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Thread: Adding lighting to a router

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Adding lighting to a router

    I find it difficult to see in under my router to where the bit is cutting. There's no light in there. For years I've been wearing a headlamp to try to get enough light in there to see what I'm doing. It doesn't work very well. I finally found a way to mount lighting to the underside of the router body. Here's a pic of the improved router, showing plenty of light.

    overall.jpg

    The key component in this upgrade is a device called a ring light or a halo light. Here's the one I used. It is about 2 9/16" outside diameter. The 15 little yellow blobs are LEDs. Ring lights are used to dress up cars. They outline and accent headlights. This one cost about $5 from www.superbrightleds.com.

    ringlight.jpg

    To mount it to my router, I made a plywood adapter. It fastens to the router through screw holes that were already in the router. The ring light is inlaid into the plywood, and held in place with a cover of packing tape. The plywood and tape offer some protection against flying chips, and the wrenches used to tighten the collet.

    ringunlit.jpg

    Here's a pic of the ring light lit.

    ringlit.jpg

    The light wants 12 VDC. I velcro'd a 12 volt rechargeable battery to the top of the router. It can be removed for charging. The battery is rated at 1800 ma-hr, which provides a day's worth of light. I really need only a couple of hours, so this battery is overkill, but it was the smallest I could find. The battery plus charger cost $18 off Ebay and Amazon and the like.

    withbattery.jpg

    Much better!

  2. #2
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    Best lighting option I have seen for a OF1010/1400. It has me thinking since I have the hose and power cord in a hose sleeve I could run a wire from a 12v supply with the hose as well, a quick connector and I wouldn't have to deal with batteries.

    Thanks
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

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  3. #3
    I like it.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Hi Jamie great concept and execution. Would you mind posting a link to the actual LEDs or please send me a pm with the link. Also would appreciate a link to he battery source.
    Thanks.

    Vijay

  5. #5
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    I'm guessing it is this one: https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ent-lights/49/

    Based on LEDs and size it should be the 60mm version
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    NW Indiana
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    Excellent idea and I am going to look into it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Northern Michigan
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    Yea - but - is the green light Festool Green?

    Now you got me thinking about this great idea. Might even have a 12 volt power supply in my stash.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Peter Kuhlman; 01-27-2017 at 7:34 AM.

  8. #8
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    I think this approach can be used to put light under any mid-size router. Probably the 60 mm ring will fit; mid-size routers are pretty much the same physical size. However, you'll need to figure out your own mounting scheme -- maybe something like my wooden mounting plate, but sculpted to fit your router.

    And, yes, you can choose another power scheme. On the whole, I thought that the battery was the simple way to go. But that's your choice.

    And Peter, yes, you could use colored LEDs. They even make these rings with three colors of LEDs, and there are controllers that make color patterns that chase each other around the ring. Psychedelia, amidst the sawdust.

  9. #9
    Brilliant! Very illuminating post. Thank you for the all-around bright idea.

    I was going to try and solve the same problem in a much more primitive way but you've LED me to a much more elegant solution.

    Seriously, this is a very clever idea. I wasn't aware of these LED rings. Looking beyond tool lighting, I had been thinking about making some light fixtures, pendant style, using low voltage LED strips for the guts. There are endless opportunities to show off wood and joinery in a light fixture. Thank you,
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 01-27-2017 at 12:26 PM.

  10. #10
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    Easy there...

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Brilliant! Very illuminating post. Thank you for the all-around bright idea.

  11. #11
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    Nicely done, very clean installation! Light is good. I added a light ring from Superbrightleds to the dust boot of my cnc router that allows me to look in from the top and see what's going on.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  12. #12
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    If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can mount strip LEDs in any shape or amount of LEDs you like.

    Excellent idea!!
    Wood: a fickle medium....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  13. #13
    I love it..

  14. #14
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    This is the best light Ive seen so far added to a Festool OF 1010 (LINK), but it is certainly not for the faint of heart.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Padilla View Post
    If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can mount strip LEDs in any shape or amount of LEDs you like.

    Excellent idea!!
    Great!

    Been wondering for some time how to accomplish this. The big router seems easy enough.

    Now, will need to fashion a small ring/lights for the Colt. I guess the web site above (went there already) has tech help on everything I'll need.

    Thank you for this post.
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

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