Harbor Freight Fluorescent Magnifying Lamp

Harbor Freight is making a swing-arm magnifying lamp with a circular fluorescent bulb around it. I’ve been looking for one of these for ages, and had only found vintage ones or really expensive new ones. The vintage ones were all a little janky and heavy and sometimes expensive as well. It was not a great combination.

Affordable Swing-Arm Magnifying Lamp

I noticed this in Harbor Freight – bumped into it in the store, and was pretty excited by it. As soon as I got home (I was out of town) I went to a local HF and picked one up.


  • Sturdy swing-arm which stays where you put it
  • Fluorescent ring light to avoid shadows
  • Lamp under plastic cover to keep it secure and safe
  • Inexpensive and available


  • Fluorescent light is a little blue, but not too bad
  • Lens is likely plastic, so may scratch but seems of tolerable quality.
  • Only 1.75x magnification.  Some of the vintage ones are 3x

Considering the $200 price tag or having to hunt vintage ones, I’m pretty pleased with this one from Harbor Freight.  I’m using one as both a lamp and a magnifier, which is very convenient.  Lots of light.

They also do a desktop magnifying lamp that’s a little smaller and has a 2x magnifier but less light.  I didn’t try that one, in part because I never have room on my desk for one to sit, and because my store was out.

So far, so good, and I’m pretty pleased with it.

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