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Workbench Lamp Suggestions?

Tony Galiani

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Tony Galiani

It finally hit me yesterday (as if I didn't already know this) how disorganized and dysfunctional my workspace is.  I have been tending to ignore the problem but now I am getting busier and it is really interfering with my modeling.  So I am working on a clean up and reorganization.  Part of that is better lighting.  I am finding some workspace/desk lamps on line but not finding any in the local craft stores or art supply stores and I am hesitant to buy without some sort of recommendation.  So, does anyone have any suggestions as to a decent lamp for modeling?  I have a small lamp with magnifier which works well for small detail jobs but really need something larger for my desk.  Any suggestions appreciated.


I am taking a pause on all my projects until I sort out my space so eager to find something.  It is odd, I have done major projects for work and am highly organized with that and the same for my part-time music career.  But my hobby stuff is a mess - that was not necessarily a bad thing as you may not want your hobby to be like work.  But I think my enjoyment level will be increased once I can focus on modeling, not trying to find the right tool, paint color, paint brush, etc. ...



Tony Galiani

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This is a floor lamp and not a desk lamp, but I got this for my father for a reading lamp for christmas and its surprisingly very good.  I've stolen it numerous times when working on smaller models and the adjustable lighting really has been great.  I may have to get one for myself and modify it into a desk lamp.



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That’s nice and bright at 12w (funny 20 years ago 12w was an oven light!). Nice to be able to dim and change color as I find color can effect different things you are working on. I may have to replace one of my mini ikea floor lamp spots behind my chair where I do some laptop modeling watching tv with one of these. Would be nice to flood the area with light then just use one spot. Currently I have one little 4w spot over each shoulder.


on the workbench is I have a number of the little ikea spot lamps and clip on ones on some tools like the drill press and bandsaw. Cheap and sturdy. The older design with the whole neck flexible was nicer and smaller, new ones are big cheaper built, but still useful. Easy to just move to where needed.




I also have these. Mine are older and florescent, but new ones are led and more versatile and a lot less expensive now. Go for biggest lens diameter you can find. Great to work under with lots of light on the subject and also can just double as a light source.







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These are the ikea lamps. They're handy for getting right up close to something and for looking into odd corners. You can set them to any angle. I also have two of the clip on ones that are attached to my make-shift painting booth at the moment. The overhead lamp is a new addition, but it still doesn't make the ikea lights redundant. 



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Tony Galiani

Thanks to everyone - this info is very helpful.  I hadn't been aware of the various features available - and the lamps I had found didn't have those features - so really appreciate everyone shedding some light on this subject!

(Sorry - couldn't resist).


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A couple of useful possibilities which haven't been mentioned so far:


One of the current breed of small but ludicrously powerful LED torches. Useful for hunting the tiny part which went ping on the floor, I hardly ever lose components permanently now. It helps by lighting up the search area and also causing the part to cast a shadow, which naturally moves as you move the torch (and our eyes are drawn to movement). I bought a few with a USB plug hidden under a screw on tail cap and an 18650 cell built into them, I've carried one everywhere for a couple of years now. It plugs straight into any USB port to recharge and is more than bright enough for most uses.


A headtorch. I have a couple of Petzls and a cheaper but still good Energiser, along with the amusingly named "Probe Shiny". The only important thing is that it needs to be able to pivot downwards so you can aim it at whatever you're working on. Also helps if it's either rechargeable or takes AAAs (or 18650s in a pack on the back of your head, in the case of the "Probe Shiny")

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I now have a big 18v Ryobi led spotlight that I use in the backyard at night for the dog (blindingly bright and rechargeable), but it’s wonderful to shine parallel along the floor to find the little pings!


ive stopped using a head lamp on bench work as I find that I get neck aches if I use them for any length of time. I think I start to hold my head very tight subconsciously so as to not jiggle the light and it tightens up my neck then!



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maihama eki

When it comes to light for this hobby, more is better.


First, the hobby room has 2 big windows facing south and east, but since I am more of a night owl hobbyist, that only occasionally helps.


My bench has 2 ceiling can lights above it with LED spot light bulbs that are like the sun.


Then I have one of these lamps, nicknamed "the pentapus". Cheap and powerful. I aim all 5 down onto the bench from behind.



FInally, I have a magnifier and microscope each with their own light sources.


I should probably wear sunscreen when I'm working.



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