Our shop has a lot of things in common with our readers’ shops, especially those who work in basements or abandoned coal mines. The overhead lighting leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve recently been working on a project with ridiculously small details and decided I needed a dedicated workbench light. I found a great LED fixture, thanks to my lovely and charming wife and IKEA. She got one of these lights a few weeks ago, and when payday rolled around, I braved the crowds at the giant retailer, ate a plate of Swedish meatballs and lingonberries and picked up a couple of these lights for my bench.
IKEA usually gets bashed in the woodworking media, but I couldn’t be happier with this little gooseneck LED light, the Tived. It comes with a clamp and a permanent mounting plate. I screwed the plate to a block of wood, and glued a dowel in the bottom of the block. I can place the light in any of the dog holes in my bench. At the business end is a small 3-watt LED that throws a nice warm spot of light, aimed exactly where I need it. It’s a low-voltage light (the transformer is attached to the plug) that doesn’t get hot and doesn’t get in the way. At the back of the fixture is a flexible arm that can be twisted and aimed. At the clamp end is a straight shaft that keeps the light above the bench surface. Similar lights, without the straight shaft, are also available. The Jansjo, with a spring clamp on the end appears to be a good light to clamp on the band saw or drill press.
Accurate work is so much easier when you can actually see what you’re doing.