Why the heck don’t any “professionals” use a real lights anymore?

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jeff51
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Why the heck don’t any “professionals” use a real lights anymore?

The phone replaces everything these days.
I am about to spend a stupid amount of money getting my HVAC replaced. The first guy who came out to get info for the estimate wandered around in the attic using his phone as a light.
After the bid came in I asked some questions that the supervisor was not comfortable answering without a better understanding of the problems my current system has.

He and a second supervisor came out and were about to head for the attic again. As they were about to head up the stairs, I said “If all you have is a phone, here use this” And handed them a C8G cranked up most of the way.
I could tell they actually could get a look at the dim recesses of the system on the far side of the house. Where there was no easy access. Something that would not have happened using a phone.

These guys make a hefty profit off doing installs. You would think that spending a paltry sum on a decent light would be part of the cost of doing business.

This mirrors the Sudden-link supervisor and helper who came to install the cable. Portable drill, 2 bits, phone for light, cable stripper/crimper, fish tape, and well that’s it. I asked if they didn’t have a drywall saw. The Super said he loaned his to someone. Real confidence builders.

During a remodel the drywall dust was so thick you couldn’t see across the room (well almost). I turned on my DYI dust filter system and the air was clear in 10 minutes. All the guys and the contractor were impressed. I showed them how to make one out of an old AC blower and some 4” thick filters. Cost about $60. Saw them a month later at another job. Filter? Naaa, just keep breathing that nasty shit and keep on sanding.

All the Best,
Jeff

anonymous_user
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My coworkers are the same. Two use their cell phones as flashlights and the third sometimes uses a cheap 3xAAA zoomie. Now granted for our uses we don’t need such a powerful light like the C8G but there are plenty of ways to upgrade from the phone light. Ugh.

turkeydance
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why?
well, sometimes they have a “company” phone.
the “company” will not buy them a flashlight.

2A
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I am sure tradespeople do have flashlights, it is one of the most marketed items in their catalogues, tool trucks, and any shop out there. The problem is, at times when they are out with a client, working on something… they may not have it on their tool belt.
Someone on BLF said a while ago, the most useful flashlight is the one you have with you when you need it. Using a cell phone is probably easier than running back to the truck or looking for the military zoomie in your bag.

richbuff
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Why the heck don’t any “professionals... .. ..

Because the average person is of average stupidity, and half of the so called "professionals" are stupider than that.

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zoulas
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This is quite common. Contractors that build houses don’t use Milwaukee and dewalt. They use what ever crap harbor freight has. The same goes with roofers. They use basic non name tools. Restaurant chefs use basic cookware. They don’t use all clad or what Williams Sonoma sells.

I have never been able to figure out why other than to save money and show a higher profit.

Sirstinky
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The issue is that for a true professional in a trade, sometimes a ‘tool’ is just that, and longevity and performance usually take precedence. Your money will go towards something you use a lot, like a nice multimeter, or set of wrenches, or if you’re in HVAC, a non-contact thermometer, set of gauges, or power tool set that gets used a lot. When I was an electrician apprentice, we used premium tools (Greenlee, Cornwall, Klein, Milwaukie) for that reason because we can’t afford downtime for a broken tool. I break the Harbor Freight wire strippers and flush cutters all the time, but I never broke a Klein or Greenlee.

Why buy a $40 or even $30 flashlight when a $10 one from Home Depot or Lowes will do just fine? Look in the trades catalogs or tool trucks and what do you see? Snap-On/Blue Point, Cornwall/Streamlight, Maglite, sometimes you get Olight. If they get broken, even with a ‘lifetime warranty’ it’s a hassle to deal with getting a new one on warranty, so chances are it gets replaced, not fixed. My Dad was a mechanic for over 20 years and got what was on the tool trucks (Blue Point, Cornwall/Streamlight). They last a LONG time and just work, but they are expensive.

To be fair though, most don’t know about high performance flashlights beyond what they see at Home Depot, Lowes, or the hardware store. I venture in opinion they don’t go shopping on Aliexpress or Banggood. Harbor Freight is selling some halfway decent flashlights now though, but nowhere near enthusiast-grade.

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Ugh, I get frustrated seeing our IT guys poking around behind/under desks, or routing cables through drop-ceilings, using dinky cellphone “flashlights”. Even asked them about it, showing my at-the-time-EDCed ’502. Got nothing but shrugs.

Was amazed when a phone-guy came to install the fiber-box and actually had a headlamp! Okay, a dinky plastic one that probably took 3 AAAs, but still, it was something (that didn’t have a touchpad).

 

Part of the “why don’t they…?” might be that they expect The Company™ to provide them with everything, and if not, they won’t spring to buy it for themselves, even if it makes their own lives easier.

Part of it might be that if it gets busted or stolen, it’s not worth buying it to begin with if it’s not “necessary”.

Either way, they have to have their phone handy, and won’t lose it if they can help it.

Still, even if they don’t want to pack a decent light in their toolbox or toolbelt, carry a small light in a pocket, eh?

 

Meter-reader came to take a reading, and said why not convert to the electronical ones they can read remotely? 5-10min to do it, right then’n‘there. Wireless, no phone connection needed, so said why not? He’s bringing it and his tools, but no light! And these meters are often in basements in dark corners with no light around… so how’s he supposta install the damned thing?

I had my DC7 on me (guess who was anticipating…), so cranked that up halfway or so and provided all the light he needed.

Still, to not have even a handheld light, or clip-on light on his hat, nothing?? Facepalm

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prototype3a
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Jeff51 wrote:
I showed them how to make one out of an old AC blower and some 4” thick filters.

Where do you get an old AC blower for $60? I’ve been looking to build something like this myself…

Enderman
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I knew some security guards that use Fenix flashlights, they knew what the difference was between a cheap and quality light.

SYZYGY
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i had a similar experience. hvac guy i hired just used his phone as a light for everything in a dark basement replacing components in a geothermal heater. i offered him a headlamp and then a flashlight, and he wasn't interested in either option, lol. i don't get it.

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I had an exterminator at work once who carried a pretty nice Streamlight. I actually meant to look it up because I don’t know much about the brand, but I never did. Based on the size I think it must have been a dual 18650. Anyway, I was impressed because I also never see professionals using anything decent.

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When I was buying my house, the inspector I went with used an 18650 Fenix model – tube light, and beat to heck. He said he gets about a year, year and a half out of the Fenixes, so he keeps buying them. My D4 did impress him.

As far as contractors not using good tools, in the US at least the guy that shows up on your job is usually getting shafted by his boss, and that’s the best his boss will give him and/or the best he can afford. Certainly most cable installers are not professionals at pulling cable, and knowing how cable companies in the US operate, I’m sure they’re extremely underpaid.

There are guys in the industry using Flukes and Knipex and such, or those brands wouldn’t be around anymore. But I’ve also been a part of too many jobs where dollars are the #1 concern and so all the equipment is the cheapest thing that will get the job done. Some bean counters don’t realize buying a $40 harbor freight tool every other month will eventually cost more than buying the nice one that lasts ten years – they just see a $400 purchase order and start yelling.

As for the drywall dust on the remodel, that could be an OSHA concern. But sometimes a guy can’t complain to OSHA, because then his shop gets shut down and he doesn’t have a job anymore, and then he has to move his wife and kids in with his parents.

matik42
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Cash I talked one time with plumber and he said that why I must buy high-priced tools while they get lost within couple month
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EDC stuff is considered geeky, flashlights in particular are associated with leaking batteries, dim bulbs and loose connections. On top of that light is expected to be ubiquitionsly available. Many people would rather fiddle in half-dark, get headaches and raised blood pressure before even considering taking a flashlight someone offers them. It’s the same with all tools. No, I don’t need a screwdriver, I have a bread knife if my finger nails break.

When you entered BLF, you knew this is an asylum. But after some time, your mind tricks you into thinking this would be a normal place to be.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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Some tradesmen do use decent torches. I work on trucks fitting CCTV and warning systems to them. I always have my BLF A6. in my side pocket and my Armytek wizard pro XHP-50 in my front flap pocket. Some days the headlight can be on for the full day almost.
As for hand tools I am down to my last snap on ratchet driver which I am paranoid about checking it’s in my toolbox after every job. The snap on trim tools were lost years ago so I bought bojo trim tools as much cheaper to loose.

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As an appliance repair technician I carry my Lumintop Tool and modded Skillhunt H03 right angle light just in case, but my coworkers have cheap cob lights and often just work on stuff in the dark. I don’t really get it either.

agent80
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Some people just don’t care. They’re in the job for the money. Doesn’t matter if the tools are crap. Its the same all over the world.

neo71665
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Every tradesman I know has at least a modern mag light. As an electrican I always had at least something 18650 in my pocket and one a bit bigger in the van. For me it started out a sk98, then a s2+ with a c8 in the van. I did end up having to use my volunteer fire dept issued streamlight on one job because everything had to be rated explosion proof (bio fuel plant).

Not sure who ya’ll dealing with and tools. All my stuff is dewalt, klein, fluke, and old US made craftsman (back when they were good) hand tools. Sure the first years started off with cheap crap but you upgrade as you need and can afford it. Most the time you end up with at least 2 sets of good hand tools for backup. Playing with angry pixies stuff like pliers and screwdrivers get arced here and there. When doing it for a living I was taught (and taught) to get the best you can afford. Now that I’m a farmer sure if I only need a 38mm wrench once a year I might cheap out. If I use it more than twice a year I will get something better.

BTW,You want to see some real pricey tools look up anything rated explosion proof. That stuff can make a snap on truck look like harbor freight.

Techno
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Lightbringer wrote:
Ugh, I get frustrated seeing our IT guys poking around behind/under desks, or routing cables through drop-ceilings, using dinky cellphone “flashlights”. Even asked them about it, showing my at-the-time-EDCed ’502. Got nothing but shrugs.

Was amazed when a phone-guy came to install the fiber-box and actually had a headlamp! Okay, a dinky plastic one that probably took 3 AAAs, but still, it was something (that didn’t have a touchpad).

 

Part of the “why don’t they…?” might be that they expect The Company™ to provide them with everything, and if not, they won’t spring to buy it for themselves, even if it makes their own lives easier.

Part of it might be that if it gets busted or stolen, it’s not worth buying it to begin with if it’s not “necessary”.

Either way, they have to have their phone handy, and won’t lose it if they can help it.

Still, even if they don’t want to pack a decent light in their toolbox or toolbelt, carry a small light in a pocket, eh?

 

Meter-reader came to take a reading, and said why not convert to the electronical ones they can read remotely? 5-10min to do it, right then’n‘there. Wireless, no phone connection needed, so said why not? He’s bringing it and his tools, but no light! And these meters are often in basements in dark corners with no light around… so how’s he supposta install the damned thing?

I had my DC7 on me (guess who was anticipating…), so cranked that up halfway or so and provided all the light he needed.

Still, to not have even a handheld light, or clip-on light on his hat, nothing?? Facepalm

I rarely crawl below tables anymore. When light is needed and I don’t have my full toolkit, it;s usually an Olight on the keychain.

When going out to branch offices where I carry a backpack and have to look into false ceilings, there’s always the Convoy S2+ with LH351D. Includes a C8+ in case a long distance walk is required.

There was another post about fancy stuff being lost. That’s why anything more expensive than a Convoy S2+ is not my EDC.

X

jeff51
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prototype3a wrote:
Jeff51 wrote:
I showed them how to make one out of an old AC blower and some 4” thick filters.

Where do you get an old AC blower for $60? I’ve been looking to build something like this myself…


Actually the blower was free. I got it from the AC guys like 40 years ago. They have lots of takeaway parts they remove from old systems. Think mine was from a small gas powered heating system.
The trick is to find a small blower. Ones from like 3 ton units are way too powerful.
Sometimes you can find a squirrel cage from some other app.
A busted blow up yard thingy from someones Halloween setup might source a good blower.

Another source (in dry climates) is an old swamp cooler blower. One of the window or small sized roof units is just perfect for this.
Haunt some garage sales to see what you can find.

The $60 is for a sheet of plywood, 2× 4” thick MERV 14 (12?) main filters and 2× 1” thick MERV 5 (8?) pre-filters, some casters to roll it around on, and a switch and cord for power (from the junk pile).

Cleaning the pre-filters every day yielded about 1/2-3/4 cup of drywall dust. The pre-filters really helps keeping the main filters from getting clogged quickly.

The design is just a box with open sides to fit the filters on opposite sides. Then the blower mounted so it can suck air through the filters. It normally sits so the air exits the top. So the clean air goes up to the ceiling and the “dirty air” can flow down the walls and across the floor to the filter inputs.
I also put some plastic feet on one side so the blower can point horizontally and blow clean air into an enclosed area – like a small room or closet if someone was working in there. Wired up a two speed switch.

The thing is really quiet. That’s the trick into getting people to use it. If it’s howling away, they can’t hear the job-site radios, which is (as far as I can tell) an OSHA requirement.

Good luck in your hunt,
All the Best,
Jeff

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I find most of the ‘professional’ work comes from selling the jobs, blowing smoke up peoples asses and collecting the money.

When it comes to doing the job its get it dun and get the fuck out and hopefully no one talks to you or sees what you did.

jeff51
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jp9mm wrote:
I find most of the ‘professional’ work comes from selling the jobs, blowing smoke up peoples asses and collecting the money.

When it comes to doing the job its get it dun and get the fuck out and hopefully no one talks to you or sees what you did.


Yes indeed in many cases.
I have watched Dell subs doing onsite repairs. I’ve seen one palm some leftover screws after “finishing” a laptop repair. He sure didn’t like me saying “You going to open it up and do it right, or am I calling my clients corporate sales rep?”

I’ve gotten Compaq desktops in with the Torx screws having cross slots crudely cut into them or mangled on the sides from vice grips.
How the heck did this happen? Says I.
The last repair guy said all Compaq’s have special screws that no one has tools for and he cut these in the heads to open it.

Or the cable installer saying I’ll put the outdoor junction box here. Where is was easiest for him to install. I told him No – you are going to put it where code requires it. If you like we can call a city inspector to sign off on your install…

Finding someone who takes pride in their work is really hard these days. Particularly in locals with boom and bust economies. During boom times anyone with a pulse gets hired. During bust times the shops with good workers have a hard time keepimg them on.
All the Best,
Jeff

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jeff51 wrote:
jp9mm wrote:
I find most of the ‘professional’ work comes from selling the jobs, blowing smoke up peoples asses and collecting the money.

When it comes to doing the job its get it dun and get the fuck out and hopefully no one talks to you or sees what you did.


Yes indeed in many cases.
I have watched Dell subs doing onsite repairs. I’ve seen one palm some leftover screws after “finishing” a laptop repair. He sure didn’t like me saying “You going to open it up and do it right, or am I calling my clients corporate sales rep?”

I’ve gotten Compaq desktops in with the Torx screws having cross slots crudely cut into them or mangled on the sides from vice grips.
How the heck did this happen? Says I.
The last repair guy said all Compaq’s have special screws that no one has tools for and he cut these in the heads to open it.

Or the cable installer saying I’ll put the outdoor junction box here. Where is was easiest for him to install. I told him No – you are going to put it where code requires it. If you like we can call a city inspector to sign off on your install…

Finding someone who takes pride in their work is really hard these days. Particularly in locals with boom and bust economies. During boom times anyone with a pulse gets hired. During bust times the shops with good workers have a hard time keepimg them on.
All the Best,
Jeff


Wow. Even the crappy employer I had that did HP warranty work, at least bothered to buy screwdrivers. They might’ve been the cheapest torx drivers I ever held, but they fit the screw heads (for a while anyway)
Sarri
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For the same reason people don’t service their own car for the mere cost of parts, clean their EGR out, or build their own high end PC…
Most humans outside the enthusiast world do not know enough about stuff, or that the really good stuff even exists unless they’ve already seen it. A cheap AAA Led Lenser or a Maglite is about the best they’re aware of.

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zoulas wrote:
This is quite common. Contractors that build houses don’t use Milwaukee and dewalt. They use what ever crap harbor freight has. The same goes with roofers. They use basic non name tools. Restaurant chefs use basic cookware. They don’t use all clad or what Williams Sonoma sells.

I have never been able to figure out why other than to save money and show a higher profit.

A long long time ago I worked for a small camera retail chain. We had professional photographers and amateurs as customers. A few of the pros used Nikons or Hasselblads but many used lesser brands, cheaper cameras. We sold more Nikon’s and Hasselblads to amateur enthusiasts.

BurningPlayd0h
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I think a lot of people are missing OP’s whole point – its isn’t that these professionals are using old or fairly crap flashlights, it’s that they’re have their cell phone as the only portable light source for jobs that basically require one.

Must have never heard “The Five Ps” before.

Lightbringer
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BurningPlayd0h wrote:
I think a lot of people are missing OP’s whole point – its isn’t that these professionals are using old or fairly crap flashlights, it’s that they’re have their cell phone as the only portable light source for jobs that basically require one.

Wellp, one aspect of that would be the Swiss Army Knife principle. Just because it has scissors, or a screwdriver, or pliers, doesn’t mean they’re at all usable except for emergencies where it’s the only thing you got and it’s marginally better’n not having anything at all.

But these dumbos need one for the job and insist on using the SAK equivalent of a flashlight.

BurningPlayd0h wrote:
Must have never heard “The Five Ps” before.

They were pretty good ‘til they got a new drummer.

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prototype3a
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Interesting that the poster above seems to think that Nikon and Hasselblad are the best brands for a professional photog.

I would expect to see pros using Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony or Panasonic. All 5 brands have aspects to them that make them excellent choices for various types of work.

I’m sure there will be a few nuts using Hasselblad or Leica but their cameras/lenses seem much more specialized and some are just ludicrously expensive and surprisingly mediocre.

zoulas
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I think the point MtnDon is making is that novices buy big because they don’t know better, whereas professionals buy exactly what they need and they know enough to see through the marketing nonsense.

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Me, I absolutely love Nikon glass, and like being able to use an old lens from the ’60s or ’70s in my D7000 (like my F/1.2 50mm primary).

The cheep come-with 18-55mm lens is phenomenal, and the 55-200mm featherweight plastic body lens is even better. I snapped a pic of a blue heron framed on the other side of a pond by a ‘V’-trunked tree on an “island” in the middle of the pond. Not only could I see the heron’s eye in the shot (at 100% crop), but I could clearly see his pupil as well.

And that was when I only had a D3000 and the cheapie 55-200mm lens!

That said, I get probably 95% of my shots with my 28-300mm zoomie, and failing that, with my 70-200mm f/2.8 when I need speed, or the aforementioned 18-55mm when I want wider landscapes or macros. Aside from maybe carrying the 18-55 separately, it’s just my camera with the 28-300 in a bag.

And I’m talking about crystal-clear shots of bugs in flight where you can count their nose-hairs.

Funny thing is, on one site where I posted a pic of a dragonfly in flight, some a-hole was “calling me out” for faking the pic, yelling “It’s photoshopped!”, etc.

Ummm, when odos are in-flight, their tuck in their legs like helicopter skids, which is exactly what the pic showed. And just for spite, I posted like 8 more in a series of pix of the little beastie.

So, yeah, for me, I looooove Nikon glass, and the compatibility with even ancient lenses.

 

And I agree with Ken Rockwell that cameras start to suffer “digital rot” right from when they come off the assembly line, but lenses last forever (except for maintenance once every decade or whatnot). Cameras will get bigger faster sensors, bigger faster processors, etc., that start going antiquated from day 1. But lenses are forever.

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