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The right tool for the job
Any job that involves seeing
I wanted an Ultra-High CRI Task light and couldn't fine one, so the obvious choice was to make one. A task light has been on my "to do" list since 2013. I know, about time, but it's a long list. The stars finally aligned and gave me everything I needed to make a boss task light for myself, and now I want to share it with you.
What happened in the word?
- Yuji LED released a focusable 95+ CRI PAR30 bulb
- I bought a Markforged 3D printer
Pretty simple really. When I saw that bulb I knew it was on! The main reason I never got around to making a task light...was the disproportionate effort...and mind boggling expense. If I machined these parts out of aluminum (I might still do it) the cost would be astronomical and would tie up machines that have other work to do.
The quick and dirty:
- Made to order (see notes at bottom of page)
- Industrial grade. As usual, I spared no expense...right down to the Mil-Spec (MS51412-25) washer inside the base. This is a tool, not a toy.
- 95+ CRI and your choice of bulb
3000K (warm) @ 1040 lumens
5000K (cool) @ 1380 lumens
- Focusing from 10* to 60*
- Magnetic base with 250 lbs holding force
- Waterproof cord grip/strain relief
- Sealed toggle switch boot
- Genuine 3/4" Loc-Line components
- Full ceramic E26 bulb socket
- 110V US ONLY!
Why this bulb?
Yuji is the world's premier High CRI LED company. That's all they do and they take it seriously. You'll find Yuji LEDs in the most premium cinema and photography lighting on earth. But (and this is a big but) Yuji is an LED company...not a product company. Normally you have to take the LED chips they make and then design your entire product around it...but they released a flood light bulb! I don't ask why, I just take action.
Did I mention it's focusable? Call it the poor man's brightness control. Need it brighter? Focus down. Need it dimmer? Focus out. You can also change the distance to the object to achieve the same effect, or compound it. Please note the 5000K bulb has a lot more output. Consider these factors for your application.
Why 3D printing?
Where to begin. First of all, the printer I'm using is all kinds of proprietary and prints in a material that is 2-4x stronger than the next strongest commercially available FDM material. That means it's good enough to make usable parts, not reasonable approximations.
The bulb shroud, base, and base cap are all 3D printed on our Markforged. Honestly, this project would have never happened without this printer and the quality it can deliver.
Honestly, the main thing I love about this project is it's a tour-de-force in modern design an manufacturing tools. All of the components are designed in CAD with Fusion 360 and those parts are printed directly from the 3D model. Everything else is purchased. Finally, it's all assembled by hand.
In another sense, this project is about what I didn't do. And that is spending days programming parts for the CNC and then machining huge (for me) chunks of aluminum for 3 separate parts. The technology available to me was the difference between launching this product at a reasonable price...and never getting around to it.
The entire project was about two weeks from a concept in my head to a finished product ready for action. Normally this kind of product development can take 6 months to a year. We live in amazing times.
What you need to know if you are going to buy this:
- Each task light is made to order: We don't carry any finished inventory at this time. One more amazing thing the 3D printer allows. It may take up to 2 weeks to ship your task light because of other workload in the shop and on the printer. I also have limited components on hand, but plan to make as many lights as there is demand. We are in a ramp up phase.
- Water resistant: The light should be splash resistant, but it's not waterproof or submersible. The bulb itself has no environmental sealing, and the threaded cap on the base is not sealed. I opted for a sealed switch boot and cord grip to keep out common sources of contamination: sweaty, wet, or oily hands and various shop fluids that might drip down the cord and enter the base of the light.
- The Magnet: no, not a typo. It hold's 250 lbs. The magnet is covered with a rubber boot to prevent scratching and liquid ingress. To remove the task light from a magnetic surface you MUST rock the base sideways. There is no physical way to just pull it directly off of a surface.
- Loc-Line: if you bend the moving segments too far they can disconnect. If you've ever used loc-line you already know this. Be mindful not to bend the segments beyond their intended range, and also use two hands when positioning the light.
- 90 Degree Head: This is a functional configuration even though it looks goofy. You can remove the 90 degree segment and reassemble the light if you wish.
- Heat: the bulb gets quite hot, but has plenty of cooling. The bulb shroud is designed as a handle, heat shield, and also cradles the base of the bulb to eliminate strain on the fragile bulb-to-socket connection.