The lightbulb finally goes on

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The lightbulb finally goes on

This blog post was originally posted on The Dailey Grind.

As I get older I realize that I need more light to see what I’m working on. I’ve been looking around for a light that was more than just a spot light to better help me see my work on the lathe.

Laguna Lathe Lamp mounted in ceiling and situated over my lathe. Sorry for the light glare in the upper left corner. It's coming from my 4 foot shop light. Laguna Lathe Lamp mounted in ceiling and situated over my lathe. Sorry for the light glare in the upper left corner. It’s coming from my 4 foot shop light.

Last fall when I was teaching bowl turning classes in S. Portland, Maine we were using new Laguna 1216 lathes for the two students in each class. On those lathes were new Laguna lathe lamps. They were longer LED lights and not the spot lights that Laguna previously had for their lathes or bandsaws. Don’t get me wrong the spot lights are fine but I already have one, from another company, that has a magnetic base to hold it securely to my lathe. I was hoping to find something with an articulating arm and that I could mount above my lathe and move into whatever place I wanted. It’s important to me that I could move it because I want extra light while I’m working on my pieces. Then I can move the light around the piece and look at the piece from various angles to make sure that I haven’t missed any scratch marks before I apply the finish. There are other LED light bars on the market but this is the only one, that I know of, that I can adjust the amount and kind of light on. By adjusting the coolness (color) and brightness of the light it helps me see the scratch marks better.

When you open the box you see the separate lamp parts in bubble wrap.
This is what you see when you open the box.
Lamp parts in the box once packing material has been removed.
Lamp parts in the box once packing material has been removed.

By mounting it in the ceiling and because it pivots almost 360 degrees, I can also rotate it around to put light on my router table too. There is a pin that stops the light from going a full 360 degrees probably so that a person can’t continually go around and around and damage the wires on the inside.

This shows how I mounted the lamp between the stringers and you can see the light control knobs on the backside of the arm.
This shows how I mounted the lamp between the stringers and you can see the light control knobs on the backside of the arm.

There are adjustments on the light near the base that allow me to control the amount of light. I can also move the light on pivot points along the arm to get the light exactly where I want it to be.

I’ve been working with the light for a few weeks now and so far I’m liking it. Time will tell if I like it better than a spot light and also the longevity of the LED bulbs.

The only thing that I would like to see changed on the light is where the knobs are located. I would like to see them near the light itself and not near the base but I also realize that I’m not using the light the way that Laguna intended for them to be used. If I had the light mounted on my lathe like they intended, the adjustment knobs would be near at hand and not near the ceiling like I have them.

I feel that I should also mention that I work at Rockler as a turning instructor. However I am not sponsored, nor did I receive any special discounts or compensation for this critique from them or from Laguna. I ordered this light from Rockler’s website on November 30th because of a Black Friday Cyber Monday special that Laguna was running at the time and had to wait weeks (because of COVID) for the light to show up, just like everyone else at the time.

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  • Kim Dailey