Saturday, November 21, 2015

Still Looking For An LED Work Light

Desperate one day on a job, I reluctantly bought this LED work light currently sold by Cooper Industries, called LED 110. There are no promises on the packaging, but it looked like it might have ample LEDs.

Here is my photo of the package I bought:

Here is my illumination comparison test stand setup, with the Cooper LED 110 at Stage Right, and a GreenCreative Click 4" LED downlight , 3000°K, 625 lumens, 105° beam angle, at Stage Left. I find the light is too-blue, and is very directional, inconsistent with negligible aimability of a coat-hanger mount.

And, here is my brightness comparison, as recorded with a Canon Digital Rebel and matching my own observation:

The Cooper LED 110 work light gives very blue illumination, matching or exceeding that of the 625 lumens GreenCreative Click only in a narrow arc of perhaps 30°. With the poor aimability, I found the Cooper work light useless. An LED work light should have broad beam angle, with at least 1500 lumens. It is unfair that the Cooper 110 packaging makes no claims of offered task illumination. I would credit this with not more than 500 lumens, unhappy with color and directionality.

This light is no longer mentioned at the Cooper/ Eaton web site , and is no longer in Home Depot stores.

Look then for a better offering. I own mainly Milwaukee portable tools, and find they now offer this, introduced 10/9/2015 . I am not delinquent in the discovery. 

I have ordered this at CPO Outlets, with a 2-Pack of Milwaukee RedLithium Extended Capacity batteries, total cost $348. A contractor will pay for needed revenue-producing tools, but perhaps I expect too much of consumer willingness for such investment. I will learn much from my investment, and will share here. 

Here is an overview of claims for Milwaukee Product # 2360-20 :
2X Brighter, Maximum Versatility – The New TRUEVIEW™ M18™ LED HP Flood Light is designed to give professionals a portable area lighting solution that replaces 500W Halogen Flood Lights and adapts, performs, and survives industrial use.  The 2360-20 is the industry’s brightest 18V LED flood light, and it is up to 20% brighter than 500W Halogen Flood Lights.  Capable of filling large areas with light, it provides 3,000 lumens of high definition light output for in its high mode, 1,500 in medium and 650 in low, and it can run for up to 2, 4, or 9 hours with an M18™ REDLITHIUM™ XC 5.0 Battery Pack.  In addition to running off of M18™ batteries, it can run off of an AC cord for all day applications.  It uses high quality LEDs with a neutral white color and a high color rendering index paired with a Milwaukee® designed reflector to produce an even beam pattern.    Its head rotates 240° to direct light where it is needed, and there are 3 keyholes in its base for hanging in multiple orientations.  Its compact footprint and integrated carry handles allow for easy transport or storage in bags, on carts, or in job boxes. This light stands up to the toughest working conditions, through its durable roll cage design and impact-resistant lens and bezel.  It offers significant advantages over halogen work lights with superior impact durability and temperature management, and its LEDs never need to be replaced, and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

I choose here to address functionality of a "work" light, as it might serve me as a weatherization contractor. I received my Milwaukee 2360-20 while working in this truss attic, placing plywood flooring over R42 batt insulation, in my usual quest to protect insulation for an indefinite, very long service life. Two elevations of flooring must notch into truss elements at edges. I do this neatly with a strong Milwaukee angle drill propelling hole saws, and with a very sharp hand saw. I need good light, and here am cutting in the best-lit spot, with a 900 lumens Sylvania 75094 LED up six feet, and with an array of surrounding 75094 up about eight feet, spaced eight feet apart. The attic is very bright and cheerful. The above photo is taken with iPhone 6 Plus no-flash auto exposure.

In the above photo, I have placed the Milwaukee 2360-20 on the nearest secure flooring, about eight feet from my work area, set at full power 3000 lumens, and with overhead lights turned off. Despite sending at least doubled lumen output, the Milwaukee 2360-20 is an inferior work light.

Here is a big-picture view of the work lighting with overhead fixed LED lights. It is so productive and cheerful.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20  at 3000 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 seems to give correct wall color, and surely is brighter times three.

Here is my comparison stand setup for task illumination, Milwaukee 2360-20  at 3000 lumens, Stage Left.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20  at 1500 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 again seems to give correct wall color, and seems is brighter times two.

Here is a test stand comparison of the Milwaukee 2360-20 at 650 lumens, Stage Left, vs. Sylvania 75094 at full power, Stage Right. The Milwaukee 2360-20 again seems to give correct wall color, better than the 3000°K Sylvania LED, and is a near match in brightness.

Here are conclusions, more observations,and suggestions for LED work light product improvement, from study of the Milwaukee 2360-20:
  • Wonder: Is there magic in Milwaukee 2360-20 color rendering, vs luminaire construction with phosphors all 3000°K. 

  • The Milwaukee 2360-20 will not serve me as a work light, and I should then think to return it for refund after this sharing. I don't work in one spot, that might be served with one beam. I have more needs to hang a light overhead, than to rest something on a table or floor. The Milwaukee 2360-20 three keyholes in its base for hanging in multiple orientations seem insecure.

  • I imagine a better portable light that does not have a fixed luminaire. Let lights be strung as DC from plugin terminals upon a power pack. Let that power pack have DC input for charging, from a portable photovoltaic array. Let any grid power input be dual voltage, usable anywhere on Earth.

  • The DC luminaires strung from the power pack may have clip and nail-up options.

  • All of this becomes part of a disaster preparedness kit, of interest to many more than construction workers. The plug-in DC lights satisfy my vision .

We progressively surrender most of our point-source bulbs. Those that remain are for decor, not for illumination. Big LED plate lights occupy recessed-light locations. In time lights get smaller, distributed and remote-controlled with DC wiring. Light elements are with standard-everywhere low-voltage connectors like audio jacks. New luminaires are forward-compatible with OLED elements.

And - - seeing that PV arrays fail to serve in a disaster if grid-tied, let most lighting and crucial electronics be off-grid. Silly us, to want to generate income with a PV array, in the grid. In this, lights wired as low-voltage DC, auto and marine as the active example, will prevail over now-competitive chip-on-board AC LEDs. Why might we need AC LEDs? Strip boards down to only diodes and wires: that's what lasts forever. All fragile electronics clustered, serviceable, elsewhere.

At July, 2016 I am still working with various clip-up CFL bulb holders, wanting to come apart and crash. Unhappily, I tried these from EarthLED , informed by pop-up advertising:

2x Thinklux LED High Output BR40 - 30 Watt - 250 Watt Equal - Dimmable Flood - $72.62 with shipping.

2650 lumens sounded good.

Not a good idea. Each weighs an incredible 344 grams, vs. a 76 gram CFL bulb.

Perhaps brighter than the CFL, but not usable.

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