The Best LED Work Lights

The Best LED Work Lights

Good lighting is essential for doing a job well, and just as much for feeling comfortable in any setting. New technology has provided us with lighting devices that provide floodlights having impressive brightness reaching 10000 lumens. There are portable units with a run-time of 12 hours on a single charge, and a color temperature of 4500, which is very close to that of daylight.

We also see super compact units utilizing the COB tech and a variety of mounting setups. They can be used indoors and outdoors, and perform very well in both settings. Read on to see what’s the best LED work light in each category, and which one suits you best.

Our Top Picks

This is a list of our favorite LED work light models. We included a full range of models, providing cordless, AC, portable, tripod, compact, and budget-friendly alternatives. Bear in mind your specific needs as you read through the roundup of the various devices. This helps significantly in picking the right one for your setting.

Hallomall LED Work Light

This is a versatile portable cordless LED work light. It’s a 15 W, 24 LED, 6000 K light. It’s best suited for indoor usage, and in good weather conditions, it’s just as useful outdoors. It has a magnetic base which comes in handy when you’re working on an unsteady surface, or you can just attach it to any metallic part.

You can also use the stand to put it on the ground. It’s a very stable configuration, so there’s a slim chance that it’ll fall on its face. It’s great for the garage, workshop, garden, and a practical device for camping or site work. It can also be used as a power bank, which is pretty valuable when you’re outdoors. It might not like excessively dusty or rainy weather though, so it’s best to keep it in a mellow environment.

Things We Like

  • Flexible 3-mode operation (High/Low/Strobe)
  • Magnetic base for extra stability
  • 360-degree horizontal swivel offers precise and directional lighting
  • 90-degree vertical tilt provides wider lighting options
  • It has 2 USB ports that could be used to charge digital devices
  • Built-in Lithium batteries for easy recharging
  • 2 Blue and 2 RED LEDs for SOS signaling and exploration

Things We Don’t

  • It’s only partially protected from moisture not fully waterproof
  • It can be a bit clumsy around tight spaces
  • It doesn’t have a car charger
  • The battery performance might decline a little after heavy usage

LEPOWER 50W New Craft LED Flood Light

This is a super bright LED work light with up to 4500 lumens. It can be used indoors as it doesn’t overheat, or outdoors as it’s waterproof and dustproof. It’s a sturdy and very basic device focusing on high quality and good performance. It’s a 250 W Halogen Bulb Equivalent, with 6500 K white light.

The light beam comes out at a 120-degree coverage, shadow-free and anti-glare. This makes it perfect for use indoors. The LEPOWER Craft is well suited for your garage, backyard, garden, playground, or any other area where a floodlight is required. It’s quite easy to mount on the ceiling or up against a wall, as it comes with a metal bracket. The body of the lamp can be adjusted around 150 degrees.

Things We Like

  • The metal frame and tempered glass panel are of premium quality
  • Energy-saving up to 80% of the electric bill
  • Easy to mount with the included bracket
  • Extra safety with ground wire and UL-approved electric cord
  • It’s rated IP66 which indicates a dust-tight enclosure and protection against heavy jets of water
  • The special design of the heat sink fins helps prevent overheating
  • 18-months warranty and 60-days money-back guarantee

Things We Don’t

  • The electric cord is a bit short with only 59”
  • It works only with 110 Volts
  • Both the cord and the plug aren’t waterproof
  • It doesn’t include a motion sensor function which is nice to have with floodlights

Neiko 40339A Cordless Work Light

This is a handheld portable LED work light with a convenient stick design. It has magnetic and hooks attachments to allow hands-free operation as well. It’s a compact device with a 1.5” diameter at the base, and a total length of 15”. The handle has an ergonomic design, so it doesn’t cause much strain on the hand.

It has three modes of lighting to suit your lighting requirements. The High mode provides 700 lumens and 4.2 hours run-time, the Medium mode 400 lumens for 6.5 hours, and the Low mode 250 lumens for 11.5 hours. It’s well suited for home use, car repairs, camping, and any emergency situations requiring immediate lighting.

Things We Like

  • COB tech makes it fully portable and efficient
  • Detachable magnetic base for easy placement
  • Two rotating hooks with full angle swivel
  • Impact-resistant aluminum housing
  • Industrial grade polycarbonate lens
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery with overcharge protection
  • Low battery indicator to keep track of light availability
  • 3-ft micro USB charger for easy charging at home or workshop

Things We Don’t

  • The battery isn’t removable
  • The light brightness and run-time might degrade a bit after a while
  • It’s a bit more expensive than similar models

NEBO LED COB Work Light

NEBO is a slim LED work light that utilizes the Chips On Board (COB) technology with its host of features. The most important is the big bright light from a small panel with low power consumption. This portable device is designed for lighting up small to medium workspaces, outdoor excursions, camping, or for any situation where a compact portable light is needed.

It works within two modes and a dimming feature. The full-brightness mode provides 500 lumens that light up to 58 meters, and it keeps going for about 2 hours. The 10% brightness mode gives 50 lumens with a spread of about 18 meters, and you can use it continuously for around 10 hours. Both settings are selected with a long-press of one button, and the current setting is retained in the device’s memory, so the next time you use it that’s what you’ll get.

Things We Like

  • It’s so compact that it easily fits inside your pocket
  • Hands-free use to get maximum control of your work
  • Strong magnetic base to attach the LED close to your work surface
  • 180-degree rotatable hook and clip to hang it anywhere
  • Rechargeable battery via Micro USB charging port
  • Water and impact-resistant

Things We Don’t

  • It’s a bit pricey compared to similar products
  • The rubber covering of the switch isn’t very sturdy
  • It might show less operating time per charge after extensive use

PowerSmith PWL2140TS Dual-Head LED Work Light

This tripod mounted work light gives utility that other models can’t offer. For starters, you don’t need to mount it on anything, it’s already sitting happily on a stable and versatile frame. Each lamp gives 4000 lumens of true brightness and 5000 K white light color temperature. It has a long life span of 50,000 hours, maintenance-free.

The height of the telescopic tripod extends up to 47”, it has a 9 ft long cord, and its heads can tilt 30 degrees upwards, and 90 degrees downward. This means that you can put the PowerSmith in very close proximity to your work area, and shed a solid light on the most intricate details.

The only limitation for that set up would’ve been reaching below a structure, or some other spot that’s hard to reach, but that too is taken care of, as the light heads are detachable for maximum reach. It has an IP65 rating, so its casing is dust-proof and it can take a slight drizzle. That’d make it optimal for use outdoors as long as it’s not raining dogs and cats.

Things We Like

  • Light detaches from the tripod for extra versatility
  • The glass panel is impact-resistant
  • Efficient heat dissipation
  • 5 times more power-economy than Halogen work lights
  • 2-years warranty

Things We Don’t

  • It gives excessive glare at eye level
  • The frame needs some tightening from time to time
  • Few users reported that the tripod doesn’t extend to full height

What to Look for in an LED Work Light

These are some of the features that aren’t all essentials, but they’ll increase the chances that this is a good quality device, and make your life easier.

Heat Dissipation

Floodlights are known to generate much heat, and regular air cooling is generally insufficient, that’s why there are heat management solutions. You do recall touching a light bulb after it’s been on for a while, and really feeling the heat. Multiply that by ten. This could be potentially dangerous, especially on a hot day.

LED lights usually have heat sinks to drive the excessive heating away from the lamp and its frame and prevent it from building up. You might want to look deeper into that for each light, as some designs are better than others in that aspect.

IP rating

The IP-rating consists of two figures reflecting how much the device is tightly sealed, and the degree to which it can resist water. IP65-IP68 are usually very good ratings. Proper IP setting ranges from lights that can take a little wind and a light drizzle, to ones that can survive underwater for 30 minutes and come out alive and well.

Pick the one that suits your regular needs the most. Indoor usage doesn’t require a high IP rating, and even garden or camping can still work well with lights that are mildly resistant to humidity. The situation that usually requires a high IP setting is an LED light that’s constantly mounted in the yard, with all kinds of weather taking their toll.

Power Cord or Cordless?

There are as many cordless LED lights as there are AC models. The extended operating times per charge encouraged many users to buy cordless models for all the versatility that comes with them. There are some sites that get their power from generators with limited capacity, it’s best to use battery-operated devices whenever possible to reduce excessive loading.

Other sites don’t even have a generator and they don’t offer much of a choice. The proximity to an electrical outlet is another deciding factor. Cordless LED lights come in handy in these situations. Using a LED light that’s connected to the mains has two main advantages: higher power output, and continuous operation. A floodlight mounted at the gate of a building has no reason to be cordless.

Brightness

Traditionally, we used to measure lamps by how many watts they had. This isn’t an indication of how much light they give, it’s actually how much electricity they use. Lumens are more likely to inform you about brightness. The higher their number, the brighter your light. We’re still more familiar with watts, so here’s a comparison: a 100-watt lamp gives light with a brightness of around1600 lumens.

LED work lights are usually in the range of 4000-10,000 lumens, with 4500 lumens being the most popular. We also see much lower figures of about 500 lumens in compact LED COB lights, which have many applications, such as working in tight spaces.

Color Temperature

This is an indicator of the quality of light, and it’s measured in Kelvin. Color temperature has one of three modes: daylight, warm white, and cool white. Color temperature from 2000 K – 3000 K is warm white. It tends to have an orange hue and feels cozy and intimate. You’d see it mostly installed in restaurants or at homes.

Values from 3100 K – 4500 K are known as cool white. This is usually seen in the big hall with a hundred employees working in tiny cubicles under crisp fluorescent light. You might recall that it changes the natural color of things, giving them a bluish tint. It’s a good task light, and that’s why it’s associated with work areas.

Color temperatures of 4500 K and up are the closest to natural daylight. It’s used whenever a realistic rendering of colors is required, as in display areas, task lighting, and healthcare settings.

Type of Mounting

There’s a broad range of mounting methods for LED lights, as there are various requirements for the site and task lighting.

Tripod

Moving the LED light with its tripod provides a stable and versatile mount, where height and tilt can be adjusted for best illumination. The light heads are usually detachable and capable of working separately. This provides better reach and accessibility to tight spots.

Surface Unit

This is the type of light you just leave on the floor somewhere and tilt its panel up or down or sideways to get the lighting you need. You can also put it on any flat surface. This is a very basic kind, and the most important aspect of it is often the base.

A steady and sturdy frame ensures that it wouldn’t be knocked off easily. Newer models usually have an extra magnetic attachment part to increase the LED’s stability. They’re available as portable or AC models.

Wall or Ceiling Mounted

This type usually comes with mounting brackets, and the good types have extra degrees of freedom, so they can be tilted a little. They can also be portable models with hooks or magnetic attachment. Wall-mounted LEDs should be anti-glare and shadow-free.

Generally, eye-level light fixtures shouldn’t be too harsh, or they’d interfere with work visibility. Ceiling units should have high heat dissipation, as a hot lamp beside your head can get very annoying, and occasionally unsafe.

Hand-Held

Tight spaces and exploration require using a lightweight hand-held LED light. These usually employ the Chip On Board (COB) technology, lots of light from a small device. Most of the handheld units have a magnetic base, a clip, or a hook for hands-free usage. Some of them have a memory to register your preferred settings.

Motion Sensor and Other Options

A motion sensor is usually used to reduce power consumption by keeping the lights off if a certain space isn’t occupied and turning them on as someone steps inside. It has recently been installed as a safety device as well since it deters trespassers who come too close to private property.

This option comes mainly with floodlights. The good plugs have a UL quality approval, and a grounded wire. This eliminates the possibility of micro shock and damages to the LED. Care should be taken with IP66- IP68 outdoor models, as the plug and power cord, aren’t always waterproof.

Conclusion

LED lights are absolutely necessary in any work setting. They’re also efficient and reliable, so they’re perfect for home use as well. There’s a variety of models, shapes, sizes, and optional features. Which could be overwhelming, and that’s why we included a detailed guide on the main features.

We usually end up buying more than one, so it’s best to cover as many scenarios as possible. Procuring an AC model and a cordless would be smart, for example, a wall-mounted LED like the Hallomall LED work light, combined with a handheld compact model like the Neiko 40339A Cordless Work Light.

One of the features I appreciate in an LED work light is the magnetic attachment, which they both have in addition to a hook for the Neiko. Most work surfaces have a metallic part that can be used as a mounting, and if not, there’s always a spot to hang a hook and provide hands-free operation.

They’re both of premium quality, they have a reasonable endurance to weather conditions, and together, they provide most of your big picture and detailed lighting needs. We hope this overview on the best LED work lights has helped you narrow down your choices, and the next step is to get some brand new lights!

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