For most work, more light is better. For soldering small SMT parts its even more important, and casting fewer shadows is also very helpful. I wanted posable bendy arm lights to make more light while using different tools on my desk with minimal shadows. To make them inexpensively I used some commonly available parts combined with 3D prints.

The arm consists of a 1/2 inch flexible ball lock tube mostly used for directing coolant flow for machining operations. They are very widely available and inexpensive at just a few dollars each. Search for 1/2″ flexible coolant somewhere like aliexpress or ebay to find them. They come in various lengths. One end of the arm is threaded and screws into a 3D printed mounting plate. That plate has screw holes so it can be firmly mounted to a surface. The other end is tapered and is glued into the matching taper of a 3D printed LED panel mount. I scored the smooth orange cone of the coolant nozzle a few times with a file and used super glue to attach it to the LED mount.

The LEDs I used come as a panel that slide into the panel mount part. They are held in place just by a friction fit. Power wires run through the bendy arm and out the back of the mounting bracket. They are also pretty common, you can search for 5630 24-SMD led panel. They measure 30x44mm (1.18×1.73 inches).

The LED panels do get a little warm, though not overly hot. I normally print with PETG, which is more resistant to heat damage than PLA. The friction fit might not hold as well with PLA, but I haven’t tested it.

Download the part models here: