Podiatry magnifying lamps are an integral part of many podiatry clinics. They provide additional lighting, magnification and a better way to see colour variations in patients feet.
As with many pieces of podiatry equipment, there is a large range of podiatry lamps or mag lamps as they are otherwise known. With different features and brands it can be a confusing landscape.
In this podiatry magnifying lamp guide we take a look at what podiatry lamps are, what they do, and the different brands and models in the UK market.
What is a podiatry Magnifying lamp?
Very similar to a classic traditional “anglepoise lamp” the current magnifying lamps that we see today are used widely in the electronics & craft industry for working close up on circuit boards. They started with fluorescent lamp bulbs.
The different brands all follow a basic design of a main pivoting arm, with a round or rectangular head enclosing a lens encircled by florescent or LED bulb or bulbs.
As the lamps were “borrowed” from other industries they were never designed specifically for podiatrists. This meant they had their technical and reliability issues.
With the improvements in technology, a lot of the old issues have been resolved or at least improved. All of the lamps below have very similar features. As with many pieces of podiatry equipment the more you pay the more you get.
What are the main features of a magnifying lamp?
- Pivoting Arm – typically at three/four points, base mid point and head
- Electronic Ballasts– For flicker free operation
- Round or rectangular head – cased in plastic of varying sizes
- Magnifying lens – 3 Diopter or 1.75x magnification
- Florescent or LED bulb(s) – warm white or cool white
- Sun Flaps – To prevent fires! Check here for why
- Tube protection cover – to prevent bulb breaks.
- Removable lens – 3,4,5 diopter lenses. 1.75-2.25x magnification.
- Extra long reach – Longer arms.
- Mounting options – Mobile, desk, workstation, wall, or ceiling mounting.
- Dimmer LEDs – Auto shut off or Dimming lights.
Where do you put a podiatry lamp?
There are a variety of mounting options for magnifying lamps, this is one of the most important choices you can make.
It’s a good idea to check out a friend or colleges lamp to see about how close you could potentially want you’re mag lamp. The same can be said if you’re renovating your practice or moving.
Most manufacturers and suppliers offer a range of mounting options for lamps. They include:
- Wall mounting brackets – Some are generic some are manufacturer approved.
- Surface/desk mounting brackets – Either screwed in place or weighted.
- G-Clamp brackets – To clamp to a work surface or desk
- Ceiling mounting brackets – A long pole to attach a lamp to the end of.
- Wheeled or static bases – Bases with castors or feet usually 4 or 5 star.
PRO TIP: Most suppliers will ship lamps with a G-clamp bracket. It’s best to check before purchasing
The most common mounting option is on a cabinet or workstation. This is achieved with a bracket that’s mounted securely with bolts and washers. Allowing free range of motion for the lamp and operator.
What types of bulb are available?
The first types of podiatry mag lamps to be widely used all had florescent bulbs used in a range of commercial devices. They ranged from 22w to over 50w. They required a starter and only came in a warm orange colour.
Eventually technology improved and “cool white” bulbs became available and eventually replaced. Cool white offers much better colour reproduction when looking at the foot.
PRO TIP: Woods lamps offer special LEDS for identifying skin conditions.
In the early 2000’s saw the introduction of LED lamps. These are probably the biggest leap forward in technology along with acrylic lenses.
LED magnifying lamp bulbs are lower in power consumption, brighter and more importantly, last longer. Many manufacturers are now offering these as standard.
Podiatry Lamp Lens Options
As well as offering a range of viewing areas, many lamps can change their lenses. This gives you the option of adjusting the magnification of the lamp to suit your needs.
- 1.75 x magnification – 3 diopter
- 1.85 x magnification – 3.5 diopter
- 2.25 x magnification – 5 diopter
- 4 x magnification – 12 diopter
The standard lens offered by most manufacturers is 1.75 or 3 diopter. 4 & 5 (2.25x) diopter versions are also available.
PRO TIP: The lenses in the Daylight range of lamps can be “hot swapped’ for easy changing.
What brands of Podiatry lamps are available?
Unlike podiatry drills, thankfully there are only a few established podiatry lamp brands in the UK market. Names such as LUXO and daylight have grown to become very popular choices. Less known brands such as Brandon, Daray and Waldman also offer specialist lamps.
UK Podiatry Magnifying Lamp Manufacturers
More widely known as Luxo, Glamox manufacturer the LFM podiatry magnifying lamp which has been one of the best selling lamps for over 25 years. Setting the industry standard with it’s simple classic design and high quality manufacturing. The range includes the LFM, KFM, Wave and now discontinued Circus lamps.
A brand that have come on leaps and bounds over the last 15 years,. From initially offering a budget range of lamps, they’ve improved there lamps to include some of the markets best lamps. Daylight were the first to offer acrylic lens which went a long way to solving one of the biggest problems with magnifying lamps. The range includes the Slim, Ultra, & IQ.
Based in west Yorkshire the Brandon medical company offer a range of high quality medical lamps and theatre lighting. The main products offered to podiatrists are very similar to the German Waldman brand. Brandon supply the specialist woods lamp used for accurate skin analysis. The range includes the specialist woods lamp.
A long established company offering a range of lighting options for medical, dental and veterinary markets. Daray originally supplied lamps to podiatrists who wanted a high quality ceiling mounted option for their clinic. Daray have recently added a magnifying lamp to their range.
Well Known Podiatry Magnifying Lamp Models
Luxo LFM LED G2 Magnifying lamp
Probably the most well known and biggest selling podiatry lamp the Luxo LFM G2 has evolved to offer the latest features. A real classic used in NHS and private clinics across the country. Check out our review here.
Luxo KFM LED Magnifying Lamp
The upgraded version of the LFM the KFM offers a sleeker design, larger viewing area, longer reach and bright LED bulbs. A great lamp for those looking to add a bit of added style to their clinic.
LUXO Wave Plus LED Lamp
A rectangular header lamp with bulbs on either side of the case. a Popular option for static applications due to the weight of the head. The large rectangular area gives a great horizontal viewing aspect.
Daylight Slim LED Magnifying Lamp
The basic offering from Daylight, the slim is a smaller lamp with standard features. Ideal for those on a budget who just need a bit of extra lighting.
- Light source: LED
- Lux output at 15cm (6″): 5,500
- Light colour temperature: 6,000°K
- Energy consumption: 7.2W
- Product dimensions: 53 x 20 x 79 cm (20.9” x 7.9 ” x 31.1 ”)
- Maximum Reach: 113cm (44.5”)
- Product Weight: 2.4 kg (5.2lbs)
- Cable length: 2m (78.7”)
- Lens size: 13cm (5”)
- Magnification: 3 Diopter (1.75 X) & 5 Diopter (2.25X)
- Extra magnification: no
- Lens material: Glass
Daylight Ultra Slim Magnifying Lamp
The larger version of the slim, the larger head, longer reach and brighter LEDS all make the daylight ultra slim a firm favourite. One of the most popular lamps of the past ten years.
- Light source: Fluorescent
- Lux output at 15cm (6″): 5,520 Lux
- Light colour temperature: 6,500°K
- Energy consumption: 28W
- Product dimensions: 55 x 24 x 94 cm (21.7” x 9.4 ” x 37 ”)
- Maximum Reach: 128cm (50.4”)
- Product Weight: 3.6kg (7.9lbs)
- Cable length: 2.2m (86.6”)
- Lens size: 17.5cm (7”)
- Magnification: 3 Diopter (1.75 X)
- Extra magnification: 5D (2.25X) and 12D (4X)
- Lens material: Acrylic
Daylight IQ Magnifying Lamp
The top of the range model. The IQ has upgraded casing, larger viewing area, better aesthetics and a brighter LEDS. The ideal lamp for a contemporary modern looking clinic.
What are the problems with Podiatry Magnifying lamps?
In the past the range of choice available was a lot smaller, this made it much easier for podiatrists looking for a good quality lighting solution for their work.
Heads dropping – The main issue with lamps has been the joints. Because the lamps were only ever designed for static work, they struggle with the repeated movement that podiatrists often demand from their lamps.
Solution: New lighter acrylic lenses, better quality joints
Cracking plastic – Often caused by leaving the lamp on for long periods creating heat and drying out the plastic heads. Alcohol cleaning solutions can also dry plastics and should be avoided.
Solution: Cooler low wattage LED bulbs
Bulbs Blowing – Not an issue so much these days with the introduction of LED bulbs. Replacing old florescent bulbs is an additional expense.
Solution: LED bulbs with over 25’000 hours use
Whilst a podiatry lamp is not essential it is probably one of the most common piece of useful equipment in a podiatrists clinical setup.
With most of the issue with lamps resolved with new technology there has never been a wider choice of magnifying lamps.