The Details: TommyGunn by ChromaLectrix LLC Website: chromalectrix.com Uses: Simulates sunlight Cost: $250 for the light, $150 for the headpiece attachment
Bob Belh has been in the industry for over 30 years. Currently, Belh is a painter at Turnersville Collision in Turnersville, N.J.
Turnersville Collision is a Nissan- and Honda-certified dealership collision repair facility that services all makes and models. Belh says that the area he and the five other painters in the shop work in is fairly dark, which created a lighting problem when the time came to color match. The lighting in the shop would cause painters to see different variations of color. Because of this, when the vehicle was brought outside, the color was incorrect. The shop also uses waterborne paint, which Behl says has a tendency not to cover as well. He would spray inside and everything would look covered, but when he pulled the car into the sunlight, he would find missed areas.
In order to solve these problems, the shop decided to purchase a light that would simulate sunlight so painters could spray vehicles and see what the color and coverage would look like outside. The shop purchased a light from a different company that promised to provide artificial sunlight and used it for a while. Although the light delivered on its promise, it was expensive and the staff had to share the one it was able to purchase. Three years ago, Tom McChesney, president at ChromaLectrix LLC brought the TommyGunn into Turnersville for a demonstration. The painters were immediately sold on the less expensive version that delivered the same results.
How it Works:
Behl says that painters bring the light into the booth and pull the trigger to turn it on. Once the light is on, it provides artificial sunlight over the entire panel. The lightspan provides even coverage and there is no color variation the further out the light goes from the center. Behl purchased a headpiece that allows him to attach the light to his head so he’s able to use both of his hands.
All six of the painters at Turnersville Collision purchased their own TommyGunns after seeing what it could do.
“When you’re spraying an area that needs to be repaired, it can look like everything’s covered by the human eye,” Behl says. “Then, when you pull it outside, it’s a different story. This has helped with re-dos.”
Behl says that the TommyGunn has saved his shop time, money and materials.
“We use the light on 95 percent of the vehicles that we spray,” Behl says. “Before, there was a 50–60 percent chance that we’d get the finished product outside and see a color variation. It paid for itself within the first job.”
Behl says that the shop is able to get jobs through quicker when painters don’t have re-dos and it cuts down on material costs by having to use less paint.