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Let there be light!

10/01/2012 @ 1:25pm

The trouble light has been a staple on farms for decades. It has illuminated nooks and crannies in equipment during repairs and maintenance. The problem with this light is it doesn't easily fit into tight spaces. Even though manufacturers have made some modifications to these lights over the years, you could still be tethered to a cord and a hook, which may not be the most ideal situation when crawling in the underbelly of a machine.

“It would be nice to find a light that has a magnetic base so it can attach right to equipment,” says David Nelson, who farms with brothers Dennis and Neal near Belmond, Iowa. “Much of what I've seen in the past features a hook, which can get caught on things when I don't want it to. Or the light falls off when I need it to stay hooked. The ones that do have a magnetic base don't seem to be able to withstand the rigors of a farm shop.”

With all the lighting options on the market, how do you know which one is best? In the Shop Talk discussion group at Agriculture.com, responders gave their top suggestions, and the Nelson brothers put the lights to the test. Following are their top four recommendations.

1. Rotating magnetic led worklight by Ullman lets you rotate the lighted head to adjust the angle of the beam where light is needed. The aluminum housing holds 24 high-intensity LED lights.

This tool is powered by three AAA batteries, which are included. It sells for under $16.

“We absolutely loved this light,” says David Nelson. “It would be even better if it was packaged in a set, because we could keep them in the pickup for instant access to a good light source. This is a really handy device.”

Learn more at www.ullman-devices.com.

2. True power's 21-led worklight features a powerful magnetic base, has an overall length of 18.5 inches, and can be adjusted to a number of positions. The on/off switch on the head is rubber covered. This worklight uses three AA batteries, which are included. It retails for under $35.

“This is a very versatile light with great flexibility that lets me position the beam where I need it,” says Nelson.

Learn more at www.amazon.com/Work-Light-Flexible-Neck-Magnetic/dp/B003DROFDU.

3. Cooper lighting's might-d-light led130 is an 80-LED rechargeable folding worklight that has an AC/DC charging adapter. It has up to a two-hour battery life.

“The nice thing about this light is that it's rechargeable,” says Nelson. “That's a feature that's pretty handy in the shop. It also gives me the option between hanging it or using the magnets to position it where I need it.”

It sells for around $40 and has a swivel hook as well as integrated magnets.

Learn more at www.cooperindustries.com.

4. Joby's gorillatorch is an adjustable and flexible tripod flashlight. For under $20, the wrap-pable legs and magnetic feet let you attach it to just about anything. This light is powered by three AAA batteries, which are included.

“The fact that this light can wrap around equipment is definitely a bonus,” notes Nelson.

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