Sometimes, our study doesn’t get enough light and my eyesight has been getting worse as a result. I often find myself walking over the window to read the tiny print on a lot of instruction manuals for example. So we decided to add light to the study to help our eyes and to make it a more cheerful place. We do, after all, spend a lot of time in the study. We decided to get a traditional Fifties modern five-head Arc lamp. Our home was built in 1949 and a fifties-style lamp seemed right.
Amazon has several such lamps in the $500 price range on amazon that had received mixed reviews. I was disappointed to see some of the more expensive ones were not very well received. This inexpensive Brightech Orion lamp caught my attention because it was listed as an Amazon choice and had more than 1,000 good ratings. I originally dismissed it because it is almost too affordable and the bulbs are fixed. I was really looking for something with interchangeable, regular bulbs. Still, after doing some research, I eventually came around to buying it. It just seemed too good to miss.
The lamp arrived in two large boxes; one nestled inside the other like a Russian matryoshka doll. Open one end and the polystyrene foam tray slides out with the dismantled lamp countersunk into compartments and held in place with a sheet of taped cardboard, all nicely bagged and ready to assemble.
Assembling the lamp is relatively straight-forward. Basic tools are included and there aren’t many parts. This is a good thing because the instructions are a bit vague. I noticed that some reviewers gave the lamp poor marks usually because the lamp would not stand in its base. This is due to a simple error in assembling the lamp that I will try to make more clear in the photos included with my review.
Basically, when you fasten the base to the main poll, you have to make sure you put the bronze cap at the base of the tube and when you fasten the base to the threaded pole that passes through the main tube. You have to put the wide flat washer on first, flush against the base followed by the serrated washer and finally the nut. The washer has a broad circumference to clamp across a wide surface area while the narrower serrated washer prevents the nut coming loose thus preventing the lamp from rotate on its base.
Interestingly, the lamp has a separate AC wall adapter and a round 9 – 20v DC type plug that hooks up to the AC wall adapter. So you can potentially power these from other low-voltage DC power sources. If you have some kind of battery and DC power regulator, it’s very cool and easy to hook up with something like solar power.
Once assembled (which takes 10-15 minutes) it’s time to put up the lamp. I actually put it in the corner of the room where it could light my guitar collection as well as my desk. The lamp looks great and stands at about 6 foot and two-three inches off the floor. I placed on my sideboard so the tallest arch just touches our eight-foot ceiling. That lamp head points directly down.
Each lamp head can rotate 180 degrees horizontaly on the axis of its stalk, so it can be made to face up or down and can also be tilted back about 30 degrees. This gives you some flexibility where aiming the individual lamps is concerned. So it was easy to span the corner and light guitars and paintings on the wall as well as the surface of my desk which I use for reading, practicing the guitar, electronic repair and other small projects.
There is a single on/off toggle switch at the top of the main post that turns all the lamps on and off at once. The lamp has a strong, pleasant warm white light that makes it easy to read. Another plus is that it casts a lot of light. If all the lamp heads were to face down, it might be a bit overpowering. You can point them up to reflect the light off the ceiling which produces a more diffuse light and increases ambient lighting for the whole room. Or you can point different heads at areas of interest like things hanging on the wall. For my purposes, I want the heads aimed at my paintings and my guitars on the wall. The light really adds definition and brings out the rich colors and finishes of the guitars.
We bought one of each of model of these Brightech Lamps. This larger five-arc lamp and the slightly smaller three-arc lamp. We only had them a couple of weeks and really like them. The five- lamp version is relatively inexpensive at under $100. The five direction-adjustable spotlights are bright and cast a pleasant light that is good for working and reading under as well as highlighting areas of interest in a room. The lamp looks more expensive than it is and the oil brushed bronze finish is quite attractive. If you’re looking for something slightly smaller, the three-lamp is a steal at the current price which is 1/3 the cost of the five-head arch light reviewed here. Incredible!