RECOMMENDED: Two Magnifier Lamp Options

Thread Starter

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,513
As I have gotten older my vision has certainly worsened. I don't like to admit it to myself because it is certainly a limitation on my ability to do some sorts of work and that's not very nice.

However, i have always been a fan of both good lighting and magnification, even if the past days of excellent vision but now that I am so dependent on it I use it constantly. That said, I have a couple of lamps that have proven themselves very good in use and wold like to pass on the recommendation to others that need some help with (what used to not be) very small work.

The first is a relatively expensive option but very good for the money.

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This Brightech Lightview Pro XL offers a nice large 145mm (5.7") wide lens so you can get both eyes into the work comfortably. The +5 diopter (2.25x) magnification provides a reasonable working distance of ~100mm (4") so it's relatively easy to keep the lamp out of the way. Note that for more freedom you really want a head-mounted magnifier, and the Donegan Optivisor is the jewelers/machinists/craftsman standard.

The arm on the Brightech is excellent with a very long reach. As you can see, it will reach all the way from the back of the 32" bench top to the work area. It has enough degrees of freedom to position it well for most work, though sometimes for non-flat workpieces it requires some creativity. It holds it's position very well.

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The 62 cool white LED array provides even lighting without excessive shadows. The color temperature is not unpleasant. There is a five step touch dimmer at the front. Of course, it makes a great task light even if you don't use the lens. All in all, while it is no Luxo, it also doesn't cost the nearly $500USD you'd lay out for one.

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The second is a much more affordable but extremely functional lamp which I use on my desk. I reach for it constantly

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The BEIGAON Magnifier Lamp is 62 LED, continuously dimmable lamp with three color temperature settings. That I can adjust the temperature to match my desk lighting is a big plus. The diffuser on the LEDs is excellent, and the light is smooth and hotspot free. It is USB powered, and comes with a supply. At full power it draws 1.45A (measured) is you could reasonably power it from a battery if that was useful, The gooseneck hold the position well, and I can just rotate it out of the way when I don't need it.

The base might be useful, but I prefer a clamp. Unfortunately, it doesn't include one but you may have one lying around from a disused architect's lamp, or you can buy one for about $10USD, or pay a bit more for something better than the usual.

I don't think you'll be disappointed in this lamp if you pick one up. It's really helped me with struggling to read small things like serial numbers or looking at details of things when my eyes won't cooperate.

[EDIT: copyediting not affecting content]
 
Last edited:

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,817
Hi.
I have other way of doing it.
Ignore most of the items in my bench image...
Above the board on the blue bench mat there is a 'bullet' type of (black) NTSC video camera that needs no extra illumination, attached to the tip of the repurposed movable (black) arm that once had a magnifier lens and light source like the first of the images above.
Near the base of the movable arm (bottom extreme left) is a zip-tied (black with white buttons) NTSC to VGA converter that switches a PC monitor (center front) onto displaying the very magnified image of a part of the board. The distance between the camera and target board is over 10cm allowing to solder/rework under it, done by looking at the LCD monitor image instead of squinting at a lens pressing your nose.


1642947908762.png
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,957
Hi.
I have other way of doing it.
Ignore most of the items in my bench image...
Above the board on the blue bench mat there is a 'bullet' type of (black) NTSC video camera that needs no extra illumination, attached to the tip of the repurposed movable (black) arm that once had a magnifier lens and light source like the first of the images above.
Near the base of the movable arm (bottom extreme left) is a zip-tied (black with white buttons) NTSC to VGA converter that switches a PC monitor (center front) onto displaying the very magnified image of a part of the board. The distance between the camera and target board is over 10cm allowing to solder/rework under it, done by looking at the LCD monitor image instead of squinting at a lens pressing your nose.


View attachment 258513
I like it but might take a bit pf getting used to.
 

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,817
Yes, hands on the PCboard with the soldering iron and eyes aiming to an eye-level monitor is not the usual. But I will never go back after a few minutes to get used to it. Feels like a surgeon operating from miles away.
$20 for the video converter which may not be needed at $0 if the display has NTSC input + $20 for the camera + $4 for the lens I swapped + $0 for a discarded movable arm is a good part too.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
2,306
I use one of these. It has a flip down internal lens to increase the magnification and an additional small lens for really close work. It has battery powered LEDs for illumination but I have a very well lit work area so I rarely use that feature. It's very comfortable to wear. I got it a few years ago when my old expensive one finally broke. I bought it from AliExpress for about $15 CDN.


Magnifier.jpg
 

Thread Starter

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,513
Hi.
I have other way of doing it.
Ignore most of the items in my bench image...
Above the board on the blue bench mat there is a 'bullet' type of (black) NTSC video camera that needs no extra illumination, attached to the tip of the repurposed movable (black) arm that once had a magnifier lens and light source like the first of the images above.
Near the base of the movable arm (bottom extreme left) is a zip-tied (black with white buttons) NTSC to VGA converter that switches a PC monitor (center front) onto displaying the very magnified image of a part of the board. The distance between the camera and target board is over 10cm allowing to solder/rework under it, done by looking at the LCD monitor image instead of squinting at a lens pressing your nose.


View attachment 258513
I've tried cameras but I find the disconnect between where I am looking and where I am working is disconcerting. I know a lot of people like them, but I prefer either my microscope or my magnifiers.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,602
I have used both the magnifier on an arm and the headband magnifiers. SO far both are adequate, the magnifying glases aremuch more portable. At one job another group owned a large magnifyer, bot on an arm but with 3 legs, The lens was about 8 inches and the magnification was quite a bit. I was perfect for soldering the biggest MS series connector I had seen, and perfect for the job that was scrutinized by quite a few folks after I had completed it. It passed all of the inspections quite well.
 
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