When our crew frames inside during the winter months it’s too dark to see what we’re doing. We’ve tried all kinds of lighting, including halogen lights on stands and rope lights with incandescent bulbs every 8- or 10-feet. Each has problems. Halogen gets hot and it seems we’re always hitting the stand and breaking bulbs. And rope lights are too dim.
Enter the Wobble Light, which we started using in 2005 after seeing them in an ad or at a tradeshow (I can’t remember which). Wobble lights are durable, portable, and put out a lot of light—making them a perfect fit for us. The first one we bought was a 175 watt metal halide model. It worked so well that we soon bought another. The lights are available with halogen, metal halide, or fluorescent bulbs; we chose metal halide because it puts out more light.
We bought a third Wobble Light unit (according to my Amazon order, in January 2006) and spent an extra $50 to get a 400 watt model. The two 175 watt lights we had were good, but we wanted an especially bright light for those days when there was only space to use one.
Wobble Lights stand about 36 inches tall and are weighted at the bottom so they pop back up if you knock them over. The bulb is protected by a Lexan dome and shock absorbing mount. Power is provided to the light by plugging an extension into a male plug recessed into the housing. On the opposite side there is a female receptacle so you can plug another cord in. We usually run these lights on a dedicated circuit along with our compressor. The power cord comes into the first light and we daisy chain the next two. We’ll plug a radio or battery charger into the third light.
The models we have weigh between 25 and 30 pounds, making them heavy enough to remain upright but not so heavy that they aren’t still portable. A carry handle projects from the side of the dome.
The data sheet says the 400 watt unit spreads light about a 110 feet radius and the 175 watt 42 feet. While that might be true in pitch-black conditions, we like to have a light within about 30’ of where we are working. The metal halide bulbs do not reach full power until they have been on for about 15 minutes. To prevent overheating, the halogen and 400 watt metal halide models are equipped with built-in cooling fans (inside the base).
In the 7 or 8 years we’ve had these lights, I have only replaced one bulb. We did have on issue on the 400 watt model; we had to reinforce the outlet. So my advice is just don’t yank the cord out of the light.
These lights are not cheap. On Amazon you can buy the 400 watt metal halide for $300 and the 175 watt metal halide for $250. But after all these years, the lights we have are going strong. If you need a high-quality durable light save up for a Wobble Light. I recommend the 400 watt model because you can’t have too much light on the jobsite.