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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone added LED lights to a router that doesn’t have them built in? I’m considering adding one of the headlamps you wear on your head for working to my DeWalt DW618 router. I could do it simply by using the band wrapped around the router motor and then angle the light downward for use, but then, that just wouldn’t be in keeping with my habit of overthought and complicated designs. So instead I’m thinking of making an entire new sub base assembly that has lighting and also addresses the lack of a vac port, and possibly even includes adaptation for edge guide use. Yesterday while browsing headlamps at Lowe’s I even discovered a DeWalt branded light, so now you just know this whole thing absolutely has to be designed around that, LOL!

If anyone has done any light add ons (or any router mods) I’d love to see them. Even if it’s just a dollar store light and double sided tape. I’d like to know how well it works and how many lumens is enough for a light. I have a 180 lumen light now and doing some experimenting with it I think it might be just a bit much but then again I am well on my way to going blind so maybe not. The DeWalt light is actually 200 lumens but it does have a low light output also, but I don’t know what that lumen level is.
 

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Harry did quite some time ago. It'll be in his uploads somewhere (back a ways most likely).
 

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I think Harry simply attached a small LED flashlight to a router. Don't recall how he did it. If I were going to try to do that, I'd probably use just a LED and attach a battery pack somewhere convenient and run a little wire to the LED. If you want the light to go on when you start the router, well, you're on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for tracking down that design. That’s interesting for sure. I hadn’t really thought about designing my own circuit, just adapting an existing light to a base. I’d also be totally ok if it doesn’t come on with the router. I can turn it on separately, and this will be good for helping me align bits to marks on wood before starting the router up.
 

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Harry had one too where he just mounted a pen light on one, and I think it was a newer model router than that. I got lucky and found it right away: https://www.routerforums.com/general-routing/44623-review-makita-rp2301fc-router.html I got a light on the end of a flex rod with my Canadian Tire Dremel type tool kit. Something like it might work too if you could find a place to mount the battery box. Using the routers guide rod holes might be an option for mounting too as long as you aren't using the guide tool already.
 
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I started by fitting a small torch then a larger one and finally made an illuminated base shown in this pdf. Whilst the torches were all successful (to a point), the base was a complete success. I can't remember the specs of the LED's just that they were the brightest I could find on EBay
 

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Thanks for your kind words Steve. I left high school in December 1949 after spending most of the final year in the physics lab. learning electronics from a wonderful master who had been a RADAR in instructor in the RAF during the war. He found me a job as an improver radio and TV technician. As a 16 year old "know it all" technicians around me were as new to television as I was so, unlike me they were wary of this new technology and so left me more or less to it! The result was that I progressed very quickly and this was the beginning of a very successful 50 year career, at least half of it in business, starting TV and audio, then audio only followed by VCR's only up to retirement in 2000.
As for woodworking I started very young, buying my first hand plane at age 13 and I've never stopped, that is until health problems stopped me about three years ago. My first router was purchased in 1974, a rather crude B&D.
 

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I found that amber color LEDs give you the best viewing, they cut through all the background lighting, and really stand out. routers that have built in led lights have a tap on the field winding, as well as a rectifier and a resistor, so, it's a bit involved to add one that is built in..
 

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I picked up a cheap 15" LED strip from Banggood and mounted it on the bottom of the gantry of my CNC. Even added a dimmer, bright fr setup and dimmer while routing
Wow is that ever a great idea ! I can see that catching on in a hurry
 

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You might find this site useful as a source for parts. https://www.superbrightleds.com/?ms...erm=led lighting supplies&utm_content=General

I think I'd start with a power supply meant for an LED light of some sort. We used to call it full wave rectified--a steady stream of direct current. A half wave unit will just cause filckering. You can find raw LEDs in a variety of places. They have raw wire leads you'd have to insulate if you just attached the LEDs to the inside of the base, so you'd want to lay a coat of plastic to where the wires would connect as insulation, or use some fine heat shrink wrap to insulate. I think you could tape the wire from the power supply to the LED to the router's power cord. Rockler has some non adhesive wrap that might do for this, but I wouldn't use standard duct tape with its gooey adhesive. For occasional use, a battery would be easier, but not for constant use.

The idea to me is to integrate the LEDs with the base with the least bulk you can, that means raw LEDs glued in place with epoxy, to me.
 

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Sign carvers like this one from Amazon.
Electronic device Headphones Technology Audio equipment Cable
 

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This low cost one from, I think K Mart some years ago was very useful.
 

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just a Public Service Announcement from a guy in the lighting field.

If you have a choice of color temperatures, the highest perceived illumination for the human eye will come from 4000-6500 K temperature LEDs. That's why parking garages use 5000k color that isn't very pretty, but they meet code requirements for foot candles while keeping power consumption to a minimum. Contrast is what the human eye needs in order to see details. Think about newspapers and how in bright environments you may not need reading glasses.

4000k is a typical commercial color used in offices etc, altho a lot of that is changing. 2700-3000 is what you see in residential kitchens and washrooms. 3500 k is used in most architectural designs.

6500 gives the best pop of colours etc and is what I use to light up my workshop.

If you really have a choice, CRI (color rendering index) is standardized at 80+, some nicer spaces call for 90+ and museums and other high value environments call for even higher numbers. I believe California recently introduced 95CRI requirements for their (new) street lighting. This will eventually be adopted throughout the industry, so everything will end up looking nicer.

Think about how when walking thru Home Depot's lighting section, the glare and harshness has improved every year......along with light levels and efficiencies.

It's a great time to be alive and see all these (new) technologies mature and flourish.......
 

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6500° also known as illuminate D or TV white is the colour temperature of a pure white TV screen (when set up correctly) .
 
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