LED Ring Lights – Cheap, Excellent Lighting for a Mill or Drill Press

I recently discovered automotive 12 volt DC LED ring lights, and not only are they really inexpensive, they solve the lighting issues these old eyes were having when using one of the milling machines or the drill press.

He may not have been the first to come up with this, but I first saw these lights used on ChrisB257’s YouTube channel, so a big thanks goes out to him for sharing the idea.

About $12 bought 4 of them on Ebay, shipped from China in about 10 days, and they do a great job when mounted to a machine’s ¬†spindle. I attached the first one to the Grizzly G0759 (G0704) mill temporarily with 4 neodymium magnets to test it. Wow! Definitely worth adding to the other machines, too, although I’ll stick them on with double-sided 3M foam tape to make sure they don’t slide around.


An old cell phone style power “brick” currently supplies 12 volts to this 80mm OD ring of 24 LEDS, through a small rocker switch mounted to the side of the mill’s control box. With lighting coming from all around the spindle there are very few shadows, and I couldn’t be happier with this setup.


Turns out, the 80 mm size fits perfectly on my old Sears drill press spindle, too. Will be ordering smaller ones to fit the tiny Derbyshire mill. They make these rings in quite a few different diameters.

As an aside, to run multiple sets of these in your shop, just scrounge an old PC power supply and run lamp cord or speaker wire from it to each machine. That’s what I ¬†was planning to do before I found this 12V power brick in my bin-full of them (“Yes dear, I save those, because they really come in handy”). The LED’s don’t draw much current and the little brick would probably run all 3 of them, but there’s so much wattage available using the PC supply, you don’t have to worry about that. And I have a feeling these handy little lights will be “multiplying” around the shop, anyway.

It’s actually pretty easy to “load” a PC supply to switch it on. I use an old GE #53 incandescent bulb to load this one and it works great. To learn how to re-purpose a PC supply, just search for articles on the subject; you’ll find lots of them. Here’s one that was useful (although it was way more complex than I needed):

Hope that’s helpful.

God bless you and yours,

Dave Harnish

No Jesus, No Peace.
Know Jesus, Know Peace.

John 3:3

About Dave Harnish

I've been an appliance repair tech since 1972, with interests in most everything, including Bible study (I'm one of those KJV-only geezers), old Sunbeam Mixmasters, Maytag wringer washers, the outdoors, birds, hunting, metalworking, firewood cutting, and most anything going on outside on our mountain here in N. PA's 'Endless Mountains'.
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