Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Apr. 15, 2019

Whether you are a mechanic or a car owner looking to fix up your own motor, you’re going to need to own a work light. The problem with working on cars in a garage is that the lighting just isn’t good enough and when it comes to the inner workings of an automobile, there are some real tricky spots that can almost seem impossible to illuminate. These days you will see a large variety of work lights for mechanics and many utilize LED technology. In this article we will look at our top 10 favorite hood lights, highlight their top features and list their pros and cons. Later, we will also look at why it’s important to own a work light and what to look for when buying a work light for the first time.

Best Work Light For Mechanics

What first caught our eye with this product was the price. At under $30 we felt that this Neiko Cordless LED Light offered fantastic value for money. Made from 60 extra bright SMD LEDs that generate 350 lumens of light, this underhood light bar provides excellent illumination. The light is perfect for mechanics as it’s a portable, handheld stick that can be hung up using the 360 degree swivel hook or mounted onto the magnetic base which is included in the pack. This is the perfect light for automotive work as it’s small enough to be used for awkward-to-reach spots but bright enough to illuminate even the darkest areas. This is a rechargeable LED work light which gives you around 5 hours light. When the battery is low there is a handy indicator which shows you when you will need to charge the light. The light can be recharged on the go using the USB charging cable or can be charged using a wall plug or in your car – it’s super convenient. This is the perfect hands-free light for car repairs, camping or emergencies.

Key Features
  • 60 Bright LEDs Produces 350 Lumens of Light
  • Rechargeable
  • Handheld Portable Stick
  • Magnetic Mounting Stick & 360 Degree Swivel Hook Included
Specification
  • Brand Neiko
  • Model 40464A
  • Weight 1.15 pounds
PROS

Ergonomic Handle For Non-Slip Grip

Super Bright Light

Portable

Comes With 360 Degree Hook & Magnetic Mount

CONS

Built-in Battery Not Replaceable

4 Hour Charge Time

If you’re looking for a super bright light then the ATD Underhood Light might be a good option for you. This light has been designed to illuminate even the darkest areas and is portable and easy to use – it’s perfect for mechanics, garages, camping and emergencies. The handheld light comes with telescoping and ratcheting brackets which allows you to position the light in the most convenient way. The ends of the light have a soft-foam covering which allows you to use the light on automobile hoods 47”-75” wide without causing any damage to the paint. The fluorescent light also swivels for better positioning and comes with a 25 ft cord.

Key Features
  • Extra Bright 30W Fluorescent Light
  • Swivel Feature
  • Handheld Portable Stick
  • 25ft Cord
Specification
  • Brand ATD Tools
  • Model 80050
  • Weight 2 pounds
PROS

Can Buy Replacement Parts

Extra Long Cord

Padded Ends To Prevent Damage

Extra Bright Light

CONS

Non-Cordless

If your search for the best underhood work light is turning out no results then let us help you along the way. This Astro 40SL Lumen Light boasts many attractive features that makes the product stand out from many of the others we found on the market. Firstly, it has been specially designed to withstand harsh and dirty conditions – which is perfect for garages, underhood automobile work, camping and emergencies. The light has been manufactured with a very unique dial power switch which essentially allows you to adjust the output of light, allowing you to change the settings from 0-410 lumens. The light gives you an impressive 10 hours of work time at 50% power and 2.5 hours at full power. Our favorite feature of the product is the swivel and stay base, which has a 20lb magnet that can be removed.This means that you can lock the light in place for the perfect angle of light and the strength of the magnet can fix onto the dirtiest, uneven surfaces. The light is fully rechargeable using a USB cable which is included in the pack.

Key Features
  • Fully Adjustable LED Light
  • Swivel & Stay Base
  • Rechargeable
  • USB Included
Specification
  • Brand Astro
  • Model 40SL
  • Weight 7 Ounces
PROS

Built To Withstand The Harshest Environments

Adjustable Light From 0-410 Lumens

Extra Strength Removable 20 lb Magnet Base

Lightweight

CONS

Not The Cheapest Light On The Market

One of the best features of this LED light is the battery capacity. It’s perfect for intensive or emergency repair work as the light will remain on full brightness for 3 hours and up to 5 hours on low brightness. There’s also a ‘twinkle mode’ which is a red light – the light can remain on this mode for an impressive 20 hours, making it perfect for emergencies and camping etc

The light is adjustable so you can switch between the different modes to find the perfect lighting for your automotive needs.  The light has an adjustable length of 52” – 72” which ensures that it will fit under every vehicle hood and it is held in place with spring-loaded legs which hold it firmly in place. A feature we really liked on this mechanic flashlight was that it’s fully retractable and foldable, meaning it can be stored easily in your garage or vehicle. The light is rechargeable using a AC/DC 110-240V wall power adapter to charge at home or using the car adapter – both are included in the kit. This super versatile, high-quality hood light is one of the best we have seen on the market, it’s more expensive than many others available but a worthy investment. The best part is that if your lights ever burn out then the company with replace them absolutely free of charge and provide a one year replacement warranty. They also offer a full refund within 30 days if you are not entirely satisfied.

Key Features
  • Fully Adjustable LED Light
  • Multiple Light Settings
  • Rechargeable At Home Or In Car
  • Retractable & Foldable
Specification
  • Brand SuiTech
  • Model SUI-WOR-UHLIGH
  • Weight 5.5 pounds
PROS

Heavy Duty Hood Light

Adjustable Light Settings: High, Low & Twinkle (Red/Warning)

Fits Any Hood Size

One Year Warranty

CONS

Expensive

Heavy

This superior car work light is suitable for both home and professional work garages. The light itself is powered by 202 LED bulbs, giving off a maximum brightness of 1,200 lumens. That’s a lot of illumination for such a small piece of technology! It’s perfect for illuminating poorly lit work areas, underneath vehicles, dark roadside repairs and emergencies. Don’t let the higher price tag put you off, this is a solid investment for those looking for a top quality automotive work light from a trusted brand.

The large capacity battery is fully rechargeable and provides 3 hours run time on high brightness and 6 hours run time on the lower setting. It’s been made to withstand all conditions too, with an impact-resistant polycarbonate exterior and weather-resistant design. The telescopic design ensures that the light fits any hood size from 47” – 76” and features foam cushioned protective end hooks which will not damage your vehicle.  There are two detachable magnetic hooks provided too, giving you the ultimate flexibility in lighting in difficult areas.

Key Features
  • Extra Bright 1,200 Lumens Light With 202 LED Bulbs
  • Multiple Light Settings
  • Rechargeable
  • Fits Any Hood Size
Specification
  • Brand Neiko
  • Model 40447A
  • Weight 8 pounds
PROS

Professional Quality Under Hood Light Bar

Adjustable Light Settings

Fits Any Hood Size

Made From Heavy Duty Material

CONS

Expensive

Heavy

Not the highest quality on our list but certainly the best value for money, the Coquimbo LED work light is made from hard rubber, with an anti-sweat, anti-slip body and aluminium head which dissipates the heat effectively, prolonging the life of the lamp. It’s super easy to store as it has a foldable design so perfect for keeping in your tool bag or garage. The underhood work light has a built-in rechargeable battery which is used with a USB port which is included in the set. Another great feature is the lighting modes, considering the low price we were impressed to discover that it has 5 lighting modes: high brightness, medium brightness, front light, red warning and strobe red – which means it’s absolutely perfect for outdoor use, car repairs or emergencies. The light can be rotated 360 degrees around the magnet base and there’s also a hook attached which means your hands are free to concentrate on your repairs.

Key Features
  • Hard Wearing Rubber Light
  • Multiple Light Settings:
  • Rechargeable
  • 360 Rotation & Hook For Hands-Free Repairs
Specification
  • Brand Coquimbo
  • Model CO-WY8107
  • Weight 2.4 Ounces
PROS

Convenient Foldable Design

5 Light Settings

Amazing Value For Money

CONS

Batteries Not Replaceable

This set contains two multipurpose work lights which have a strong magnetic base and a 360 adjustable swivel folding stand. This means that you can attach the light to many different surfaces or hang them in place for hands-free repairing. The lights have been manufactured with powerful COB LED chips with a brightness of 200 lumens. One of the nice features of these lights is that they provide a nice wide beam of 120 degrees with a maximum distance of 16ft. These are super compact lights that are easy to store and carry around. Not only are they good for automobile repairs, but they’re also really useful for camping,fishing, travelling, blackouts and emergencies. The lights boast an ultra-long lifespan which are 3 x times longer than most other LED lights. They take batteries that can be changed whenever needed – no power supply required. These lights are also energy-saving and 2 AAA batteries provide 10 x hours of stable full power lighting.

Key Features
  • Two Lights Included
  • Energy Saving Feature
  • No Power Source Needed
  • Magnetic Base For Hands-Free Work
Specification
  • Brand AlltroLite STANCE
  • Model COB-FA2125-1
  • Weight 11.2 Ounces
PROS

Two Lights Included

16ft Beam Distance

High Quality LED Light

CONS

Non-Rechargeable

Hard To Reach Tight Spots

When we are trying to find the best work light for mechanics we look at a number of different factors and value for money is always one of the things that we rate highly. The STANLEY Rechargeable LED Light is under $30 and can provide up to 500 lumens with 26 ultra bright LEDs – which is impressive. The portable light has 3 different modes of lighting, high, low and emergency flash which means that it’s useful for camping, blackouts, roadside repairs, garages and emergencies. The light itself is pretty hard-wearing with a rubber mold and shatterproof design and the special BarFlex design allows the light to be tilted backwards or forwards to gain the best angle of light for your needs. The light can be mounted onto a metal surface using the magnetic base or can be hung up so you have your hands free.

Key Features
  • Compact Design
  • Rechargeable
  • Extra Bright Light
  • One Year Warranty
Specification
  • Brand STANLEY
  • Model BFLIUS
  • Weight 1.15 pounds
PROS

Super Lightweight

Long Lasting Battery

Value For Money

CONS

Narrow Beam

This SLR-2120 LED Light is a handy portable floodlight, perfect for those looking for a rechargeable LED hood light that can reach hard to see areas. The light will fit virtually any vehicle hood as it features spring loaded foam-covered grippers that can extend from 48”-77”. You can rotate the light 360 degrees which means that you can adjust the angle of the lighting easily to suit your requirements. There are just two brightness settings on this light: full power and half power with a full charge time of 6 hours. In half power mode you will get 8.5 hours of light whereas in full power you will get 4.5 hours light before needing to be recharged.

Key Features
  • Magnetic Strip For Attaching To Metal Surfaces
  • Rechargeable
  • Two Brightness Modes
  • Long Battery Life
Specification
  • Brand Nightstick
  • Model 801720
  • Weight 5.5 pounds
PROS

Portable

Long Lasting Battery

Swivel Feature

CONS

Only Two Brightness Settings

Not Very Bright

One of the best features of this light is that it has been designed to be ultra portable and has a handy slim design. The benefit of this is that it can then fit into tight spaces for under hood inspection and repairs. This flashlight can fit into spots which other, larger designs cannot fit. The LED work light has been manufactured to be used in garages and areas where it needs to be tough, made from anodized aluminium casing with a high-impact LED lens, the light is totally weather resistant. The light is fitted with 12 standard LED lights and has two brightness modes: 130 lumen low setting and 400 lumen high setting. There are 6 true UV LEDs, 390-410 nm wavelength UV light which react to UV dyes, inks, coolants and fluids which is ideal for use with the detection of leaks and inspection of stamp verification. When the light is fully charged you will get 2.5 run time on high power setting and 8 hours on the low brightness setting. The kit includes a wall mounted power adapter.

Key Features
  • Multiple Light Settings
  • Rechargeable
  • Wall Mounted Power Adaptor Included
  • Long Battery Life
Specification
  • Brand Steelman Pro
  • Model 78952
  • Weight 13 ounces
PROS

Up To 400 Lumen Brightness

UV LEDs

Slim Design To Fit Into Tight Spots

CONS

Poor Button Functionality

No Hook

Best Work Light for Mechanics Buying Guide

Below we will look at why it’s a good idea to own an under hood work light, we will talk about what features to look out for when buying a work light and talk about how to use them safely.

What Makes a Good Work Light for Mechanics?

There are a number of different factors you will have to consider when looking to buy a work light for mechanics.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Cordless

We think that it makes sense to use a work light that is cordless. The main benefit of using a work light that plugs into your power supply is that it won’t run out of battery life and it won’t need recharging. This is very useful if you are buying a work light for a garage and have a power source nearby. This is also useful for longer repair jobs. Cordless hood lights give you more flexibility in the way that you can use them and where you can use them too. You can keep them in your car for emergencies and use them whilst camping etc It’s helpful to consider what you need the work light for and where you might use it before making a purchase.

  • Rechargeable

If you’re buying a work light that is rechargeable then how many hours’ use does it give you after a full charge and how long does the light take to charge fully? A good quality light will take less time to fully charge and give you many hours’ use in return.

  • Price

If you are looking for a solid investment then don’t opt for the cheapest light on the market. A good quality work light will give you good quality lightning without cutting corners.

  • Brightness

A good work light will have several lighting settings, usually including low, high and a flashing or strobe setting for emergencies. Light brightness can be measured in watts or lumens, the higher the number the brighter the light.

  • Size

The best lights are the work lights that are portable, small and can be extended to fit different hood sizes. The smaller the light, the better it is going to be at reaching those hard-to-see areas under your automobile hood.

  • Magnets & Hooks

We think these are pretty essential features. Having a strong magnetic base means that you can attach the light to any metal surface for hands-free repair work on your car. Hooks are also helpful for the same reason – holding a flashlight whilst doing repair work sucks.

Related Posts: Best Mechanic Flashlights and Garage Lighting

Benefits of Under Hood Lights

There are countless benefits to using an under hood work light. Firstly, most of these types of lights provide an impressive amount of light despite their size. So they’re really useful for using in poorly lit garages or for using underneath the car in hard to reach areas. The lights are normally portable too so you can maneuver them easily into tight spots and fix them onto surfaces using hooks or magnetic bases. They’re essential in emergencies and can be used for blackouts too. All in all work lights are a good thing to have in your vehicle or in your garage or home.

Related Posts: Best Car Emergency Kits and Winter Car Emergency Kit

Safety Tips When Using an Under Hood Light

They may be little, but many under hood lights kick out some serious power when it comes to lighting. Firstly, this may seem obvious, but never under any circumstances touch the lights. You wouldn’t touch a light bulb in your home and this should be no different. So to prevent potential burns, do not touch the bulbs. Secondly, make sure that the light is attached correctly, if it falls and smashes glass everywhere not only will you be in the dark but you will also have broken glass to deal with – not fun. Check the hook, magnetic base or extendible arms to see that everything is in place before use. Lastly, if you smell or hear anything that doesn’t sound ok then turn off the light. It’s normal for lights to give off a little heat but they should never emit a smell. Oh and never overcharge your lights – make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the optimal charging times.

Our Top Pick

After looking at the full range of work lights we chose our favorite from the list. We chose the Neiko 40464A Cordless LED Work Light. The reason we chose this product is because we felt it provided good value for money with 60 extra bright LEDs generating 350 lumens of light. This is the perfect under hood light for use in garages. It’s super portable and swivels 360 degrees for the perfect lighting angle. Fully rechargeable, the LED light gives you approximately 5 hours light and can be charged using a USB cable which is included.

Source:

  1. Best LED work lights and inspection lamps – Auto Express

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