Good trouble lights?

A.K.A. Drop Lights. I need one, but all of the ones I've encountered in the stores are absolute crap. On-line catalogs look like they're the
same. I'm just looking for one that's not hard (cheap/brittle/uncomfy) plastic on the outside. The "rubberized" orange and yellow ones with wire cages used to be pretty common in the stores years ago, but not any more. Now it's plastic, plastic, plastic. Sometimes halogen bulbs, sometimes florescent bulbs, but always plastic handles. Usually with cheap, shitty cords to complete the package. McMaster has one with a rubber handle, but it's $lightly expen$ive. Any other places to look? Except ebay--I hate ebay.
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"B.B." wrote:

<snip> there ya go, "Absolute crap". Made somewhere else, and sold in America.
I was at home DePost last year and they were tossing a pallete of "trouble lights" that had the rims/reflectors bent due to....trouble.
for 12 dollars I got the whole load....I have 3 left that work, and a lot of aluminum spun refectors.
The plastic breaks. Duh. *But, hey China! Can't ya'll even make Plastic anymore*?
Just wondering
~D
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Look for ones made for commercial use. See if you can possibly finds ones made by McGill or Woodhead or Ericson. You will pay quite a bit more, but you will get commercial quality. Any electrical distributor should be able to order one for you. I believe Crouse Hinds and Appleton even make ones for harzardous environments where it is impossible for the unit to emit any kind of spark that could ignite gases. Try here http://www.ericson.com/products/product.asp?catid=2&id=2

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...

...
Man, I hear ya. I've got an antique one that wore out, so I bought another. Threw it away(total crap) and put the old one back up. I really need a decent one, also. If you do find one, please let me know.
Karl
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I don't know what brand, but I bought 2 units for our job shop, fluorescent, rubberized, yellow, cool to the touch.
6 years in service, with no care, lots of abuse.
they just keep going, with original bulbs
$100 each, but how many cheepies are you willing to buy in that time span? not to mention broken light bulbs, accidental burns, etc...

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The orange plastic ones are actually better than metal. More resilient. Once the metal shield or cage gets distorted, metal ones are annoying to use. I have a 'cheap' HF orange plastic one. It has a magnetic base, which on rare occasion I have found useful. It has a retained thumb screw for the cage, which makes lamp changes easy. It doesn't mind 100W lamps. It articulates in the center; also useful on occasion. Good switch. Has a 3 prong aux socket in the handle. I have been careless with it for 4 years, still in good shape. Like any other trouble light, drop it, and go get another lamp. For a 'cheap' chinese trouble light, I can't bitch. JR Dweller in the cellar
B.B. wrote:

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[...]
On a related note, I found this: http://www.flashlightmuseum.com I think I'll build me one of those 7-cell beasts one of these days.
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I have a yellow plastic one with flourescent bulb in it and an automatic reel that I bought at Home Depot many years ago that has been a good one. It always lights, I've never had to replace the bulb.
Lane
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Just Me wrote:

I have one like that in the shop - often without a light bulb when it was in the garage-shop - to close to the house - a working bulb is a bird in the hand.
Martin
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I'll try to haggle for a few caged glass enclosed lights at the industrial junk yard tomorrow. Dave has a big pile of them. I am going to make a smaller RPC and sell it together with the compressor, hence my trip to the junkyard.
i
On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 21:37:05 -0500, Martin H. Eastburn

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Just Me wrote:

One thought on the long lasting bulb - the wire is low gage and likely limits current on the startup surge. That blows the lights.
Martin
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If you do temporarily settle for one of the plastic ones line the reflective(?) area behind the bulb with aluminum foil otherwise you can't see nothin' because of the glare through the back of the thing.
JohnF
On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 02:08:49 -0500, "B.B."

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On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 02:08:49 -0500, "B.B."

Trouble lights are aptly named: they are nothing but trouble. They're never in the right place, usually in the way, often hot, and the damned bulbs are fragile.
I made a head-mounted light using a 1-watt Luxeon LED and a lens diffuser. It's a lousy flashlight for hiking and cave exploration -- but that isn't what I was after. I wanted it to illuminate everything within reach of my hands. It does that very well. The light is very even -- no darkspots or other artifacts. There are no apparent shadows because the light comes from the middle of my forehead. The "bulb" runs cool, and it will never break or burn out.
It works well under hoods, underneath cars, under sinks, in machinery and when doing wiring and plumbing with both hands.
I used the body from a Harbor Freight head light ($2.95 on sale). Mounted elex, Luxeon, lens and lensholder where the lightbulb and reflector had been.
Didn't make any drawings......
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Keywords:
<snip>

I agree, a good headlamp is a wonderful gadget, and makes a trouble light optional for many occasions. The LED approach gives MUCH better battery life. If you don't want to spend your time building one fromn scratch, the best one I've found is the "Streamlight Septor LED Headlamp". Do a search on Froogle, you can get them for ~$28.
I still use a trouble light for some things, like working in the attic. The one I have that I like the best is a fluorescent model from Home Depot. The big advantage is that it is cool enough to move around without fear of burns or fires. It has two tubes, so you can select how much light you want. I always run it with both, so I don't consider that a particularly useful option. I'm sure it you drop it from a good height, it's gonna bust, but I try to be a bit more careful that that, and withthe headlight, I can usually set it up out of harms way.
Doug White
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I agree with the others regarding the LED headlamp. My daughter (11 y.o.) gave me one for Christmas last year - it's got two white LEDs, or you can switch to a red one so you don't mess up your night vision. I've had a fluorescent drop light for many years, and it served me well. Since getting the headlamp, I rarely use the drop light. It's very handy, small, cool and the light always shines where I'm looking. Great for working on the car, the electrical panel, plumbing under the sink, or whatever.
--
Ron DeBlock N2JSO
If God had meant for Man to see the sunrise,
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 23:12:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@alum.mit.edu (Doug White) wrote:

With 7 LED's it's probably a usable light, though far short of a single 1-watt Luxeon in terms of luminous output.
I sent Fitch some 8-LED lights (found at a bargain) and the first version of my lensed Luxeon in existance. (I've since built another for myself) He liked the 8-LED lights for general flashlight use. I use one of those for my "going to bed" flashlight because it's dim enough not to wake her nibs. A 1-watt Luxeon flashlight is too bright for that duty.
Fitch had tried other LED head lights including one using a Luxeon, didn't like them as task lights for a variety of reasons.
He was quite enthusiastic about the lensed Luxeon headlight for use in building his new house. He said something like, "touch my light at risk of losing a hand....."
Update: move-in is imminent, first week of Sept. Then he'll be busy building the shop. Then he'll be busy doing something else....

Check out: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber768
I've not seen this light in action, merely note it.
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[...]

As to the bulb hotness thing, I've found that the florescent light bulbs with the screw-in base of the incandescent bulbs work well in drop lights and handle shock much better. Extra-messy if it does break, though. I might break down and spend the money on a WoodHead light, but I'm still hunting for the middle-ground non-crap, inexpensive solution. It's probably mostly a personal preference thing, but I hate headlamps. I spend enough time wedging my head into tiny gaps that I'd either block the thing 90% of the time or outright crush it. For me, a drop light is the best solution most of the time.
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B.B. wrote:

I've found that as well. Old wire cage inspection lamp with the black rubber handle. Never could keep a normal bulb working in it for more than a week (you'd put one in and it would be gone next time) but the fluorescent has been in there several years now. Only thing I did different was put a leather washer over the base of the bulb so it was a snug fit into the hole in the handle the socket sits in as we have bayonet bulb bases over here which let the bulb wobble more. Could have used an O ring but the leather washer was handy. Also I cut a shade/reflector out of a coke can and folded it round three of the wires of the cage. Without it, I couldnt see a thing if crawling into a small space pushing the light ahead of me.
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Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
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On Tue, 09 Aug 2005 09:09:05 +0100, Ian Malcolm

Never put a regular bulb in such a lamp. Buy the more expensive Rough Duty bulbs and they last much much longer.
http://www.electerm.com/ldrop.html http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/13-41-rough-service-bulbs/rough-service-bulb-685743.aspx http://www.stanley-garage-opener.com/gardooroplig.html
Gunner
If you are going to use that phrase then you should use the full phrase of "Fuck Off and Die and Rot In A Ditch and Get Eaten By Maggots and Pissed On and Shit On By a Dysenteric Elephant (but not necessarily in that order)."
Crash Street Kidd
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Gunner wrote:

...
Yes, I've never had one lose a filament. Generally the first time I use one it's under a sink, a drop of water falls on the bulb and it breaks from the thermal shock |8-( Now I use the compact fluorescent. Bob
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