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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much less eyestrain with this Ott-Lite floor lamp.
The old incandescent lamp in the den had too much glare so I decided to replace it with an Ott-Lite floor lamp. The color temperature 4000+K (Kelvin NOT the heat emitted) of the Ott-lite is very close to natural daylight and provides noticeably less glare for reading. The 18W fluorescent bulb emits a brighter, whiter, and cooler light than the old 100W incandescent...
Published on February 20, 2006 by D. Chou

versus
201 of 204 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the ballast issues...
I bought two Ott-Lite lamps, one desk lamp and one floor lamp. The light is great from the lamps when they work. Unfortunately the ballast in the Ott-Lite lamps will die prematurely and the lamp becomes totally useless as soon as that happens.

My floor lamp ballast died and I was able to buy a replacement a couple of years ago from Ott-Lite. The only reason...
Published on March 28, 2008 by Viking One Alpha


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201 of 204 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the ballast issues..., March 28, 2008
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
I bought two Ott-Lite lamps, one desk lamp and one floor lamp. The light is great from the lamps when they work. Unfortunately the ballast in the Ott-Lite lamps will die prematurely and the lamp becomes totally useless as soon as that happens.

My floor lamp ballast died and I was able to buy a replacement a couple of years ago from Ott-Lite. The only reason they had ballasts available and were willing to sell them was due to the fact that the same ballast type had been recalled, and they were forced to offer replacements. When calling Ott-Lite, you will deal with snooty and arrogant people who treat you like you are a telemarketer at dinnertime. That is if you are lucky enough to talk to anyone at all. I suggest if you want this or any other Ott-Lite lamp, to call the company in Florida and try to order a replacement ballast before you buy it. Of course they won't sell you one, but it will save you $100 and untold aggravation.

As soon as I bought my desklamp, I had a bad feeling it wasn't going to last very long. Sure enough, couple of months later, the ballast died and the lamp became useless.

On my desk I still have a $20 fluorescent lamp I bought 12 years ago and use continuously. It still works like new and the ballast and lamp have never failed.

The bottom line is Ott-Lite could care less about your faulty lamp and frying ballasts. Unless you are willing to buy a new lamp every year for around $100, don't waste your time and money on this junk.

My $80 Ott-Junk desk lamp that lasted less than 20 hours is going to the scrapheap and will be replaced by a Bluemax from Full Spectrum Solutions, or a Verilux desk lamp, or any other manufacturer that has an ounce left of self respect and quality control.

You will love the light, but at $4 an hour, there are better lamps out there that will last a lot longer.

UPDATE: I had by chance saved the 13W bulb from this scrap heap Ott-Lite desk lamp and had it sitting in my file drawer. Looking at my trusty old $20 desk lamp I bought 14 years ago and still works great, the bulb in it looked kind of similar to the Ott-Lite bulb.

So I did the expected thing and yanked the bulb out of the lamp and compared the two. They happened to look very similar and the plug in base is almost identical.

I figured, not much to lose here, I plugged in the Ott-Lite bulb in my trusty old fluorescent lamp and turned it on, and it works!! I mean perfectly, the lamp now has the daylight true-color bulb, no flicker and no problems.

So if you find or have a 13W fluorescent desk lamp and want to turn it into a working Ott-Lite like Full Spectrum lamp for cheap, AND have it last more than a week, buy any desk lamp that takes 13W fluorescent lamps such as the Advantus Black Desk Lamp, sold at Staples, then get a Full Spectrum bulb (See the GEF13BX bulb for how it looks), replace the stock bulb with the Ott-Lite OTL13R, or the Bi-Pin Ott-Lite TruColor and you have the same light for half price.

As a bonus, that lamp will probably last 10 years, not 10 days like the ballast burning Ott-Lite.

UPDATE 2 - Nov 2011: Apparently, the wrath of many frustrated Ott-Lite buyers has caught the attention of Ott-Lite, which has changed its tune in the ballast division. They now sell replacement ballasts to those afflicted by the Burnt Ballast Syndrome. It only took them 3 years, but anyone who decides to mend their ways for the better, years later or not, deserves some kudos for paying attention to their customers.

I have upgraded my rating to 3 stars, for two reasons. First, is that the Ott-Lite floor lamp has hung in there on the replacement ballast and is still on the original bulb, so I must give credit where credit is due. Second, since Ott-Lite is now selling replacement ballasts, I feel more comfortable knowing that if it does decide to croak in the future, I have some options for it besides forced retirement inside Mt. Trashmore.

As a side note, I am becoming more and more a fan of LED lamps. They tend to run cooler, last practically forever and no ballast issues. Their lifespan is also not affected by turning them on and off frequently, unlike CFL lamps which shortens their life significantly, and shortens the lifespan of the ballast.

My point in mentioning this is that for those that have 13W PL-13 lamps with a dead ballast, or simply want to get away from ballasts of CFL lamps, there is now a LED bulb which is a plug in replacement for those lamps. It is available at elightbulbs and the bulb is a Watt-Man 36103. I have not tested this myself, but the cost of the bulb should be similar or less than a replacement ballast and a replacement bulb. You simply bypass the ballast, (cut it off the cord and replace it with a standard 120V plug on the cord), plug in the LED bulb and you are ready to go.

Figured I would toss that in there for those that are interested. It uses 3W and is probably not as bright, but for an office desk lamp, might suit your needs.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NO STARS for OTT-LITE, January 19, 2009
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
I received two OTT-LITE lamps (Key Largo and Hampton)directly from OTT-LITE. Right out of the box one of them did not work!! When I got in touch with Customer Service I found out that I HAD TO PAY THE FREIGHT CHARGE TO RETURN THE DEFECTIVE LAMP!! I'm sending both back. When I asked why their return policy is not made clear up front, I was told it wasn't in their interest to dissuade customers when they "rarely" have these issues.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Run Away from Ott Lamp, June 13, 2006
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
I bought an Ott lamp for $120.00. It worked for 6 months light usage then the ballast burned out. Thank God it didn't cause a fire. When I unplugged it, it was extremely hot and making hissing and crackling noises. I emailed Ott Lamp's customer service about getting a replacement ballast but they never even bothered to email me back. These Lamps cost to much to for so much junk both in product and service. I am looking for a competitors lamp now instead. I know others make daylight lamps.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bulb: 10,000 hours; transformer: 250 hours, January 1, 2009
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
The bulb is rated for up to 10,000 hours, but the transformer only lasted about 250 hours. The transformer is part of the cord and is not replaceable. Ott-Lite won't respond to my e-mail inquiries and doesn't list transformers as a replacement part. I tried a variety of sources for an 18w. transformer that could be modified to accommodate the lamp, but the cheapest I could find was about $30.00. I bought a brand new Hampton Bay table lamp (similar to the Ott-Lite lamp) at Home Depot for $20.00. If your Ott-Lite ceases to work you'll probably assume that the bulb must be replaced and spend $15.00 or so for a new bulb, only to discover that it's not a bulb problem. So you end up with a lamp that won't work and two bulbs you can't use on any other fixture. Don't buy Ott-Lite products...and exchange any Ott-Lite gifts you might receive.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay Away, December 20, 2008
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
Years and years ago (probably before amazon.com was born) I bought this Ott Lite. It has been a great glare free, easy on the eyes, reading light. Finally the bulb burned out. So I've tried replacing it. The first replacement produced about as much light as a night light, not a reading light. The second replacement worked but lasted 13 months (I calculate much less than 1000 hours). My opinion, these lamps used to be good, but for now stay away.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy Ott, January 29, 2009
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
Buyers, be warned! I bought an Ott Lite a year ago, and was using it for needlework. Then one day, it did not work. I bought a new bulb for it, and it still didn't work. Then I learned about the ballast problems, and join the long line of people that bought from Ott and have expensive lights that no longer work. A beautiful lamp is now done for. I'll never buy another Ott product again. Steer clear!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Short life for an expensive lamp - poor customer service, December 14, 2009
By 
Tom (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
My wife sews and had bought three Ott-Lites. Should have bought one at a time. That way we would have realized the problems we were about to have. After a year the ballast burnt out. Cannot find the part online and OTT-Lite will not return emails. Obviously they don't care about the consumers. Stand clear of their products. Never again. We will replace these lamps with other brands and move on.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much less eyestrain with this Ott-Lite floor lamp., February 20, 2006
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
The old incandescent lamp in the den had too much glare so I decided to replace it with an Ott-Lite floor lamp. The color temperature 4000+K (Kelvin NOT the heat emitted) of the Ott-lite is very close to natural daylight and provides noticeably less glare for reading. The 18W fluorescent bulb emits a brighter, whiter, and cooler light than the old 100W incandescent bulb. Saves energy, easier on the eyes = I'm sold! Only drawback is the high retail price but I got a great deal on an online auction so search around!

Update: As of Oct. 2012, my Ott-Lite is still functioning well. Had to change the 18W bulb a few times but the ballast is still working. Be careful you don't buy a replica / forgery Ott-Lite; there are plenty from China even with similar packaging. Also make sure your hands don't touch the new replacement bulbs (I use a pair of latex gloves); any skin oil or contaminants will deteriorate bulb's service life.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced Junk, July 28, 2009
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
As a crafter, scrapbooker, etc., I need good lighting, with a magnifying lens, so I paid the big bucks for the Ott Light Floor lamp with magnifier attached. Within a few months, the magnifying lens fell off. It had a screw-on attachment which was made of vinyl and could not hold up the weight of the lens. The vinyl threads are stripped, so I now have a lens lying on my work-table.
I had only used the light a short time, and infrequently, when this happened.

Recently, the lamp fell over (vacuum cleaner cord caught it) on a soft, carpeted surface and broke at the connection point. Now I have a lamp lying on the floor. I can't think of any purchase I have regretted more than this one - this is the most over-priced junk you need to stay away from!!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Customer Support turn-around!!!, February 16, 2009
By 
This review is from: OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
I have just finished a very happy and fruitful experience with Ott-Lite customer support. I too had a lamp that suffered a premature ballast failure. Of course, like everyone else, I tried finding aftermarket solutions (without success). My local small appliance repair couldn't help either. Finally, I dropped Customer Support an on-line enquiry about the availability of parts. They responded within one day and I now have in my hands a replacement ballast. Ott-Lite has heard the message and they get it. Don't take my word for it. Give Customer Support another chance, their treatment of me certainly left nothing to be desired. I have always liked their products and this experience surely reinforces that feeling.
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OTT-LITE(R) TrueColor(TM) Original 18W Grey Floor
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