A good shop light is a valuable tool for anyone working under the hood of their car or truck. Good shop lights can also be fairly pricey - generally $100-150 for a good one that will span the width of the hood. So naturally, I did what any cheapskate would do. I built my own. What I came up with cost about $50 and is much brighter than anything available from most stores or off a tool truck.
The list of materials is fairly short: A plain old 4 foot two tube fluorescent light, light tubes, a romex connector, 3 wire extension cord, 2 feet of chain, S hooks, lamp guard (optional) and rubber bungee cord.
The wiring is straightforward. Cut the female end off the cord and match up black to black, white to white, and attach the green wire to the light itself and secure the cord with a romex connector on the end.
Cut the chain into equal lengths and use the S hooks to attach it to either end of the light. You may need to drill a couple of holes to do this. place the other hooks several inches apart for some adjustibility when hanging the light under the hood. I also use a rubber bungee for cars with more rounded hoods where using the chain isn't practical.
For those who are wondering, a romex connector is the silver clamp to the left of the bungee. Once that's all done, install the light tubes and guard if you're prone to breaking things (like me) and you now have a bright, inexpensive shop light.