I have a perfectly good light for my workbench, on an attachment that slips into the dog holes. And, it has a magnifier, which is becoming increasingly useful. However: My bench is against a wall, so the articulating arm of the light limits how it can be positioned, there’s a pesky cord and it uses a fluorescent bulb, which hums when lit. Plus, I tend to smack my head on the light with distressing regularity – so it has been relegated to use only when I need magnification – or have a lengthy need for illumination.
Instead, for many bench tasks I’m now using the “Magnetic-Mount LED Work Light,” available from Lee Valley (#15J77.01), which is powered by three AA batteries. With the optional mounting plate ($3.50) and 3⁄4″ dog-hole post ($2.50), I can affix it anywhere on my bench that I’ve a hole drilled for a dog or holdfast.
The magnet on the base of the light makes it easy to remove from the plate for use as a machinery light, too. Plus, it comes with a handy side-mount clip (you can see it in the picture) that attaches to any ferrous surface via a rare-earth magnet.
The flexible 18″ neck makes it easy to position the (extremely bright) illumination precisely, plus the housing on the business end telescopes, allowing the beam to be focused in and out.
My one complaint is that, with continuous use, the three sets of batteries I tested lasted on average just a few minutes more than 5 hours, and my rechargeable batteries don’t fit (a problem mentioned in the product instructions). So, if I’m planning a long session of dovetailing, for example, I revert to my plug-in light (and do my best to position it out of the way of my head).
Contact: Leevalley.com or 800-871-8158
Street price: from $34.50
Blog: Read about the base Christopher Schwarz made to fit his 1″ dog holes.
From April 2014 issue, #210