Detachable 360deg "Mag-Lights" for Workshop Glasses





Introduction: Detachable 360deg "Mag-Lights" for Workshop Glasses

About: I'm a Product Design Engineer, currently living in the UK. I have been fortunate to have lived, studied and worked in Hong Kong, Norway and California. I believe physical models help people to communicate,...

Have you ever wanted light while you are working, but wanted both your hands free?

These Mag-Lights stick to the sides of your Safety Glasses - but also be added to Helmets, Ear-Defenders, Bikes, Drills, Raves, you name it. I think what's great about them is that they use the magnets in two useful ways:

1. The lights are in a handy place when you are working - you can detach them easily, either to switch on/off, or to temporarily stick elsewhere. (e.g. you might take one and stick it under the car for a fixed light when the other is still attached to your glasses).

2. The magnets allow rotation, so you can tilt them to focus on a particular area. (You don't need to 'lock' your head at one angle when you are working, and if you've been camping with Head Torches, you know it's annoying when you dazzle people when you are talking face-to-face!)

I actually got this idea as a 'spin-off', when a friend asked me if I could solve his problem of 'late night BBQ-ing in the dark', as he wanted to see if the meat was cooked, without fumbling around for a light. So not only can you do all the above, but you can even stick these Mag-Lights onto many metal BBQ tools as well, to make probably the most high-tech (and washable) BBQ Tools around!

UPDATE: Just watched another video from the legendary Jimmy DiResta - and was like - yup, even the Pro's might need this, rather than holding a MagLight in their mouth!

Disclosure: This project utilises a product called Sugru - a Moulable Glue. To be clear - I do work for Sugru, as Head of Research, Design & Development, and indeed, other glues might work ok too, but I think this is a credible use, because of the nature of the construction of the "Mag-Lights" as you'll see. I have been doing projects on Instructables since I was at Dyson, and run a website called Design Modelling, with tutorials demonstrating stuff like this. This project is not affiliated with Sugru, nor are they responsible for it, and the views expressed here are my own. ....With the legalese bit over, I hope you enjoy the Instructable!

Step 1: What You'll Need...

You will need the items listed below. I'm guessing many people on Instructables have some of this stuff - or will use these items for various projects, so although I've given '1-off' purchase links, I'd suggest you go 'bulk-buy' - as it's much better value, and you'll probably use it for other projects (some stuff is even cheaper for 10 than for 1!)

Main Items To Buy:

Safety Spectacles: (Quality) or Safety Spectacles (Cheap)

"10x3mm Magnets" (Value) or "10x3mm Magnets" (Cheap- $1.89)

Sugru (Value) 8 pack. or Sugru (Cheap) 3pack.

Key-Ring Lights (bulk x10*)

*(These are actually more expensive to buy 1 at a I guess the Sellers know you'll find loads of fun things to do with them, so I'd get the Value Pack of Magnets too if I were you! And you can even replace the batteries)

Step 2: Cut Off the Key Ring

Comes off easily with pliers, and probably can be forced off somehow if you don't have pliers, they are pretty cheap!

Step 3: Prepare Your Sugru

If you are new to Sugru, it's described as 'mouldable glue', so it feels like play-doh and stick to many materials in 24 hours. This is an opened pack of Sugru, and I'd suggest kneading it for a 10-20 seconds, and then breaking it in half. Cover up one of the halves, and take the other half and break it into 4 pieces. Now you are ready...

Step 4: Magnetise Your Lights

  1. Take 2 of the small blobs (eights of a pack) and place on the back of the lights (not the button side!)
  2. Using your marker, label the magnets in pairs. You need to know which is 'North' (A) and which is 'South' (B), so that you can have the same orientation on both the lights and the glasses - so it does not matter which side you stick them on.
  3. Press your magnets into the Sugru blobs, and smooth round with your finger.
  4. Optional: Take a tiny piece off the large half blob of Sugru and use it to cover half of the LED light. (This reduces glare in your peripheral vision, although it's pretty much ok without it).
  5. Check that you have not squeezed too much Sugru and covered the screw holes!
  6. Put aside to dry for 24 hours, and next do the glasses...

Step 5: Magnetise Your Glasses

    1. Take another small blob (eighth) of Sugru, and apply it to the side of the glasses/goggles.

    2.Take care not to get it into the hinge.

    3. Press the magnet into the blog (checking the orientation/labelling*).

    4. Focusing the Beams: While the Sugru is still malleable, you can adjust the beams so that they converge at a convenient distance from your head. Switch them on, sit down and focus them at a good working distance and gently adjust the Sugru to suit your preferred angle**.

    5. You want to have finished your Sugru-ing in under 30mins, for best results.

    *At the risk of this being patronising, you need to make sure that your magnets attract, (not repel) each other, so the easiest way to check, if to cover the 'glasses-side' magnet with your thumb - and put the 'light-side' magnet near it....if it pulls together, it's good, if it repels, you need to quickly take one of the magnets out and flip it over (remoulding the Sugru as you go). I still ended up doing this to check, as once the Sugru is set, it's really strong!

    **Arguably, this is one of the benefits of using Sugru... you can make very small adjustments to the angle of the lights, and it will 'hold' in place - and then set. Other glues may confine you to working parallel to the frame of the glasses or they will set too quickly to make adjustments. Useful to know...

    Step 6: 24 Hours Later

    24 Hours is the suggested drying time, but I found mine were fine overnight in a warm room.

    You can now see how the light twists easily to any direction - and read on, to check out what else you can stick them to!

    And in case you were wondering, yes, glasses with lights on do already exist - but as far as I can see, they don't have this cool 'rotational' thing, and you can't take them lights off for a moment and stick them to things. You might also consider that you can fix these lights to your chosen pair of glasses, which if like me, you are a bit particular about, is preferable to having an uncomfortable pair. It's your call :o)

    Step 7: Magnetise It Where the Sun Don't Shine

    • You might be needing more light when drilling (some drills do have these light - but have you noticed, they cash a shadow right where you want it, this Makita is a classic example!)
    • Sticking it on a Bulldog/paper Clip might be useful for reading.
    • Most Tools are magnetic, so it can often be a case of adding more light in poorly lit areas, like working under your car, etc.
    • I use a Proxxon precision drill, and it's handy to have the extra light, for very detailed work.
    • And last, but not least, for my BBQ-ethusiast friend - it does stick to your BBQ Tools, for late night cooking, without fear of undercooked meat! still have half a pack of Sugru left - it'll be dry in 24 hours, so what to do with it now?

    Step 8: Encoré

    So, if you've been paying attention, you'll have realised that you still have almost half a pack of Sugru left over... You can take a look at for other ideas, or you can make some comfy/grippy ends to the arms of the glasses, if your's don't have rubberised ends.

    Simply roll it out, split in two, apply to each side (it takes a while to squish it round evenly), smooth it down with your finger (or even texture it with a rough object if you prefer), leave it to set, not touching the table, overnight and it's dry.

    And if you are wanting to do something more on...

    Step 9: More Adventures in Design, Sugru, Making - and Even Space Travel

    I hope you've enjoyed this project (please give it a Favourite/Vote if you did), or ask any questions below.

    If you are intrigued by any of the tips shown here, or are in Design/Engineering you might want to check out some of the other Hey_Jude Instructable projects, a Makezine article I wrote, or even my website, Design Modelling.

    And who knows, perhaps this is a good one for your old man on Father's Day - 21st June! (Though I'm sure your Mom/Mum/Ma will enjoy a matching pair too!).





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    Hey, this looks awesome. but it appears most of your Amazon links are outdated.

    Can you please update them for the new visitors to this project?

    How long would the batteries last? I would like to make these for my team. We would need them for hours at a time. Some of our work is in areas that normal lighting doesnt reach.

    We build mini vans and SUVs. Lots and Lots of them!!

    1 reply

    Errrmmm...have not tested. I'd imagine you'd get 3+ hours at a guess. That said, the CR2032 batteries are very cheap (like $2 for 10pk) and easy to change.

    Sorry for your employer, but I found a quite perfect way even for very thin frames without Sugru...

    I just took some different safety glasses (3M -> Pic) and attached a 5mm cubic [!] magnet in my usual way (double- plus single-sided tape).
    Now the battery inside the lamp is already magnetic, but to improve this I taped a 1 Euro-Cent coin to it and it all works perfectly, no need for a second magnet, and even though it costs more than 1 cent....

    And yes, now I can personally comprehend the change of angle wearing the glasses, I get a great focus.


    2 replies

    Great work - love it! No apology needed, re Sugru - this is half the fun, finding out how the design began with one solution, but has evolved some way. This is why I love Instructables!


    But let´s just wait until anyone mounting Instamorph etc. shows up...


    I would leave out Sugru and therefore use some different tapes, a single and a double-sided one. Apparently the magnets are also a little thick...but probably it has to be for a certain magnetism.

    9 replies

    Sure - other glues/tapes/adhesive may apply! Similarly, smaller magnets may work.

    Saw your 'solderer of fortune' Bio - you might like my Solder Buddy too :o)

    Of course there is nothing to say against Sugru, but it is just so expensive and testing out different ways of using adhesive tapes is just my thing!


    And really nice your Solder Buddy!

    ...and there is just another point...coming...

    As much as I am a fan of Super Strong Red Double-Sided tape, I do think that in reference to your point about making key adjustments to the angle of the beams, Sugru does this pretty well. You can adjust the LED angle with a little pressure and it just stays there.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I wonder if there is a mini ball/socket joint could have been used to give omni-directional adjustment, but perhaps this is overkill! ;o)

    I hope I got you ... about a joint I am just getting the easy idea of a ball magnet on the one side and a washer on the other. The washer part in my consideration even does not have to be actively magnetic, so not a magnet itself, just something made of iron. Otherwise there are also neodym-magnets with a lowered hole inside available, but I don´t know if this might disfunction concerning the balls polarity.

    For 2 flat magnets without any hole I still think taping is best, but in this particular case...for a ball and something like a washer Sugru might be the best choice.


    I just made a draft showing how I normally use my tapes for such cases:

    1) single-sided

    2) magnet

    3) double-sided


    Spontaneously reconsidering while reading my own reply I just think even for a washer taping could (not must) be better the drafted way, but never for a ball!

    Sounds cool - do post a picture if you find time to make it :o)

    Feel free for yourself, actually I have no need for a joint I am still satisfied with my flat magnets and therefore I have no need to order the necessary items probably only available in larger packs (ref. to Amazon). (AND attaching the ball is a fine job for Sugru!)

    But checking up the opportunities I stepped on following probable facts, apparently 6mm balls and neodym rings of at least 6mm could do best.

    The holes should be less than the balls diameter and probably having no countersunk at all.

    So, let´s say 6mm iron/steel ball and a neodym of >6mm, but a hole of about 3mm!

    Actually a hole and therefore a ring magnet seems not to be necessary, but it would keep the ball centred!

    But all in all and at last... like every tinker knows ... when the prickling starts in ones fingertips... for myself someday perhaps I will do it!


    ...or just the other way round:

    An iron ball as the joint head and a neodym ring as the socket!

    Then the polarity should not be important.


    Looking at those kind of glasses used here there still was something disturbing me and checking up with my own attempt I just know what now.

    The angle is just too straight forward at the shown right angle, both lightbeams should point on the same spot right centrically within the users view, the point of interest not illuminating the whole room or something within infinity.

    I use these glasses and the spotlight is almost perfect depending on individual need and adjustment, so at least for my needs!


    safety glasses.jpg
    1 reply

    Good point. My lights on the glasses shown are tilted to be at the perfect angle for me, so in fact they have a convergence/focal point at about my arm's length, as you suggest. The mannequin is a bit smaller than my head, so the glasses are less stretched and so the beams looks parallel. I'll update a note. Thanks.

    Thanks - it's not bad for a £5 foam head. I was pleased at how the 'zoom' part turned out, as an experiment.