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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 05-14-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
Ricamaro

 
Drives: RocketZed Red13
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DIY Paint Inspection Light

I've been wanting a light to use for paint swirl and scratch detection;
I have a 500W Halogen shop light, but it never seems to illuminate
the scratches that I can clearly see when the sun is shining on the paint.

I learned today about the 3M Sun Gun for inspecting paint.
http://www.amazon.com/3M-16400-PPS-S.../dp/B000QH945O
It is used to detect swirls, scratches and color variation.

$400-500 dollars for a hand held light is a bit out of my budget, so I thought about alternatives.

The Sun Gun is basically a battery operated MR16 Flashlight (Hand Torch to our English Members)
The main selling point seems to be a 'proprietary' 35W 36 deg. MR16 Lamp, 4700 deg Kelvin, touted to have a Color Rendering Index of 99.35%

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--

Well, ALL Incandescent lamps (halogen included) have a CRI of basically 100, but Color Temperature varies.
http://www.sylvania.com/LearnLightin...entAndHalogen/

SO, I went to Home Depot, bought a low voltage landscape light for $20
http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fa...atalogId=10053

Followed by a trip to a local Auto Parts house for a 12V Accessory Extension Cord for $5

I cut and trimmed the wires of the fixture head, cut the receptacle end off of the extension cord and soldered the wires together and used shrink tubing to neatly finish the job. I attached the supplied stake to the Fixture head for use as a handle and secured the loose wire at the end of the stake with some electrical tape.

I now have a 12V hand held 50W MR16 Spot Light that I can use off my car's battery or a 12V Battery Charger,

My first try illuminated some scratches, but not as much as I had hoped and not as much as I see in the sun, so some tweaking is in order. Now, I did my first test run outside, under a cloudy sky, so I'm not sure if that contributed to the disappointing results.
The supplied lamp is not stated, but is 50W, likely a 40 deg Flood, 3000-3200 Deg Kelvin (EXN - very common).

(Are paint inspection lights supposed to be used indoors?)

I don't THINK color temperature would make a difference for detecting swirls and scratches, but it would make a difference for critical color matching (Full Spectrum or North-light conditions), so...

...I will secure a 50W and 35W MR16, 4700 Deg Kelvin
and test those (I own a Lighting Wholesale Co - www.montereylighting.com )

Eiko Solux Lamp - 50 watts/12 Volts - 4700K, 36-Degrees 18003

http://www.google.com/products/catal...=1280&bih=626#


Eiko Solux Lamp - 35 watts/12 Volts - 4700K, 36-Degrees 35003

http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CG0Q8wIwBg#

Hopefully the C5 Brain Trust can put this to use and help refine the design.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:28 AM   #2
The Stig
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While I commend you for putting all this effort in, may I ask why you need this high a level of perfection in looking at your paint? I mean I've found that my iPhone flashlight does a pretty good job of showing the swirls that appear in sunlight.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
Ricamaro

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stieger View Post
While I commend you for putting all this effort in, may I ask why you need this high a level of perfection in looking at your paint? I mean I've found that my iPhone flashlight does a pretty good job of showing the swirls that appear in sunlight.
I'm casting about for something that compensates for my poor eyesight, I guess. I've tried several artificial light sources and none seem to make the scratches pop out like sunlight does.

I like to wash and polish once a shadow is cast in my driveway, and I never seem to be able to see the scratches to polish out, regardless of the artificial light source.

There really wasn't much effort, save thought, that went into this project and I like a challenge. I think more effort went into the writeup than into the actual construction.

Now I'm curious to know if color temperature of the light source plays
a roll in scratch illumination, I know it does for color matching.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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I am interested to see what you come up with.

I do not think the color would mater much. I think it is the reflections and shadows that highlight the scratch.
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