Lighting and magnification?

A question for the practitioners out there: What sort of lighting and magnification do you use?

I ignored Bono’s (Blend Method) advice and bought a 5 diopter fluorescent magnifying lamp. Working distance too short, can’t get hands underneath the lens.

Replaced lens with 3 diopter. Better working distance, but still: It’s hard on the eyes unless I sit really close to the lens or close one eye.

Bought a head mounted “welder’s helmet”, 3 diopter. Less eyestrain, but I have to really hunch over. I have to get the lens within about nine inches from the skin.

So, what lighting and magnification do you use? Is it really true what Bono says, that the really right way to go is with head mounted magnifiers, with halogen parallel light?


  • Eric

I use a hallogen lamp. It feels very hot, so you have to adjust it so it is not too close to the client or your hands. I ask my client if he/she wants an eye cover, as the light is very bright. They usually decline and just close their eyes.

For magnification, I use through the lens telescopes made by orascoptic research out of Wisconsin, 3.8 mag. These are specs that dentists and surgeons use. They are wonderful. You can adjust working distance from 13" - 16" so as to avoid straining your neck and back. No hunching over ever. You are truly comfortable, but more importantly, you can see wonderfully well all those tiny blond hairs your client wants out and get great cleanups. I love them and would spend $1,700 all over again if something happened to them.

You need to call the company to see what field rep is closet to you because they need to be custom fitted to you. It takes about a month to get use to them and if you have any trouble, they will walk you through problems over the phone.
I was really scared that I made a poor decision at first use, but after talking to Jonathon,he walked me through certain proceedures and whallah! I could see! It takes a few weeks for your brain and eyes to sychronize with this new magnification.

You can contact Orascoptic Research at:
1-800-369-3698 if you are interested.

You may also consider utilizing a fiber optic line to bring the brightness of your halogen light source to your workspace, without bringing the heat with it.

Good magnification will cost you, but the difference it makes to what you can get done in your electrology efforts make up for it.

By the way, Bono utilizes stereo magnification and a cool beam light source last I saw his set up.

For everyone’s information, regarding low to mid range magnification and lighting:

I bought an Edroy Pro-Loupe 2X binocular loupe. $250 delivered.

While it’s astonishingly poor quality compared to a $250 off-the-shelf binoculars (I would compare it to $20 binoculars at best!), I guess that’s to be expected for something that’s low production volume compared to binoculars. It has acrylic lenses, which may be preferred for weight, but are normally associated with toys. The view through the center of the lens is pretty clear, decent enough for electrolysis. I’m sure Zeiss or Heine binocular loupes, or dfahey’s surgical telescope, are quite a bit better.

It’s a huge improvement over the standard loupe and magnifying lamp.

I also got a $40 Tensor floor mounted halogen lamp. It has a 3’ goose neck, so the halogen spot is pretty flexible. At 12" or so, the spot is about 6" wide: reasonably concentrated, and the lamp can be far enough away to avoid heat.

Hope that helps anyone looking to set up basic lighting and magnification on a budget.

  • Eric

Thanks Eric.
People Helping People is what this is all about :relaxed:

Each of the responders has different eyesight, consequently, their needs vary widly to do the same job. Electrologists are still battling over the advantages of BLEND vs SHORT WAVE and that only compares 2 items. With the wide variety of magnification devices and the extremely wide differences beween the sight and ages of electrologists it should be obvious that the most comfortable magnification is an individual thing.

Most important is whether the electrologist has a table that can move “up” and “down” (most do not). The trick is to bring the patient up to you instead of bending over to reach the patient. The more magnification you have…the more you have to bend over, This is because of a common optical problem we never learn in electrology school (that is because the teachers do not know either)… The more magnification you want… the closer you have to be to the patient. In microscpes the highest magnification is obtained with the “oil immersion” lens and that almost touches the cover glass when you use it. I use a hydraulic table and make the patient move closer to me. This way I do not have to bend my back. All I have to do is bend my head towards the patient and do not get any back pain.

Good magnification is also ergonomic.
The magnification set up I use allows me to have a straight back while working, and nothing is hovering over the client’s head making sneezing safe for all. More powerful magnification is possible without resting anything against the client’s face if one is not simply buying a higher diopter magnifying glass.

Regardless of vision of the practitioner it is a simple point that the closer insertion becomes to driving your car into a garage, the less proper insertion is a factor in level of treatment provided.

No matter what set up one uses, one needs good lighting and must be able to see what one is attempting to insert. When one is guessing on the insertion one is giving less than the highest possible care. With all the factors of treatment that are out of the electrologist’s control, we should be doing our best to maximize our use of those things that are in our control. A more accurate insertion is a more comfortable and more effective insertion.

Can an electrologist see a hair through a 3 diopter lens? Sure, a magnification of two times life size is enough to see a hair, after all, you can see most hairs without any magnification. Can you see the natural empty space in a follicle through a simple circle lamp magnification unit? Of course not. Magnification lenses for circle lamps are only two times life size (3 diopter) three times life size (5 diopter) and five and a half times life size (10 diopter). Each of these lenses require one to lower the circle lamp closer and closer to the skin one is working on. The focal distance on a ten diopter lens doesn’t even allow enough room for one to flip a tweezers when using one handed technique. If it is a circle lamp, this means the heat of the circle light is getting warmer and warmer on the skin as the focal distance lessens in relation to the higher diopter of the lens. Circle lamps also have a small “sweet spot” where vision is undistorted, and this gives poor depth perception and adds to electrologist’s eye strain. This is why loupes and scopes are better when they bring together high magnification with a long focal distance, and a bright cool light source focused on the client’s skin.

[ January 20, 2004, 05:42 AM: Message edited by: James W. Walker VII, CPE ]

As James says I think a good magnification and good lighting improves a lot of our work. Since I work with my stero scope magnification (it’s your fault, James :wink: )I feel my insertions are better and my clients appreciative it. Before I worked with a circle lamp magnification and magnifying glass. But since I discovered stereo scopes I don’t want to come back to other magnifying tools. And my back is straight, without strain. And no pain. Better insertions, more satisfied customers, better results and my back and my sight suffer less. What can I ask for more?

The single biggest complaint I had about my magnifying lamp was that I had to close one eye in order to not get a significantly eye straining image. The separation of my eyes is enough that when the hair is centered in the lens according to one eye, to the other it’s off center and presents a different image.


  • Eric