, topped with about 15″ of bendable (very bendable) gooseneck. You can bend it down lower than the stiff spine area, and get it pretty close to the table, or you can just do a regular bend like the one in the pictures, which puts it about, oh, 20″ above the table, more or less. It depends on how deeply you want to bend the gooseneck, really…

  9. The lamp looks great, very practical. I clicked on the Amazon link and it ships to Australia. I notice that yours has a power lead coming from it but there’s no mention of mains power on the Amazon page, only batteries. Something I’d need to check before I move it from the wish-list – we run on a different voltage.

  10. I too recently bought a wide light after seeing it in use by some of my friends. Mine is called a Duo and I bought it from Amazon. It is not as wide or heavy duty as yours but it works well with my Japanese Embroidery frame. I currently have it clamped on one of the long bars (we are not supposed to turn our Japanese Embroidery frames over but only work from the top). If the bar was any deeper it would not fit so I am keeping your idea of using a tv table in reserve. It dims but does not have color change capability.

    1. Hi, Karen – I looked at the Duo, I think. What I didn’t like about it was that the light is on two separate arms, rather than one straight, continuous light. It was a toss up between the two. Glad to know the Duo works well, too!

  11. Hi Mary. Thank you for this review. Just the day before you posted it I had decided to shed my current bright but very ugly halogen lamp when we make our impending cross country move. I was planning to review all of your lamp postings (and will), but this one definitely has particular appeal. Much appreciated!
    Stay cozy,

    1. It’s pretty good. The white-white setting is best for color accuracy, I find. Still, I always use my BlueMax lights when I’m selecting colors for a project.

  12. Dear Mary

    The phive light looks really good and very flexible and as you say affordable. a great idea to clamp it on to your smaller table. I agree you need a good light in these dull days of winter, I’m glad you found the perfect solution to brighten up your hazy days. Thanks for sharing with us the phive led light and for the photos and links on where to purchase it.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  13. At the moment this doesn’t fill any stitching needs for me, but I have a couple of jigsaws I would love to do if I had any way to light the surface well. This looks great, though I still have to decide whether it’s worth the cost to do puzzles that will cut into my stitching time!

  14. Hi Mary, thank you for this review. I’m in South Africa and after a long search at our local lighting shops, found a clamp-on with a daylight LED globe. It makes a huge difference in my sewing (as beginner as I am) and I also have a smaller hobby magnifier to check stitches. My eyes have deteriorated with computer work and these two tools are invaluable with my new hobby.

    Thank you for all your tutorials and detailed instructions on various stitches. Being new to embroidery I find your website my go-to when I’m stuck. On the negative, you have caused me to spend a good deal of money on various embroidery books you recommend on various pages :-)))) But, it’s all part of my journey to this wonderful new world.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Hi Mary, yet again an excellent review. I am slowly getting my new sewing room into shape and invested in a large, 63″x 31 1/2″ height-adjustable table for designing, cutting out and so forth and definitely needed something to light it in addition the room lighting. As you say, there doesn’t seem to be anything similar on sale in the UK so I checked the voltage (UK compatible) and currency converter, took the plunge and ordered from Amazon US last Wednesday, 30th January. Delivery was due Monday 11th February but it actually arrived today, 6th and I am thrilled. delighted, over the moon; it’s absolutely ideal. For information for your UK readers the breakdown of cost was – at the time of ordering – £59.56 for the lamp, £14.35 shipping and handling, £14.78 import fee paid to/by Amazon = £88.69 plus £4 (local electrical shop) for an adaptor to our sockets. Excellent value.
    Thanks again Mary.

  16. Wow! I ordered this lamp right away and it arrived yesterday. I used the work-around of clamping it to a smaller table that rolled under the larger folding table that my present repair project is on. Excellent quality of light, and design. Very exciting for me to have a new tool for my work. For years I have worked at a static table with overhead lighting. My chiropractor says that I need to find new ways to do my work to care for my neck and back.
    Thank you Mary.

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