One sure sign of old age setting in is the resistance to change. You’ve done something one way or used something for so long and it’s never failed. No sense reinventing the wheel. So, out of pure self-respect and denial, I embrace changes. At least, outwardly. Inwardly, I systematically denigrate all efforts for improvement. so naturally, I heartily welcomed the new Shur-Line Lumi-Tech LED painter’s pole light attachment. Outwardly. But if you could read my aging mind, my skepticism would have been palpable. And frankly, I would have missed out on a big hit. Let me explain.
Out of Darkness Shur-Line Launches New Lumi-Tech LED Painter’s Pole Light
When I first read this press release, I was immediately curious. You see, I have been familiar with Shur-Line for many years. As a painter, I have used quite of few of their tools over my career. You’re probably familiar with their product line as well. And if you have spent any time in the painting aisle at your local hardware or big box store you have probably come across one of their tools. We even reviewed Shur-Line’s touch-up painter several years ago on Home Fixated. They’ve been around since the 1950s, so they are a very recognizable brand.
But when Shur-Line announced a new product line with Lumi in the name, I was perplexed. As we all know,”lumi” means “snow” in Finnish and Estonian. And in Albanian, it means “river”. So I naturally concluded that Shur-Line is remaking The Man From Snowy River. I was pumped! But alas, that was not the case. In fact, Shur-Line had gone in a completely different direction. Apparently, they meant “lumi” as in il”lumi”nate. Which is quite a stretch, but ok. It still means that a company that primarily sells painting sundries was getting into some kind of lighting.
As it turns out, that was a pretty bright idea. For the first time in human history, someone thought to shine light in one of the most critical places – right under a paint roller. On any construction or DIY project, lighting is one of the most difficult conditions to control. Usually, you’ve had to remove the light fixtures and lamps whenever painting a room. So, some sort of temporary lighting or construction lighting is set up. Invariably work lights are in the center of the room where you can trip over them every few seconds. And they cast too much light to see imperfections in some areas, while casting shadows in others. And temporary lights hang in the way and rarely provide adequate brightness to see details.
So some genius at Shur-Line decided to attach an ultra-bright flashlight at the most critical spot: right at the roller. The result is two patent-pending paint tools: The LED Pro Extension Pole and the LED Pro Painter’s Pole Light. Turns out, the “painter’s pole light” is not referring to a low-calorie version. Here is how Shur-Line describes it in their press release:
The Lumi-Tech™ Pro Extension Pole extends 4 – 7 ½ feet, providing light even in those hard-to-reach places. The pole has universal threads for easy attachments. It includes 5 LED lights and has 7 hours of run time. (2 AAA batteries not included.) The LED Pro Painter’s Pole Light threads easily onto any frame and provides 7 hours of run time. (4 AAA batteries not included.) 8 LED lights make sure that the painter has the visibility needed for a picture-perfect project.
One benefit that isn’t in the press release is that Shur-Line and Lumi-Tech are both hyphenated 4 letter words. Which will fit into a painter’s vernacular quite nicely. And hopefully, replace the more profane “blue-tape”.
Also, just to clarify before we get too far. This article is about “Shur-Line Lumi-Tech, not “Shoreline Lunatic”. One is a sugar-adled 4-year-old wreaking havoc on sandcastles. The other is a brilliant melange of technology that fills a gap we didn’t even know we were missing. We won’t comment on the first one. But we can dive right into the second one. So, let’s try it out. Here is my review of the LED Painter’s Pole Light by, excuse my language, “Shur-Line Lumi-Tech”.
Get Lit! Lumi-Tech LED Painter’s Pole Light in Action
As you can see from the unboxing, the Lumi-Tech extension pole attachment is a funnel-shaped adaptor that threads in between the roller pole and the roller frame. It has 8 LED lights that are powered by 4 AAA batteries. On the back is a simple on/off button. I thought the red ring around the top was just for decoration. But it is designed as an impact bumper. And as you can see, it acts as a brake to make changing batteries much easier. You can set the roller pole down without it rolling on the ground. With laughter, as roller poles often do when they think they have annoyed you.
Now that we have it set up with the roller pole, let’s give it a go. I work mainly with 18” roller frames. My logic is simple: I don’t like to paint. So if I could paint the entire room rolling it zero times, I would be perfectly happy. However, I have yet to find anyone willing to pay me to stand there and look at a wall. So to strike the balance between my happiness and a client’s “expectations,” I find myself getting it done as quickly as possible. Like golf, the player with the least amount of strokes wins.
That said, I started with my 18” roller frame to paint this stairwell. Stairs are notoriously dark and difficult to light. As you can see, with 280 lumens there is plenty of light from the Lumi-Tech. What initially threw me off, and you’ll see when compared to the 9” roller, is that the 18” casts a very large shadow. And not because it is bigger. But because it is so much closer to the light.
As it turns out, this isn’t really a problem. I find that the led painter’s pole light shines perfectly where it is most important: below the roller. You see, I assumed this was like a headlamp for the roller so you could see all the way to the ceiling. But in actuality, it helps with the downstroke. This is where you can see if you have any skippers (or holidays), gouges, scratches, or more likely junk in the paint. There is nothing worse than finishing a long wall and realizing how many little chunkies you left on it.
Now, a good painter knows better than to use the paint right out of the can. Or rather, an organized painter knows where they put their paint strainer. Ironically, I didn’t use a strainer because my mind is a sieve. Which left me with more boogers to deal with than a daycare center. While that is annoying, I was able to catch every single one of them with the Lumi-Tech casting light on each little goober. Ordinarily, this would be difficult in low lighting conditions like this. But this is where Shur-Line shines, saving me the time of picking boogers later. I mean the ones out of dried paint.
One item of note is that, since it is an attachment, it does add about 4″ to the overall pole length. This is not a problem on any normal wall, and actually a benefit on tall walls. In this case, I was in a tight stairwell. Because the 18” roller frame has a lower profile, this wasn’t an issue. I closed down Shur-Line’s Easy Reach to its shortest position, about 2-1/2 feet. The combination of the light and the 18” roller frame fit just fine. The 9” roller frame, as you’ll see in a moment, extends farther from the pole. Which didn’t fit in this stairwell using the Shur-Line 2’ extension pole without touching the other wall behind me. But I have a 1’-2’ extension pole that fits beautifully. So its size isn’t a deal-breaker. Just something to be aware of when painting in tight spaces.
The benefit of using it with a 9” roller is that it shines on a much larger area ahead of the roller compared to the 18”. Since the frame is longer, it leaves more space between the light and the roller. But as I mentioned, that extra space creates greater length in narrow hallways and stairwells. Again, not a big deal when you have a smaller roller pole. Just something to think about when planning out the job.
Either way, the Lumi-Tech led painter’s pole light did exactly what it was designed for. It shined brilliantly on the wall where it needed to. I can honestly say it performed very well. It was plenty bright. Actually, any brighter would have made too much glare on the wet paint. And because it is at an angle from below, it’s not shining directly on the wall which would only increase the glare.
Shur-Line Sheds Light on a Painting Problem
I found using the Lumi-Tech nostalgic. It reminded me of my grandparents old Hoover vacuum with the headlight. Which, I guess made it street legal. But it really is a practical place to put a light. Much like the first LED lights on cordless drills. I’m not sure who first thought of it. But now that we have them, it’s surprising that no one invented them sooner. Now they are standard on nearly all drills.
I think anyone who uses the Lumi-Tech LED lights will feel the same way. Now that I have tried it out, it’s a wonder that it wasn’t invented earlier. It puts the light in exactly the right place in the most convenient way possible. It’s small, lightweight, and bright enough for the task. I was pleasantly surprised by the innovation and can see multiple uses for it. Beyond the designed usage, it can also be used for light check between coats and I could even see it as a nice camping accessory. I’m sure you intelligent people will come up with dozens of other applications.
There are only a couple of things that I can think would make this a little better. The first gripe is really minor and probably unnecessary. But being a little shorter could make it easier to use with a 9” roller frame in tight spaces. The second would be to make it a rechargeable light rather than requiring disposable batteries. Seven hours of runtime is quite impressive. But charging a small light like this wouldn’t be difficult or time-consuming compared to the benefits of rechargeable batteries.
Otherwise, the design is nearly flawless. It’s not just a pole or roller frame with a light attached. It is an attachment that will fit any pole or roller frame with the standard thread system. LED technology has improved difficult lighting conditions, and Shure-Line captures it very well with the Lumi-Tech.
Did the Lumi-Tech Painter’s Pole Attachment Make Me See the Light?
All in all, I would say that the Lumi-Tech LED painter’s pole light attachment is a hit. And I’m not just saying that because I am young, adventurous, and always open to new ideas. I’m sure those are all factors. But it’s mostly because the Shur-Line Lumi-Tech is lighting the way to improving conditions in the painting industry. I will keep this as one of my go-to tools when painting in low-light situations. We have been living in the dark ages long enough. With Lumi-Tech, the future is bright indeed.