THIRD TRY FOR ALIGNER HITS THE MARK
I decided to go back to the poly foam I used for the first iteration of an aligner board, but selected a thinner material. That does indeed force the lamps more orthogonal to the PCB just I wished, but leaves enough of the lamp and holder jutting out to hold in position in a honeycomb cell.
|Thin foam aligner|
|Aligner helps bend holders partly into position|
|Black foam just visible atop the white honeycomb|