Thursday, February 5, 2009

You ought to Try Ott!!

Have you ever had trouble seeing small or detailed print?
Have you ever found yourself wearing navy socks with black or brown because you couldn't see the difference?
Have you ever found yourself going over to the nearest window to get a better look at something under natural light?
Have you ever had trouble seeing to thread a needle or other fine detail?
Do your eyes feel tired or strained after reading for a short period of time?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should check and see when your last eye exam was. Eye health is critical and should never be delayed or avoided. BUT, their may also be a revolutionary form of lighting that can help you see more clearly and with less eye strain and fatigue.

It is called OttLite. It was created by Dr. John Nash Ott who is considered the father of time lapse photography, He created a method to photograph a pumpkin while it grew indoors. These photos were then used by the Walt Disney Company to create the animation for the pumpkin scene in Cinderella. His new found technology was then used as a springboard to create better lighting that reduced eye strain and used less energy. He brought the natural daylight inside in a whole new way!

I first heard about this lighting, about four years ago. I was watching The Shopping Channel and they were talking about this new lighting concept. I thought it looked too good to be true, but kept watching to see what it was about and how it would sell. I'm a bit of a skeptic and I'd watched the channel long enough to know that only products that worked well, made it back to air for more than a couple of visits. Well over the next few months, it came to air several times and sold quite quickly.

Decent lighting has always been a concern for me. Using the standard 75 or 100 watt incandescent bulb, I could read a decent sized print/font for about 30 minutes or so before needing to take a break. If I sat by the window with indirect sunlight coming in over mt shoulder, I could read for maybe 45 minutes - less if the sun was coming in directly as it was too harsh a light. The old fluorescent type of tubes that were used in schools and stores in the 1960's and up were even worse for me. I would start getting headaches in a short period of time. It made doing school work a real challenge. I was having to rest my eyes every 15-20 minutes. I often came home with a headache.

The new low energy bulbs that are being marketed now - and will eventually replace the vast majority of incandescent bulbs are almost as bad as the old fluorescent ones for me. I find them extremely harsh and my eyes do not adjust well to seeing anything under their light. Most new cars use this type for their headlights. When a car is coming towards me with them on I have to look away or shield my eyes to still see what is around me. Many stores, offices and streetlights are now using this type of lighting. For me it is like staring into camera flash bulbs. The low energy bulbs are blinding for me. I also really hate the look of the low energy Christmas lights. The white is harsh and the dark blue is so intense. I really can't enjoy a tree with those lights

I knew that to be able to continue reading and other activities, I was eventually going to have to find another light source. I didn't have a PC at the time so couldn't do the research, but decided to take a chance and see if the OttLite was even half as good as everyone claimed it was. I ordered an 18 watt floor lamp and 13 watt desk lamp package in early December 2005.

I got the lamps a few days later, and quickly did the minor assembly. I plugged in the floor lamp and sat down with a phone book, a magazine with pale print on glossy paper and a book with dark green print. All these items were things that I have had trouble reading. To my complete amazement, they were ALL much easier to read! That first night, I read my book and magazine for almost two hours WITHOUT any eye strain or headache!

So, I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was to find a light that I could read by and not get eye strain! I now own 3 of the 18 watt floor lamps and 2 of the 13 watt desk lamps. I use them in the living room, here by the computer and I also move one of them to the kitchen when I am dipping my chocolates every Christmas, as it is much easier to see if I am getting everything dipped properly!

Some of the lamps can be a bit pricey compared to some other lamps on the market, but you can shop around and find decent deals. There are lots of great styles available. I have bought all of my lamps through The Shopping Channel. I've also seen them at local retailers such as Canadian Tire and Office Depot. They also sell the replacement tubes. (Office Depot is by far the cheapest for the refills!). When you stop to consider how energy efficient and the vast reduction in eye strain, using the OttLite is actually a very smart investment both financially and visually!

I recently learned that the OttLite is now also available in a bulb that will fit the standard incandescent socket. They are available in 15 watt Ott (60watt), 20 watt Ott (75 watt) and 25 watt Ott (100 watt). I phoned about 10 Winnipeg retailers and wholesale outlets a couple of weeks ago looking for these new bulbs. No one had them in stock yet. Several had the OttLite tubes and said they were excellent light sources and good sellers. Half had never heard of OttLite and tried to tell me that all low energy bulbs are the same! HUH! That's what they think! If they tried them, they'd be sold on them too!

I'll keep looking and also have friends look in their travels to the USA. Thesse new lights for the old sockets would make my daily living so much easier!

Seeing is believing! Until you've tried Ott, you ain't seen nothing yet!


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