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.


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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