Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Feb. 11, 2019

Whether you often work outdoors at night or indoors in dimly lit spaces, a good work light can make a world of difference in how fast you finish your work. A source of proper, bright illumination will also keep you safe, no matter where, when or what you’re working on. And one of the best work lights that money can buy? LED lights, hands down. Bright, efficient and long-lasting, LED lamps are perfect for a variety tasks.

But is it possible to find a reliable, quality LED light that fits your needs but doesn’t break the bank? Of course it is! And to help you with that, we’ve put together a list of what we believe are some of the best LED work lights out there. We’ve also prepared a comprehensive buying guide, so stay tuned until the end!

The Best LED Work Light 

 

If you’re looking for a solid, bright portable work light that is also reasonably priced, you’ve found it. The DEWALT’s handheld work light features 3 bright LED lights that can illuminate any dark work area or a job site. There are 2 brightness settings – 500 lumens and 250 lumens – which make this light sufficiently versatile, whether you need maximum light output or a long-term run time.

The DEWALT portable work light also has a pivoting head (0 – 140 degrees) so you can conveniently direct the light to whatever position you need it. There is also a built-in telescoping head and a 360 degree rotating hook for hanging,  which is also belt compatible. Since this is a rechargeable LED work light, the review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the battery  – with max 20V and 18V nominal, this light has a fantastic battery life, 22 hours of maximum run time. In practical terms, that’s about 11 hours of non-stop run time. However, it’s worth mentioning that the battery and charger are sold separately (which is usually the case with these types of LED lights).

Key Features
  • Handheld, portable work light
  • 3 LED lights, 500 lumens, 2 brightness settings (500 and 250 lumens)
  • 140 degree pivoting head, built-in telescoping and rotating hook, belt hook compatible
  • Great runtime, but battery and charger not included
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DCL050
  • Weight 1.9 pounds

If power is what you’re after, the PowerSmith dual-head work light is the way to go. Although bulky, this unit is actually versatile thanks to its 9 ft. power cord and lightweight tripod that extends up to 80 inches in height. With 4000 lumen brightness and dual heads, when this light shines – it really shines! Because it’s so bright, it’s not only great for a variety of everyday uses and projects, it’s also one of the best work lights for mechanics.

This LED work light tripod has metal and sealed die-cast aluminum housing, so it’s perfect for any outdoor project. It also helps it has an IP65 rating, meaning it’s dust- and water-tight, perfect for any weather and situation. You can tilt the heads up to 30° down and 90° up and position them at any height you need the light to shine. The manufacturer states that the lights are extremely long-lasting, offering 50,000 hours rating and no maintenance.

Key Features
  • Dual-heads work light tripod
  • 4000 lumen LED light, 5,000K color temperature
  • Adjustable heads, up to 30° down and 90° up
  • 9 ft. power cord, around 50,000 hour rating
Specification
  • Brand PowerSmith
  • Model PWL2140TS
  • Weight 12.5 pounds

Portable, versatile and bright, the Hallomall work light is a great choice for workers, DIYers, campers and folks who are often in a  need of a convenient, lightweight work light. Not too small and not too big, this portable flood light offers the best of both worlds – it’s large and powerful enough to illuminate any dark area, but lightweight and compact enough to be carried around. Thanks to its sturdy little stand, it can also be put onto the ground or hanged wherever convenient.

The Hallomall has 2 blue and 2 red flashing LED lights plus 20 white LED lights, offering bright illumination for a variety of tasks. It’s also waterproof and adjustable – 360 degrees rotating spotlights make for a handy outdoor light, whether you’re camping, fishing or fixing your car. There are 2 built-in rechargeable lithium batteries with 2 USB ports, meaning you can use the unit as a battery charger for mobile device. Considering the flashing red and blue lights (and the unit’s low price!), this would make for an excellent addition to a survival kit.

Key Features
  • Portable work light
  • 24 total LED lights, 2 Blue and 2 Red flashing LEDs
  • 360 degrees rotating spotlight
  • Built-in, rechargeable batteries; charger not included
  • 2 USB ports to charge mobile devices
Specification
  • Brand Hallomall
  • Model HA-929
  • Weight 2.25 pounds

Small but extremely versatile, the Neiko LED work light is a good choice for anyone looking for a reasonably priced portable flood light. With chip on board (COB) technology that increases lumen-output per square inch, this little guy provides excellent illumination with great energy efficiency. Speaking of illumination, there are 3 modes of brightness to suit any need: 700 lumens (high mode, runs for 4.2 hours), 400 lumens (medium mode, runs for 6.5 hours) and 250 lumens (low mode, runs for 11.5 hours).

The Neiko has a rubber handle, making it easy to grip and comfortable to work with. It also has a detachable magnetic base and 2 rotating hooks in case you want to mount and attach it somewhere and get to work. The battery is lithium ion, rechargeable, with over-charge protection and a low battery indicator, but it’s not removable.

Key Features
  • Portable work light
  • COB technology, energy efficient
  • 3 brightness modes – 700, 400 and 250 lumens
  • Rubber handle and magnetic base, highly convenient
  • Built-in, rechargeable battery
Specification
  • Brand Neiko
  • Weight 1.23 pounds

Long-lasting and super-bright, the Snap On LED Work Light is a great choice for a variety of work tasks, including automotive repairs, various garage works and construction. With 2000 lumens, this unit provides enough illumination whether you’re working in dimly lit rooms or outside in dark surroundings. Since this is well designed LED light, the unit remains cool to the touch even when in use, making it highly convenient for a number of work and repair tasks.

The Snap-On light is a low-consumption, budget-friendly work light as it features durable, integrated LED bulbs that never need replacing. It has an ergonomic, padded carry handle so you can move it around and use in both indoor and outdoor locations. Although the casing is durable, it’s not waterproof, so you do need to be careful about where you set the unit. Importantly, you can tilt the light where you need it thanks to adjustable knobs. The cord is 6 ft. in length, so great for a variety of uses.

Key Features
  • Portable work light
  • 2000 lumens, 5000K color temperature
  • Cool-to-touch design, adjustable knobs
  • 6 ft. power cord
  • Must be used in dry conditions
Specification
  • Brand Snap-on
  • Model 922261
  • Weight 4 pounds

Bright, durable and easy to use, the Ustellar LED work light is perfect for both indoor and outdoor repair tasks. With whopping 5500 lumens and adjustable brightness levels, this little light is convenient and efficient. Speaking of brightness, you can infinitely adjust the unit’s brightness levels from 28W to 55W, depending on your needs in different conditions.

The Ustellar low-consumption work light has a 16 ft. power cord, making it suitable for all kinds of work and repair jobs. The manufactuer states it has an IP65 rating, which should make it dust- and water-tight. The unit is flexible too – with adjustable angle knobs, you can tilt the light in pretty much any direction you need. Another plus is the unit’s cool-to-touch design – the fixture has a fin type heat sink, meaning it dissipates heat similarly to a radiator. It’s not perfectly cool after working for hours, mind you, but it’s definitely not too hot either

Key Features
  • Portable flood light
  • 5500 lumens, adjustable brightness levels
  • 16.4 ft. power cord, adjustable angle knobs
Specification
  • Brand Ustellar
  • Weight 5.31 pounds

If you’re looking for a reliable, exceptionally bright portable flood light and you don’t mind paying a little extra to get it, look no further than the Milwaukee Trueview. This LED work light is 20% brighter than your typical halogen lights, plus more economical considering that LED lights use less energy. With 3000 lumens of high-definition light and 3 brightness levels, this is a perfect work light for both professionals and DIYers.

The Milwaukee Trueview throws a wide, bright beam that can be directed almost anywhere you like thanks to its 240 degree rotating head. Besides the brightest 3000 lumens light in high mode, the unit can also be adjusted to shine in medium and low mode, which are 1500 and 650 lumens, respectively. This little guy is also highly convenient as you can place it on any dry surface, plus hang it in multiple orientations thanks to the 3  keyholes in the base. You can use an electric cord or a battery to operate it, however, neither comes with the product (must be purchased separately).

Key Features
  • Portable flood light
  • 3000 lumens, 3 brightness levels, wide beam
  • Head rotates 240 degrees
  • Electric cord and battery compatible, but neither are included
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 2360-20
  • Weight 7 pounds

Small, convenient and bright, the Caterpillar Pocket COB light is a fantastic choice if you need a portable, lightweight work light. Featuring chip on board technology, this tiny fellow shines bright without using too much energy (COB tech increases lumen output per square inch). Producing 175 lumens of LED light, the Caterpillar Pocket can illuminate any dark area you find yourself in.

This compact work light can be handheld or attached to surfaces thanks to its magnetic base. This makes it perfect for fixing leaking sinks, repairing vehicles and other detailed and not-so-detailed repair tasks. Using 3 AAA batteries, which are included, the light shines up to 7 hours of continuous use. Although very lightweight, the unit is durable, with a heavy-duty ABS plastic body that is impact and water resistant. As a bonus, it’s super cheap!

Key Features
  • Handheld, portable work light
  • COB technology, 175 lumens
  • Magnetic base
  • 3 rechargeable alkaline batteries included
Specification
  • Brand Caterpillar
  • Model CT1000
  • Weight 2.4 ounces

Bosch is well-known for producing excellent-quality products and this work light is no exception. Reliable, compact and super-bright, this portable unit is ideal for jobs that require lots of hands-free illumination. With 10 LED lights and 300 lumens, this work light casts a wide beam that can brighten any dark work area.

The Bosch work light has 2 brightness levels – high for super-bright illumination and dim for longer run time. Speaking of which, this unit has an excellent runtime thanks to Bosch 12-volt batteries, but unfortunately, they don’t come with the product. If using a 2.0Ah battery, you get 6 hours of runtime, or 12 hours if using 4.0Ah battery. Highly convenient, this unit has a 200 degree articulation and a self-stand bracket that can be positioned at a number of different angles. There are also 2 magnets and a ¼ inch screw hand for tripod compatibility. Although lightweight, this work light is incredibly durable, which is not a surprise considering it’s made of aluminum and reinforced plastic.

Key Features
  • Portable, hands-free work light
  • 300 lumens, 2 brightness levels
  • 200 degree articulation head, 2 magnets and tripod compatibility
  • Excellent runtime, but batteries not included
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model FL12
  • Weight 11.2 ounces

We’re ending our list of best work led lights with Tacklife, a durable, portable, bright LED light that can be used both indoors and outdoors, no matter the wheater. This LED work lamp boasts 5000 lumens and exceptional lifespan – 30,000 hours or more. It’s no wonder though, as the whole unit is built of quality materials, including the waterproof material (IP65 rating) that keeps the unit safe even in flood rain.

The Tacklife work light casts a 120 degree beam angle, which helps to reduce glare (very important for intense LEDs) and shadows. As for flexibility, the unit has adjustable knobs which allow you to rotate the light by up to 270 degrees vertically and 360 degrees on axis. The body is made of aluminum, making it sturdy but also lightweight, while the cooling design ensures the unit dissipates the heat as quickly as possible. The cord length is 6.56 ft. or 2 meters, which is enough for most DIYers.

Key Features
  • Portable work light
  • 5000 lumens, one brightness level, 120 degree beam angle
  • Adjustable knobs
  • 6.56 ft. cord
Specification
  • Brand Tacklife
  • Model TACKLIFE-LWL3B
  • Weight 5.95 pounds

Best LED Work Light Buying Guide & FAQ

LED lights (light-emitting diode) have come a long way since their inception in the early ‘60s. No longer low in intensity and red in frequency, today’s LED lights are bright, powerful and much cooler to touch than any other light option out there. But most importantly, they’re highly efficient, consuming much less electricity than other lights that produce comparable illumination. This makes them perfect for a variety of uses, but particularly for work in dimly lit rooms and dark outdoor surroundings.

From small handheld devices, medium-sized self-stands to big LED tripods, there are many LED lights available nowadays, including expensive, medium-priced and cheap options. The question is: how to find the best LED work light for your needs without spending a fortne? To answer that, it’s important to consider a few things, including how much brightness you need and what size of a light unit you prefer to work with. Besides these basic questions, there are several more features to consider before making any purchasing decisions – all of which you can find in our comprehensive buying guide.

Features to Consider When Buying an LED Work Light

To purchase an LED work light that best suits your needs, it’s vital to pay attention to certain features.

  • Brightness

The most basic and important consideration to be made when choosing a work light is the lumen output you need in order to get your work done – in other words, how much brightness you actually need. Naturally, if working in complete or almost-complete darkness, you want a light with the highest lumen output (think around 3000 – 5000 lumens), but if working in dimly lit rooms or on not-too complex repair tasks such as leaking sinks, you don’t need that much (between 150 to 500 lumens should be good, depending on your specific needs).

  • Anchoring System

The next thing to consider is the anchoring system of a LED work light.Do you prefer working with handheld devices or self-standing ones? Bear in mind that most handheld LED lights are not as brights stand-alone ones, although this does depend on the model, of course. Generally speaking, compact, handheld LED work lights are fantastic for DIYers who frequently work on home projects, while self-standing lights may be better suited for mechanics and other professionals. That being said, there are professionals who prefer working with smaller, handheld devices just like there are DIYers who prefer larger, self-standing LED lights. Ultimately, what you want is a work light that makes your job – whatever it may be – easier.

  • Power Source

Another important consideration to be made when buying a LED work light is whether or not it’s battery-powered. If you’re often working outdoors, in remote areas such as woods or campsites, a battery-powered unit is your best choice. Construction professionals, on the other hand, may find AC-powered lights more useful, as they never run out of energy. Again, the most important thing is to choose a unit that fits your specific needs the best.

  • Design

Finally, consider the design of a LED work light too. Compact and lightweight units are best suited for workers who need their light with them at all times, at all locations and under all conditions, while larger and bulkier units may be a better fit for folks who have more permanent work locations (such as garages, construction sites, etc.). And if you often work in rain, snow and under extremely dusty conditions, check out the International Protection Rating of a unit you’re interested in buying too.

Related Posts: Best AA Flashlights, Best Work Light for Mechanics and Best Mechanic Flashlights

Why You Should Use LED Work Lights

Whether you want more energy efficiency, better brightness or longer life out of your work light, LED light is the way to go. This ever-advancing technology has many advantages over the older types of lamps, including incandescent and fluorescent lights, and the most important ones can be found below.

  • Energy Efficiency

LED lights are remarkably energy efficient, consuming much less electricity than other lights. On average, they use around 50% less electricity than traditional options, although some work light models go up to 80%.

  • More Brightness

Compared to old options, LED lights are much brighter. But to explain this, you first need to know about lumens – watts difference. As you may have noticed by now, LED lights produce lumens, while incandescent lights produce watts, but both have wattage. To compare these two, let’s look at one example: one standard 60W incandescent bulb produces around 860 lumens, while 8-12W LED produces around 800 lumens. For further comparison purposes, a standard 75W bulb creates around 1,100 lumens, while 25W LED produces around 2,600 lumens! Finally, it’s worth noting that old lights such as incandescent options take longer to reach full brightness while LED lights offer instant brightness.

  • Extended Lifespan

LED lights don’t burn out all of a sudden, but slowly dim over time. Generally, a quality LED light will have a lifespan of around 30,000 to 50,000 hours or longer, while a typical incandescent bulb lasts around 1,000 hours. Talk about superior longevity!

  • Cold Temperature

Unlike older light options such as incandescent lighting, LEDs don’t really heat up over time. In fact, fluorescent lamps require higher voltage at low temperatures, while LEDs’ performance increases as operating temperature decreases. This makes them perfect for use in close proximity to people (which is why handheld LED work lights are so popular!).

  • Better for the Environment

Although LEDs are becoming more popular by the minute, most offices still use fluorescent strip lights which are not only horrible for the environment, but are difficult to dispose of too. Fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of mercury which is a concern for landfills where this noxious chemical may be released and contribute to air and water pollution. LEDs, on the other hand, contain no poisonous chemicals and are recyclable like any standard electronic equipment.

Different Types of LED Work Lights

All LED work lights work in the same way, but there are a few differences between the models. We divide them into three categories: small/handheld, medium self-stand lights, and big, tripod LED lights.

  • Small handheld LEDs

Compact, lightweight and highly convenient for working in small, dark spaces, small LED work lights that you can hold in your hand are perfect for various repair jobs. Usually, they produce between 150 to 500 lumens which is more than enough for home projects and smaller repairs.

  • Medium self-stand LEDs

With a self-standing platform, medium LED work lights provide a hands-free illumination wherever you need it. They’re a great choice whether you’re a professional or a DIYer as most models produce excellent brightness, plus have rotating heads/bodies.

  • Big self-stand LEDs

Self-standing and exceptionally bright, big LED floodlights usually have tripods for their bodies, making them highly convenient when working in complete darkness, on more complex repair tasks. Most tripod LEDs have rotating heads which allow you to direct the light wherever it is needed. They usually produce between 3000-5000 lumens.

How to Use LED Work Lights Safely

LED lights are some of the safest light options out there, but like all lights, need to be used properly in order to avoid disasters and eye problems.

  • Avoid over-heating

Although LED lights don’t get nearly as hot as older light options such as incandescent and halogen bulbs, they still do get warm. LEDs will never get as hot as more traditional lights, but can still get very warm, depending on the unit’s construction, design and how long it’s been turned on. Because of this, never place an intense LED light near flammable objects.

  • Direct the light properly

Any intense light can harm the eyes if looked at directly. LEDs can be particularly dangerous because they’re so bright, so make sure you direct the light away from your eyes. The light source should always be behind you, not in front or to one side.

Our Top Pick

While all the lights in our Top 10 list are good-quality LED lights, we liked the DEWALT Handheld Area Light the most. Very bright, convenient, with excellent battery life, this is one of the best LED work lights for DIYers and folks who often work on home projects but also plumbers, mechanics and other proffesionals. This is because the DEWALT work light is reliable, lightweight, easy to carry around and use no matter the job. It also helps it has a built-in rotating hook for hanging in case you need a hands-free source of light. All in all, a fantastic product with a flexible design to accommodate any user and any space.

Related Posts: Best RV Awning Lights and Best LED Headlights

Sources:

  1. How to Test LED Lights – wikiHow
  2. How Light Emitting Diodes Work – howstuffworks

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