Last summer at Milwaukee headquarters I was shown a tool and told that if I talked about it before it was released, they would find me and kill me. Well, not exactly – but I did sign a nondisclosure agreement that covered a number of things I saw on the tour. The embargo has just been lifted so I can now tell you about an interesting tool that most of us will never own. But someone will, and it will probably save that person a lot of money.

So what is this tool and why is it such a big deal? It's a Fluorescent Lighting Tester (2210-20) that allows an electrician or maintenance person to use a single detection device to figure out why a particular fixture or bulb isn't working - without ever leaving the ground. That may not mean much to those of us who have a few fluorescent fixtures in the shop or kitchen – but it does to the facilities guy who is responsible for the lights in an office building or school. If the building is large enough, he and a helper could work full-time changing bulbs and ballasts and never complete the job.

And you know how it is with fluorescents - you think it's the bulb, so you change it, and then find out that the bulb was fine and the ballast is shot.

The lighting tester is a simple to operate: set the dial to the item you want to test, extend the telescoping antenna, and touch the probe to the bulb. The tester will beep or a diode will flash to indicate the problem. If the ballast is bad you won't waste time climbing a ladder and removing a diffuser so you can change a bulb that still works. With this tool you can quickly check all of the nonfunctioning lights in an area and know how many bulbs and ballasts to bring when it's time to do the work.

The Fluorescent Lighting Tester has a suggested retail price of $199 and should be hitting store shelves in February.

Specifications:

2210-20 Fluorescent Lighting Tester

  • Test all T5, T8, T12 fluorescent lamps
  • Optimized for T8 electronic ballasts
  • Check pin connections on all T5, T8, T12 lamps
  • Includes 2210-20 Fluorescent Lighting Tester, Adapter, 4 AA Batteries, Manual and Carrying Case.
Archived Comments
January 17, 2012

I am the former maintenance director of a large facility with hundreds of fluorescent lights of various sizes and types and ages. This tool would have been invaluable and saved a LOT of Time & $$$.

Posted By: bhdavis@gmavt.com | Time: 5:23:54.817 PM

January 17, 2012

If this tester works as well as they say then it will save a ton of time and labor costs not to mention bulbs and ballasts. Great idea!

Posted By: etavitian | Time: 7:31:14.5 PM

January 17, 2012

I'm the GM/DOE for 7 resorts on Maui with hundreds or fluorescents. I can't wait to get my hands on this!

Posted By: jhentz | Time: 8:26:52.183 PM

January 17, 2012

Nice tool. Greenlee has been making one of these for 20+ years.

Posted By: mgangne | Time: 9:16:33.107 PM

January 17, 2012

I was a journeyman industrial electrician and could have used this tool many a times.

Posted By: BloodBoughtElectrician | Time: 11:09:21.737 PM

January 30, 2012

I think for under $200 this is a heck of a deal for any large offic building. Always amazing what they are doing with technology!

Posted By: Jobsite Products | Time: 2:05:37.573 PM