How much light do you use?

I’m curious how much light everyone uses at their bench. I have a lot of lighting I’ve cobbled together, but I’m renovating the space and I’ll be redoing the lighting.

I’m thinking about constructing some sort of arch light system like what someone shared. To reuse what I’ve already got, I might use LED shop lights connected into an arch.

I use the Traditional Jeweller’s Dazor Two-Blub Bench Light (Been using same style Bench Light in every Jewellery Store that I’ve ever worked at, as well as in my Home Studio, where I have (2) and (2) more in storage), it has a Swiveling Flexible Arm that can go as close or as far away from your work that you want it to… When I’m Annealing, Soldering or using the Torch, I turn it off… You can oftentimes find Used ones in Antique Shops or Vintage/Thrift Shops…

Personally, I would think that LED’s would be a bit Too Bright for Bench Work (I don’t know, but maybe they have Different Levels of Brightness), but that’s just my opinion, everyone has their own preferences and needs…

1 Like


i also use Dazor lamps (3 bulb). it is amazing when you think the design hasn’t really changed over many years!

i have a very old one (desktop model) and 2 layer versions…

they look the same!



I use LEDs that have the capability to change color as well as brightness by using on board switches. I liked to take off the lights completely when I am annealing so I can see the evenness off the color of them metal as it turns red. For that purpose my lights have a single switch capability so I can kill all the shop lights as needed. I have LEDs All around the polisher as well. Fire stain shows up well under LED light when it may not be visible under florescent.

All that works for me. It may not work for others. There is very often not one way to do things in the shop and my way may not be best for others. Experiment a bit. By the way,. I can open shades for direct sunlight as well. Sometimes you’ll see something with natural light you might miss otherwise.

Don Meixner


Hi Don,

thanks for the tip about LED and firescale visibility!



I use lots of 4’ LEDS for general lighting and then LED spots on areas where you might use magnification: soldering, grinding, setting, engraving etc. I like to turn off any lights around my annealing/soldering bench when annealing, so I have wired in a single switch that lets me do this. They also help you see fire scale. It’s kind of like taking a piece into a well sun lit room. When I first started using LEDS in my polishing area I said to myself, “I have been shipping crap!” after I saw the fire scale that I might have missed before using LEDS. Remember that LEDS come in different K levels. You want as close to 5700K as you can get…Rob


Thank you folks! Great input here. I like the option to shut down light for annealing.

1 Like

I use two of these 24"-wide diamond and gemstone color-grading lamp, features 144 LED lamps, that I got online at Rio Grande. One for my soldering table and one at my bench. I like them alot. It seems that the price has gone up $50 since I bought my second one three years ago. But hasn’t everything gone up in price?


Link: Extra-Wide Jeweler's LED Diamond/Gemstone Color-Grading Task Lamp with USB Port - RioGrande

I had an email conversation with Steve Frei recently regarding my ordering a very heavy item. The quoted shipping was extremely high. He pointed out that shipping to Otto Frei has gone up too, and that has a good deal to do with the increased prices of goods.

Likely that won’t change unless it gets even worse. Not that long ago I used the post office to mail small envelopes of jewelry at a cost of eight or nine dollars. That’s now up to over $15.

I have some heavy tools and other things I no longer use and would like to sell or at least find a new home for, but the cost of shipping makes that totally impractical.

Neil A


Neil…I ship a single bracelet or pair of earrings in the lower 48 via the USPS for about $4.80 - $5.20. I usually pass on $7 to include the cost of packaging and postage. We are always looking for deals that include shipping. Both my wife and I, being really smart people, know that we are paying for the shipping somewhere, but it always feels better knowing that the shipping was somehow included. I think that free shipping is one of the better marketing schemes in a long time. LL Bean did it plus returns for years, but about 20 years ago they disappeared. I have tried to include shipping by raising my price a bit, but it just seems more fair to charge a price based on my usual formula and then shipping based on the real cost of shipping. My $.02…Rob

Rob, how do you do that?

I’m using 6" by 9" Tyvek envelopes with bubble wrap around a gift box. My packages are weighed and then measured for size, sent first class.

I’m all for lower cost so I can offer free shipping, but the real problem is vastly increased shipping costs to suppliers and from them to us. The shipping for what I wanted to buy was almost $400.

Quite a while ago now, when my son & daughter were in college with no easy access to groceries, etc. I used to ship boxes to them weekly via UPS (including eggs, which reliably arrived unbroken.) A few years ago I shipped two somewhat larger boxes and was charged $200. Current rates must be hurting many businesses.

Neil A

Neil & Everyone,
I agree, shipping charges these days are ridiculous, especially when considering the “Service” isn’t what it used to be… I order quite a few Books, Antiques and other items from Europe and other countries and you don’t even want to think about how much I pay for shipping, oftentimes I pay more for Shipping than I do for the item that I ordered, I have Nightmares thinking about it, but alas, if you want the items, you have to pay it…

Domestically, if you sign up for Pirate Ship ( ), which is Free to sign up with and use, you can get pretty good to great discounts on Shipping via USPS and UPS… You do need a Postal Scale or have some way to get an Accurate Weight to use it, but other than that, a Computer and a Printer, that’s it… The only method that you don’t really save much on Shipping is, Media Mail (Book Rate), but it usually isn’t that much anyway - I almost always check the cost of Shipping on to see how much the discount is and I am usually surprised by how much it is… I typically save a few dollars cost on USPS Priority Mail and at least a dollar or more on other methods, you also get some deals on First Class Packages - UPS, you can save even more, depending on Weight and Size of your Packages… I used to be a Member of, which you pay a monthly fee to use their service, but unless you Ship some volume of Packages, you really end up paying more for Shipping, like I was… A friend told me about Pirate Ship and I’ve been with them ever since - I am in no way affiliated with them, nor do I own their Stock or anything else, I just Ship all of my Packages through them and haven’t had any difficulties, plus there’s No Service Fee!

Anyway, I thought that I would pass this on to those of you who Ship a lot of Packages and would like to save some money doing so… I hope that this will help!


I’m a big fan of the coloured LEDs as well. I have a several around the studio. One at the lapidary unit, one at the anneals and one at the bench.


I’ve been down the rabbit hole on leds lately. I’m comparing the color and lumens to other lights to see about crafting a fixture for the bench.

1 Like