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The Milwaukee Fluorescent Lighting Tester is one of those ho-hum looking tools that will drastically change somebody’s day. It doesn’t look like a big deal, but for the maintenance guy who wanders around your building grumbling about fixing lights all day, this will be forever attached to his belt. What it does is allow you to check exactly what’s wrong with fluorescent lighting without touching it or even getting a ladder in most cases. To our way of thinking, somebody should have come up with this a long time ago.

Here’s the deal — should you come across a dark bulb, just extend the 3′ wand and put the cupped plate in contact with the glass. The wand sends a super low current through to the gas inside the bulb, and if it lights, it’s just a bad bulb. If it doesn’t, switch to “Ballast” mode and wave the wand at either connection point. If it beeps, the ballast is good; if not, you have a bad ballast at that end. You can also do a pin check by inserting the pins of a bulb into the checker located at the bottom of the unit and get a tone for good or no tone for bad.

There are a few drawbacks: If the bulbs have a cover plate on the lightbox, you’ve rendered the lamp check powerless and are basically screwed. Also, the unit doesn’t make lightsaber sounds even though a more perfect app will never present itself.

We’re guessing that for most folks out there this tool may make no difference at all. But for a very select few the ability to troubleshoot lighting on a 9-to-10 foot ceiling without a ladder and know exactly what’s happening up there in seconds is going to be worth whatever Milwaukee is charging for it.

Fluorescent Lighting Tester [Milwaukee]


7 Responses to Preview: Milwaukee Fluorescent Lighting Tester

  1. Jaquandor says:

    I’m one of the few whose life will be made WAY easier by this tool. Lighting is a huge part of my work responsibility (at a large grocery store), and we’re actually soon going to be DOUBLING the number of fluorescent tube fixtures in our store. This gadget’s arrival thrills me like few tools have — the last one I can think of is DeWalt’s compact router.

  2. Brau says:

    When I was doing hotel maintenance, I would have killed for this. The first order of every day was replacing burned out or malfunctioning lights. Fluorescents were a royal pain as a bad bulb or ballast could work fine when cold then fail an hour later.

  3. sean says:

    I just saw an article on this product and I would love to have one in my hand.I heard it’s about $200 for it.As long as my employer pays for it,I’ll try it out.For personal use???????Not sure if I would buy it out of my own pocket for that price…

  4. Paul says:

    When I used to work in maintenance this would have been great. We had a lot of older fixtures and used the 8′ bulbs. 1 balast ran 4 bulbs, so it became a game of which bulb is the one that is actually bad, or is it the balast and to go through the mtions necessary to to figure that out takes time when the bulbs are 20′ above the floor.

  5. Henry says:

    These have existed since the 80’s as Beha gas lamp testers and later became a part of Greenlee.

  6. browndog77 says:

    I can see where this may be somewhat useful, but not for $200, or even $100! The reality is, if the bulb isn’t lit, you’re goin’ up a ladder anyway! Knowing exactly why before you get there isn’t worth that much.

  7. Jason says:

    I sell tools for a living and Milwaukee is one of my brands. There new meter’s are really good, and very innovative. The lighting test will be a huge hit. I have already demoed this to a number of contractors and they love it.

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