The best lights for working outside in the dark will illuminate the area and meet other needs. Suitable for outdoor use, they can be left out in the rain and weather without worrying about fires. Available in countless styles and power levels, they also work with different power sources.
Types of Lights
There are several types of worklights to consider, and they each have different advantages and disadvantages. Workers should choose their lighting based on the environment they will be working in and their own special needs.
• Hanging Worklights – When working near an area with overhanging fixtures, hanging worklights are convenient and functional. Positioning them can be tricky in windy conditions as the wind can cause lights to shift and sway.
• Standing Lights – If there is nowhere to hang a light, then standing lights are the best choice. Height adjustable, the lights can be maneuvered to illuminate a certain area. However, workers will have to take care not to stumble over the lights because they will take up ground space in the work zone.
• Hang or Stand – One of the most versatile lighting options comes with a handle that can hang on overhead surfaces and a stable stand to rest it on the floor. The light angle can be altered to ensure that the proper area is illuminated.
• Clamp Lights – These can be connected to nearby structures like tables or posts. The clamps are not typically very large, so they should be connected only to narrow surfaces that can hold their weight and allow the light to remain steady.
• Flashlights – The most portable option, flashlights have to be held by the worker or a helper. While a flashlight will not illuminate an entire work area, it’s still a good idea to have several on hand to shine on specific areas and for detail work.
• Headlamps – Keep the light directly lined up with the user’s vision by using headlamps. The one downside of headlamps is that workers can temporarily blind their other team members by shining the lights directly in their faces.
• Magnetic Lights – Powerful magnets line one area of these lights, so they can be attached to the side of most vehicles for secure, portable light.
• Truck-Mounted Lights – If work is being done in a large, outdoor area, then special truck-mounted lights are the best choice. Portable and versatile, they can go to almost any large construction site by driving the truck in. Powered by generators on the truck or set directly next to the truck, they illuminate a large area to create safe, well-illuminated work zones.
Choosing the Right Bulbs
There are a few different bulbs to choose from. LEDs are the most energy efficient and have the longest useful life. They are durable and are more resistant to breaking than other options. However, they do not always produce the brightest light.
When a brighter light is necessary, workers can choose incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. The CFL bulbs are readily available and have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. Another great advantage of CFLs is that they do not heat up like incandescents.
The brightest light available comes in halogen lights. Available in standing, hanging and clamp lights, these bright lights make it easy to navigate any worksite. However, they are also a fire hazard if used too close to construction materials. Workers should make sure they are placed well away from any flammable items to prevent fires.
The right worklight for any job site depends on the site and what kind of work is being performed. Most lights are available in battery or plug-in options. Look for lights with sturdy housing that will protect the light in case it is knocked over on an active job site. Taking the worksite into account will help workers choose the proper lighting for their site.
Randy Worthington writes about a wide variety of gadgets and gizmos, including light towers, flashlights, cell phones, construction tools and others as well.