PDR Lights

PDR Lights

PDR Lights are one of the most important tools for the PDR Professional. Whether you’re chasing Hail storms or running a route, you can’t fix what you can’t see. A good, quality PDR Light can make all the difference to bringing the repair back to new condition. Here you will find some useful information about both Portable PDR Lights and Large Hail PDR Lights.

Examples of PDR lights

Examples of PDR lights

Portable PDR Lights

Portable PDR lights come in sizes from less than 10 inches long, up to 20 inches long. They are easy to move and typically mount to the vehicle using a suction cup. Pro PDR PDR lights, Elimadent PDR lights, Stuckey PDR lights and Ultra Dent Tools PDR lights are some of the more popular brands, although there are several others in the marketplace.

Examples of some leading portable PDR lights.

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Also known as the Light board or housing, the Light head is supported on the Locline and contains the light strips.  Light heads come in various sizes from 12 inches long by 5 inches wide up to 20 inches long by 12 inches wide.  Most light strips use LED (light emitting diode) technology, but other technologies are used.  You can also specify different light strip colors (warm, cool, green, orange, etc), the most common colors are warm and cool.

This 12 inch Portable PDR Light board is easy to use and gives you a great fadeThis 18 inch Portable PDR Light board is easy to use and gives you a great fade

Lenses fit on the Light head and can also come in a variety of types. Typically the lenses are white and diffuse the light from the LED strips. Colored lenses, like from 3D Reflection can be installed. These colored lenses have different patterns and colors to match your training and preferences.

Allows you to attach your light directly to the car while you’re working. The standard suction cup has a simple hand pump to build pressure and attach it to the car.

 

Example of a suction cup for a Portable PDR Light

Example of a suction cup for a Portable PDR Light

Some lights have an electrically powered mounting system that keeps a constant vacuum on the suction cup and prevents the light from falling off the car.

The Batt-vac Mounting System ensures a constant vacuum pressure and keeps the mount in place

The Batt-vac Mounting System ensures a constant vacuum pressure and keeps the mount in place

Most lights are connected from the mounting to the light head with flexible Locline. Locline typically has the power wiring running through the center and can be adjusted to position the light in the best position. Some Locline has re-enforcing rings to hold larger lights.

Locline connects the PDR light to the attachment point (suction cup)

Locline connects the PDR light to the attachment point (suction cup)

All lights need a power source to keep them lit. There are several options used in PDR.

Manufacturer Batteries

Several PDR light companies design their lights to work with compact batteries, specific to their light.  These batteries are typically very compact, lightweight and cost effective.

Many PDR light companies provide their own batteries.

Many PDR light companies provide their own batteries.

“Power Tool” Batteries

Several PDR Lights use power tool batteries as a power source.  Dewalt, Makita and Milwaukee are the most common brands of batteries available.  These batteries are useful if you already own and use these batteries for other uses.

Examples of Power tool batteries used for PDR Lights

Cigarette (12V) Plug

Large Hail PDR Lights

Large Hail PDR lights are typically 36 inches to 48 inches long.  They are great for viewing large sections of the car for PDR repair like complete roofs or entire doors.  Most Large PDR Lights mount to a portable light stand with various, flexible connections to enable the technician to position the light for their best view of the area to be repaired.

Pro PDR and Ultra Dent Tools PDR lights are some of the more popular brands of Large Hail PDR Lights, although there are several others in the marketplace.

Example of a Large Hail PDR Light and light stand

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The Light head is the key item for PDR technicians.  The light head range in size from 36 inches long by 7 inches wide to up to 48 inches long by 12 inches wide.  Most lights use LED (light emitting diode) technology, but other technologies are used.  You can also specify different light strip colors (warm, cool, green, orange, etc), the most common colors are warm and cool.  Most lights have separate switches on the light head to individually control which light strips are on.

 

Lenses fit on the Light head and can also come in a variety of types. Typically the lenses are white and diffuse the light from the LED strips. Colored lenses, like from 3D Reflection can be installed. These colored lenses have different patterns and colors to match your training and preferences.

There are several options to connecting the light to the light stand.  Here’s a brief listing of connections.

Traditional Collar (Pro PDR, Dead-On-Dent Tools)
Extendable End Mount (Pro-PDR)
Never-Loose Magnetic Collar

Most Large Hail PDR Lights are supported on a rolling Light stand.

There are several things to consider when selecting a light stand.

  • Can the light stand support the light and position it where you need it (keep in mind the roof height of a lifted, 4×4 truck)
  • How easy is it to adjust and lock the stand into position to prevent needing to adjust the stand?  What about locking wheels to keep the stand in place?
  • Is the stand durable and built to withstand moving around a parking lot, garage or transport
  • Is weight important, especially for air travel and packaging?
  • Do I want to match my company branding with a great color?

Large Hail PDR Lights usually require 12v power, up to 10amps for every 3 strips.  The majority of technicians use a large, deep cell battery with more than 30 amp-hours of capacity.  The battery can be an AGM (absorbed glass mat) type or lead acid type.  Many technicians use an AGM type if they will be moving around, as they are more durable, especially if the battery can be stored on it’s side (lead acid batteries could leak in that situation).

 

AGM Battery typically used with large PDR Lights

AGM Battery typically used with large PDR Lights

An AC-DC Power converter can be used to power the light if properly sized for continuous use.  The AC-DC Power converter (think computer power supply) is plugged into wall outlet power and converts the power to 12V to power the light. A 12V, 10amp power converter will typically power 3 strips on a 46 inch light.  Consider a larger size if powering more strips at one time.

3 Comments on “PDR Lights”

    1. Hi Charlie,
      This is Rich from Pro PDR. I’m not sure we could repair it. Elimident uses different voltage LED’s, so you may have to check with him.

      Rich B.

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