Magnifying Desk Lamp Best Tool To Buy
A magnifying desk lamp is indispensable when building electronic projects
My trusty magnifying desk lamp. Click to get one yourself
People ask me "what's your favorite electronics accessory?". This is a tough question because there are so many tools that are indispensable. A soldering iron is essential of course as are pairs of long nosed pliers, wire cutters and a few screwdrivers. But what is my favorite tool or accessory that I wouldn't want to be without?
After thinking about this for some time and ignoring the more boring tools I do believe that my favorite is the magnifying desk lamp that I have had and used often and frequently for the last 30 years.
So much of electronics is involved with scrutinizing tiny components and circuit boards. Often it's a struggle to see anything at all but put it under the illuminated magnifier and it's a lot easier to make out markings and connections. The combination of magnification and illumination makes a lot of difference.
A magnifier and good lighting can also be a huge help when it comes to assembling and soldering. Not only does it allow you to see the work but it will also help to steady your hand while soldering. This happens because the magnifying glass amplifies the feedback from your hand to your eyes which makes you reduce the positioning error and increases the accuracy of your hand and soldering iron.
Did you see how I slipped in a little feedback control system theory there?
Actually I think that it might be time for me to think about changing my old battered magnifying lamp for a new one. I'm pleased to see that there's a lot more choice now than there was when I bought mine.
I'll be looking for either desk magnifier or possibly a magnifying floor lamp. Both have their uses. I want one with a magnifying glass that is as large as possible and as strong as possible. That means at least 5" diameter and 1.5 times magnification.
I want one with a bright light that illuminates the work without casting shadows and I want an LED type so that it doesn't get hot. My old lamp has an incandescent bulb pointing downwards. It isn't very bright, it casts shadows and it gets so hot that I can't leave it switched on for very long.
I picked out this one because it ticks all my boxes. Why don't you get one for yourself too. You will wonder how you ever managed without it.
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