Lighting has evolved tremendously since Ohioan Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb in 1879 and patented the concept the following year. Filaments-inside-glass bulbs are still produced to this day but more reliable and energy-efficient alternatives—compact fluorescent (CFL), halogen, high-intensity discharge (HID), and light-emitting diode (LED)—from an ever-widening number of manufacturers continue to gain market share.
LEDs are an intelligent choice for roadside and garage/shop-use illumination because they require no warm-up time and are easily packaged. LEDs are also efficient, produce less heat than traditional options, and don’t contain mercury, which can’t be said of CFLs. Based on life expectancy, LEDs are relatively affordable; more than a decade of daily-use operation is considered common.
Risk Racing Light Mine Professional
About the size of a tennis ball, the Light Mine Professional is designed to deliver hands-free lighting when, where, and how you want it. The 12 points are tipped with flat-faced neodymium magnets for 360 degrees of secure directional positioning on any ferrous surface. Eight AAA-battery-powered 250-lumen LEDs—four white Surface Mounted Devices (SMD) and four red Lumen Tech bulbs—sit behind forward-looking white and rearward-pointing red lenses. A low-power spot, high-output flood, red night vision, and high-visibility red hazard provide the function that is necessary to do the job correctly.
Cyclops Apollo XP Flashlight
Tactical-style flashlights are popular for their military look and feel. Fitted with a 200-lumen Cree LED, the Cyclops Apollo XP is relatively small, about the length and thickness of a motorcycle throttle tube, with a smooth, black anodized finish. Three settings—100 or 75 percent light output, and strobe—are controlled by an end-mounted rubberized push-button switch. With its integrated hang hook, the aluminum-bodied Apollo XP doubles as a hands-free lantern in a tent or around a campsite. Three AAA batteries provide continuous power for up to 180 minutes.
Hyperikon 4-Foot 18-Watt LED Bulbs
Replacing conventional tube-type fluorescents in a garage or workshop with brighter, more energy-efficient, mercury-free LEDs, such as these 4-foot-long, 130-lumens-per-watt tubes manufactured by San Diego-based Hyperikon, is not quite a snap, but it is relatively easy if you are familiar with basic wiring. The 18-watt dual-end-powered tubes replace equivalent 40-watt CFLs and are compatible with T8, T10, and T12 fixtures. Color options: soft white glow, daylight glow, crystal white glow, and super bright white. A ballast bypass is required; ballast-compatible tubes are also available.
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