Over one of my modelling benches I have an angle poise magnifier with built in lamp. It’s a little unusual being a larger format than most with a larger lens and wider coverage lamp. It’s a specialist crafters item and I think I bought it at a show. Can’t be sure as its been there awhile.
A short while ago it all went a bit dull on the bench as the lamp failed. The light was a square format compact fluorescent and you could see the ends of the tube had the traditional burnt ends of a failed tube.
As it helpfully had the lamp type on the label and the shop I got it from web address was there too I thought I’d show a bit of loyalty and whizzed off an e-mail to see if they had replacement tubes.
This is where is went a bit wonky.
The reply was “we’ve got the tubes” but then quickly skirted over that to sing the virtues of LED lit magnifiers and trying to sell me a completely new unit. Even went as far as offering a previous customer discount. A second e-mail trying to get a new tube got more LED sell and no tube.
I didn’t want a new lamp as its sort of built into my workbench, but it turns out he was right LED’s work a treat!
After a bit of a rummage I found the remnants of an “LED’s on a roll” set that I had bought to do my layout wiring.
I stripped the lamp head down and then discovered a that the tube had clearly got a bit hot as it died. With the tube removed and the electronics for it stripped out I fitted four straight strips of LED tape in roughly where the tube had been. These were wired up in parallel on the marked connection points and wired back to the switch and a home made terminal. After a quick test the diffuser and head were reassembled.
The mains flex up the arm was re-purposed and connected to the LED’s at one end and the low voltage plug top power supply at the other. This was fun as the spring loading in the arms without the weight of the head to counterbalance is a but like wrestling an angry snake whilst threading the wires.
Back on the bench it was time for the moment of truth.
Turns out he was right LED’s are better and this cost nowt as it used bits I already had.