Waldmann Omnivue Lighted Magnifier Nichia 219 Retrofit

I have a rather nice lighted magnifier in my workshop. It is a Waldmann Omnivue. These sell for around $400 each, but I snagged this one years ago at a local surplus store for around $40.

The only problems with it is that it uses 3 G23 9W compact fluorescent bulbs. These put out around 500 lumens each. The magnifier lets you select either two or three bulbs. There is also a snap-in diffuser over the tubes. You can get add-on lenses for a X2 and X4 magnification boost.

Flourescent bulbs? In the TechnoShack? Nope… ain’t gonna do. So what’s a boy to do? Why Nichia 219 4500K 92CRI’s from Illumination Supply of course. Mount two of them on each heat sink with thermal adhesive. Apply some reflective tape for 10% more light out, add a small 1 amp driver (http://www.fasttech.com/products/1612/10001419/1110706-12v-1x10w-high-power-constant-current-led-driver), add a diming pot, add a 24V wall wart for power. Each of the heatsinks also puts out around 500 lumens. I moded the driver sense resistors to boost the output current a little. They come set to around 750 mA. Adding a 1 ohm resistor across them boost the current to a little under an amp.

Rip out the old bulbs, install the new ones. Running the wiring from the wall wart to the LED driver was a royal pain in the ass. The support column on the magnifier contains the fluorescent ballast. Removing the ballast would have been a real chore. Also it’s weight helps counterbalance the head. I cut the input and output wires to the ballast and managed to fish some two conductor wire around the ballast and splice it into the wires leading to the magnifier head. I installed the dimming pot (which has a power switch on it) into the hole where the old 2/3 tube select switch was. A 2.5mm barrel connector for the driver power input from the wall wart fit perfectly into the place where the old 120V power cord came in.

The new light appears much brighter than the old one. The light quality is a order of magnitude better. I set up the dimmer pot to adjust the output from around 20% to 100%. The temperature rise of the LED magnifier is less than with the fluorescent tubes. In open air the heatsinks were around 20C above room temp… just pleasantly warm.

Awesome - I have a couple of circular fluorescent bulbs (T9) with a round magnifying lens, and your mod is a good inspiration to change those over to LED as well - thanks!


man, would i love to find one of those.

budget magnifiers suck, and i don’t like wearing specs. this would be awesome for checkering.

Sweet mod Pyro!

Looks like you are really gettin into those Nichias. Pretty soon the whole house will be switched over.

I'm waiting for the Nichia Ropers and matching Western hat. Wonder where the power supply will be attached...

Alas, I seem to be running out things to Nichiaize.
I’ve got ’em in the kitchen counters (Hera halogen counter light Nichia 219 retrofit),
the toilet bowl (Nichia 219 Motion Sensitive Piss Light),
a desklamp (Nichia 219 Desk Lamp Retrofit),
the magnifier, and a few flashlights.

I’m thinking of doing a version of the piss light to light up some keyholes on some outside doors that get used a lot.

I like your mods , texaspyro .

Keep 'em comin' .

I bet the improved colour rendition is more than worth the price of the mod, let alone the increased output and reduced temperature.

Funnily enough, working in the garage in subzero temperatures is getting me thinking about LED arrays for the garage and breezeway as they take an absolute age to warm up to useful light at the moment.

Yes, I can actually read the color codes on some old varnished resistors. Before brown, red, yellow, and orange were all pretty the same…

Even though the fluorescent tubes and LEDs have pretty much the same lumen rating, the LEDs manage to get all their light out. The light out the back of the old tubes was pretty much lost.

interesting...I recently changed every bulb in my home to cool white 6000k. Towards the end the few NW bulbs really stood out among the CW its hard to explain th ecomparison..Its kind like looking at pictures from the 70's and 80's , a lot of yellow and browns ( some f---cked up clothes) the pointed collars and bell bottoms..lol

Im just a Cool White guy i guess

And here I was thinking it was Justin who bought up all of the Nichia’s! :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I found something else that could stand to be Nichiaized!

In the TechnoShacks Kitchen of the Gods is a Viking stove/range with a Vent-a-Hood. The Vent-a-Hood has two 18” fluorescent tubes in it… probable less that 60 CRI, 700 lumens. That just won’t do. Food looks so crapalicious under fluorescent light.

The problem is that the tubes get a nice coating of grease/schmutz over time. The LEDs will need to be under some sort of protective covering. I’m thinking along the lines of mounting them on a piece of aluminum channel in a glass tube (maybe using the existing fluorescent tube mounts). Not sure how well the heat can get out of the tube though. Another possibility is using modding a commercial LED fluorescent tube to use the Nichias. Whatever, it ain’t gonna be easy…

> light to light up some keyholes on some outside doors

I immediately imagined a keyhole that starts glowing, lit from inside the door, when it senses you coming up the walk …

Believe me… I’ve thought about it…

The lighted keyhole from CE3K still gives me the willies, if I encountered a glowing keyhole I’d probably PMP [keeping it BFP friendly].