Tools of the Trade: Lamp Quick Review

I used to love a lot of light when I drew, and, over the years, somehow collected an odd bod assortment of lamps to draw by – the best, by far, being an ex-BBC angle poise lamp, with a flourescent tube bit on it. Flourescent tubes aren’t great to colour by as they cast an odd hue, but for drawing b&w comics they’re grand.

Then, eyesight went a little and I needed glasses, once that happened, for reasons I’m unsure off, I just wasn’t comfortable drawing with anywhere near as much light. So my lamps, one by one, vanished.

I positioned my drawing table by the window and under the bulb in the room, and didn’t really need much more lighting.

More years go by, and I find myself needing light again – it’s a smaller, gloomier room. And the window is tiny. The table isn’t in as handy a spot and I was lampless.

Ikea sell a range of lights/lamps. Up until recently I’d been using a fairly cheap clamp / spotlight combo from Ikea. But it never really threw off enough light. So a quick trip to Ikea and I have one of each of these:


Strip light Ikea Global Work Light £12.99



Ikea Tertial Work Lamp for £ 7.99

Initially, the Tertial Work lamp – which resembles a pretty straightforward angle poise lamp looked promising. On paper looks great. In real life though, it’s pretty damn cheap – the head comes away with a slight twist (this is a design feature, but as you tend to grab the head to move it it rips away quickly in your hands) and the light, Halogen bulb, as recommmended by Ikea – is enough to give you tan. Incidentally, the on/off switch is located in the cord coming off the base – not at the head – where you’d expect. I’d avoid it.

The Ikea Global Work Light on the other hand, while equally as cheap (come on, it’s £12.99!) is far more suited to comics drawing. The switch is at the head, the flourescent tube is a much colder light and, while it lacks the spring loaded neatness of the Tertial lamp seems to be sturdy enough for most things. So, if you’re in the market for a cheap angle poise lamps (and let’s face, proper angle poise lamps cost a bloody fortune) I’d go for it.


Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.