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Direct Lighting for Welding

11-17-2010, 08:03 PM
Question: I read that it is best to use direct lighting when MIG welding...question is this. I have a hard time seeing once my autodark kicks in, so my question is Will using a set of 500 watt halogen lights to light the weld area be of benefit? Just wondering...

Thanks in advance.


11-17-2010, 09:16 PM
Is the shade of your helmet adjustable? That can make a huge difference. Also making sure the shade is clean. After stick welding with my helmet for a bit I could barely see when tig welding.
47 years as an air craft mechanic means you aren't young. There was a discussion here a while ago about helmets that have spaces for magnifiers so you can see better.

11-17-2010, 09:53 PM
ive never heard of anyone using direct lighting for welding purposes... of course, ambient light has its effects on the ability to see the weld. its why there are various shades of filters to help compensate for ambient light as well as to compensate for the amperage, types of metal and process used... for example, when i am mig welding aluminum, i like a shade 12, or 1/8 stick, i use a shade 9. 1/4 inch stick rods, im using a shade 14... this is all in high noon daylight... as the ambient light decreases, so should your shade in the hood... hope that helped

11-18-2010, 05:05 AM
Thanks for the info...guess I will have to quit working so I can weld at "high-noon"...just kidding! I do have an adjustable helmet so I will try that first...then if that won't do it...I will train a mutt to see for me! Man...if I had all that stuff you have, my wife would have put me in a nut house long ago!


---------- Post added at 07:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:57 AM ----------

Young??? Wow...folk's that know me think that I am 45 yrs. old! They say things like "Man, this guy drives a lowrider 56' Chevy" or "hey, when he gets on that Goldwing he rides like its a bicycle...or "When he pounds that Super Beetle, the wheels really do churn"...so I guess being "66" and being a little wild is great. The secret to youth of the mind, is to do the things that you enjoy...not wish you had done them! I have gotten rid of all my toys except for the 56'...and replaced them with 'new toys' in the form of tools!


11-18-2010, 08:53 AM
What I do is pull the trigger to start an arc and when the auto-dark kicks in I stop but still hold my hand in the same spot till the auto dark turns off and then I can make 100% sure I'm where I need to be and start welding then. Little time consuming on the front end but it saves me a lot of "grinding" time later. :)

11-18-2010, 09:21 AM
I seem to always get stuck welding outside at night. I like the 500 Watt halogens since they attact 50% of the local bugs. If I weld without a strong light the local bugs kamakazzi into the weld pool. Some nights my welds have more fried bugs then filler rod;)

11-18-2010, 04:13 PM
That's cool to watch the bugs fry, it's when they want to get under my hood and look to that I don't like them.

11-18-2010, 04:46 PM
So...you can use this thing as a bug zapper? Well alrighty...but do you really use the halogens? I am at least going to try them...


11-18-2010, 05:40 PM
I have halogens lights to provide extra light when I have had to try welding at night. Just my 2 cents. I still have a lot to learn and anything that helps me see the better I will try.

11-19-2010, 04:07 PM
My first good auto darkening welding helmet (huntsman) used different removable filters to give some protection all the time. With this setup I use the 500W halogen so that I can see properly. I know now that I really should have set the darkness to lighter and used the ambient light. At night I always use at least one 500W lamp as I have two dual lamp tripods. I got started doing this years ago as all I had was a dark glass lens. The light lets you get an idea of where to start your welding. With auto dark every time you move your head angle it will flash on and off when your not welding which is a pain.

11-19-2010, 06:32 PM
my Jackson hates fluorescent lighting, my miller does not give a care, always works, just don't like the fill of it though
as for welding at night outside use no lights just the glow from house or shed lighting

01-02-2011, 12:57 AM
No you are going to have to use a high power lamp but you have to pull it back and get some diffusion filters or make some from plastic because your auto- darkening helmet will not work well.I also have begun using safety glasses with -1.50 magnifiers inside helmet and can see the welds so much better, their not as fuzzy.I weld at night to and alot of times get frustrated because I take pride in making my welds look good and using bright lamps leaves a dark area in the centre.First thing you should do is see your optometrist.
Also I were contact lenses when i weld, they hurt sometimes when I am setting up because I stilll tend to forget to blink and they dry out and hurt for a brief moment.I remember when people used to say that you will burn your corneas and never used contacts for welding and was scared, but when someone asked me to weld on day I had forgotten I had them in and did some welding then realized after that my eyes felt like sand in them, now I carry a small bottle of rinse to wet them when welding.

I hate welding when the air is cold as the lens tends to fog up so light really doesn't make a difference then.lol

01-02-2011, 01:37 PM
I have the same problem as Isky. I usually use a small gooseneck lamp with a 50W halogen bulb in it to point at my weld joints for good ambient lighting, but it has a tendency to activated the shade in the auto-dark helmet, which is a little self defeating.

01-02-2011, 04:31 PM
i use the cheap type flood lights from HF like $10 each (get extra bulbs while your there), i also have the dual lights on a stand.. they work fine with my speedglas lid.


03-07-2011, 06:47 AM
I am able to use a 100W with a reflector clamped in my vice, best I can come up with for now.

03-08-2011, 02:13 AM
It really depends on the Quality of the Auto dark lens 4 sensor being the best for low amperage tig welds and all around use so you dont get flashed by a sensor not picking it up also the quality lens have settings for sensitivity and lighting conditions i have a jackson nexgen autodark lens and love it i have a HF deposahood for people to watch with

Also with lighting it works well if your using halogens to bounce them off the wall if you can

03-08-2011, 03:51 AM
For auto work outdoors the halogens do a nice job of cooking bugs, but I leave them tilted upwards a little. Seems to keep the bugs closer to the light than me. The june bugs occasionally smell tasty right up to the point they catch fire and roll down the driveway. :lol:

03-08-2011, 01:10 PM
I use a halogen as well, but Isky is right - it does flash with movement when you're not welding. And Rods56 - just keep on truckin - I'm 64 (I guess), and I still like the same things, and do the same things I always did. - - - - My point of view might be a bit narrower now though????