Yet Another Light, A Good One, Too.
by Hib Halverson
This is our third product evaluation of a work light for automotive shop use which can can double as emergency lighting during power failures. In several months of Cadillac V-Net testing, working on our ATS-Vs, both inside or outside the garage, and during power failures we had last summer, the GearWrench “3000 Lumen Rechargeable Area Light” (PN 83139), proved to be a useful piece of equipment.
Our favorite features of this tool are: 1) on battery, it has up to 10-hours of run time on the “low” setting. That’s a heck of a lot of time working on cars. As an emergency light, on “low”, you could leave it on all night during a power failure. 2) The product sends constant current to its light emitting diode (LED), ie: it doesn’t dim when the battery gets low. 3) It pivots vertically through a 120° arc so you can throw light where you need it. 4) It has a well-designed base, so regardless to what angle the light is adjusted, it won’t fall over. 5) if you plug it in to 110V power you can light a work area and charge the battery at the same time.
The information GearWrench supplied to us with the product states its LED light source uses “COB” technology. Not knowing that that meant, we did a little digging and we learned that “COB” means “chips-on-board”. It’s a design which mounts many LEDs on a single substrate chip. The tiny LEDs are connected then packaged onto a single ceramic or copper circuit board and function as a single light source. The key advantage of COB LEDs they are both small and very bright.
Other features of this work light are: a lithium-ion battery and, when it reaches full-charge, a charge indicator light turns green. The light has five output levels from 600-lumens on “low” to 3000-lumens at full-power. It meets the “IP67” water resistance specification which means it can be immersed in water up to one meter deep for up to 30-min. Finally, it has a one-year, limited warranty.
What kind of jobs has this work light helped us complete? One time, late at night with an ATS-V on the driveway, we had to jack up the car and to check something in the rear suspension. I set the GearWrench Area Light on the ground, angled it up slightly, turned it on and had plenty of light with which to do that work.
Another time, we were working under the rear of the car and had to read some part numbers on some little tags on the suspension. Doing this required a bright light and the car wasn’t very high in the air. The 3000-Lumen Area Light was the perfect solution. I slid it under the car with me, pointed it a little upwards, turned it on and could easily read the part numbers.
One night last summer, we had to deal with one of the local power company’s “public safety power shutoffs” which are sometimes forced on people living in our county as a pre-emptive, anti-wildfire strategy. We used the GearWrench 3000-Lumen Area Light to light our entire living room. As an emergency light, it works awesome.
That last sentence is one with which we certainly agree. The 3000-ln Area Light is built for tough duty. Its housing is a mix of aluminum and composite plastic construction and has a glass lens. The other one of the GearWrench lighting line we use has been slid across the floor, dropped on the ground and went camping in the rain. It’s been used for all sorts of shop work as well as household and emergency lighting tasks. Clearly, all these lights are pretty tough stuff.
All these GearWrench lighting tools are all pretty darn good stuff. For more information see the lighting section on the GearWrench web site.