2010 - Volume #34, Issue #2, Page #39[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Auto Light Helmet Helps Welders See
"My Auto-Light is mounted on my helmet and activates when the face shield drops and shuts off when the shield is lifted," he says. "It has a separate switch for use as either a spot or a floodlight. It can also be tilted up or down 120?."
Auto-darkening helmets are great when welding, but still leave welders too much in the dark before and after the weld. This is especially true if working in dark spaces or at night.
The Auto-Light floodlight produces a circle of light 10 to 12 in. in diameter. The spotlight sends a beam out from 10 to 30 ft.
"It will light up a room when totally dark," says Schwanz.
A retired electrical engineer, Schwanz got the idea from area welders who complained about poor visibility. Schwanz's son, a professional welder, used a prototype for three months in a production shop and gave it high marks.
"Other welders tape flashlights to their helmets or hold them in their mouths or have to ask a second person to hold a light," says Schwanz. "My son was doing welding for military, emergency service and fire engine production contracts. Welds had to be good, and the light really helped."
Schwanz estimates a kit including the spot/floodlight, rechargeable battery pack and plug inlet for recharging overnight would sell for no more than $225. He has designed the light system so it could easily be installed on most popular welding helmets.
The prototype uses four nickel metal hydride batteries and lasts for about 6 hours of steady use. It's equipped with a smart charger that automatically shuts off when fully charged.
He's currently looking for a manufacturer to take on the project. He hopes to license it in the near future.
"I think it would as useful on the farm as in the shop," says Schwanz. "It will help anywhere hands-free light is needed."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kenneth H. Schwanz, 836 Ridgeview Ct., Portage, Wis. 53901 (ph 608 742-3161; email@example.com; www.kesslercorp.com).
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