My Luxo magnifier light stopped working recently. It turned out to be a bad ballast. The light is a very expensive unit and has proved invaluable for lighting and magnifying various tasks in my shop. I needed to fix it, but unfortunately I could not find a replacement ballast. So I decided to convert it to LED lights. Here's how I did it.
- LED strip
- Power supply
- Foam tape
- Soldering iron
- Wire cutters/strippers
Step 1: Disassemble
First we need to take the lamp apart. Remove the light cover by removing any screws holding it on then remove the head of the lamp. Cut out the bad ballast and remove the fluorescent bulb base. Leave wire on the power switch. Be careful with the magnifying lens so as not to scratch it. Best to remove it and set it aside while you work.
Step 2: Add LEDs
Next we add the LEDs. I had a pack from Radio Shack (RIP) but there are cheaper options available online. I removed the silicone cover from the strip as it would not be needed. The strip is simply taped into the housing with foam tape. Unfortunately my strip was not flexible so I had to make relief cuts every section so it would follow the curve. You may be better off purchasing a flexible strip. Once the strip is in place, simply solder the cuts back together with some short lengths of bare wire. Finish by wiring the led strip to the original power switch.
Step 3: Add Power
Check the power requirements for your LEDs. Mine required 12 volts at 1.5 amps. I found a charger from an old Power Wheels in my pile of parts. Splice it into the original power cord of the lamp. Pay close attention to the polarity! Make sure the positive lead of your power supply ends up on the positive side of the LED strip. Use the voltmeter to confirm.
Step 4: Assemble and Enjoy!
Flip the switch and see that everything is working properly before reassembling everything. Your light should be as good as new.
It only cost me 30 bucks to save a $400 magnifier, not bad. I even ended up with about 18" of the LED strip left over for a future project. The light is just as bright as before, maybe brighter. You could even add a PWM controller to adjust the brightness.