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Machine Lamp Recommendation?

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Dr_GMJN04/09/2021 10:04:31
1266 forum posts

All, can anyone suggest a decent machine lamp for use with ML7 and SX2P sized machines? I want a mains one, decent quality.

I got a small-ish LED lamp on a swan neck type thing last year, But the LEDs are already failing and it eats batteries. The flexible neck also doesn’t stay put at extreme angles.


john fletcher 104/09/2021 10:34:18
783 forum posts

I have two 30 LED "sewing machine lights" on my super 7 which work from the mains. They come with a two pin plug, which I removed and fitted a 13 amp ones. The lights have a small circular magnet at the end of flexible piece around 10" long, got them via ebay and they are listed as "sewing machine lights". Wife has one on the sewing machine and I've one for soldering. John

roy entwistle04/09/2021 10:49:52
1504 forum posts

I picked up a pair of Anglepoise lamps at a flea market for a couple of £s


bernard towers04/09/2021 11:06:46
573 forum posts
109 photos

That’s a bargain Roy considering new price. I use them as well with good quality led bulbs, nice bright white ones.

Journeyman04/09/2021 11:44:02
1147 forum posts
230 photos

A made some, if you fancy a bit of a project, see *** LINK *** the parts are available from Amazon, eBay, CPC etc.


Still working well on lathe, mill and drill after quite a few years. They are not actually 'mains' but use plug in power supply for 12v LED lamps. I think Lo-Vo is generally safer where it may get wet or impacted.

mechman4804/09/2021 11:53:53
2947 forum posts
468 photos
Posted by john fletcher 1 on 04/09/2021 10:34:18:

I have two 30 LED "sewing machine lights" on my super 7 which work from the mains. They come with a two pin plug, which I removed and fitted a 13 amp ones. The lights have a small circular magnet at the end of flexible piece around 10" long, got them via ebay and they are listed as "sewing machine lights". Wife has one on the sewing machine and I've one for soldering. John

+1 just received one of these lights; throws a very bright beam onto the work area, tried it on my mill ,the difference in luminescence compared to the flexible spot I am using is amazing.

SillyOldDuffer04/09/2021 12:03:59
8484 forum posts
1890 photos

My experience for what it's worth! I experimented with two types and decided neither did what I wanted. More on that at the end!

To my lathe, I fitted a magnetic sewing machine light, like this one but cheaper.


Prices range from about £5 to £40. They come with either a plastic clamp or magnet base, making them easy to fit to most machines, moveable, and they produce a reasonable white light. The swan neck isn't long enough, and, more important the electrics may not be fit for purpose. (The more expensive versions might be: my cheap lamp was cause for concern.) Problem is sewing machine lamps aren't designed for rough workshops, exposed to knocks and fluids, where the user is dangerously well earthed by big metal machines and concrete floors. The circuit that powers the LEDs is safe enough on a sewing machine in a dry internal room, but risky as a machine lamp. The same concern applies to other domestic lamps; are they electrically safe in a workshop?

My mill is fitted with a proper machine light, electrically safe and mechanically robust. It contains a 12V power supply driving a quartz halogen car headlamp bulb. Fixed to the machine with four bolts, so attaching it may be problematic, particularly as gantry movement limits where the base can go. From memory, about £60.


Neither lamp is satisfactory in my workshop. They both create unhelpful deep shadows and bright reflections. So I upgraded my workshop's general lighting instead. Squeezed into a single garage, after painting the ceiling white, I fitted three pairs of diffused 60W fluorescent tubes - 360W daylight total. The lamps are positioned to brightly light everything underneath evenly: no shadows and reduced reflections.

So although occasionally useful on the mill, I don't need a machine light. Not perfect, as soon as the fluorescents pop their clogs I shall upgrade to LED - the light is better. The change was so successful I wondered if machine lamps are bygone hangovers from when factories were relatively dimly lit - 100W tungsten bulbs are about 2.5% efficient, compared with a strip lamp's 20%. My garage is brightly lit!


J Hancock04/09/2021 12:41:39
832 forum posts

If you insist on using mains voltage, just make sure you have a working earth leakage protection device fitted.

240vac is better than a Taser and won't stop , even when you're dead.

JasonB04/09/2021 13:14:38
22572 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

I've had one of the Chronos ones with the transformer in the base for a number of years but bought a couple of Ikea "Jansjo" type ones a couple of years back and tend to use them more. Run of a usb wallwart there are no batteries to worry about

John Haine04/09/2021 14:00:29
4622 forum posts
273 photos

+4 for Jansjo from Ikea. One on each mill, one on lathe, one general purpose gets moved around.

ega04/09/2021 14:18:06
2495 forum posts
200 photos

I was going to suggest the Ikea lamps but couldn't remember the name!

I have several of them. An advantage on the lathe is that they can readily be directed into a bore for inspection; a corresponding disadvantage is that they are less resistant to vibration than other types. The bulb is not replaceable.

Most of mine are on modified bases including one with a circular recess which plugs on to the column on the Quorn.

Howard Lewis04/09/2021 17:14:03
6013 forum posts
14 photos

If you do opt for halogen lamps, it is worth ensuring that the lamp body is well ventilated.

The halogen lamp that came with my lathe takes a 24 Volt 50 Watt lamp, which are not easy to find, and they had a short life. Noting how hot they ran, I removed the "Reflector" and filed a 8 mm wide slot on each side of the rim, to allow air to flow through, before refitting bit..

Since then lamps have lasted MUCH longer. (Asking for trouble, I can't remember when this one was fitted, it was so long ago ).

My experience of cheap LED lamps is that after a fairly short time they start to flicker (Assumed to be one half of the bridge rectifier in the PSU failing. ) The more costly LED lamps, used in the house, don't have this short life. You get what you pay for Buy cheap, buy twice


Dave Halford04/09/2021 17:28:31
2006 forum posts
23 photos

I use the £9 TERTIAL ones from Ikea. They just need careful placement.

Mike Poole04/09/2021 18:21:48
3305 forum posts
73 photos

In our tool room the machine lights were all lovo lights. I feel that I would rather not have a mains lamp at the business end as you have to handle the arm and lamp assembly to adjust the light. Sooner or later the cable will fail and may generate a hazard. Supply from an RCD protected circuit will offer improved protection but does not eliminate entirely the risk of a shock. I would seriously consider a low voltage machine lamp if at all possible.


Baz04/09/2021 18:26:54
709 forum posts
2 photos

I quite like the LED magnifying lamps sold by Machine Mart, they give an excellent light and enable me to see small work. Not cheap but you get what you pay for.

Dr_GMJN04/09/2021 20:00:39
1266 forum posts

Thanks all. I was in IKEA on Thursday, and was looking at their lamps. Wish I’d have asked before I went.

When I said ‘mains’ I meant ‘not battery powered’, so I guess the IKEA ones are low voltage with a transformer. I might get one and see how it goes.

martin haysom04/09/2021 20:10:25
90 forum posts
Posted by roy entwistle on 04/09/2021 10:49:52:

I picked up a pair of Anglepoise lamps at a flea market for a couple of £s


i did this then binned the light and housing replaced them with a bean can which holds a house hold LED 12V down lighter transformer is in the base of the machine

KEITH BEAUMONT04/09/2021 20:30:17
162 forum posts
38 photos

8 hours have past and no one has made a comment about S O D leaving his chuck key in the chuck !!


Bazyle04/09/2021 20:31:37
6295 forum posts
222 photos

If you have a shelf above and behind as so many do just get a kitchen over counter/under cupboard LED strip light next time they appear in Lidl. In fact get 2. You can put the second on a batten that hinges on the shelf perhaps as a parallel motion arrangement to pull out over the lathe when more light is needed.
Spruce the area up with white paint to reflect more light to get an overall directionless illumination.

Mick B104/09/2021 20:35:09
2161 forum posts
119 photos
Posted by Dave Halford on 04/09/2021 17:28:31:

I use the £9 TERTIAL ones from Ikea. They just need careful placement.

Another vote for the Ikea cheapie. It comes with a bracket you can fix to a suitable vertical surface, and unlike some other anglepoisoids it doesn't restrict the forward pivot of the lower arm.

I removed two of the tension springs to improve its articulation and its ability to stay where you set it when you let go.

I put in the wooden batten on the splashback to provide grip for an earlier spring-clip lamp, that wasn't as good.


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