I discovered the Ott-Lite VisionSaver line while evaluating photo printers during my five years as editor-in-chief at Digital Camera Magazine. We needed a lamp that would allow us to accurately evaluate the color qualities and fading characteristics of printed output from a range of inkjet printers, and the pleasant people at Ott-Lite were happy to provide us with a pair of 18 Watt Cranes. These were such delightful products in their own right that I ended up reviewing them separately, then I bought one for each editor and designer on my staff. Even our staff photographer used them regularly for quick-and-dirty product shots. The quality of light produced by these unique 10K-hour tubes is superb, with a spectrum nearly matching natural sunlight. They are the ideal complement to a computer desk; just arc the arm in from either side of your display and tilt the head a few degrees away from you for a smooth, glare-free backlight. The Crane’s balance and double-jointed adjustability is as good as it gets, and the durable gunmetal-grey finish looks nice, too. Now I use them all over my house and can no longer stand to work under any other lamp. Our Cranes have survived multiple relocations across the US as well as the daily indignities inflicted by a precocious preschooler for three years running. They’re pricey at US$199 list, but I think they are worth it.
I have not tried using Ott bulbs separately in a different lamp, but can’t imagine why they’d perform any differently. I have used two of their smaller lamps with equally satisfying results, but the Crane is just such a well-designed object that I haven’t wanted to buy anything else.