What features should be considered when choosing a workshop lamp?

Portable workshop lights, also known as inspection lights, are one of the fastest growing segments of automotive accessory lighting. The advent of LED technology has only accelerated this process.  Accurate workplace lighting is the basis for efficient and safe operation. This applies both to mechanics and DIY enthusiasts in the garage and workshop, but not only. In such a situation, a reliable and indispensable is a powerful workshop lamp, which can be used to spotlight components that need repair, making it easier to diagnose the cause of failure. 

Below I will try to answer the question “What features should I consider when choosing a workshop lamp?” The most important features when choosing portable inspection lamps are light efficiency, durability and mobility.  This has long been known to the best automotive manufacturers, where workshop lamps are becoming increasingly important in their offer.

First, the luminous flux…

The most important feature to pay attention during choosing workshop lamps are the light sources used, which have a direct impact on the luminous flux. Until recently, the main source of light was a tungsten filament bulb enclosed in a metal shield. Currently, the market is dominated by lamps made in LED technology, which are characterised by high efficiency and low failure rate. There are three basic LED sources used in the production of workshop lamps: flux, COB and SMD. Leading manufacturers are increasingly turning to the SMD technology, which allows them to obtain the best efficiency from 1W giving an advantage over the other two. For some time now, lamps which contain branded diodes guaranteeing the highest quality have been appearing on the market. Thanks to such a solution, we can obtain a much stronger luminous flux than the previously mentioned two technologies. Currently, the most common values on the market in workshop lamps are between 200lm and 500lm. Recently, however, hand-held, compact workshop lamps have appeared on the market, in which this value reaches even 1100 lumens - beating models available for a long time in automotive shops and wholesalers. 

Secondly, durability… 

A very important element when choosing workshop lamps are the materials used in the production process, which have a direct impact on the durability of the products inself. The majority of portable light sources available on the market are based on ABS or plastic materials, which are not the most durable. Recently, manufacturers have started to turn towards higher-end materials. In shops and automotive wholesalers you can already find products created on the basis of, for example, metal or polycarbonate components. The use of such components significantly affects the quality and durability of the products, and thus allows us to enjoy longer use in difficult conditions, which, as we know, are the everyday life of portable workshop lamps. For this reason, a very important element in the choice should be the class of water resistance and mechanical resistance at a minimum level of IP54 and IK08. The IP54 certification protects against water intrusion inside the lamp, while the housing remains resistant to contaminants such as dust and dirt. Whereas, mechanical strength class IK08 protects it against external impacts and mechanical damage (the lamp can withstand a fall of an object weighing 1700 g from a height of 29,5 cm) - thus affecting the durability of the device and safety of use.

Thirdly, the battery… 

Another element to pay attention to is the capacity of the battery. On the market the most popular are lamps with capacity of the cell in the range of 2200mAh - 2600mAh. However, in the offer of companies which can be counted among the leaders of this segment of lighting, there are more and more lamps in which this value is higher. Some models available on the market can boast values up to 5000mAh. The use of batteries with such a capacity allows for a significant extension of the operating time of a given lamp, which has a direct impact on the comfort of use. 

One more point is important, namely the additional elements. The practical hook and strong magnets allow to place the lamp almost in every possible place making work much easier and directly influencing its quality. It is also important that the workshop lamp guarantees the possibility of regulating the light angle in any range. 

In conclusion, the product features presented above are of key importance when selecting a suitable portable workshop lamp. The offer of products from this group is very wide on the market so before making the final choice it is worth to consider what expectations should be met by the appropriate lamp for us. However, it does not change the fact that light efficiency, durability and battery capacity have a direct impact on comfort, safety and quality of work.

Bartłomiej Szternal
Product Manager