my new LED ring light set-up...


~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Jul 23, 2007
...that probably nobody else will go the trouble of doing, but i'm showing it off anyway.

i used to have one of those types of ring lights that mount on the objective lens and had a toaster size light & power unit with a fiber optic cable running up to the scope. i didn't care for it for several reasons. the space it took up on my bench, the brightness/intensity once it was turned up high enough to use (needed a diffuser), and most of all, the small diameter of the light source was too narrow for working on articles with much curvature. i found i often needed to use the two auxiliary gooseneck halogens to light areas that weren't fairly square to the field.

my original solution was to use a Dazor circline fluorescent desk mounted tasklight fixture, with the magnifying lens removed. it worked, but left some things to be desired. it was awkward to keep positioned just right, the fixture head was bigger than i wanted, the base also ate up bench space, the fluorescent ring had a 'dead spot' where it plugged in, wasn't dimmable (not really a problem, as it wasn't really all that bright), etc.

but i've been keeping an eye on the latest LED ring light models and believe i've finally found one that is nearly ideal. it's the F&V R-300 (with 300 LEDs!). the bigger aperture allows it to sit a couple inches higher up the body of my scope, which helps mitigate any intrusion of the bigger lamp into the working area. i made a very simple mounting bracket out of 1.5" aluminum angle and drilled & tapped a couple holes into the scope mount. i'm sure the light weighs well under a pound. now the light travels with the scope.

i use the AC adaptor, but it has a battery option, too. so far, the "Frost Diffusion" filter seems adequate. there's an available "Milk" diffuser, but i think i'd try sandblasting both sides of my Frost lens first (tip-o'-the-hat to Barry Lee).


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