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LED Trouble Lights

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Posted by Scott Willing on November 7, 2004, 4:33 pm
 
Princess Auto has just started carrying a couple of LED trouble
lights, both with 60 white T1 LED's, under their "Power Fist" house
brand. One has a 50' cord on a retractable reel ($CDN120) and the
other just has a plain 25' cord ($CDN70).

I bought a couple of the latter model, right at the tail end of a
recent sale when they were on for $CDN50.

I think the same manufacturer (not Power Fist, which is a fiction
AFAIK) may make the "Freedom" 30-LED rechargeable model I can find on
many other websites such as at:
http://store.autotoolexpress.com/core30trwich.html  but this model is
not carried by Princess Auto.

For the equivalent of US$2, I thought the 25' cord, 60-LED model was
a pretty good deal for the LED's alone. It comes with a typical
wallwart transformer (12VDC 500mA) molded on the end of the cord.

It's intended for indoor use (not sealed/waterproof like the
round-bodied 30-LED models) but who can resist a quick snip and the
addition of a lighter plug and in-line socket (admittedly not my
favourite connectors) to turn this puppy into a handy item both for
house and car? Throw in a socket + alligator clips adapter, and you're
all set for direct connection to a battery as well. Dunno how flexible
the cord would be in the cold, but I'm about to find out.

It isn't a lot of light, but IMHO the trouble light application is
another good one for LED's. I often find the typical 180 degree
pattern from a garden-variety trouble light makes it a challenge to
get the light on the work and not in your eyes. The LED light has a
much narrower dispersion pattern and the colour temperature gives you
a truer idea of what you're looking at - handy if tracing wires under
the hood, e.g.

It won't burn out if you drop it, either, and if your wrench slips it
isn't going to break a bulb and throw sparks in the engine compartment
or battery box, which is small but real hazard with conventional
trouble lights, whether at line voltage or 12V. Again, cord
flexibility might well be an issue, but at least it won't have
cold-starting problems like fluorescents.

Not a perfect product by any means, and still a LOT of money compared
with the classic alternatives, but all in all a useful addition to the
kit IMHO.

BTW, a friend of mine who suffers seasonal affective disorder (?,
"SAD" anyway) due to low sunlight levels thought this might be a
cheaper alternative to the "Light Book" product that sells for around
$CDN300. She showed me a pamphlet for the Light Book. It also uses 60
LED's, but thanks to the same-size reproduction I'm able to guess that
they're the larger T1-3/4's. The claim is that if you place one of
these broad spectrum lights within your field of vision for 15min/day
it helps. No comment. It's like battery desulphators, I have no idea
if the voodoo works.
 
Sorry I can't supply a direct link to these products on the Princess
Auto website (http://www.princessauto.com ). They're pretty new and
don't seem to be listed yet. But here are their PA item numbers:

8005431 with reel and 50' cord
8005429 with plain 25' cord

I'm sure they'll quickly show up at other suppliers in any case, and
with my luck they'll be selling for $0 at WallMart by the time you
read this.

FWIW, the instruction sheet lists these manufacturers' part numbers
for various models, though the reel unit is not listed, nor is a
rechargeable model though it is mentioned in the text.

LED084L3-60 (Round shape, 60 LED's, 120V via xfmr)
LED084L3-30 (Round shape, 30 LED's, 120V via xfmr)
LED035L3-30 (Round shape, 30 LED's, cig lighter and clips)
LED084L4-60 (Flattened shape, 60 LED's, 120V via xfmr)*
*this is the one I have

-=s


Posted by GLC1173 on November 7, 2004, 7:32 pm
 
Scott wrote:

   Down here in North Carolina, Lowe's (Southern hardware chain) sells
fluorescent trouble lights for far less.  I've seen 12-volt ones.
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Posted by Scott Willing on November 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
 On 07 Nov 2004 19:32:37 GMT, glc1173@aol.com (GLC1173) wrote:


"...at least it won't have cold-starting problems like
fluorescents..."

"Not a perfect product by any means, and still a LOT of money compared
with the classic alternatives..."

-=s



Posted by Gordon Richmond on November 8, 2004, 3:35 am
 Thanks for posting this information, Scott.

I suspect the price will rapidly come down on these.

A friend has a Snap-On LED trouble light, and he doesn't like it much.
Throws a pretty darn dim light, IMHO. I saw it in use. Not certain,
but I think it has 30 LEDs. Your 60-LED lamp may well be adequately
bright.

I think the 12 volt fluorescent trouble lights are the best deal going
at present. Fairly rugged, and I expect the risk of igniting flammable
vapors in the event of tube breakage is minimal.

Gordon Richmond

Posted by me on November 8, 2004, 4:10 pm
 
And aren't the 12v fluorescent tubes STILL the most
energy efficient even over LED?

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