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CELEBRATING AND CONTINUING THE WORK OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR


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    • By Counterman
      In the case of cordless lights, there is a lot more, starting with more light! The light comes from Light Emitting Diode, or LED, technology. When they were first invented, LEDs were a revolutionary development of electrical science, affecting virtually every aspect of our lives.
      Now LED lights are everywhere, and we’re all familiar with them, even in our homes, but the automotive industry has reaped the benefits as much as, if not more than, any other industry. Just like a diode, LEDs allow current flow in only one direction. When current, or electron flow occurs, photons are released.
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      Photons are tiny particles of electromagnetic radiation that are released as the electrons jump between atoms, and they’re emitted in the form of electromagnetic waves. This is where the visible light comes from. Certain wavelengths are visible to the human eye, which we perceive as light. Specifically, these wavelengths are those between 400 and 700 nanometers, and it’s in this range that LEDs emit photons.

      Different wavelengths are seen by us as different colors. To control and obtain the different wavelengths that appear to us as different colors, LED output is controlled by altering the semiconductor material inside, which controls the energy of electron flow, the wavelength, and, ultimately, the color.

      Early on, LEDs in automobiles were a type of LED called a through-hole LED, referring to the fact that their connectors went through holes in a circuit board for mounting. These were primarily used for warning indicators, such as an oil warning light or alarm indicator since they weren’t powerful enough for anything else. Over time, as technology was able to produce brighter white light, they began to see use in cordless lights.
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      Through-hole LED were used for many years in lights, and worked well, but the most significant advance was the development of surface mount devices (SMDs) and chip on board (COB) technology.

      SMDs were smaller with a much thinner profile, had as many as three LEDs on one chip and could be soldered directly to a circuit board. These made compact designs possible with multiple LEDs for extremely bright work lights. Then came COB technology which could fit nine or more LEDs on one chip, offering the highest light-to-energy ratio. Both types are very effective with light output, and both still commonly used.
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      For an auto technician, cordless lights have replaced the traditional “trouble” light, and in addition to the advantages of an LED light, there are many other technology-based features we can take advantage of.

      If headlamps are your game, there’s a new technology of adaptive light beams that automatically adjusts intensity and focus to provide the necessary light output for the job at hand. Who thought that word was just for cruise control?

      White light is what we use the most, but since LED technology produces different colors, there’s a couple that are useful to us and are included in many lights. Ultraviolet light is used for leak detection, so it’s a useful option to have.

      Ultraviolet is unique because it’s a photon wave that’s just outside the visible light spectrum, but it’s easy to think of it as a color because it does give off a visible purple hue.

      Red is the second color that’s becoming more popular, especially in headlamps. Why? Red has always been known to preserve night vision, and we all know there are never enough hours in the day!

      Here’s a feature I really like: The device finder. It’s just like when you lose your TV remote, only better. Nobody likes to lose tools, but especially not a light. You’ve got extra 10mm sockets and you expect those to disappear in the occasional black hole, but losing your light can ruin your day. I’d rather hit a button before pulling a car out, just to know my light is under a pile of tools versus under the hood.

      Have you ever heard of CRI? It stands for Color Rendering Index, and it’s a measurement of the ability of a light source to reveal the color of objects in contrast to natural light. In other words, do they appear the same as they would under natural sunlight? Light sources have a huge effect on how we perceive colors, and while we don’t care so much what color brake pads really are, it’s a unique feature for body and paint technicians.

      CRI is measured from 0-100, and anything under 80 is considered poor; over 90 is considered good. So, a high CRI in a shop light is valuable when comparing colors. A common use is for comparing paint chips to a body panel, but it’s very much a “thing” in home refinishing, too. If you’re trying to decide on that perfect color for your addition or match one when you can’t remember the color, a high CRI light will show you the true colors.

      Here’s another term that may strike you as unusual: Ingress Protection. If you’ve never heard of it, you’ve seen it for sure. It’s the IP rating that’s called out on most lights. The IP code is an international code which classifies the degree of protection against dust and liquids for electrical equipment. The rating consists of two numbers, e.g., IP65 (a common rating.)

      The first number indicates ingress protection against solid objects, ranging from 0-6, and is basically related to the physical object size, including things like hands, all the way to small dust particles. Zero is no protection, six is the highest level available meaning it is dust tight.

      The second number indicates resistance to liquids and includes classifications from dripping water all the way up to immersion and high-pressure jets. This ranges from 0-9, nine being the highest rating.

      This is an important rating to look for when shopping for a light, since we all know when you’re under a car, dripping liquid automatically seeks out the most inconvenient places to drip, such as your eyes, your mouth or your work light.
      Cordless lights are the way to go. Cordless lights plus today’s technology equals some of the most useful tools you’ll own. 
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    • By Counterman
      Now powered by a higher-capacity rechargeable battery, the 
      link hidden, please login to view link hidden, please login to view portable LED work light provides up to seven hours of continuous use on one charge. The new LITESTIX LS36SMDX model is designed to train task lighting wherever it’s needed without cords getting in the way. The light boosts visibility where general lighting isn’t strong enough, such as inside engine compartments, vehicle interiors, and underneath lifts, as well as when work is under way at night.  Upgrading the rechargeable lithium battery from 1800 mAH (milliampere-hour) to 2600 mAh, means the latest LITESTIX model can deliver another full hour of performance. The work light boasts 36 LED bulbs that together generate 1,200 lumens of bright white light. Each lamp also features high and low brightness settings. 
      Thanks to its high-efficiency LEDs, LITESTIX uses less energy and stays cool, making it easy to move around a vehicle without worrying about getting burnt. Designed for a long life of heavy-duty use, each LITESTIX is encased in an impact-resistant polycarbonate housing. Other key features are an innovative telescoping holder and magnetic swivel mounts that let you put it where you need it.
      LITESTIX also solves the century-old problem of how to sit a shop light snugly on a vehicle’s hood, roof, or other points on the body. Placement on the vehicle is often necessary to get the best visibility, but traditional lamps roll off. To accomplish this feat, LITESTIX has dual 90-degree swiveling handles equipped with magnetic ends that enable mounting the light tube on any flat or off-angle metallic surface. 
      The lamp’s all-steel telescoping cradle frame can extend from 49.5˝ to 79.75˝ in length and can secure to the underside of a vehicle hood, for example, with the help of grabbing hooks attached at both ends of the frame. When used without the cradle frame, LITESTIX can be hung using recessed hooks inside the handles that twist out as needed. 
      To order or learn more about the next generation of LITESTIX, visit 
      link hidden, please login to view or call (800) 253-2363.  The post
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    • By Counterman
      The Auto Care Association announced it has been
      link hidden, please login to view. “This prestigious award is a testament to the association’s commitment to creating an inclusive, supportive and dynamic work environment for its employees,” Auto Care said in a news release.
      With a remarkable 95% of employees affirming that the Auto Care Association is a great place to work, the organization stands out significantly above the national average. This recognition is based on direct feedback from employees, provided as part of the Great Place to Work’s rigorous, data-driven methodology.
      The survey highlighted several areas where the Auto Care Association excels, including management’s approachability, effective coordination and assignment of tasks and the provision of necessary resources and equipment to employees.
      Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the Auto Care Association employs more than 40 U.S.-based workers and is renowned for its advocacy, educational, networking, technology and market-intelligence resources. It plays a pivotal role in the automotive aftermarket, driving innovation and competitiveness through its evaluation of market trends and development of new tools to adapt to evolving patterns.
      “This certification is not just a milestone for our association but a reflection of the hard work, dedication, and passion of our team,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We are deeply committed to ensuring our workplace is not only rewarding and supportive but also fosters the growth and development of all our employees.”
      The Auto Care Association added that its “culture is built on a foundation of mutual respect, collaboration and a shared vision for the future of the automotive aftermarket.”
      Auto Care uses the acronym TCIF to summarize its corporate values. It stands for Teamwork, Curiosity, Integrity and Fun. These values “have cultivated a workplace where 97% of employees feel management is approachable and hires people who fit well within the organization,” according to Auto Care.
      “Great member service starts with a strong internal foundation,” said Lea Diamond, vice president, people operations, for the Auto Care Association. “Our strengths internally are reflected in the level of service and care we provide to our members and the industry.”
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    • By NAPA
      Brad Sweet and the
      link hidden, please login to view No. 49 team returned to action for the 2024 season in spectacular fashion, winning at the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida.
      Four nights of racing began on Wednesday with the Big Cat showcasing his skills right from the start. The Kasey Kahne Racing driver qualified fourth in Flight A with a blistering time of 13.513 seconds. He continued the momentum in his heat race, securing a second-place finish and guaranteeing him a spot in the Fast Pass Dash. Sweet dominated the dash, picking up the win after starting on the pole. In the first main event o f 2024, the NAPA No. 49 machine proved unstoppable for 25 laps, earning the win and solidifying Sweet’s status as a giant of the sprint car world.

      On Thursday night, however, a different story unfolded for the five-time champion. Sweet qualified fifth in Flight B, posting a solid time of 13.430 seconds, but his heat race presented a challenge. He started third but slipped to fourth, relegating him to a 14th-place starting position in the feature. He ultimately finished 15th,  determined to bounce back on Friday night.

      On Friday, the NAPA team hit the reset button and prepared for another shot at a win. Sweet posted a time of 13.359 seconds in qualifying, securing the third spot in Flight B and setting a strong tone for the evening. During heat race action, competitor David Gravel ran Sweet up the track, forcing him over the cushion and into the brakes of the No. 49 machine. He regained momentum, though, and ultimately finished third after starting second. Friday’s feature race truly highlighted Sweet’s racing prowess as he battled his way through the field from a 10th-place start to finish on the podium in third.

      On the final night of the DIRTcar Nationals, the NAPA No. 49 team had one last shot at a $20,000 payday. The Big Cat hit the charts at 13.452 seconds in qualifying, placing him fifth. In his heat race, Sweet charged from third to second, placing him in the dash. Although he did not advance from his eighth-place starting spot in the dash, Sweet continued undeterred into the feature race. He stood out among the fierce competition, climbing from an eighth-place starting spot to another podium finish of third. Sweet and the NAPA team ended the weekend third in overall event points.

      Next up for the Sweet and the No. 49 team is the start of the High Limit Racing season at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa.
      Start / Finish:
      Wednesday, Feb. 7: 1 / 1
      Thursday, Feb. 8: 14 /15
      Friday, Feb. 9: 10 / 3
      Saturday, Feb. 10: 8 / 3
      Next Race: Monday, February 12, East Bay Raceway Park, Tampa, FL
      How to Watch or Listen:
      link hidden, please login to view NAPA: 
      link hidden, please login to viewBrad Sweet:  link hidden, please login to view
      Kasey Kahne Racing:  link hidden, please login to view The post
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    • By Counterman
      Lumileds received the Best New Tool for Repairs Award for its Philips Xperion 6000 UV Pillar work light from the Import Vehicle Community at AAPEX in Las Vegas.
      “We designed the Philips Xperion 6000 UV Pillar as a multi-purpose work light that helps technicians save time, money and space in their tool chest,” noted Aubry Baugh, Lumileds senior manager, aftermarket marketing leader, NA. “This innovative light features three light sources: a main light rated CRI95 for color matching; a 180-lumen spotlight; and a very handy UV inspection light for critical repair jobs. The Xperion 6000 UV Pillar is three lights in one and allows techs to carry a single tool.”
      Featuring an articulating LED panel for precise beam placement, a swiveling hook and powerful magnetic base, the Xperion 6000 UV Pillar can be placed in nearly any location or position to deliver light exactly where it is needed. The light features a rechargeable lithium battery for exceptional battery life, according to the company, and it’s compatible with the Philips multi-dock recharging station.
      If the light is ever misplaced, technicians can find it anywhere in the shop by making it beep and flash with the optional Philips “Find My Device” key fob.
      Designed to withstand the demands of automotive repair work, the Xperion 6000 UV Pillar is rated IP65 against intrusion by fluids and IK07 against impacts. The ABS rubber surfaces retain excellent grip, even in the presence of grease and oil, according to the company.
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