I'm sure many of you are familiar with Littlite gooseneck light systems, especially those of you doing live sound. Many sound reinforcement consoles, for example, have built-in jacks for plugging in Littlite goosenecks. The RL-10-D Raklite is a 1RU-height recessed panel with two 12" goosenecks. If you mount this Raklite in the middle of a 14-space rack, its two goosenecks can be bent to project a pleasingly soft area of light directly onto the face of any piece of gear mounted in the rack. A dimmer controls the intensity of the light so you won't blind yourself in a dark room while you're trying to tweak an effect, but you can turn up the brightness as needed. If you've got a rack that you're constantly reconfiguring (like me, as review gear comes and goes), you can mount the Raklite on the rear rails and have easily directed light so you can see what you're plugging in. Because of its controlled directivity, whether front or rear mounted, the Raklite is much more usable than the pull-out lights that are often found on rackmount power strips; these tend to cast shadows and can't get light into recessed areas.
If you don't have space in your rack for a Raklite, a Littlite gooseneck on a Rakit mount is what you need. The Rakit allows any Littlite L-series lampset to be mounted in front of the rack ears of gear already installed in your rack, without taking up a single rackspace. Two rack screws go through the Rakit bracket, then through the gear behind it, then into the rack rail, holding both your gear and the Rakit-mounted gooseneck lamp tightly in the rack. Ingenious! Mine came with the new L-7 series end-mount gooseneck, which can lay flat vertically along the edge of the rack. Plus, it's the LED model, with two red LEDs and two white LEDs in the head of the gooseneck. You can turn on just the red LEDs, which offer more than enough contrast to read all the labeling on your gear without affecting your night vision, or you can turn on all four LEDs for a very bright (but still very warm) light. The LED head has the additional advantage of being cool to the touch; those of you who've used standard Littlites know that if you grab the head the wrong way, your fingers will feel some unpleasant heat. Both of my Littlite systems came with detachable 12 V power supplies that are tiny enough to plug into adjacent sockets; it'd be unfair to call them wall warts. Check out the Littlite website for more configurations of their well-designed, extremely useful lighting systems. (www.littlite.com)
Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.