Swinging Articulated Task Light

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Project by Rick M. posted 05-21-2014 06:47 AM 1901 views 12 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The video covers a couple problems and how I solved them. A local thrift store had a box of desk and wall lamps for $1 each. This one had a round base, hung on the wall and pivoted up and down. Useful, but too short for task lighting. So I trashed the base and built an arm that would reach my grinder on one side and band saw on the other. The individual arm segments are 1/2” thick and 1-1/4” wide.

Pics 2 & 3 are the hub, turned from scrap pine. The tenons on each end are slightly smaller than 1”. At first the bracket was all one piece but got in the way and stopped the arm from swinging all the way left. So I cut the bracket in half and reversed each piece.

I started with a 200W incandescent bulb that made a very bright task light but melted the plastic! So I switched to a 13W compact fluorescent (equivalent to a 60W incandescent). Next trip to the store I’ll pick up a brighter one.

Last pic: In the background (right) you can see a silver clamp light over my lathe, another $1 special.


13 comments so far

View stefang's profile


14003 posts in 2178 days

#1 posted 05-21-2014 07:37 AM

Great idea and very useful with that long reach.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View muesli's profile


91 posts in 353 days

#2 posted 05-21-2014 07:51 AM

Simple and effective solution to get enough light where you need it. Thanks a lot for sharing!

View thetinman's profile


274 posts in 382 days

#3 posted 05-21-2014 11:08 AM

Nicely done Rick. I love it when people make/adapt what they need. Very clever. Thanks for sharing not only what you did but also the pitfalls of what to watch out for. I wish more people would post “how-to” and not just “See what I did”.

-- Life is what happens to you while you are planning better things -Mark Twain

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1846 posts in 1766 days

#4 posted 05-21-2014 12:44 PM

Good job. Nice video. This post gives me an idea to make a similar light fixture. I could sure use it. In fact I could use two, for over my scroll saws. Thanks for this post.

-- In God We Trust

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 393 days

#5 posted 05-21-2014 01:12 PM

Good job on the build and video.

View Hammerthumb's profile


1793 posts in 819 days

#6 posted 05-21-2014 01:53 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention! Nice job Rick.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View drbyte's profile


605 posts in 2906 days

#7 posted 05-21-2014 02:20 PM

Nice job! Invest in a good LED bulb, they last nearly forever and are really bright with very little heat or current draw! I put two in my can lights in the bathroom and it is like daylight when you throw the switch on!

-- Dennis, WV

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4963 posts in 1224 days

#8 posted 05-21-2014 03:29 PM

Thanks everyone. Those LED bulbs are expensive but I suppose they are worth it. I definitely need a brighter bulb in there.


View doubleDD's profile


3179 posts in 887 days

#9 posted 05-21-2014 03:37 PM

Good video and great work on the arm. I can see you got the bugs out and have it working nicely. I really like the long reach which covers more that one machine.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View Eric in Central Florida.'s profile

Eric in Central Florida.

3696 posts in 2420 days

#10 posted 05-21-2014 05:56 PM

I like this one ten times more then my crappy store bought one.
Good job.

-- Retirement suits me fine !

View Knothead62's profile


2363 posts in 1805 days

#11 posted 05-21-2014 07:55 PM

A project that starts with bargain parts is #1 on my book. I need one for my rod building table. My cheapie light is OK but doesn’t always stay where I want it to stay. A wall mount would be a cinch. Thanks for sharing plus the great video.

View JoeinGa's profile


4201 posts in 851 days

#12 posted 05-21-2014 09:02 PM

Pretty slick Rick! I have a couple of those small clamp-on lights. I’ll hafta steal this idea …. Thanks for sharing

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Roger's profile


16229 posts in 1648 days

#13 posted 05-23-2014 11:23 PM

Let there be light….........anywhere you want it. Way to stretch it out Rick

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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