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Auxillary Lighting. Recommended Lumens?

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  • Auxillary Lighting. Recommended Lumens?

    One problem I have welding is the line drifting to one side or the other because I can't see the workpiece, only the arc. In direct sun light, this is not a problem. I have a Miller fixed shade auto darkening helmet. One solution I thought of was to use auxiliary lighting, How many lumens would I need to see both the arc and the workpiece? There are many available, and I don't want to accumulate a dozen or so lights, experimenting.

    I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

  • #2
    I know this might sound dumb, but before you go and blow up the grid with aux. lighting, and maybe I'm late coming into this but I'd like to help. You mention auto darkening helmet, fixed shade. What's your setting?

    My next suggestion, or advice, remember even the best sailor loses his course from time to time, but it's what he see's, knows to be true, that helps him find or prevents him from loosing his bearings.
    The crack.
    You look for contrast...the shadow. And if you don't see it scribe a mark, soap stone or sharpie a line, small punch marks in a row. Something.

    But it's also where you look...
    What do you see from your vantage point? Based on how you position your self is what you choose to see. A view from the back of the rod makes it hard to see the belly of it let alone follow a crack? The hard part for some is stopping... repositioning and starting again.

    Anyways...I could say bright ones and protect the bulbs from splatter., but usually a 60 watt in a trouble light is enough to brighten up a party.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Noel View Post

      Anyways...I could say bright ones and protect the bulbs from splatter., but usually a 60 watt in a trouble light is enough to brighten up a party.

      OOOH! Gots me some 100W incandescent bulbs, pre Obama. NPC. Will try, tomorrow. If that works, will try to find more.

      I usually am watching ahead of the weld, to see puddle size and arc length, or MIG cup angle and distance.


      I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.


      • #4
        Also, make sure your lenses are in pristine shape. It can make a world of a difference if you've just left the same original lens that the helmet came with 6-12months ago.
        HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
        HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
        HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
        HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
        HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
        HTP Microcut 875SC


        • #5
          Don't forget to wipe or replace the really cheap plastic cover plate over the lens regularly. HUGE difference.


          • #6
            I now keep my helmet inside a bag between uses. Keeps the faceplate cleaner.

            I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.


            • #7
              The brightest or highest Lumen LED you can find since you are comparing viewing with the sun

              Ed Conley
              Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
              Miller 125c Plasma 120v
              O/A set
              SO 2020 Bender
              You can call me Bacchus


              • #8
                You know... I walk around on a sunny day and I feel good. I work on a sunny day and I grumble. One thing for certain, bright is bright. Ever notice those glossy pictures in magazines of a guy tucked in looking at the bright light through the lenses of the helmet welding and think... A) probably for the composition of the photo, or B) the guy can't see? Maybe C) he's using to dark of a shade of lens?

                My fridge has a 25 watt bulb. Most of my lamps, 60 watt. I have a couple 100 watts, and in the garage, a 300 watt halogen. They talk about visible light as being bright. It is.

                During welding, the three rays of light that cause concern are visible bright, infra red, and ultra violet. I'm all for protecting the eyes.
                But when I walk through the darkness to grab a snack and open the fridge, that little 25 watt bulb is plenty bright. When I drop a small screw in the depth of darkness which is the dust cover florescent lighting of my garage/shop, that 300 watt halogen is the bomb for highlighting and even small objects cast a shadow.

                My understanding is...that the photoelectric helmet lens, or those glass lenses of varying shades, all protect from infra red and UV passage, the shade is to block the brightness of visible light?
                I could be wrong...?

                If I look at a 60 watts bulb in the on position I see brightness.
                Closer I get to the bulb, the more I feel the heat rays.
                Far away I see a bigger picture of the bulb, it's fixture. Close up, I see less picture more details of the bulb.

                The sun doesn't go away, but it's brightness is sometime obscured by a cloud.

                I put a helmet on and look at the turned on bulb, depending on the darkness of shade, I won't see brightness and I certainly won't see the filament glowing brightly. Too much light is blocked. My instinct and that of most others is to move in closer to see better.

                So...put on your helmet, stand there and look at the light bulb. To dark to see, you need to turn the shade down. At some point you will see the filament dancing, then you know you can see.
                Whether you can see clearly up close or far away, that's a vision thing.

                I'm with the guys who mention to maintain clean lenses. With most helmets having plastic lenses, a clean scratched lens serves no purpose other then added glare to look through. Like a clean pitted windshield as you drive into the sun.

                I'm lucky to still see small things with out vision correction. But low light through a lens doesn't help that to occur. So, depending on the welding process, the reflective surface of the material being joined, ambient lighting, and the critical nature of the work, the duration of the work, as well my eyes reaction to bright light or eye strain from staring to see through darkness, my lens shade goes up or down.

                One thing for sure, I'd rather weld with a shade #9 a foot away, then a #10 with my nose glued to the weld to see what I'm trying to accomplish.

                And funny enough, every now and again I still go off course.
                Stay the course.


                • #9
                  I picked up a Braun light from harbor freight. It works great in low light situations and its magnetic so I can get it away from spatter. And if it breaks it was only 20 bucks, plus its rechargeable and last a long time on a charge. I have an auto helmet (digital infinity) and weld primarily in xmode as I'm outside alot. Inside I use a darker shade and outside it's a lighter shade, youd think it would be opposite but it's not haha