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One time lathe lamp purchase- Which one do you recommend?

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I'm in the process of setting up for a new lathe.
I've just bought a Rikon 8 inch grinder and some jigs to go with it, a SuperNova2 Pro-Tek Chuck bundle and a few bowl gouges for different grinds.

Lighting is my next concern.

I've got decent overhead lighting but I find myself not seeing too well on the piece I'm turning.... both outside and inside of bowls and hollow forms. I've spent all afternoon looking at some lathe lights and I am looking for suggestions on what works for you.

Features that I really want to include...
  • magnetic base
  • long gooseneck (25 inches or more - the longer the better
  • bright- lots of lumens for these tired eyes (600 or more)
  • Mid to High price range
  • Really good quality build so that I only buy it once
I am leaning towards Woodturner's Wonders at the moment... either the Quasar or the SuperNova but I don't know much about other brands that may be available. Even between these two (same price) The Quasar has 700 lumens but seems more general/broad beamed where the SuperNova is brighter 870 lumens but has a narrower focused beam. I can see the benefits of each but I'm not sure if the Super Nova is as great for general lighting on the outside of a bowl/form. Anyone using the Super Nova on the outside of the bowls please give me your feedback.

Any suggestions are welcome. I've looked at a couple of threads here discussing lighting but mostly overhead and ambient lighting.

Again... maybe there are other options and brands I don't know about so any feedback is welcome.
Thanks
Al in Texas
 
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Bill Boehme

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I recommend Moffatt lamps. My oldest one is about 20 years old and still as good as new. All my Moffatt lights predate LED lighting so they have sockets and switches rated for 100 watts. Also, they originally included three options for mounting: direct mount, magnetic base, and C-clamp mount. I noticed that the new Moffatt lamps come with a 12 watt LED bulb (5 watts on smaller lamps) so they probably won't handle the old-style tungsten bulbs.

Here is a link to one of my old posts showing how I adapted a Moffatt lamp to fit the headstock on my Robust American Beauty lathe.
 
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Thank you Gerry and thanks Bill,
This is the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I'm off to do some more research on these two lamps.
Al
 
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I set up an old desk lamp over my lathe. Attached it to the wall so it would pivot to any position over the lathe.
 
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My suggestion is to have more than one goose neck lamp. It cuts down on shadows. I made several cheaply out of Ikea desk lamps (now discontinued), so I use 3, but 2 is nice if you can afford it.
 

Roger Wiegand

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Any good old articulated arm desk lamp (think Luxo for the best) that you can screw to the wall behind your lathe outfitted with a bright LED spotlight will provide very good task lighting that you can direct where needed. I found a gooseneck wall-mounted medical exam light that is perfect for turning, unfortunately it retails for about $600 so I certainly can't recommend buying one new-- for $50 it is a great solution.

I put a piece of track on the ceiling over my lathe bed with a motley collection of mostly found heads (about 8 over 8 ft of track), also with 50W equivalent LED spots. Most of them are towards the tailstock end to provide raking light, a couple angled from the headstock end to fill the shadows. None point directly down. This is all in addition to the normal shop illumination, which is already pretty bright. I like lots of light! Look for 90+ CRI bulbs for better color rendition.

Beware of the inexpensive magnetic base gooseneck LED lamps on Amazon, the magnets aren't strong enough to hold them up with the gooseneck extended.
 
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I had a couple of the cheap amazon magnetic *sewing machine* gooseneck'd lights, both developed switch shorting out problems after a couple months. They reside in the trash can now. I picked up a super nova lamp with magnetic base and long flexible neck. Love it, highly recommend them. I can move it to put light where I need it, up/close for hollowing and over the outside of turning project. It is a narrow beam but I love the light output, plan on getting another one in next few months, they are spendy but so worth it!
 
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If you're planning on mounting it on the headstock with a magnetic mount, I'd recommend getting a lamp with a 90 degree turned head. That will make it much easier to position to see inside a bowl. I have the Aurora from Woodturners Wonders and it works well and is out of the way while turning. I tried a cheap LED light with a magnetic base I got off Ebay and it was hard to position so it was not in the way.
 
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Well, to points I look for are light spectrum, and being able to move around/aim where you want it. For best light spectrum, I went with Blue Max lamps. They are made for the needle point and quilters. A bit awkward to move around and the head sags, but it puts out a lot of light, and the spectrum is perfect. I have several of the Moffatt lamps, and liked them, but they would get dust in the switches and not turn off and on very well. I have several of the lamps from Ken, and they work fine, but I don't really like the more white of the lamps in them. The spectrum choices for the LED bulbs is not quite up to par yet. As some one said, 'Never take a finished piece from the shop to the house on a sunny day. Sunlight causes scratches.' Our eyes have adapted to that kind of full spectrum lighting and that is what we see best in. I have heard of a few turners who get old medical or dental lights that generally wall mount. They have the correct spectrums, and you can move them around and they stay put.

robo hippy
 
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Whatever you get, get LED. The heat from incandescent bulbs up close is tough to handle.

You need light on top at times and light from the tail stock end at times. Two lights make sense. It's also possible to do with one if it's the right light on the right base in the right location. If you try to do it with a single light, one potential problem is the head of the light obstructing your vision or getting in the way of your hands or tools.

And be careful listening to Robo--he has a "tool buying problem". (When it comes to tools, he almost sounds like the pusher man, "First one's free, kid". :D) On the positive side, he's tried out almost every variation of anything you can find and can compare and contrast with authority.

As you've read, there are many ways to skin this particular cat. Most of us have tried different solutions and changed up as we've learned what works for us and our methods. Whatever you settle on now may not be what you're using in 3 years.
 
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Fantastic feedback. I'm still undecided but I'm leaning towards a supernova and an overhead LED light that swivels. I found one that's 10000 lumens on Amazon ( actually two) . But the moffatt's or other gooseneck style so look good. I wonder if I have an old Ikea in storage. Thanks everyone
 

brian horais

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I have three different LED lighting sources over my lathe that provide excellent lighting capability. The first is a 4 foot LED shop light mounted directly overhead but slightly behind where I stand, to keep it from shining in my eyes. The second and third lights are modified IKEA LED gooseneck lamps that I can point where they are needed. The attached images show the second light which mounts with a magnet on top of the drive end structure. I modified the IKEA desk lamp by adding a round magnet in the base. The third lamp is a modified IKEA gooseneck floor lamp. I took off the base and made a ceiling mount that can be moved back and forth to position the gooseneck. This, with the flexibility of the gooseneck, allows me to position the light in nearly impossible places, such as staring inside a vase as I am hollowing it out. The flexible bends in the gooseneck make sure it is out of the way for my tools. Both IKEA lamps are available in the store or online at reasonable prices. The LED shop light can be purchased at Costco or at many hardware/big-box stores. Hopefully this was enlightening (pun intended)
 

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Bill Boehme

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I have three different LED lighting sources over my lathe that provide excellent lighting capability. The first is a 4 foot LED shop light mounted directly overhead but slightly behind where I stand, to keep it from shining in my eyes. The second and third lights are modified IKEA LED gooseneck lamps that I can point where they are needed. The attached images show the second light which mounts with a magnet on top of the drive end structure. I modified the IKEA desk lamp by adding a round magnet in the base. The third lamp is a modified IKEA gooseneck floor lamp. I took off the base and made a ceiling mount that can be moved back and forth to position the gooseneck. This, with the flexibility of the gooseneck, allows me to position the light in nearly impossible places, such as staring inside a vase as I am hollowing it out. The flexible bends in the gooseneck make sure it is out of the way for my tools. Both IKEA lamps are available in the store or online at reasonable prices. The LED shop light can be purchased at Costco or at many hardware/big-box stores. Hopefully, this was enlightening (pun intended)

Looks like the handiwork of an aerospace engineer. :D

IKES lights crop.jpg
 
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Such a great variety of options these days, @Al Chavez

Get those good lamps you're thinking of getting, but remember that lighting from several sources, and from different directions are the best for seeing minor flaws.

I have three of these 30LED magnetic base lamps on my lathe to go along with my main sources of light, and they are great.....and real cheap to boot! ($7.59 ea!) None of those I have have failed me yet, and they have been in service for at least 5 years now. Not only are they great at the lathe, they are also on the band saw, drill press, grinder, work bench and a few other locations.....such a deal! :D

https://www.ebay.com/itm/30-LED-Sewing-Machine-Light-Gooseneck-Working-Lamp-With-Magnetic-Base-White-Lamp/303728703036?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20160727114228&meid=871d106f3b7341ec81c3c714c8b5bd18&pid=100290&rk=1&rkt=4&sd=303728703036&itm=303728703036&pmt=1&noa=1&pg=2060778&brand=Unbranded&_trksid=p2060778.c100290.m3507

-----odie-----

iu
 
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Yes, you're right Odie. I like your suggestion about more than one light source. Thanks for the tip on the small led mag lights.
Al
 

Timothy Allen

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Regarding the lights from Highland Woodworking:
How well does the magnet hold it on a vertical painted cast iron surface, such as the side of the headstock or side of the lathe bed?

I would say the magnet is kinda marginal. If it and the vertical surface are clean, it will hold the light, but will break free if you try to adjust the gooseneck much. So adjust it first, and then fix it in place.... FWIW, my lathe is mostly steel rather than cast iron, if that makes a difference (the hold might be stronger on steel versus cast, I think). I mount them to horizontal surfaces, myself.
 
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I picked up one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S5QT88J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 back in October. The goose neck is still holding up and its super bright. A month after i bought this one i found one that is 30 inches. Going to buy that one soon and move this one to the bandsaw. It does not have a magnetic base but was easy enough to add a magnet to. I bolted the bracket that comes with it to a big magnet that i got at home depot.
 
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I have a couple of discontinued Ikea Jansjo lamps with custom bases that have worked pretty well but more lumens is better. I have a Beacon from woodturnerswonders and am a bit disappointed. It puts out sufficient light but is a bit too focused, and the extra heavy duty gooseneck is pretty stiff to arrange, and with it being an “inline” light - beam inline with the neck - it requires some bending to get into position.

I purchased 2 of the lights from Highland ww linked to by Tim Allen, and like them. Compared to the beacon, the beam is more dispersed, the gooseneck not as stiff, and the light beam is 90 deg to the neck. I like them much better than the Beacon. The mag base is not overly strong but is satisfactory.
 
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As has been brought up, I found the magnetic base wasn't secure on a Robust with a powder coated finish. There's a lot of torque at the end of the fixture when you try and move it. The lamp mount Ken sells works great on the Black Hole system with minor modification and it's really stable when you position it.
 
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Well I have an Ikea desk lamp in-which I put a mag base on from harbor fright. total cost $15.00
learned this from Aaron Cornell
 
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I also have a couple of Super Nova lights I got from Ken Rizza and they work very well for me. I use one on the headstock and the other mounted on the tail stock.
 
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