October, 2015

For as long as I could remember as a child and my adult life I saw a set of tractor lights off of the old 8N Ford tractor my grandpa had sitting in the pole building. Now many years after his passing cleaning out the space I came across the lights again and decided to bring them back to life. While their lens and general shape doesn’t speak to me they do have a dated look to them. After buying a vintage RCA television cabinet re-purposed as a liquor cabinet I decided these would be a fitting light source. The housings were very rusty for years of sitting and the sealed beam was very much no longer sealed (6 volt GE incandescent originally) so I cleaned up the lights with some steel wool to get rid of the tetanus looking rust. After I sealed them with a glossy finish to preserve their state of decomposition.

I knew I wanted a warm tone for this application with a wide beam since the end application was a small space. I used an Osram Oslon LED that was originally going to be used for a flashlight modification but due to the very sad lumens per watt it was not an ideal candidate unless I wanted to mimic a AAA mini-mag. The CCT comes in around 3000K at about 95CRI. Due to the lack of great thermal interface to the case I limited the current to 700mA which is just a few hundred lumens from this package. Then again given the small space and desired look I didn’t want a small sun’s worth of light in there anyways. Using s wide frosted optic I made a very wide bean (very unlike the beam pattern this lamp was born with).

 

After getting the guts squared away, and yes currently a 12v SLA is powering the setup, I set off to install the fixture meant to live in a tractor into the wooden cabinet. Turns out a tractor has more free space for things like this than an old TV cabinet so it looks a little funny in the space but so be it, no turning back now.

I’m not sure if I’ll use the second lamp for the lower shelf or if I will just do a light source that isn’t visible unless you look under the shelf. Updates to come as the project evolves.