Help! Don't want to get burned in buying LED work lighting.
October 2, 2016 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations of LED worksite / construction lighting. The halogens are too hot, break when jostled, &c. I'm wary of the cheap LED brands out there. Premature failure due to poor design and driver electronics can make using LEDs a false economy. Willing to convert LED floodlights if you have recommendations for those.
posted by Glomar response to Technology (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would suggest that with good LED's:

1.) They will have decent, heavy metal bodies with good cooling potential. LED's like to stay about warm to the touch. More than that, and they fry themselves.

2.) If you just need alot of light, go for a cooler temperature, as they are more efficient (3500-4000K). If you need to do careful color rendering, look at something warmer (2700-3000K) that has a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI) for better vision.

3.) A few strong LED's will cast better shadows for depth perception than a million tiny cheap LED's. A very diffuse source produces light like an overcast day, making it hard to see surface detail and small parts since there is no shadow.

4.) Look for the Energy Star rating for efficiency and Power Factor, those are a sure sign of better driver electronics.
posted by nickggully at 1:50 PM on October 2, 2016

Next time my halogens burn out, I'm planning on buying a pair of these Snap-On lights (also available at Costco).
posted by bradf at 2:00 PM on October 2, 2016

I only just bought this one from ACE (a bit expensive), but it seems very promising. It's rechargeable battery powered so you could just carry it without a power cord (says it runs 4 hours at 50% power -- which is pretty bright -- or 2 hours at full power).

It has a very impressive heat sink/heat dissipating back, it's decently heavy but not too heavy, and it uses 12v DC (which is great, since I can charge it from my small solar panel or the deep cycle battery that goes with my solar panel).

It feels well made.
posted by amtho at 6:41 PM on October 2, 2016

Do you need task lighting or area lighting? For task lighting I've used the older version of the M18 Milwaukee task light and it is excellent. Easily gets the 8 hour run time at 50% brightness. Doesn't roll. Handles being dropped on concrete.

Milwaukee also has a variety of area lights in assorted form factors including DC, AC/DC and AC/DC models with built in chargers. All their tools come with a five year warrantee even when used commercially. I've never actually had to use their warrantee service so not sure how much of a hassle it is.

If you want something to mount on temp power stands or similar I've installed a butt load of the Crouse Hinds Crosstour LED wallpacks without any problems. The housing is a solid chunk of aluminum and they don't need a box to be mounted (they are available in a bracket/trunion mount or a knuckle mount). My only complaint is they don't have a diffuser so the light is fairly harsh.
posted by Mitheral at 7:48 PM on October 2, 2016

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