Picture of Bright light soldering iron
Ever been soldering something and thought, "Hey, I can't see a thing."? Then you switch on your desk lamp, but can't quite tilt it the right way to get light where you need it. Annoying, eh?
Well, I came up with a solution.

I got 6 bright white LEDs and stuck them on my soldering iron. Now I get light wherever I want it!

Note: just in case you are interested, this project cost $26.70 - and that was the cost of the 6 LEDs.
I excluded the cost of the iron, and all the other stuff included I had lying around. If you don't want to spend $26 on white LEDs, then buy a bright LED torch for maybe $10, and get the LEDs out of that.

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
Ok, so what you need:

-soldering iron (whether it is temperature-controlled or not is irrelevant. Mine is a 25W Nicholson)
-6 bright white LEDs (Mine are 8000 MCD I think, but this doesn't matter)
-some bendable yet strong utillity wire
-normal hookup wire (not single-core)
-4 AA batteries
-wire-cutters, pliers, etc.
-an apple

Step 2: Starting up . . .

Picture of Starting up . . .
First, get the utillity wire and bend it around the widest and frontmost part of the handle of your iron, moulding it to take that shape. Then, using solder, connect the end of the wire to where it comes round to, forming a hexagonal ring.
So you have the wire in the shape of the place where the lights will go. This is going to be your 'positive rail' for the LEDs.

Then eat the apple.
turbiny4 months ago

LEDs have a small angle of light but just in case they are to birght on the eyes cover the with heat shrink so it wont spread the light , or even better use sugru to make it more professional, anyhow great idea planning to do this on my 5v solder pen.

rimar20006 years ago
Good job, indeed. I am learning to weld with arc, and I have noticed that facilitates the work if done in full sun, because the mask allows you to see the electrode and the workpiece to be welded. So I thought it would be useful to have a high power lamp for use inside the workshop or even at night. Do you think it is possible to do something?
It's a good idea, you could mount LEDs on the mask, and maybe include a switch that turns them off when you raise it. To take advantage of LED lighting you would want to pick a wavelength which has high transmittance, maybe red?

lemonie, I think the light must be very brilliant, I don't believe LED can serve. But I don't know almost nothing about them, I have burned many leds making changes to voltage or amperage. They are very very sensitive.
Try cyan LEDs, I know you have already built this and all... But cyan is the colour our eyes are most sensitive to. But I would personally use white, colour of what you are looking at can be important.
In my case the color isn't important, I want see only the electrode and the iron piece to weld. But the welding mask is very dark: at full sun I see almost nothing. That's why I say "I don't believe LEDs can serve."
cyberguy916 years ago
Sorry... your reply didn't show up till after I posted. As for the lighting, how about some CFL's? You could use several CFL's for the same amount of watts that one or two incandescent lights would take.