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Stopped by Harbor Freight few days ago and impulse-bought a really cool shop work light.

You charge it with a USB charger, it throws a TON of light and lasts for several hours.  Drop it on the floor or on top of the central tunnel when you're working under the dash and there are almost zero shadows anywhere and everything under there looks lit up like Times Square at New years.  Same thing for putting it in the engine compartment - It throws enough light that it just needs to be semi-near where you're working, PLUS it doesn't throw much, if any, heat.

Should have gotten one of these years ago, and they're currently 25% off, if you're a HF Member.

Here it is under my dash:



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I've seen some of those forehead lights both for working in the shop as well as skiers using them for night ski runs and some are amazing.  Older age and too many bicycle miles over the years has blessed me with arthritis in my neck so my ability to move my head around, especially when contorted under the dash, is limited.  

I wanted something that I could put in one spot and it would give enough light that everything, especially under the dash looking up, would have plenty of light so I wouldn't be re-positioning the light as I move around.  This thing purports to put out 1250 lumens and when we got up this morning to a house without electricity, this light, sitting on the coffee table, lit the whole living room.  I'm impressed!

For the money, it's a lot of light and well thought out.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

LED lights have changed the world.

What person under 40 knows the joy of laying under a dash in an unheated barn on a cold January night, with a $2 "utility lamp" (with the metal reflector that got as hot as the surface of the sun) laying either on the floor and burning a hole in the carpet or on your chest and burning a hole in your coat. Heaven forbid you ever touch the thing, or you'd end up scarred for life after spending a week in the burn unit of the local hospital. As tempting as it was to try to warm yourself with the lamp (and the barn was always well below freezing), it was like playing with enriched uranium. I had burns all over my forearms and neck from those stupid things for half of the time I spent in high-school. I once burned my forehead with one - so I got to walk around Tremont High School with a bright red forehead with the little white blister lines from the raised ribs of the lamp shield: my "steer clear - I'm a dork" brand for all the THS lay-dees.

They'd always roll over and conveniently light up the floorboards or the other side of the engine bay or the radiator if you were trying to replace the thermostat. They always did a fantastic job of lighting up the back of your head. The only time they'd actually illuminate the engine was if you were trying to time the car and you really needed the light to not be shining right on the timing marks.

They were wicked, evil little pieces of hate, instruments of torture for hardheaded know-it-alls too cool to continue going to school. They were industrial America's punishment for not going to the AP classes we should have been attending. Even after all these years, my hatred for them burns as white-hot as the lights themselves.

LED lights have changed the world.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan, I don't think I have any actual scars from my old drop lights, but I know precisely of which you speak. And I am WAY over 40 YO.  I did get one of those head-band LED gizzies and it is a wonder.  USB charger, and pretty bright shadowless light.  It also has a small spot light on the side that you can switch on for a little extra right where you're looking.  And you are correct, as always: technology changes the game once again.

@Gordon Nichols, do you work on commission at HF?  Next time i'm over that way, I'll  look for this thing.  I do have an LED filament shop light (small rectangular 5"x5" sort of thing with its own bent tube stand) that showers a lot of light all over and does not get hot like the exact same thing I have that takes a quartz-halogen bulb that really does help heat the garage and may even cause sunburn, which comes with a wire cage over the glass front because  . . . well you know why.   Having the whole space lit up without shadows is a real pleasure.   and while we are at it and despite all this really cool shop tool stuff, I have now a couple of LED pen light units that are just larger than a AA battery that really do work.  Come with two levels of brightness at the push of the button. I  Carry one  in the car and one in my man-purse (aka a briefcase) .  Will use this under and around the car on occasion also.  it will fit in your mouth if needed,


This is just weird, Gordon.

Not that you went to HF and bought a nice shop light on impulse a few days ago.

But that I went to HF and bought a new light on impulse a few days ago, too — Monday, to be exact.

I'd been meaning to get one for, like a year — every time I needed one but didn't have one, every time the alkaline batteries died in one of my old lights.

But why on Monday out of the blue, without a plan? And why at Harbor Freight? It's not like I'm a Harbor Freight guy. I was last there over a year ago.

And practically the same day and the same thing that Gordon got. I woke up thinking, "I need to go to Harbor Freight today and get a flashlight."

Here's what I got. It's a great little light, but nothing special, really.

Has HF developed some new subliminal messaging we don't know about?

Gordon, if you wake up some morning thinking you need to buy that 387-piece mechanic's tool set at HF, could you post about it here before you do?


@Stan Galat And yet, I still use one.  But, BUT >> I installed an LED bulb in the thing.

Yeah, I know....

Me too. My Dad and I each had one, a Craftsman model. Mine got so much use the cord got dry and cracked. It wasn't dangerous, but it was well on the way. It was REALLY hard for the cord to self-store.

Luckily, when I was helping Mom clean out Dad's workbench, we un-earthed Dad's.

Now it's in my garage, but sporting an LED bulb like John.

LED lights HAVE changed the world.

In 2016, when I started building my second Spyder, I made a decision.

EVERY single bulb would be LED. And it is. The gauges from Speedhut are all LED. Headlights, running lights, turn/stop. Even the 3rd brake light strips in the decklid grilles. The car really doesn't have a lot of electrical load, except when the heater and seat heater is on.

And my personal favorite, the backup light. It is made from one of those bicycling headlights with a cord and a battery that gets stuffed in a jersey pocket. I had to use a 5v regulator on it to drop the source voltage. It is about an inch in diameter and is so small you don't notice it, until it's ON. Then you have 1100 lumens of blindness!

I made the same decision when I spec'd out the blue Coupe.  The headlights were incredible.

A couple of years ago my rechargeable Griots LED light gave up the ghost.  I bought a NEBO Big Larry 2 at either Northern Tool or Harbor Freight (can't remember which).  It' s an aluminum case with a strong magnet on one end so you can stick it somewhere and not hold it.  It has a clip for belt or pocket, and it has four different lighting modes - flash light (darn near a light saber), work light, red light, flashing red light.  It takes AA batteries and is still on the first set after two years.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

@Sacto Mitch

Santa brought me one of those pocket LED flashlights a few years ago and it quickly became the "go-to" light in the drawer because you can focus the light.  Mine takes three regular AAA batteries so I dug out my Ni-Cad charger from back when the kids had 2,342 battery-eating gizmos around the house and use rechargeable AAAs in it and it throws even more light.  Super-bright and small enough to get in to small spaces, like down beside the carbs in a Speedster when you drop something down there in the darkness.  What was that song from the 1960's ?

🎶 "Reachout in the Darkness...   Your Met-ric socket's there!"  🎶

I get a chuckle that both that light and my new work light have multiple light modes and both include an automatic S-O-S.  That should be helpful if I go to one of Jay Leno's Audrain Cars and Coffee events and I get approached by a bunch of PPs (Porsche Purists).  But then, the PPs probably can't read Morse Code, anyway.....

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Not my Dad, but my brother!   Whoa…

Kathy reminded me of the time I was struggling with something under the hood of her beloved 1985 Plymouth Mini-Van back in the day (she usually tried to find some other place to be when I was “working” on her car), and I had one of those incandescent drop lights lying on top of the engine so I could see what I was working on.  Of course, back in those days you always put in a bulb of like 90 watts or more so you could really see stuff, right??  You could heat the garage with it, but it gave LOTS of light.

I reached for a wrench across the engine and my arm fell upon the back side of the light, giving me an instant brand of the logo on the back of the lamp on my forearm.  I yelled something like “Gosh Darn It!” 🤬  and pitched the lamp, cord and all, out the open door of the garage onto the driveway, then stomped, fuming, into the house to put some Vaseline on the burn.

When I went back out, nobody else was around and I dug out my florescent drop light and put up with its’ meager illumination.  No where near as bright, but it didn’t friggin burn me, either.

I still have a legacy fluorescent drop light, but it works and it doesn’t burn me, so what the hey….  Everything else I have now is LED and slowly getting better year by year.  At least none of them try to put their brand on me.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Hell Jimbo, my second phase DI kept me on base until I finished second phase basic training. Seems I left a cookie in my dirty laundry bag (inside my fatigue shirt) my DI counted 300 crumbs, each became a gig. Boy what a comeback, when I was sent back to Lowry AFB for combat training I ran into him, I out ranked him, revenge is so sweet.

@Nolan posted:

Sorry about the drift away from lightbulbs so here's my take on them.

How many Vietnam Vets does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

If you don't know then33a630cc5ca80997434ee532b7601bdesalute you weren't there!

Nolan, I'm very fortunate that my laissez faire mentality helps keep me chill (in spite of traumatic SEA memories)! At times there are those that may think I'm apathetic...but I don't care. LOL! :-)

Last edited by MusbJim

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