Modder’s Tools: Work Right with Work Lights

Strong, reliable work light is an absolute must if you want to be a modder. Most residential lighting simply isn’t bright enough to see small details and imperfections in your work. Fortunately, it’s easy and cheap to outfit your work area with strong, direct light.

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The first big step to better light is using 200 watt bulbs in the ceiling of your workspace. These bulbs are cheap (the one pictured is the 200-Watt Incandescent A21, and cost less than $4), and create as much light (and heat) as a miniature sun. When installing your bulbs, be sure to read the sockets to check their ratings. Most ceiling sockets can handle 200+ watts, while most lamps cannot.

200 watt bulbs will illuminate the majority of the room, but you’ll want a few bright lamps on hand for supplemental illumination. I recommend anything you can find with a bright bulb and positionable neck. These are called ‘gooseneck lamps‘ if you’re shopping online. Incandescent and halogen bulbs will generate a lot of uncomfortable heat; if you don’t mind the price tag, I recommend lamps with low-heat LED or CFL bulbs.

For everything else, it helps having some bright LED flashlights on hand. These help with the ultra-small work, especially when you’re looking inside something like a pump.

To sum things up, better lighting is easy to set up, and it creates an efficient (and pleasant) place to work.

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