Can anyone recommend a quality swing top bench lamp? Is there such a thing anymore??

Every time I see one on Amazon or ebay there are complaints about the quality.


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I would be interested to see some examples. We have good lighting in the workshop but have been looking for a swing lap that comes recommended.

I have two identical to the one in your picture.  I don't think either one cost me more than a dozen or so bucks. They get the job done.  I discarded the cheap clamp things on the bottom and just drilled a few 1/2 inch (IIRC) homes in my work top and stick the end right into the hole.  I move them occasionally from one hole to another.  

If you're dependent on the cheap clamp on the bottom, I'd pass on them.

I'm always on the hunt.

I must be hard on lamps. My current ones both have replacement parts I made out of aluminum to keep them going after they gave up the ghost. 

Years ago, when one nearly landed on a customers valuable instrument, I immediately ordered a couple that were in the $100-$200 dollar range thinking I would put that risk to bed. No such luck. They are the one's I have now that cost me time to repair. I'm not sure how much I would have to spend for a light that did what I wanted and lasted. 

Everytime I go to the dentist or doctor I lust after the industrial exam lights. when I run out of flimsy metal to bolt repairs onto, Some sort of medical salvage/Ebay place would be the final solution.

If anyone finds a sweet spot of cost/durability please post it. I promise to do the same.

If your a hide glue user or use a heat lamp to remove bridges and fingerboards,  lamps that can handle the wattage of short term use makes life much better. Just screw in the heat lamp and go. No setting up special rigs for heating or warming.

I just looked on Google under "used dentist equipment."  Some nice stuff but be sitting when you look at prices... .

I use this lamp. It's LED and equipped wit a magnifying glass if needed :-) Nice light and pretty well made. Works great for me. I taped the rim of the glass with a black tape not to have light coming straight into in my eyes.

Hmm. Looks a bit like a WC with an open lid!....

About 4 years ago I replaced the last in a long line of crappy bench lamps with one from Electrix. It is US made, good quality and sturdy. At first I had a problem because it was shipped without sufficient padding or an outer box, but they sent a replacement part. I opted for one that uses a 100 watt halogen bulb, because I think that gives better color rendering than LED, and I use the heat to pre-warm parts for hide glue. It can get pretty warm right over my head, though. It has a clamp base that is very robust- hasn't loosened a bit in the time I have had it clamped to my bench.

These are pretty decent:

The articulated ones that I can find are all crappy.  The best were the counterweighted ones from the 50s sometimes found in architects offices.  I've searched, but they do not appear to be made anymore.

Greg, those Electrx are the nice ones I've burned through and rehabilitated. LOL.

The flexible conduit is so stiff, it fatigued the metal at the base very quickly. The articulating one I use everyday but had to industrialize the base and replace one of the arms. The good part is I've had 250w heat lamps on in them for 20 minutes or more and nothing gets cooked. Even though the're not rated for it.

I have a couple of old Dazor fluorescent lamps from probably from the 50's that are great and prove humans can build one that will last. I keep waiting for a good color LED to come out for them. They also won't hold a heat lamp.

I move my lamp every time I check nut slot heights and move it back while I file so the number of movements is pretty high.  I'm also at the point where I need to add Lumens every year to keep up with my declining eyesight.

Thanks for the link Howard. Maybe those are not as stiff as the one that failed on me.

Years ago at Collings, the chosen solution was to buy a pallet of the $14 ones and just replace them when they broke. ( which they did almost every day somewhere in the shop) It was a bit ridiculous.

I have been buying lamps at IKEA for several years. A sort of standard version. These come with a heavy weight metal tray base and porcelain bulb socket. They are cheap and hold up fairly well. I suggest adding metal tape on the seam of the visor section that can twist off as you grab for positioning.  I tried the version with magnifying lens, but it was cumbersome and eventually the glass fell out on my work. 

Hey guys thank you ALL for the responses!

It's been helpful!

I have two of those on my workbench. I am still trying to find the right bulbs for them that are bright but don't throw off Alt of heat.


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