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  1. #1

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    really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    both of my cars are a dark grey with metallic flake

    I`m a bit of a tactical flashlight guy and have some nice LED lights. They don`t seem to help at all, even when held at 45 degrees. I bought a cheap worklight, which doesn`t seem to help. I try it in direct sunlight, which gives the best results but when I can`t work.

    does anyone have any suggestions, tips, tricks for a dark paint like this before I spend big money on Scangrip stuff?

  2. #2
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Quote Originally Posted by someidiot View Post
    both of my cars are a dark grey with metallic flake

    I`m a bit of a tactical flashlight guy and have some nice LED lights. They don`t seem to help at all, even when held at 45 degrees. I bought a cheap worklight, which doesn`t seem to help. I try it in direct sunlight, which gives the best results but when I can`t work.

    does anyone have any suggestions, tips, tricks for a dark paint like this before I spend big money on Scangrip stuff?
    What "Nice LED lights" do you have ?
    Some LED flashlights are too bright and only pinpoint a tiny spot, to really be that great. Then you have the glare shining back in your eyes..

    I also have Scangrip and they really work well but they are in excess of $500+..

    The Yellow Cat LED Lights are relatively inexpensive and work very well for me.. I can see anything using them, and they are a nice size to supplement other lighting.. I correct a spot, take the light out of the detailing cart, and shine it over the spot if I need better lighting..

    Here is the link -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...2WHRCXZY7NGRV0
    They have lithium batteries and come with an A/C charger that can be kept in them while using or taken off..

    Recently, I had to paint correct a new 2017 Red Tesla that was full of damage from the factory.. The Shop that hired me had pretty good lights for just seeing, but none were portable or as bright as this little yellow light that I ending up using to correct the entire vehicle over several hours...
    Dan F


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  3. #3

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Check the Griot’s lights, work just as good as scangrip but half the price.
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  4. #4
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    I have good experiences with some of smaller, LED flashlights at HD. I believe it is the Coast brand, $10 - $30. Used one yesterday showing swirls before and after to a customer on his Black E class Mercedes.


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  5. #5

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    What "Nice LED lights" do you have ?
    Some LED flashlights are too bright and only pinpoint a tiny spot, to really be that great. Then you have the glare shining back in your eyes..

    I also have Scangrip and they really work well but they are in excess of $500+..

    The Yellow Cat LED Lights are relatively inexpensive and work very well for me.. I can see anything using them, and they are a nice size to supplement other lighting.. I correct a spot, take the light out of the detailing cart, and shine it over the spot if I need better lighting..

    Here is the link -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...2WHRCXZY7NGRV0
    They have lithium batteries and come with an A/C charger that can be kept in them while using or taken off..

    Recently, I had to paint correct a new 2017 Red Tesla that was full of damage from the factory.. The Shop that hired me had pretty good lights for just seeing, but none were portable or as bright as this little yellow light that I ending up using to correct the entire vehicle over several hours...
    Dan F


    .
    Thanks, Dan. Some of the lights are like a Fenix PD35, 800+ lumens. they definitely seem too bright. I was using a headlight the other day and it seemed to just flood everything. I couldn`t see where I was applying my product and ended up missing spots on removal

    how close do you get with the light to see defects? the cheap light I have looks like that, but I`m not sure exactly how to use it. do you shine it straight on, or at an angle?
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  6. #6

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Try shining it down the side of the car. That seems to show up scratches better for me. An angle will get a better look at swirls.you really do need something with different levels of brightness so you don’t wash out the defects.
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  7. #7
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    The scangrip hand held is a great light to have. Works on a majority of colors. Mike Phillips has plenty of reviews on Autogeek to read on this light.

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/scan...l#.W417C7gnaUk

    The light you have may be to white/blue that it is washing out the defects on the paint.
    Competition Ready Team 1929 Bentley
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    2002 Arctic White Chevy Camaro SS
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  8. #8
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    I agree with Guz, it may not be the brightness, but the color it emits. I’ve got the Scangrip hand held light and it works well for me.
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  9. #9
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Maybe it’s not an option - but IME you really have to look at these things outside in the sun.

    It’s like, if I had a nickel for every thread someone installed a coating in their garage & it looked great - only to pull it outside & it was all splotchy.

  10. #10
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Quote Originally Posted by someidiot View Post
    Thanks, Dan. Some of the lights are like a Fenix PD35, 800+ lumens. they definitely seem too bright. I was using a headlight the other day and it seemed to just flood everything. I couldn`t see where I was applying my product and ended up missing spots on removal

    how close do you get with the light to see defects? the cheap light I have looks like that, but I`m not sure exactly how to use it. do you shine it straight on, or at an angle?
    Amigo --
    With just that yellow CAT light, its small enough to be hand held easily, so on that new red Tesla, I just held it close to the paint at different angles and was able to tell if I needed to do anything on that spot, before I moved to the next spot..

    This CAT light has 2 brightness levels, and you just have to turn it on, and again press the On/Off button partway down quickly, and it will change the level..
    I used the highest level for this a little darker red color in a well lit shop, and it worked fine..

    Certainly, bigger more expensive lights are great, and if you have the need for them, they will help a lot also.. Like I said I have 2 of the first generation Scangrip lights on a Scangrip, really heavy duty tripod stand, and they really work well in my shop..They are not the cheapest lights either..
    Good luck with your research !
    Dan F
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  11. #11
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    This product seems promising and is priced right as well. By the description it seems like it was designed specifically for revealing flaws in the paint, just like the scangrip.


    https://www.amazon.com/Astro-Pneumat...neumatic+light
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  12. #12

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    If you are into tactical lights you would probably like the Emisar D4 with the Nichia 219c quad emitter

    It`s a 90+ CRI 5000k emitter. It`s currently what i use for swirl spotting.

    It has the best UI of any light I`ve ever had, it ramps from 1 lumen all the way to 3350 lumens.

    I will say you need to be careful with it and lock it out before putting it in your pocket

    It`s nickname is the nut roaster, due to it`s small size and heat generated on turbo.
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  13. #13

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    Sorta-random thoughts follow, and/but I have no idea what I`ll buy if/when I replace my old halogens/incandescents/SunGun:

    While my wife and I have a *scad* of good flashlights, including LEDs, I don`t use them for paint inspection as none of them are all that great. I`d get away from the Flashlight Approach anyhow, if only because..

    I can`t inspect the work while I`m doing it with a flashlight as both hands are busy. Perhaps the headband light would work OK but I don`t care to wear that for extended periods and mine would cover a rather small area.

    I`ve never had the "color" of an inspection light factor in with regard to swirl-spotting.

    I have had *numerous* lights that were too bright for this, especially on metallics.

    Having an otherwise dark environment can be a HUGE factor; hard for most lights to display every flaw unless the room is otherwise dark (what`s the actual term...maybe "Dark Field" or something like that).

  14. #14

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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    That is why most European and Asian shops went to dark walls. It keeps the lights from washing out defects.we did this at our shop and it makes a world of difference.
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  15. #15
    Rasky's Auto Detailing RaskyR1's Avatar
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    Re: really struggling with paint inspection / swirl detection

    The Fenix PD35 (Dream Crusher) is easily one of the best inspection lights out there but each light is better at showing certain defects and obviously it varies depending on the paint too. The Fenix is great for seeing swirls, holograms and especially the faint DA haze that you won`t typically see in the sun, but it`s not very good for RIDS. I usually have my PD35 on the second lowest intensity too. Halogens seem to be great for swirls/holograms but suck for faint DA haze.

    Any darker solid color should be easy to spot defects but metallics and lighter colors will be more difficult. I feel you really have to train your eyes to see certain things on the light metallics.

    Some pics of various lights showing defects on grey metallic cars.

    Halogen


    Brinkmann


    Fenix PD35




    Cheap Husky LED showing rotary holograms


    Scangrip Colormatch
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