Typically, I hear one of two reactions when I convince someone to try a miner's light.
Either they claim they've never seen such a device, or they admit they were aware of such tools but didn't realize how practical and effective they could be.
Countless times I have seen technicians struggling to illuminate a somewhat inaccessible work area by pointing a flashlight at it. The challenge, however, is that the tech's gripping the end of the flashlight with his teeth.
Or, I have watched salespeople trying to count inventory in a storeroom or warehouse, illuminating the shelves with a flashlight, with the tail end clenched between their teeth. (Helpful hint: Flashlights don't taste very good and holding one in your mouth is tiring — not to mention distracting.)
The modern miner's lamp usually uses one or more LED lights. For one thing, these LEDs are durable and surprisingly bright. Peruse the selections on Google; you'll see brightness specifications on miner's lights ranging from several hundred up to several thousand lumens.
For another, an LED light is safer in the workplace because it does not heat up like a traditional light bulb does.
Furthermore, a typical LED light is both efficient and durable because it consumes relatively little power compared with old-fashioned light bulbs. This means that the batteries powering a modern miner's light may last longer than you expect.
Note that many of these lights use one or more AAA batteries. Some are equipped with rechargeable AAAs and a plug-in charging adapter.
For example, I found the miner's light shown in the accompanying photograph at a Harbor Freight tool outlet. I was lucky because the light was on sale that weekend for $9.95; I gambled and bought several of them for family members. (On the internet, I saw head lamp prices ranging from $10 to $100.)
This light, which carries three AAA batteries and is rated at 310 lumens, has served me well every time I've used it. Most recently, it got a workout when fierce winds knocked out the power in our community.
I kept this Harbor Freight head lamp turned on for at least six hours straight, reading a book until the power was restored.
I lucked out in another regard because this inexpensive model has two features my existing head lamp lacks. First, you can tilt the light assembly, so it's easy to focus it directly onto the work at hand.
Second, this lamp has a three-position switch on it; you can choose between two brightness levels as well as a setting that makes the light flash steadily.
I have been working on cars all my life — including repairs under a dashboard or inside a dimly lit trunk or cargo area. I have hunted for lost items such as fasteners, customers' car keys, etc. I have performed road services in the dark of night.
In every one of these instances, a miner's light or head lamp undoubtedly would have eased the task. The bottom line is: Don't undervalue these practical little tools.