Ikea Desk Lamp That Will Defend Your Lungs

While some people may enjoy the occasional whiff of noxious smells — gasoline, axe body spray, etc — prolonged exposure to fumes is not good for your health. This goes for soldering too, isn’t it about time you added some abatement to your bench tools?

Inspired by some of the fume hoods we’ve featured before — take note, ye who art lacking projects — [Georg Sluyterman] put together his own Ikea lamp fume extractor.

The most striking feature is that it’s mounted on an Ikea desk lamp making for convenient positioning and minimal clutter. A NeoPixels strip lights up your soldering space while the PIR sensor activates the fan when it detects movement. A WeMos D1 Mini is included for WiFi connectivity but that feature still down the road a little bit. The functionality that is in place is still quite impressive; more on that after the break.

The LEDs have adjustable brightness, and the delay before the fan and lights switch off is adjustable by holding the relevant buttons on the case. You can find more details on the build included with the design files.

While you’re souping-up your bench tools, take a look at what else can be done. If you are hampered by a cheap soldering iron, here’s some info on how to make better use of one you may already have. Need a soldering iron? Make your own!

[Thanks for the submission, Georg Sluyterman!]

23 thoughts on “Ikea Desk Lamp That Will Defend Your Lungs

    1. The study kind of danced around the most obvious finding: it said the tip extractor was effective, but was frequently blocked by the build up of the rosin condensing just inside the nozzle. Doesn’t that mean that physically getting the fumes away from the operator is already effective at reducing particulate exposure by some amount because it will condense away from the operator (instead of in the operator’s lungs)? In that case, it could still be beneficial regardless of the effectiveness of the filter material.

      The other thing is that all contaminant abatement measures like this are a numbers game that deal with risk factors. It’s not a case of “10 minutes exposure guarantees asthma”, it’s a case of “higher exposure to fumes creates higher risk.” For a professional electronics factory worker, this probably wouldn’t be adequate to reduce the risk much over a lifetime of exposure. For a hobbyist, the risk is already probably quite low, so this might not do much to change it. But we don’t know the whole story, either. Maybe Georg already has asthma, and this helps him enjoy his hobby while reducing acute attacks. Maybe he has a kid who solders, and wants to reduce those risks (children are more susceptible to developing asthma from pollution than adults.) Or maybe he just doesn’t like the smell of rosin smoke.

      Regardless of effectiveness, I like it because it’s an example to makers to think about their own safety. And, it’s a clean build! :-)

    2. Just before he says: “It works fine” at the end of his one minute video, you can see the fumes going right through his carbon filter.
      Difference in color is similar with the discoloration of inhaled sigarette smoke so I assume something is left in the filter :)

  1. My problem is that it will not work well unless you have it almost on top of what you are soldering and at the side. Fume extractors are supposed to be pointed away from the face so that means this should be at the side or rear making the light ineffective.

    1. I just bought a very similar product as what was shown in the video (http://www.ebay.com/itm/401211135207), and I found this to be sadly true. Not only that, but it seems the fume extractor needs to be ~6 inches away from your soldering to even work. For an overarm solution, that essentially completely covers your soldering so you can’t see it and also blocks all light. I ended up just taking the extractor off the mounting arm and putting it on my desk.

      It’s also very loud. I ended up going back to my cheap USB desk fan to just blow the fumes away. Sure it cools off my soldering iron a bit, and doesn’t really filter anything, but at least I can actually solder. If anyone is considering their options, I would recommend a fan and a standalone room air purifier over any kind of overarm fume extractor.

      The best solution I’ve ever seen was a shop-vac like tube, but it was very flexible and rigid (like a podium mic) so you could just position it right near your soldering. That has the disadvantage of being quite loud though, but if you have the ability to put the vacuum in another room or something, that’s the way to go.

      1. Just getting the rosin fumes away from your face is the most important. Anytime I try soldering without some ventilation the fumes come right to my face. I’ve given up trying to filter them and just settled on keeping them away from my lungs.

  2. Main goal for the fan is to get the fumes away from your nose & it depends on additional room ventilation.

    Adding in some 20W to 50W leds would really make this shine for smd work.
    The fan can cool the leds also.

  3. My problem with unregulated fans is their tendency to cool the soldering iron tip too much. So it ends up being either too much (poor soldering) or too little (fume inhalation) ventilation.

      1. Today I was barely able to unsolder 3 caps on some SMPS board with a 100 W iron. And that is without the fan. This new solder is definitely melting at much higher temperature. Old solder is melting in an instant.

  4. It is important to get the fumes away. I’ve been soldering for 40+ years as a hobby and my work as designing and building industrial control equipment. Now I have lung damage. “The lungs of a smoker” according to one of my doctors. But I’ve never smoked. You do need a pretty strong air flow to get the smoke away and this is what I came up with…
    I don’t have problems with the fan cooling the soldering iron as a decent temperature controlled iron (recommended) will have enough reserve heating power to take care of that. Years ago I did try a fan that sat beside the work and sucked the air through a carbon filter but it was useless as the smoke goes up, not sideways. This design on the lamp arm is pretty good as it can be moved to place it where it can work best, but I think exhausting the fumes would be a better option but not easy to do in most cases.
    A good design even so :)

    1. Any design involving a fan and a filter is a fail because fans have no static pressure worth speaking of. If the filter is dense enough to filter there’s no air movement, if it’s not there’s air movement but no filtering.

      Blowers, blowers are not fans, and have some static pressure. This means they can force air through restrictions, like a vacuum cleaner bag and nozzle, HVAC ductwork, or a filter.

      If you need that sugared up, here…

  5. I am a big fan of plain ole fans. A comfortable space at any time of year or in the most perfect day will have a breath of moving air in any room. I also learned as a teenager to blow slow at the fumes to move them away from my face rather than just being passave about it or worse actually inhaling while smoking away.

  6. The IKEA lamp fume extractor is nice, functional and good looking. Nice project, a job well done. But I noticed a powerplug, is it attached to the fume extractor? It is visible on the image at the top of this article. How big is that thing? It is capable of blocking 4 power outlets? What is this kind of powerplug madness…
    Someone should invent a poweroutlet orientation corrector, you know where it rotates the orientation of the powerplug 90 deg. so that angled plugs can be redirected away from other powerplugs.
    Funny though that the outlets are correctly installed to use angled (90deg) powercords without problems, yet he seems to have installed a device that completely ignores all practical reasoning for powerplugs…

    This makes me laugh and very sad at the same time…

    1. Hi Jan

      Sorry that you are sad and must laugh at the same time :-) But if you look a bit closer of the images a the blog post or at Thingiverse, you will see that the lamp is in fact USB-powered. The power supply is of course an IKEA USB PSU (“Koppla” it is called), and the reason for it all seeming a bit bulky is that there is a USB power meter installed between the USB plug and the USB PSU, for showing the power usage on the pictures.

      Check out the images at https://blog.sman.dk/?p=328

      I am currently building a mobile electronics lab “in a box”, and my plan is to power the lamp directly from a USB power outled built in to the case.

      Have a great day!

  7. simply regulate your breathing so that you are breathing out when the fumes hit your face and move away to take a breath if you need to. open a window too helps. a wee diddy fan isn’t going to do much is it really other than be noisy.
    anyway solder fumes smell nice so why not enjoy them its part of the experience.

  8. The more I think of this, I’m getting convinced that the solution is to have a fan with speed regulation blow at my face sideways. It this way iron tip is not cooled, PCB is not cooled, only the fumes are blown away and the fresh air is constantly brought in. I must modify my fan setup accordingly.

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