Light And Magnifiers

we all grew older and our senses now may be not as they were in our youth. To compensate this we have take measures in respect of this. Me too, my eyes became less effective in relation to as they were in previous years. This is a sneaking process and you have to accept it. In short; there a two main things:
1) The ability to focus the eye onto objects near by became more difficulty.
2) The need fo more light.

Here i will show and dicuss the measures i have taken. And i invite you to participate and show us what you have done to keep the hobby enjoyable. Not the medical aspect is here in the focus, but the technical devices like lamps and magnifying glasses you. Tell us about of your devices and about your experiences with them and if they suit or are not so good.

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At first i started with the classic handheld magnifier glass. Yes it does what it is intended for. But you are then one-handed because you have to use one hand to keep the glass. My experience; this is benefical when you want to check or examine something. But working on the object is not really possible becaus one-handed. You need something which holds the magnifier.
This was the next step for me to purchase this, so called, soldering aid. A magnifier onto a flexible shaft which can be bend to bring a work piece into focus. Additional there a two crocodile style claws for fixing work pieces. And additional there are also two bright LEDs in the frame of the magnifier glass, powered by 3 AAA batteries in the pedestal.
My conclusions about it is, that the magnifier glass is too small in diameter to enable sterocopic vision of a workpiece. And in my opinion is stereoskopic vision a basic requirement to work on tiny pieces.
But i found other application for this devive:
- As mobile independent lamp were you need light instandly.
- For reading tiny printed numbers on model railroad cars; some modern flat cars have such tiny print. The LEDs light will help a lot in dark corners.
- Quick disposabiltiy, e.g. when you want to remove a scale of wood with a tweezers.
- This became a faithful travel companion when i went as exhibitor to shows and conventions.

If it wasn't for magnifier lamps, I'd be working in G scale instead of N. I have an array of magnifiers, but let's start with the big ones. I have two work areas near my layout, each one has a swivel mag lamp that I use constantly. This photo shows where the bench on the right is taken up with my current project, the pinball machine. The other bench is used usually for building structures since it is close to all my paints and other small tools. I have two more of those lamps, one behind my office desk and one on yet another workbench where I work on my guns and electronics. I use them all constantly, not only for light, but to see small parts. Just this weekend, I had to strip a gun down to replace a broken firing pin and I would not have done it as easy as I did without the aid of that lamp.  The same goes for every building on my layout.

Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
I constantly wear an optivisor when working and I found these great headlights headlight that charge with a usb phone cord and have 3 or four light options.  If you want them even cheaper Temu has them too. No mater where you buy them they are made in China. I have one attached to the small drill press aimed at the drill bit tip that has been an immense help drilling for screws for couplers. I paid 24 bucks for the first on of these I bought but 3 years ago. I just got a couple more at this low price and I keep them charged up. I have a 4 foot led lamp over my work bench and another one of those fold down bulbs directly above my shoulders but I still needed more light at times and these little guys are handy.
Lutz, I like that portable one you have. Sometimes that's all you need and you can take it to the work if need be.

Just a few more magnifiers. I use those eye loops a lot mostly for closeup inspection, got one in the bathroom for taking out splinters. I don't wear that headpiece much, kinda bulky and it's old and has incandescent lighting. I'll change those out to LED's if I find I'm using it a lot, but I don't, so I won't. 

The hand-held one is good for reading instructions that are printed on a box. For some reason, they choose to make those in the smallest print possible and sometimes in a color that blends with the background. I use it more in the kitchen than anywhere.

Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and

i have just the same headpiece:
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As you can see, i removed these useless bulbs and their carriers. So the whole thing becomes much lighter and much more comfortable to wear. For me in this shape it is my favorite magnifier. And for me the dazzling effects of overhead light were supressed like with a peaked cap.

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I also tried out this magnifier "spectacles". Nupe, this is in reality not a binocular loupe. No stereoscopic effects possible. Just two single loupes mounted onto a shared spectacle frame. Only one eye can focus the object at a time. For me not recommendable.

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The next magnifier is on my workbench. This time i ordered the big white one with a 22cm diameter lens. This diameter enables a stereoscopic sighting. And there a 62 bright LEDs in the surrounding frame. They also enlighten the working space.
The other light is this old lamp on a hinged bracket. Meanwhile there is a LED-"Bulb" as bright as a 100W incandescent bulb.

Man i am light hungry.

I have the standard "Clip on the edge of the bench" magnifier with LED Light.....
I also have 2 hand held magnifiers that I use way more often.
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~~ I wonder what that would look like in 1:20.3???
As of right now I only use the lights in the living room or the kitchen. Right now they provide enough light but I've been looking to get a light to sit on the table.
I can smell a steam post ten blocks away and when I do clear the tracks because the steam express will be hi ballin through
Do any of you using those wearable magnifier things happen to also wear glasses? Do you take your glasses off to use them or leave them on?
Modeling the East Broad Top as it was between 1937-1942
I have several of those things. But I also have graded bifocals and I find it impossible to focus properly with them. If I use my reading glasses, the focus is so close that I nearly solder my nose to the work.

I have the Magnifocuser (pulls down over the glasses) and a set of flip-up magnifiers (like flip-up sunglasses) which are heavy and tend to make my glasses fall forward.
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.

another experience with light, LED strips. LED strips are well known and many of us have them in use.
Last year i wanted more and brighter light. So i ordered from an Chinese supplier some strips (20m) and power bricks. This was mainly intended for better enlightening of my layout at home use.

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The parcel arrives the next day. The supplier maintains a warehouse in Bremerhaven, so quick delivery and no hassle with customs or taxes.
This was the content:
- 4 reels with 5m LED strip with 600(!) warm-white LEDs. Thats 120 LEDs / metre.
- 2 power bricks with 12V 10A output.
- 2 cables with Schuko plugs for the 230V AC net here.
- 2 adapter plugs for 12V
The price for this way only 40,-€ postpaid.

Next i drive to the home depot and purchased four "L" shaped sectional strips out of wood.
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In my madness i mounted the content of one of the reels onto one sectional strip of 1m length. That were 585 LEDs perched onto the 1 metre. It were only 585 pieces because i shortened each strip of 3 LEDs for better and more rigid mountingof  the connecting cables.

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Then lights on. Dang was that bright. And dang this was much too bright. The camera dampens the brightness on the photo automatically.

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Also i removed two of the LED strips. Still 351 LEDs. And still very very bright.

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Unable to look direct into the LEDs. The camera too. And not remommended.

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Next experimental step were only 2 LED stips. Still 234 LEDs and bright more than enough. And much more comfortable.

Conclusion: 234 LEDs per metre are enough for a pleasing workspace.


now the actual purpose for those light strips:

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Making some gibbets to place the new lights onto the layout. First test with only one clamped light bar.
Absolute darkness, no flash on the camera and the light bar the only source of light.

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It's bright enough to play with your layout. And also to enjoy fine details.
Conclusion: you are on the right way. Proceed.

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How it is quick and easy fixed. Some short pieces of small tube, some short pieces of 3mm round stock.

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Now the hours of operation are no longer limited to the existence daylight.
At least for the light bars, a height of 35cm above track level is the optimum for me. The light shade of the "L" profile prevents direct sight onto the LEDs. And also eliminates overhead dazzling. The light bar on the very right has still a height of 40cm. This will be changed still to 35cm.

This is definitely something I need to fiddle with. I am currently using a couple of free standing LED lights and I have problems with reflections and glare off of dark colored objects in particular.
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
Cheap high mag reading glasses from walmart are also useful.
Check out my Shapeways creations!
3-d printed items in HO/HOn3 and more!
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