OttLite High Definition Task Lamp Model OTL13TCG

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Written by: Julie Snyder

I quilt and knit. As the years have gone by, I’ve noticed I have a harder time working at night, especially if I’m working with dark colors. I had been using an adjustable floor lamp from Ikea with a CFL bulb — the kind you pick up at the supermarket.

This lighting simply wasn’t illuminating my work space well enough. After spending an evening putting a project together, I would discover that the colors clashed horribly in natural sunlight.

Ottlite Task Lamp
Ottlite Task Lamp

I’d heard good things about Ottlites and thought I’d give one a try. I chose the Task Lamp. It’s small enough to nicely share desk space and compact enough to be portable.

Ottlite claims that its CFL lighting is better than anything else on the market. “Incandescent bulbs are made from things like hot filament wire and inert gases, but OttLite 508 Illumination bulbs are made from something better –the DNA of the sun! Okay, not really. But, OttLite CFL lighting is expertly engineered with 508 technology to bring the quality of natural sunlight indoors. It’s like having a tiny sun in your light bulb, except a whole lot cooler. No really — our bulbs produce less heat and use less energy.”


  • Portable fold-up design with automatic on/off
  • Available in gray, black, white or pink
  • Includes 13 Watt OttLite tube that lasts up to 10,000 hours
  • Won’t distort the actual color of paints, fabric, yarn and thread
  • Lowest Usage Point: 11.5, Highest Usage Point: 19.5
  • Available in gray, black, white or pink

Similar products:
OttLite TrueColor Battery Powered Task Lamp


  • Space efficient — at our home, space is a premium so anything that creates a bit more work area is a winner
  • Easily adjusted — just open a bit further or close a touch and you’ve focused the light right on your work
  • Lightweight — easy to lift and move, yet heavy enough to be stable
  • Quiet — some lamps hum or buzz; my Ottlite has been a silent companion
  • Simple — just plug it in, open it up and you have light; close it and it turns off
  • Convenient handle — makes moving it from the desk to the end table a breeze


  • The replacement bulbs are a bit spendy
  • Initial cost. You can take advantage of discontinued styles and get a great deal with a s lightly “outdated” appearance

The big questions:

Does it do what they claim?

I think it does. While my work area may not be as bright, I find the contrast much better and my visual acuity improved. Colors look the same by lamp light as under sunlight and my eyes seem less strained.

Is it worth the money?

I found mine at a yard sale two years ago, but even if purchased at regular price, I think it’s a good investment. I’ve had no problems with the switch and I’m still on the original bulb. I’ve even dropped it a couple times and my Ottlite task lamp still cheerfully turns on each time I open it.

Have you tried a dedicated hobby light source similar to this? How does it compare?

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    How do you get the bulb out?

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