Next Generation of our popular spindle light
This latest generation of PhotonX2 (generation 3) is all new from the inside out. The housing has been redesigned to hold a 80mm COB (more on this later) LED ring light and larger magnets. The magnets still remain on the original 2.82" diameter but are larger and provide about 30% more holding force than the original. With the increase in size of the LED ring, this has allowed us to open up the inner diameter of the housing, meaning it can fit a much larger spindle. The new max spindle OD is 2.25", vs. the original 1.875". This will allow for use on more machines than just the X2 series. The wire cable is simplified; no longer requiring modification, making it easier to produce. The spring-back (retractile) coils of the original cable have been removed in favor of providing more length to grant a wider range of mounting options. A short length of shrink tubing provides the rigidity needed to keep the cable out of the way. The rocker switch has also been replaced by a rotary switch to allow for control of the brightness of the light. In addition, there is the option to replace the rotary switch with a RF remote to allow for ON-OFF and brightness control without having to reach across the bed to turn on the light! This next generation design has been in the works for months, and when we say it is all new, we really mean it!
so, how bright is the new PhotonX2?
The higher LED density means this is now the brightest mini mill spindle light we have ever made. Notice, our product shots are with the shop with lights ON. The ambient light at the vise is 105 lux. With the PhotonX2 on, the average light output 5 inches directly under the spindle is about 2,500 lux! This level of illuminance is normally seen where maximum visual acuity is required, such as in precision assembly or detailed drafting. To ensure you get just the right amount of light you need, the PhotonX2 comes with a ON-OFF rotary switch, which allows you to adjust the brightness of the spindle light. There will also be an option to upgrade to a RF remote, allowing you to turn the light on and off and control the brightness remotely!
So, what does this mean when you are actually making chips? Let's start off with an end mill in a collet. If you were taking a cut off the top surface of a piece of stock, the bottom of the spindle would be about 1.75" above the top of the vise. The illuminance of the workpiece in this situation would be about 6,640 lux! That is the level of lighting you would expect for the most demanding of precision assembly tasks.
Now, let's look at what happens when you have a drill chuck in the spindle. Due to the size of the body of the chuck, most of the direct light is blocked. We've developed formulas to determine the diameter of a light ring that is needed to clear a chuck with various drill bit lengths. The function is exponential, with the required diameter growing excessively large in short order. With the end of the input shaft protruding from the bottom of the head on the X2 mill and the overall size of the milling head, the diameter of the light is limited. With the PhotonX2, the illuminance directly under the chuck is about 220 lux. While this is low compared to the example above, this number is still about 110% more than the ambient lighting in the shop. As you can see in the graph, the illuminance goes up as you get away from the center.