Paul Pugh, Head of Marketing at C.K Tools, explains why light choice and quality of light is paramount in dark and confined spaces
Working in dark or confined spaces is a necessity for every builder, and it becomes that little bit harder in the winter months when brighter, natural light is less abundant. On top of that, the shorter days mean a reduction in working hours and extra days needed to complete a job, which if course is no good for anyone’s margin. And of course, darker environments are not the friend of health and safety, no matter how careful you think you are.
But that can all be countered with the help of effective lighting, and what many don’t consider is that the source of light is just as important as the tools being used on the job – if not more so. Whether it’s an inspection light, head torch, tripod, or hand-held portable work light, there’s more for builders to consider than just having a reliable light source, and it can be the difference in making the right join in low light environments, or simply making it home in one piece.
Choosing the right type of lighting for a job depends on whether it’s needed inside or outside and there’s certain things that need to be accounted for. If it’s outside, does it impact neighbours or passing motorists with the direction the light is pointing? Can the site entrance be navigated properly?
If it’s inside a build or a renovation, can the team see and use their tools properly and are the surfaces lit effectively? Are trip hazards illuminated and are stairs or differing step levels all highlighted? Do any of the lighting set-ups have the ability to dazzle the team as they’re walking with materials or tools? Can the light be used effectively in darker more confined spaces? Do the team need to see reflective colour correctly in darker spaces?
With all that in mind, the choice, power, positioning, mounting, and colour reflection, may be equally important depending on the job to be done and environment. And if working where the mains power supply is yet to be connected or is not safe, noise suppressing generators can also be utilised to ensure both the team and any neighbouring houses aren’t left with ringing in the ear at the end of each shift.
As a builder, both hands will more often than not be in use unless inspecting finishes. But with less natural light available, portable lighting may also throw up unwanted shadows if placed incorrectly or can’t be raised. This is where head torches can be invaluable; not only do they provide an always-on light source for workers, but they will always illuminate where the user is looking so both hazards and the focus of the job should be lit properly. What’s more head torches can offer differing modes, from spotlight to wide field, providing more versatility for the job in hand.
Let’s take the colour reflection of a light as another example, as it’s not often considered. Artificial light sources are designed to reproduce the colours of natural daylight and therefore make objects appear the same colour. However, their ability to do so differs drastically. For example, an LED lamp and natural daylight might have the same colour temperature but depict an object in different colour tones because their spectral composition (the wavelengths of colour and their density coming from the light source) are different. This may be important when working with colour coded items, such as bags of different floor levelling compositions, where red may be confused as purple. So, a light’s performance on the Colour Rendering Index (CRI), which measures and compares the reflected colour of an object under artificial lighting, should be considered.
Working with our panel of trade professionals to find the right solutions for on-the-job problems, we’ve developed C.K Tools’ new USB Re-chargeable Wide Field Head Light (T9630). Ideal for dark and confined spaces, the Head Light produces 400 lumens of light, with 5,700 kelvins on colour temperature and a CRI of 80 – this means it’s like using a 40w LED bulb, with similar colour temperature to natural light and a strong ability to correctly reflect the actual colour of the object it’s being shone on. And with four modes of operation – spotlight, wide field, full beam, and dipped beam – that can be changed with a quick touch of a button, it provides the versatility needed to suit all manner of environments builders find themselves in. For extra portability, the headlight is charged via USB, with six hours of runtime, three hours of charge time, and a charging indicator. To withstand the variety of environments and spaces it will be used in, the headlight also comes with an IK-07 impact rating and IP-54 ingress protection from limited dust and water spray, for extra durability.
It’s often the case that the cost of hiring different lighting will be offset by the profit margin made in a faster job because the typical working hours have been maintained. With all this in mind, builders need to be thinking that the lights they illuminate their jobs with, are just as important as the lights that will eventually illuminate they’re finished build.
For further information on the CK Tools range of lighting solutions visit: https://www.ck-tools.com/