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From digest.v7.n408 Thu Oct 9 12:24:20 1997
From: "Steve D'Gerolamo" <>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 1997 09:01:09 -0400
Subject: Ultimate Drop Light

Good lighting is an integral part of any efficient workshop. There should be adequate general purpose lighting through several sets of overhead fluorescents, natural light via skylight if possible, and more than adequate task lighting (so you can see what you're doing). Task lighting above the workbenches is best served via halogen, either with strong punch from MR16 low voltage units in the ceiling or from reflector type halogens built into light soffits above the work area(s). (I'm currently working on a 38x70' Nascar workshop project in North Carolina which will have a proposed mix of the above elements). When it comes to working on the car, good drop lights are essential. In the old days, a drop light was a simple A type bulb in a cheap handle socket with a metal housing and shroud (that got very hot) to protect the bulb. I'm sure these lights were secretly marketed by GE, Westinghouse and other bulb manufacturers as they were responsible for the sale of many, many bulbs. One drop and the bulb was history. Rough duty bulbs improved matters but these drop lights still got very hot and caused more than a few burns, shocks and fires. The popular drop light among the professionals became the portable fluorescent units, either on the end of retractable reels suspended from the wall or ceiling or at the end of 25 or 50 foot cords. There are even conversion units that will screw into your old drop light sockets. The lights come in 115v for shop use or 12v (battery or cigarette lighter adapter) for emergency or on-road use. The best of these lights were typically the ones manufactured by National Electric company. Snap-on, Mac, ATD, Griot, Imparts and other tools suppliers currently sell National's fluorescent drop lighting through their catalogs and flyers. However, I've discovered a similar series of lighting (made here on the East coast) that offers the same product selection as the National Electric line with three notable improvements: (1) the lense cover is now chemical resistant (accidently get some brake clean on your National Electric lense and it's permanently clouded) (2) rough service bulbs (the 13w rough service PL-S fluorescent bulbs are not available elsewhere) and (3) these lights feature a floating socket for additional bulb protection. These lights will be available through Snap-on in the near future, replacing several of their National Electric products. I've also got a variety of their products coming in within 2 weeks. Pricing and product offerings will be posted to my web site. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. SD

Steve D'Gerolamo - The Ultimate Garage
201-262-0412 / / ***Tech tips now being posted to our web site***
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