Construction often takes place in poorly lit environments. Workers use reflective gear to be seen, and site lighting and camping head lights to see. Until recently, we have not seen many innovations in this field. I got my hands on ILLUMAGEAR’s patented The Halo Light™, which is certainly something new in the area of personal safety on the construction site.
When I received a demo unit from ILLUMAGEAR, I was surprised by the stylish packaging that signaled that there was something modern and hi-tech inside. The package contained the round light unit, a battery pack, and a charger. Everything felt well-designed and sturdy from the start.
The battery was already charged, so I had the opportunity to test the functions right away. The light unit is round, with a LED panel covering its outer side. On the inner side, there are six clips that are needed to secure the unit to a hard hat. A spiral cord with a quick release plug connects the battery pack to the light unit. The power switch is on the rear upper side of the light ring.
To use The Halo Light™ I attached the power pack to my belt, secured the cord to the light unit, and put the unit on a hard hat. I have two hard hats, one with clean sides and one with some extrusions for earmuffs. I found that the simple model worked better because I could attach the light unit lower than I could with the other one. If the unit sat higher it would make the hard hat feel a bit unstable.
Pressing the power button once illuminates The Halo Light. The band of white LEDs is bright, even during daytime. Pushing the switch once more turns on the HI-Alert mode, in which the LEDs blink. The third push turns on Task mode, adding more light to the front. A final push activates the Dim mode. Turning off requires keeping the button pressed for a few seconds.
Wearing The Halo Light does not make the hard hat feel heavier. I did not have a chin strap and yet the hat still felt well-balanced, even when bending down. If you wear the power pack on the rear side of your belt the power cord does not get in the way.
The 360 degree light makes working and moving around in totally dark environments possible: You not only see what’s in front of you, but the whole area around you is illuminated. That is certainly a safety enhancement, especially if you are working in tight spaces or in areas with extruding structures. Reading documents is also easy with such a bright light.
The manufacturer says that the light can be seen over a quarter of a mile away, in all directions. This is especially useful when working in areas with moving machines or vehicle traffic. My colleagues commented that the light looked impressive, creating the “halo” over my head that the name implies.
According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts a minimum of 12 hours on full power. The Halo Light has a one-year warranty and an International Protection (IP) rating of 67 for protection against dust, dirt, and water.
The Halo Light is easy to put on and take off, so workers can share it if needed. However, I would recommend that everybody who works on or visits a construction site buys one!
Seattle-based ILLUMAGEAR defines their product as a Personal Active Safety System™ or PASS. The Halo Light launched in 2014 with a retail price of US$229. The product is currently offered in the United States and Canada, with an initial expansion planned to Australia. The company says that they will accelerate delivery to other regions based on demand.
In all, the experience of testing The Halo Light was pleasurable. The idea is great, and the execution is excellent. I can now look forward with confidence to visiting a construction site, even during darker months.
To learn more, go to http://www.illumagear.com/