Maintenance Tips, Tricks And Hacks For Your Vehicle

Top 5 Best Swirl Finder Lights




Swirl finder lights or detailing lights are used for detailing tasks to light up the area that you’re working on. For example, if you are doing some paint corrections like compounding and polishing paint, of course, you have to look at what you’re doing.

It’s very important to have high CRI level lights which means color rendering index. These lights won’t alter the color of what you’re looking at. You’ll have a good representation of the final result that you’re looking into.

Key Takeaway

Top 5 Best Swirl Finder Lights

  • Flex Swirl Finder Light
  • Buff Brite Flamethrower Polishing Light
  • Scangrip Matchpen R
  • Rupes LL150 Led Penlight
  • Hurkins Orbit Swirl Finder Light

What Is a Swirl Finder Light?

A swirl finder light is a specialized tool used in the auto detailing industry to locate and identify imperfections on a vehicle’s painted surfaces.

These imperfections can include swirl marks, scratches, holograms, or other defects that aren’t easily visible under normal lighting conditions.

The swirl finder light illuminates the paintwork in a specific way that highlights these blemishes, making them easier to see and therefore treat during the detailing process.

It’s an essential tool for professionals who strive for perfection in their work, as it ensures that no minor defect goes unnoticed and untreated.

Top 5 Best Swirl Finder Lights

Top 5 Best Swirl Finder Lights

There are a lot of swirl finder lights on the market, but which are the top 5 best? I have cleared my afternoon and embarked on a mission to provide you with the list of the top 5 best swirl finder lights.

5. Flex Swirl Finder Light

When doing paint correction, sometimes your shop light just might not cut it or you may not be able to catch the light at the right angle to see any of those swirls or scratches. Now if you are very particular about making sure that you correct any of those minor imperfections in the paint, you are going to need the Flex swirl finder light.

One of the really cool features of this light is that it actually can light up to 130 lumens with just the 3-watt LED. You can control the width or the span of the light by simply pulling the head of the light forward or moving it back into place.

With this light only being about 51 inches in length, you can easily slip it right into your pocket making it easy to maneuver and walk around your vehicle when doing your buffing or paint correction.

When using this light, you want to make sure you stay about 8 to 12 inches away from the service surface and hold it at a slight angle so that you can see the beam of light shooting across the pane which really helps you pick up on any of those imperfections. It’s a great tool for really making your detailing even easier.

4. Buff Brite Flamethrower Polishing Light

The Buff Brite flamethrower polishing light is a light that you put on your polisher. This is great because it gives you an idea of a before and after state on the go. You are able to see the swirls and then verify that they have been removed without having the need to turn off the polisher and grab the swirl finder light.

The flamethrower polishing light has three settings; full blast, a little bit dimmer, and a strobe light. Not sure why would you need a strobe light when polishing and fixing swirls, but hey, it is an overall great light.

This light is engineered to maximize the number of imperfections that you can see in the paint while you are doing your work. It has 800 lumens of light (7800 Kelvin). With the rechargeable 2200 Mah lithium battery, you can use this light for about eight to ten hours.

It conveniently mounts on every polisher in the world. The housing of the light is made out of a durable aluminum frame and has an anti-vibrational mount.

3. Scangrip Matchpen R

The Matchpen R is a swirl finder light manufactured by Scangrip. It actually has two color temperatures which are 4500 Kelvin and 6500 Kelvin. You can switch between the color temperatures by pressing and holding the button. The front of the penlight is expandable and allows you to control how narrow the beam of light is.

Unlike the first-generation match pen which was battery-operated, the Matchpen R is rechargeable. This is a great swirl finder pen for both mobile detailers and DIY enthusiasts who are home and are very conscious of their budget.

The Matchpen R has 100 lumens which ensures you get a pretty good intensity. Shining this penlight will show every little imperfection on the car paint. There is a built-in clip on the pen that allows you to carry it in the pocket.

The Matchpen R is made out of sturdy and durable aluminum and has a solvent-resistant glass lens.

2. Rupes LL150 Led Penlight

If you are doing paint correction or polishing paint but not using a swirl finder light, you are completely missing a lot of defects in the paint. A lot of people are using halogen floodlights and those are great for flooding the side of the surface.

However, if you are all about the fine points of it, looking for haze and small paint defects that you are not going to be able to see out in the sunshine, you are going to need the Rupes LL150 LED penlight.

The Rupes LL150 LED penlight is battery-powered. It fits really nicely in your hand and in your pocket. It’s got focus adjustability on it as well. For the most part, you are only going to use it in its fully extended position which gives you a lot more narrow focus. You can really pinpoint an area and really find any paint defects.

Other than putting some batteries in it every now and then, there isn’t really anything else you need to do. The LL150 led penlight is going to last for a long time.

This light will force you to become a better detailer because you are going to see things with this that you are not going to see in the sunshine.

The only drawback to this penlight is the price. It costs about $50 which is considered a bit pricey in the penlight world. However, Considering what you get out of it and how much a better job you can do with it, it’s not that big of an expense.

1. Hurkins Orbit Swirl Finder Light

The Hurkins orbit swirl finder light is a multipurpose light that is great for details. It weighs 150 grams and I am amazed at how much light comes out from something this small. The strap is really comfortable and you will really feel like one with the light. It has some solid anti-slip grips so it doesn’t move at all.

It has a 180-degree angle which really gives you the big picture. The battery is fully charged in about three hours with a USB and can provide up to 100 hours of light. It has different light settings and the brightest is up to 1000 lumens.

What’s good about having a swirl-finder light on your head is that your hands are free. You can basically do a paint correction and check for swirls in real-time. This is why I have chosen this swirl finder light as my personal best. But, what suits you is most important. If you find any of the previous swirl-finder lights, go ahead with them.


Q: Why are swirl finder lights important?

A: Swirl marks and scratches on a vehicle’s paint can be unsightly and reduce its overall appearance. Whether you are a professional detailer or an enthusiast looking to maintain the appearance of your car, using a swirl-finder light is crucial for identifying and addressing these imperfections.

Q: How do swirl-finder lights work?

A: Swirl-finder lights emit a bright and focused beam of light that helps reveal imperfections on the surface of a vehicle. By shining the light at different angles and distances, swirl marks and other blemishes become more apparent, allowing for easier identification and correction.

Q: Can swirl finder lights be used for other purposes?

A: While swirl finder lights are primarily used for detecting imperfections in automotive paintwork, they can also be useful for inspecting the condition of other surfaces such as glass, plastic, or metal. Their versatility makes them valuable tools for various applications.

Q: What are the different types of swirl-finder lights available?

A: There are various types of swirl-finder lights available in the market. Some of the common types include handheld lights, penlights, and rechargeable lights. Each type offers different features and functionalities, so it’s important to choose one that suits your specific needs.

Q: Are swirl finder lights easy to use?

A: Yes, swirl-finder lights are generally easy to use. They are designed to be lightweight and portable, allowing for comfortable usage during inspections. Most lights also come with adjustable settings to control the intensity or focus of the beam, making them user-friendly for both professionals and enthusiasts.

Q: How can swirl marks be corrected?

A: Once swirl marks are identified using a swirl finder light, they can be corrected through various methods such as machine polishing or using specially formulated swirl mark removers. The specific correction process will depend on the severity of the marks and the type of paintwork.

Q: Can swirl marks be prevented?

A: Yes, swirl marks can be prevented by practicing proper car care techniques. Avoiding automated car washes, using high-quality microfiber towels, and regularly washing and waxing the vehicle using proper techniques can help minimize the occurrence of swirl marks.

Q: What should I consider when buying a swirl-finder light?

A: When buying a swirl finder light, consider factors such as the brightness and color accuracy of the light, battery life, size and weight, ease of use, and the overall durability of the light. It’s also important to set a budget and choose a light that falls within your desired price range.

Q: Are swirl finder lights only for professionals?

A: No, swirl-finder lights are suitable for both professionals and car enthusiasts. Whether you are a professional detailer or someone who enjoys maintaining the appearance of your vehicle, a swirl finder light can be a valuable tool for inspecting and correcting imperfections in the paintwork.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a variety of swirl-finder lights available that cater to different needs and budgets.

Top options include the Flex Swirl Finder Light, Buff Brite Flamethrower Polishing Light, Scangrip Matchpen R, Rupes LL150 Led Penlight, and Hurkins Orbit as per Car Care Hacks.

The Energizer Work Light and Rayovac Spotlight are also popular choices for their high-lumen output.

However, it’s essential to choose a light that provides clear visibility of surface defects while fitting within your budget.



Vide Polowenski, Senior Mechanic

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest mechanic SOPs.

Please take the time to leave a comment if this article has helped you in any way, you need additional help, or you have a suggestion.

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