Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hardware Review -- Ikea 'Tertial' Articulated Lamp

I needed a work light for a wood lathe, and found this item at Ikea. I figured that for $9.99 CDN I'd give it a try.

It's made in China -- no surprise there. Evidently, one way Ikea keeps the price so low is by not even putting the thing in a box. It comes as you see it in the above photo -- in only a clear plastic bag, some assembly required. There are no colour options; it's only available in silver. Let's get it unwrapped and see what we've got.

The reflector installs with a push and a twist. There are two loose springs to be fitted, and the usual clamp-on base. And here we are all done up.

It works. Here it is installed at the lathe.

The lamp's reach is just barely adequate -- about what you'd expect from this class of lamp; I may move it closer to the lathe's headstock. For $9.99, it'll do.

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A couple of observations about this type of lamp in general:
  • The rotary switches love WD-40. Drool a bit of WD-40 into a lamp's switch, and the switch will operate nicer and last longer.
  • I find the clamping arrangement for the swivel base affair to be a bit iffy for strength. Whenever possible, I like to take advantage of the fastening holes provided in the base, and screw the thing down. On the lathe stand pictured above, that was easy to do, and it makes for a much stronger lamp base attachment.
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Update --  THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017

I've noticed a flaw in the geometry of the upper pair of arm bars. The bars are supposed to remain parallel to one another, no matter how the lamp head is extended/positioned. They don't. They can go way out of parallel, like so.

That's not right; it limits the flexibility of the articulation. I have an elderly Luxo Activist lamp -- essentially the same construction -- and it operates correctly.

I suspect that there's a length error in one of the arm bars. I doubt that there's any practicable fix for it. The flaw isn't bad enough that I'll be moved to return the lamp, but it's disappointing, even for a $9.99 item. It's 2017 after all. How difficult can it be for a manufacturer to get his fundamental dimensions right?

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