Lighting Your Jewelry Studio to Elevate Your Mood

Studio Notes: Mood Light

At 4 p.m., this time of year, I’m curled up in a ball under an electric blanket watching birds freeze to the feeder. Last thing I want to do is create back stock for spring, because I’ve got the winter blues.

Then I remember. In 2004, I bought a high intensity metal halide 250 watt grow light at a cavernous home and garden show. So I dig it out from under a studio counter, hang it from the ceiling for some additional studio lighting, and plug it in.

The results are surprising.

Sunbeams bombard my soul and two hours later I’m cleaning up a carnage of spills, smears, burn marks and dust bunnies left over from 2016. This shockingly bright light reveals them everywhere. So I work nonstop until 9:20 p.m. that night. Next day I’m cheerfully making jewelry for eight hours. And the day after that, etc.

Time it Took: less than an hour. My studio is a finished garage with a handy outlet in the ceiling. I use a remote control switch to turn the sun on and off.

Cost: I paid around $280 for my Hydrofarm grow light 14 years ago. Still works, despite two moves. The remote control switch is new and costs around $30.

Tip: To find a light that works for you, visit a local hydroponics store. The closest one to my old fixture is a Hydrofarm Mini Sunburst with 150 watt high intensity bulb (not sodium) for $94. For a lot less money, try an energy saving large spiral 65 watt CFL (250 watt) equivalent 6500K full spectrum daylight bulb for around $16.

Silversmith Betsy Lehndorff lives in Northern Michigan and has been writing for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 2010. To see her work go to


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