Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Install LED lights on your sewing machine

I gave a workshop on how to install LED lights on a sewing machine at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild Quilt Day on November 19, 2016. Here is the information I shared:

Sewing machine with retrofitted LED lighting strip. Photo courtesy of Inspired LED.
You may purchase a light kit that will allow you to outfit your sewing machine with a strip of bright LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. Kits are available online and at some quilt stores. We have purchased our Inspired-brand kits on Amazon at a cost of aproximately $30 per kit. Other brands such as Bonlux, that we also tried and liked very much, are also available from Amazon. 

The kits we purchased are designed for use on all sewing machines; they are complete lighting sources that can be used in any situation that requires illumination.
The kit includes:
  • a strip of LED lights backed with adhesive that may be trimmed to any size needed,
  • a plug and converter that is used as the source of power for the lights,
  • an adhesive-backed switch that is used to turn the lights on and off, and
  • two adhesive-backed clips to hold the wires in place on your sewing machine. Note: the Bonlux kit does not contain wire clips, but you can use Command brand cord clips to control wiring.
LED retrofit lighting kit. Photo courtesy Inspired LED.
All the materials are easy to use and assemble with plug-in connectors as shown in the photo.

If you choose the Inspired LED brand, you may also purchase an extra switch-and-converter kit to use with the excess length of lighting provided. This expansion kit may be used to install the excess strip of lighting on a second machine.

The web-site for the Inspired brand of LED sewing-machine, lighting kit has an excellent video demonstrating the exact method for installing the LED lighting on your machine. See video link below.

The process is as follows:
  • Measure the length of lighting needed to apply to the underside of the arm of your machine; cut to length, remove paper backing from adhesive strip and install on the machine arm.
  • Remove the paper backing from the adhesive strip on the switch and apply to a convenient place on your machine. (I installed mine next to the machine on-off switch.)
  • Plug the light strip into one of the receptacles on the switch. (For the Inspired LED brand kit, the receptacles are on the bottom of the switch.)
  • Plug the converter into the second receptacle on the switch.
  • Plug the converter and wall plug into the wall receptacle.
  • Flip the LED light switch to turn on your LED lighting.
The only tricky part is cutting the light strip in the proper spot across the copper connectors -- a process that is clearly shown on the instructions that come with the kit, and in the on-line video instructions.

More information is available on the Inspired LED website
Also, more photos and first-hand information is available in blogger Abby Glassenberg's excellent post, "Enhance your Lighting with a Sewing Machine LED Light Kit" on her While She Naps weblog.

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