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.


  • 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.

I cut the aluminum to match the interior taper of the 1″ coolant nozzle.
The LED wires escape from the nozzle via two small holes. The aluminum is inserted into the nozzle and epoxied in place.
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).