Coolant Hose Lamp


loc-line-lamp-wideAfter a recent workbench redesign I really wanted an articulating lamp that I could position anywhere on the work surface. I was inspired by the now-famous Third Hand++ tutorial, which uses flexible coolant hoses to make arms to hold objects while soldering.

I put together two of these lamps. They reach where I need them and the long linear shape of the LED module makes them easy to grab. (They’re warm but not nearly hot enough to burn.) They project a hemispheric light pattern that easily fills the workbench.

Materials:

  • Warm-white LED module from DealExtreme: HZLED 10W 1050lm 3000K COB LED Warm White Light Strip – (12~14V) The light looks great, with a perceptual color temperature between a 2700k  household bulb and a 3200k halogen. No obvious color casts or LED grossness to be found.
  • 3W LED driver from DealExtreme: KEGAO 3*1W 320mA 0.5V~10V Constant Current LED Driver. The 10W LED is designed to be driven with 720 mA (@ about 13.8 v), but that would require a heavy heat-sink. The 3W driver provides 320 mA (@ about 10 v) which is plenty bright and allowed me to use the bar-stock below instead of a real heat-sink.
  • Aluminum Bar Stock: 1″ wide x 1/16″ thick (I didn’t really measure. I just laid everything out and cut to taste.)
  • 1/4″ Flexible Coolant Hose: I used Loc Line but there are knockoffs available. It’s measured by internal diameter so 1/4″ hose is 5/8″ O.D. I used  about 22″ of hose for each lamp but I’d recommend a shorter length or a thicker hose because sometimes my lamps droop if they are extended sideways.
  • 1″ Wide Flat Nozzle for the head of the lamp (McMaster Carr # 10095K26)
  • 1/4″ NPT Coolant Supply Connector for the base of the lamp (McMaster Carr # 10095K31)
  • 1/4″ NPT Nut. My lamp base was the sheet-metal of a desk clamp, so I drilled a hole for the coolant supply connector and tightened a nut underneath. (NPT threads are tapered for high-pressure, so expect a struggle to get it tightened properly!)
  • Table Clamp removed from a small gooseneck lamp harvested from the thrift-store. (I also used its switch and AC wiring.)
  • 2-Conductor Wire to carry the low-voltage from the driver to the LED module. I used 20AWG speaker wire.
  • Heat-Sink compound to assure a good thermal bond between the LED and the aluminum.

Construction Pictures:

Everything was improvised so there’s not much to write.

loc-line-lamp-parts

I cut the aluminum to match the interior taper of the 1″ coolant nozzle.

loc-line-lamp-head

The LED wires escape from the nozzle via two small holes. The aluminum is inserted into the nozzle and epoxied in place.

loc-line-lamp-clamp

The wires emerge from the coolant supply fitting and connect to the LED driver (which is just electrical-taped under the clamp in this case).