Module four: Specialist Electricians Tools
Torches are an invaluable tool for an electrician, as power is most often isolated when working, it is necessary to have a reliable lighting source to be able to work efficiently and safely without always needing the light of day!
Before discussing the types of lighting, it’s important to understand some basic terminology in regards to lighting.
LED - Light-emitting diode, a semiconductor which emits light when a current passes through it.
COB - Chip on Board, a method of manufacturing a circuit board where integrated circuits are connected to a circuit board and covered by an epoxy.
Watt – a watt (W), named after Scottish inventor James Watt, is the SI unit of power and is the rate of energy transfer. It is equal to one joule per second.
Lumen – a lumen (lm) is the S.I unit of luminous flux, and is the measure of visible light emitted, and is roughly equivalent to the light emitted from a standard wax candle.
S.I. - "Système international", the international system of units.
Lights come in many different forms, all of which have specific features and benefits that aid an electrician in their daily work.
Site lights are intended to light up a large area, and tend to provide less focused light. They’re useful for electricians working on large site’s where a flood of light is needed to be able to work in a more effective and safe manner.
Site lights can be available is several different sizes, intended to light up an area respective to its size.
For example, a small site light would be useful when working in a small loft, a medium site light would be useful in a normal sized room in a house, whilst larger tripod lights would be more useful in outdoor settings where a large flood of light is needed to view the working area.
Inspection lights provide more focused lighting, where attention is needed on a more direct area, these are extremely useful when working in cramped areas, where light is difficult to get and direct.
Inspection lights are often provided with attaching components, where the light itself can be temporarily fixed to an area to provide lights, this is often achieved in one of the following ways:
Magnetic: the light will usually have a magnetic base or other magnetic elements which allow the user to attach it to a metal surface, and remove it easily.
Hanging Clips: Hanging clips allow the light to hang from fixing which are sticking out from a surface, or on rods and overhanging lengths which are thin enough to accommodate.
Pen Clips: Useful for attaching to articles of clothing for hands free use.
Spring loaded clamps: Spring loaded clamps are useful to securely hold inspection lights in place in any orientation, for example on door or door frames.
Head torches are a common sight among all tradespeople, they don’t require a stand or constant handling, they can provide direct light sources, or light up small to medium area, their main benefit is that they light up exactly where the user’s looking at, giving the user freedom to use both hands for working, whilst still having a full source of lighting on the working area.