Friday, July 30, 2021

A Brief Review of the StarMag LED Flexilens

I finally caved in and bought a light/magnifier that clips on my stretcher bars or desk as my drug store glasses aren't cutting it any more.  It is called the StarMag LED Flexilens and it is made by the Daylight Company.  It has two tiny LED lights powered by three AAA batteries in the base.  You turn the base upside down and slide open a little door to insert the batteries which are supposed to power the LEDs for up to 40 hours.  The "Naturalight" description means that the LED lamps emit a pure white light.

The flexible arm is a little over 8 inches long and it can rotate 360 degrees, but it doesn't reach very far.  If you are working on a canvas that is wide, you'll need to reposition the clamp quite often I bet.  Luckily the clamp will open to almost one and a half inches, so it clamps on mini stretcher bars, the regular size stretcher bars and Evertites.   It also will clamp to my desk or the coffee table, but I'd put a piece of felt or rubber drawer liner in the clamp before I used it on wood to prevent scratches.

The base has two wings that extend out from the base to steady the whole thing if it is sitting on a table but I find them useless as I need the lens reaching too far out over my canvas. That makes it too top-heavy to stay upright if it is on a table.  I won't use the side wings.

The lens is four inches in diameter.  It magnifies twice the actual size except for the little insert that magnifies four times.  You can see that inset lens in the photo directly above.  I can't focus the little insert properly, at least I haven't figured out how yet, but that's ok.  I don't need it.

The StarMag LED Flexilens comes with a little drawstring bag cover for the lens and a warning never to leave it uncovered in sunlight as it might start a fire.  The lens is plastic and probably fairly easy to scratch so I'll keep it covered unless it is in use.  The whole thing is not heavy but it is heavier than my canvas (which is on 8x10 inch mini stretcher bars) so holding the canvas in hand is tiring after an hour or so.  I am not certain if I'll use it clamped to the stretcher bars yet or clamp it to my desk or coffee table next to my stitching chair.  It appears to be small and light enough for travel but you'd need to pack it carefully to prevent damage.

Daylight makes several StarMag lights or light/magnifiers.  Some are magnifiers only, some have a different type of clamp that doesn't appear to open as wide as this one.  If you want both light and magnification instead of magnification only plus the same clamp as mine, look for StarMag model UN1161.  You'll pay around $45-50 USD for this model unless you find a deal.  

My current project is on 7x7 inch regular width stretcher bars and the StarMag LED Flexilens is heavy and large enough I haven't used it clamped to the stretcher bars.  It's a bit awkward to use for something this size or smaller.  I clamp it on the desk to use it if necessary for this piece.  

I like this a lot. Perfect?  No, I would prefer lighter weight with a much longer neck but for the price, this is a good deal.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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