Work lights are the exact tool you need to allow you maximum visibility in poorly lit spaces. Imagine trying to change a wheel in the dark or driving fasteners in dark, cramped spaces like a closet. Yeah, it’s a nightmare. Plus, it could be potentially dangerous to you and your work area if you try running power tools in the dark.
In this article, we’ll give you a brief description of what to look for if you’re thinking about getting a work light for your home garage or emergency kit. We’ll also show you a couple of our favorite cordless work light models that are easy on the eyes and wallet.
Cordless Work Light Buying Guide
Before we talk about the best cordless work lights that are priced under $50, let’s first go over our buying guide. The following segment will explain the various specs and features that you should look out for if you need a work light for your home garage or to take with you to poorly lit job sites.
Even though we’re going to focus cordless work lights, we think corded models also deserve some recognition.
Basically, there are two power sources: batteries (cordless models) and electricity (corded-electric work lights). Electric models are great if you’re constantly within the cord length’s distance from an outlet. They provide uninterrupted light without you needing to worry about a loss of lumens. The only downside is that they aren’t the most portable option since they keep you tied down to the nearest power outlet.
Cordless work lights are the newer kid on the block. They come with massive batteries that provide hours and hours of shine. You can invest in additional batteries if you’re worried about not having enough power to keep your work area brightly lit up. The downside of a cordless work light is that you need to be aware of how much juice is left in the battery, and swapping out batteries can be time-consuming depending on the model.
Light Bulb Type
There are typically three different types of light bulbs for you to choose from – incandescent, halogen, and LED. Incandescent and halogen bulbs can be quite bright and are inexpensive to replace when their time has come. However, there are some rather significant downsides to using these types of bulbs, namely their shine bounces everywhere and can’t be focused, and that they produce heat.
LED bulbs are the newest, greatest, most cost-efficient bulbs on the market. They can be expensive to replace, but the good thing is that they only need to be replaced every decade or so. Furthermore, their lights shine brightly onto a particular area and don’t produce any heat at all. We recommend getting a work light that uses LED bulbs more than any other types of bulb.
Cordless work lights are a great option if you don’t want to trip over long power cords. Unfortunately, because they’re battery-operated, they won’t provide you with a limitless amount of light. To get the most time out of your cordless work light and reduce downtime as much as possible, you can either get additional batteries or get a model that comes with a huge battery. It’s common to find cordless work lights that come with 4,000-mAH batteries provide somewhere in the ballpark of 4 to 6 hours of brightness.
Looking at ancient halogen light bulbs, they can be pretty bright but offer nothing to focus onto a particular spot. This is what makes LED work lights so great: the brightness and concentration of the light onto a specific area.
LED bulbs are naturally bright when turned on so there really shouldn’t be a big problem in finding enough brightness. However, it’s not uncommon to find LED lights that are way, way too bright. This is especially true if you do a lot of work dealing with reflective surfaces.
We recommend that you find a cordless work light model that comes with adjustable brightness. This will be enormously helpful when working in areas with varying levels of darkness without causing blindness. Pay attention to the lumen count; more lumens equal bright lights.
The construction of a work light is one of the most important factors to consider. We’re not just talking about the LED light bulb that shines a bright, focused light on your work area, but we also need to address the housing that encases the bulb. Most budget-friendly work lights will be housed in a plastic frame with rubber or metal feet, stands, or hooks. We advise that you look carefully at the construction of a potential work light to take home with you to ensure that it’ll withstand bumps, drops, dust, and water splashes.
Cordless work lights come in all shapes and sizes. There are some models that stick to a flat surface with the help of magnets and have flexible necks or handles which let you redirect the light’s shine at a particular object. Other models can hang under the roof of your car to provide you with proper illumination in dark, greasy spaces. There are also handheld models which are held like a flashlight or work torch.
You need to be conscious about the weight of the cordless work light if you’re opting for a handheld model. They aren’t that heavy – usually less than 10 pounds – so fatigue won’t be an issue. However, if you’re lifting the unit overhead, it’s always better to get an easy-to-hold, lightweight model.
Cordless work lights are arguably the best type of work light to get. They won’t tie you down with power cords, and you can provide a bright light in areas where an outlet isn’t readily available (e.g. while you’re stranded in the middle of the road at midnight).
There are several things that you need to consider when purchasing a cordless work light. These include how long a full charge can keep the lights on, the type of light bulb used in the work light, how bright the lights are (not too bright, not too dim, and with adjustable brightness), the build of the housing that encases the sensitive light bulbs from shattering (metal stands and rubber padding are a plus), and the weight of the work light if you’re getting a handheld model.
There are several cordless work lights available on the market with price tags ranging from “what, that’s cheap!” to “who could afford that?!” In this article, we’ve included our budget-friendly cordless work lights for you to consider. They’re all super-reliable and provide enough shine to allow you to work in poorly lit places.