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Fluorescent Worklight Conversion

Finished Light

Common halogen worklights are a good source of cheap lighting. I've been using them for some time for general work, photo and video lighting with daylight globes. They work well but they use a lot of power, get very hot and the globes don't have a great lifespan.

I've converted this one to accept a bayonet mount compact fluorescent. The 20w cool white globe that's installed still emits impressive light while running cooler and more efficiently.

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Various Parts and Tools

The bulb of this halogen worklight burned out so it's scheduled for conversion. I managed to salvage a bayonet mount (standard Australian fitting) light socket from a string of old party lights. The 20w CFL was the most powerful I could purchase that was small enough to fit under the grill when assembled.

Stand and Handle Removed

Once the stand, handle and mounting bracket is removed, the front panel can be detached. The glass has got to go making room for the CFL globe.

Front Panel Removed

While wearing a pair of gloves, the tabs are bent up with needle nose pliers allowing the glass to lift out. 

Glass Removed

The glass was holding the grill against the frame. I just stuck it back in place using a temperature resistant epoxy. I've had good results with JB Weld.

Grill Secured with JB Weld

The electrical portion of this project has the potential to be lethally hazardous as you're working with mains power. Only attempt this if you're qualified to do so, never have the light plugged in while you're working on it and use secure connections. No twist and tape, it's not a car stereo. Electrical standards are different worldwide. This unit uses 240v AC and the wiring colours follow the Australian standard however it will likely be different if you live elsewhere.

Halogen Lamp Innards

The reflector was held in by a screw in the center flanked by a screw either side to remove the halogen socket. Once free, I just clipped each wire close to the socket.

Bulb Socket Prepared

As my socket was part of a string of lights, I had to clip one side very short and insulated it with heat shrink. I removed the insulation from the other side and stripped each wire.

Socket Mount Modified

I need the socket to sit flush against the back of the light so the globe fits under the grill. The existing mounting holes block the socket so I trimmed the mounting piece back and added two tabs to secure it down.

Mounting Holes

A couple of new mounting holes were added and the socket is secured in place.

Bulb Socket Mounted

The red is the hot and black is neutral (older Australian wiring). The two wires coming from the worklight don't follow the standard.

Electrical Enclosure

I snuck a peek in the junction box on the back of the worklight and found the black was connected to the hot and the white to netural.

Secured with Screw Connectors

The two hot and neutral wires are secured together with screw connectors. The reflector won't fit in without modification so a hole in the center is removed with a scalpel.

Modified Reflector

Now it slides over the socket and the face of the light secures it in place. It's a good time to plug it in and ensure all is well.

Modified Reflector Install

I added a 6A SPST switch so the light can be turned on and off manually when connected to power. I soldered a wire to each terminal on the switch, cut the hot lead in the junction box and wired the switch in with screw connectors.

Switch Installed

Once it's all screwed together, the conversion is complete.

Finished Light On

Now the lights won't heat up the room when I'm working.

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