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LED work lights

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dean Center, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    May 4, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    There was a recent thread about LED work lights, mainly about the high intensity ones. It occurred to me that members of the Cheapskate Woodworkers Guild might appreciate a comparison of two inexpensive lamps that have been recommended over the years. One is the Ikea Jansjo desk lamp, which I have used for a few years, and the other is one recently recommended by Tim Tucker, I believe.

    The bottom line is that neither is perfect or even clearly superior to the other. They are different in several ways which will determine the one you might prefer. I don't have any kind of light meter, so intensity is a guess, but neither has the intensity of a $100 light. A photo of both is attached.

    Idea Jansjo

    Comes with weighted base, need to make magnetic base if desired
    1.25” diameter round/cone head with transparent focusing lens
    Flexible shaft of 21“, very durable
    “Warm”, yellowish color of light
    Light intensity modest, need to get lamp very near project to be of help
    Cord 76”, with a transformer near plug,
    Switch is inline, simple toggle
    Not sure where it's made, but probably in China for a Swedish company
    Currently $27 on Amazon, has been on sale at Ikea stores in the past.

    Comes with magnetic base and magnets so strong it can be difficult to move
    1.25” X 3” flat head, can interfere with view of project
    Flexible shaft of 16“, too new to know about durability
    “Cold”, bluish color of light (6000K)
    3 light intensities, the middle option appears roughly equivalent to the Ikea light, brightest setting very helpful
    Cord 50”, shorter to the point of limiting placement of the lamp
    Switch is on the lamp itself and is a touch switch. Some potential for moving lamp head when tapping to turn on/change brightness, though I haven't had an issue
    Clearly a Chinese product
    Currently $15 on Amazon.


    Attached Files:

    Steve Fairbairn likes this.
  2. Tom De Winter

    Tom De Winter

    Apr 30, 2020
    Location (City & State):
    Quad Cities, IL
    I purchased 2 of the Harmiey lights in April. Both have failed. The touch control circuit on both are flaky. One has to be plugged in for a day then may or may not turn on or off. Sometimes it randomly turns on. This would be a great light if it just had a mechanical switch.
    I’ve had four or five messages to and from the seller in the last several months. He offered a refund or replacement. He said he had a different version with a regular switch. I accepted the replacement option. It took a couple more messages and finally I got a package of three lamps. The goosenecks are about 10” long and not silicone covered. Too short to be of much use to me.
    Think I’m just going to give up.
  3. brian horais

    brian horais

    Dec 20, 2014
    Location (City & State):
    Knoxville, TN
    Home Page:
    I have a number of the Janso gooseneck LED lamps in my workshop and find them very useful for putting light where I want it. I even adapted the Jenso type floorlamp (it was on sale for $20) and hung it from the ceiling rafters on a pivot so I could swing it back and forth and then pinpoint the light with the gooseneck. These lamps even allow me to see inside my work when I am hollowing. The Jenso can be modified by taking off the weighted base, Forming a new baseplate and using a round magnet with a center hole. These round magnets can oftern be found in the welding areas of hardware stores. Here's a couple of images of my Jenso LED light setups over my lathe and the details for mounting a circular magnet on the Jenso base. You may also notice that I use overhead LED shoplights over my lathe and behind me. You can never have too much light (especially as you get older).
    lighting 2.jpg lighting 1.jpg
  4. John Walls

    John Walls

    Jan 20, 2020
    Location (City & State):
    Larimore, ND
    I picked up a cheapie off fleece-bay, FAJ Magnetic 12" flexible light. Has only gave me trouble one time then problem went away, for now. I've had it a couple months. I'm going to drop some coin this coming fall/winter and get a good set-up. This one works but not as well as I'd like.
  5. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Jun 6, 2018
    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    Thanks for doing the review, Dean. They are helpful.

    I am another Ikea user. I use the shorter neck Jansjo clip on (they may have stopped making them). I affix rare earth magnets to the bottom jaw and keep a block of wood in the jaws to stand it up.

    My experience has been a little different than yours. I'm happy with them. I have 5 or so around the lathe and use anywhere from 3 to 5 at a time. I'm happy with the intensity, distribution and throw of the lights, but our goals and needs may be very different.
  6. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

    Feb 6, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Brandon, MS
    Steve Fairbairn likes this.
  7. Steve Fairbairn

    Steve Fairbairn

    May 5, 2017
    Location (City & State):
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I bought one of the last Janso lights with the weighted base before Ikea stopped selling them (at least in Canada). I didn't assemble the base and instead mounted the gooseneck on a magnetic base. My lathe has a 24" swing so I find the gooseneck to be a little bit short if the base is on the lathe ways. I don't find the USB Janso lights to be bright enough but they are certainly cheap.

    I bought a sewing machine strip light with touch switch from Amazon that I've been quite happy with. The strip has self-adhesive on the back which I stuck to a thin strip of metal and epoxied rare earth magnets to the other side. I use it on mainly the front of my tool rest but it is easy to use handheld to inspect the inside of hollow forms. I'm going to buy a couple meters of high intensity 5VDC LED strip lights and some inline switches so I can make some more with different lengths.

    LED Strip Light 1.jpg LED Strip Light 3.jpg LED Strip Light 4.jpg LED Strip Light 2.jpg LED Idea Gooseneck 1.jpg

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