Flexible welders are adjusted to working in the dark. It works for them. And if a welder is used to it, the idea of improved conditions will remain unnoticed.
But there is always room for improvement. While adaptability to low-light conditions is a good skill to have, it's best reserved for situations that leave a welder with no choice. But for each welding session involving inadequate lighting, one can significantly improve work results with a simple, low-cost accessory addition.
Getting a light for your helmet during your welding sessions will make things a lot easier. Here are the amazing things one small welding light can do for you.
A welder with decreased visual acuity will have a hard time seeing clearly. This becomes more challenging for someone who works at night as well as in areas with low light settings, with or without an auto-tint helmet on. A light mount offers significant support to the welder and aids them in seeing what's in front of them in the dark and behind the helmet.
A dark work area adds to the welder's hazard. Enough dangerous things surround their workspace, and a lack of awareness due to insufficient lighting will compromise their safety even further. Hazards such as burns, electrocution, and getting hit become more likely the more your vision is impaired. A helmet light is a quick fix with significant value. It costs less and can be acquired sooner than an expensive, heavy-duty work lamp.
It's difficult to see where you'll start and stop your arc when you're working on an angle that isn't getting enough light. You're more likely to miscalculate your welds, and that can result in a bad result. A helmet light will allow you to see what you're working on so you can make proper judgments and apply your welding skills to produce a good quality outcome.
The risks of working in the dark extend to the welder's work environment. Outside the boundaries of their personal space are equipment, wires, and other things of varying sizes lying around that can cause trip hazards. If a welding light isn't used to illuminate the welding zone, it can still be used to illuminate the surrounding areas to ensure you're not going to trip or fall on something.
Up until this point, you may be new to the idea of mounting a light on your welding helmet. Few, if any, are designed to be fitted with one. First, check your helmet's exterior. If it supports a light accessory installation, it's time for you to get one. Here's what you must look for when you scout for a good helmet light.
You have to know the kind of attachment your helmet can support so you can match it with the installment feature of the helmet light accessory you'll get. For example, the Miller welding helmet has a screw-on light installment feature on both sides where you can fit a thin welding flashlight on either side or both. Other helmet manufacturing brands may differ.
Welding lights vary in terms of two things: battery inclusions and energy consumption. Some accessories include a rechargeable battery with your purchase, while others don't, so always get the former.
Another thing you should consider is the battery life. This is related to how strong the light is. We'll get to that in a bit. On the other hand, as a welder who tends to work continuously for hours, you'll need longer battery life. A good starting point would be a helmet light that can last for around 5 to 8 hours with continuous use.
You want to have several brightness options when you choose your helmet light. Getting stuck with one option can be a drag because it can get too bright. We recommend different brightness levels depending on the ambient light present in the surroundings. So we recommend getting one that has at least two options (high and low). But it’s much better if you can get one with three modes (high, med, and low).
The brightness capacity of your helmet light is determined by lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter and more far-reaching it is. For starters, we recommend a light with around 80 to 200 lumens. That's enough to illuminate an entire room, plus the adjacent one.
Your welding light will be exposed to varying temperatures and can also be subject to physical damage if dropped. Your light must endure the temperatures within the welding area and must endure damage caused by instances such as dropping it.
A helmet light does more than provide visual support and visibility for a welder. Apart from providing a solution to low light or night welding hazards, it gives you these additional benefits.
Strong LED light gives you more visibility. Most LED lights on helmets are designed to support a dispersed function that covers a wide area. Pointing your light in the distance will cause it to illuminate your entire surroundings, allowing you to see everything within your visual field.
As you shine the light towards something near, such as your welding zone, the light becomes less dispersed. That means you'll see clearly because the light becomes more concentrated in a small area. In addition, there are helmet lights that have a focusing feature that lets you narrow down the focus of the light, giving you a brighter, clearer view.
High-tech helmets have an auto-darkening feature that adjusts the shade of the welding helmet lens depending on the amount of light present within its visual field. That's why you don't strain your eyes and see clearly when the arc starts. But once it stops, the auto-darkening feature may fail to adjust quickly.
A helmet light can compensate for the gap. It keeps a bright light on after the arc has stopped so you can see your weld even without the aid of the shining heat coming from the welding gun. On the flip side, before you fire up the gun, the light can aid you to better see where you should start without triggering the auto-darkening sensor.
Welders need both hands when doing Metal Inert Gas (MIG) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) processes. That's why it's no surprise why welders have not used any additional lighting—it's hard to hold a flashlight while you're doing MIG or TIG.
A mounted LED light is the solution. It allows you to use both hands because it is installed onto the helmet, giving you hands-free lighting support.
The good thing about having tools like flashlights is you can move them around. Mounted headgear lights also have that capacity. Most helmet lights have a multi-angle adjustment feature, so you can aim the light properly without straining your neck or adjusting your helmet just to get nice and focused lighting.
LED lights can remain turned on for long periods. You can continuously keep the light on for several hours as you do your work, and it will keep a consistent level of brightness allowing you to see your work clearly for hours. On the other hand, it does gradually die down as the battery's energy is reduced, but it's hardly noticeable for the better part of the battery life.
Welding without sufficient lighting is challenging. Choose to improve it by getting yourself a light for your helmet. Sight is your only tool to ensure your work is according to your standard. And if you can't see clearly, you won't meet your desired welding result. A little support to aid your visibility will go a long way, so grab yourself a lighting accessory and ease the burden of low-light welding now.