New lighting for 2009 APQS Millennium

I have always wanted more lighting above my Long Arm and shortly after setting up my 14 ft frame, I realized that I needed it now more than ever. Weeks ago while quilting on my HQ-16 I looked up and shook my head at how poor the quality of light was that I was working under.

HQ-16 Lighting
HQ-16 Lighting

It only took a few days of quilting with my new 2009 APQS Millennium with quilt glide to realize that NOW was the time to look for more lighting. So the search was on. I went straight to my favorite two places online for quilting info, FaceBook and The APQS Forum. It didn’t take long to find out that one of the only third party lighting systems out there were from

I have seen these lights in person at MQX in April and liked what I saw. The only concern I had was the shipping. Seeing as I live in Canada, I needed a solution that was closer to home. So I picked up the phone and called my trusy Ol’ Dad. He was over in minutes and surveyed the situation.

He wanted to address a couple important concerns that other quilters had with over head lighting. Buzzing from the ballast and heat from the lights. He shrugged his shoulders and off he went to Home Depot.

What seemed like only minutes later, he returned with

  • (3) 10ft lengths of 1 1/4″ SCH 40 PVC Conduit.
  • (10) 1 1/4″ PVC clamps
  • (20) 10×5/8 metal screws (truss socket head)
  • (3) 4ft Fluorescent shoplights w/ instant-on High Power Factor Electronic Ballasts. Uses 2 32W T-8 Natural Sunlight tubes

Now for the assembly. Very simple. Here we go.

  1. Mark two of the conduits from the male end 5′ in.
  2. Run a hair dryer on full power at that mark and bend the two PVC pipes to about a 70 degree angle.
  3. Attach the two at each end of your frame legs just in front of where the table is bolted to the legs. Using the 1 1/4″ PVC clamps around both the bottom and the top horizontal leg supports. Line the top of the PVC to the height you want your lights on the outside of the table legs. line them up to the PVC. Remember the bend goes towards the center of the table. Predrill your holes and screw the clamps to the vertical PVC. Y
  4. You now have a 10ft PVC pipes attached at both ends of your table, bent at 5ft towards the center of your table.
  5. Measure the distance between the two female ends of the PVC over the table and cut and attach a third piece of PVC.
  6. Now you are ready to attach the lights to the three PVC pipes above your table.
  7. predrill the holes again for the  1 1/4″ PVC clamps. Attach the lights.
  8. Attach all three lights to an extension cord from the center light over and down one side of the frame.
  9. Voila… Plug it in and see the light!
PVC bent with the heat of hair dryer
PVC bent with the heat of hair dryer
1 1/4" PVC Clamp
1 1/4" PVC Clamp
PVC attached to APQS Table Leg
PVC attached to APQS Table Leg

As you can see I wrapped the bottom clamp in packing tape just to be sure it held while I was attaching the lights. I don’t think it is necessary however.

PVC Joined Together Between Lights
PVC Joined Together Between Lights
Completed Lighting System Under $100
Completed Lighting System Under $100

12 thoughts on “New lighting for 2009 APQS Millennium”

  1. Manquilter, I love your machine name! Being a Han Solo lover from a very young age I can’t think of anything more appropriate for your beloved machine! The lighting system is great too, I plan to show it to my trusty ‘ol MOM and see if she can hook our Lenni up with something similar!

  2. Matt, your dad is brilliant. This light setup would work over a cutting table, domestic machine table, so many places. Even over a “Man’s” workbench.

  3. I have similar lighting in my front garage, hard-wired into the ceiling. Makes for really great lighting for working under the hood! We also have daylight lightening on our computer desks. It’s nice that now our eyes don’t get weary. It looks as if your set-up is working well for you. You dad is a great fellow!

  4. Wow! Your light set up is fantastic!!! Beautiful pictures as well. I must keep this in mind for my Prodigy when we get moved to our new location and get it and everything else we own out of storage! Your website was forwarded to me by a friend who’d seen your pix, after I was talking about needing better light OVER my quilting. Your set-up is wonderful! Awesome!

  5. Awesome!!! I’m forwarding this to DH so he can get to work! Every time I come back in from my sewing studio and give him the same complaint…I can’t see what I’m doing!!! Thanks for sharing Matt. Dad’s are wonderful resources 🙂

  6. When he chose 10″ lengths…was it b/c that is the size of your table? I have a 14″ milli in process of coming and the old dining room, converted to a kids tv room, left to become a storeage room for my dad after my parents divorced and now after moving back home after 20 yrs in ’98 due to a disabliling injury and he had lots of room here by himself in this big house, is now my work room. it was originallly a 2×2 house with 114’x15′ rooms before they added the back kitchen/ 2bedrooms and a bath upstairs to the back in the ’50’s, so I have the fromt toom on the starway side so I don’t have the fourth wall giveing me extra space but as old (1896) houses went around here there is no overhead lighting at all so I was oriiginally going to go with Deloa’s hubby’s setup but then APQS came out with there lighting for the same price so I went with that but it never occurred to me who usuallly always thinks of other possiblle situations to be flexible but never thought the milli could end up in a room with a overhead fan to cool the room which means the apqs lighting will be in the road probabley. So I would need to know if this setup would work with a 14″ table that has the auto lift (my lower back was butsted bac, that was the injury) so I have to think in terrms of user friendly in a different way now and stilll stay flexible for different situations that may come up b/c I tend to move things around…my room constantly evolves as I find better ways to lay it out. Have a great one! I love it when people can think on their feet and outside the box! Tam.

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