An LED-style light bulb may be a practical upgrade for common work lights in your service department. Here's why.
I'm sure tire dealers and service shop operators would agree on the need for adequate lighting throughout the service department.
After all, technicians can't work efficiently when they can't see the work area clearly. Techs usually illuminate the work with a device called a shop light, work light, drop light or mechanic's light.
These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and lighting capacities.
Traditionally, popular drop lights used a searing hot and relatively fragile incandescent bulb.
But gradually, cooler, more-durable breeds of bulbs are replacing those old-fashioned bulbs.
For example, companies are offering both LED and fluorescent lighting products designed specifically with durability and safety in mind for automotive service departments.
These products are worthwhile investments.
However, some techs still cling to using the age-old drop light equipped with an incandescent bulb.
It mystifies me as to why a tech would continue using an old-fashioned — not to mention risky — incandescent bulb. But I still see these in use during my travels across the country.
The ol' drop light is familiar and dirt cheap — that's it.
Suppose a tech in your facility is a competent, reliable worker. But the person is reluctant to give up a work light with an incandescent bulb.
If so, then an LED retrofit bulb may be a cost-effective upgrade. For example, companies such as GE, Phillips and others offer LED bulbs that essentially provide illumination equivalent to a traditional 100-watt bulb.
I have convinced some techs to switch to an LED bulb; they report that the modern bulbs often fit nicely into a traditional work light.
And they are pleased with the bulb's illuminating capability.
What's more, our experience shows that an LED bulb only gets warm as opposed to blazing hot. For instance, I have worked with guys who updated old work lights to the popular GE Bright Stik LED bulbs.
After 30 minutes of constant operation, I can comfortably grasp one of these 100-watt (equivalent) bulbs with my bare hand.
Out of curiosity, I also have checked several of these LED bulbs with a non-contact thermometer ("temp gun"). The temperature was 94-96 degrees F after operating for 30 minutes.
Once again, the bulb was only warm.
Over the years, I have seen guys burned by incandescent bulbs in work lights (myself included).
I have seen the old bulbs shatter and start fires when guys dropped their work lights.
Retrofitting a work light with a readily available, screw-in LED bulb seems to be a huge safety and durability upgrade over an incandescent one. Consider this update for any existing drop lights with incandescent bulbs.