The Best Work Lights To Illuminate Your Garage: Find the Light
Let there be LEDs!
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A good, reliable work light will help you get the job done in the garage, driveway, or even within the walls of your humble abode. Mechanic or underhood work lights help illuminate the space in your engine bay and other tight spaces, especially when you’re working in low-light conditions. Which, let's face it, most of us who don't wrench in dealership bays usually are.
Versatility, portability, and durability are key characteristics of such kit. Then, there’s a ton of options out there, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sea of choices. But never fear: This buying guide shines a nice beam of light across some of the best garage work lights on the market. These will not only make the job easier, but also safer and less time-consuming.
- Powerful light
- Folding capability makes storage easy
- Quick-release lamp heads
- 5.5 feet and 3.5 feet locking positions
- Built-in cord wrapping
- Could tip over easily
- Only one light mode
GLORIOUS-LITE 50W LED Work Light
- Small size
- 16-foot cord
- Requires Allen key to lock positioning
- Power switch is inconvenient
Craftsman Portable LED Work Light
- Two light modes
- Great build quality
- Great battery life
- Does not come with cord or batteries
- Light output could be better
- Head can move easily out of position on the swivel
We evaluated a massive amount of lights across the internet, checked their specs and features, then finalized our choices based on reviews from real people. In our hunt for the best work lights, we included criteria for total lumen output, cord length, ease of use, build quality, reliability, and pricing. We also made sure to look out for safety standards, and waterproof ratings. Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. To learn more about our methodology, click here.
Best Work Lights Reviews & Recommendations
The Lutec 6290Pro is a fantastic choice for those looking to get the most light they can for their workspace. At 9,000 lumens, it’s easily able to light up a garage space. Thanks to its portability and waterproofing, it’s also well-suited for nighttime outdoor projects as well. The two independent top heads are capable of rotating 90 degrees vertically and 330 degrees horizontally.
The light’s heads are designed for heat dissipation, extending the life of the bulbs significantly, and the high-quality aluminum tripod keeps the light sturdy, although it should be noted that at higher locking positions, the light can still be tipped over. This light comes with a three-year extended warranty.
- Lumens: 5,000
- Light type: LED
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
Rotates 270 degrees vertically and 360 degrees horizontally
Requires use of Allen wrench to lock position
Power switch located near outlet
The Glorious-Lite 50W LED Work Light is a solid choice with a silly name and designed for those looking to get the best bang for their buck during their work sessions. At 5,000 lumens, it’s a great option for those working in garages and can hold its own during outdoor nighttime projects, especially thanks to its IP66 waterproofing.
It’s small, portable, and light, making it very convenient for projects that require you to move around on the fly. Many owners often purchased these lights for work projects, and also ended up using them for home exterior lighting purposes.
The single square-shaped head is capable of rotating 270 degrees vertically and 360 degrees horizontally, adding to its versatility. Glorious-Lite rates its lifespan at around 30,000 hours. At $34.99, it’s hard to argue against the value of this light, and for some folks, picking up two might be a great option.
The Craftsman Portable LED Work Light is a solid choice for those working in smaller spaces, especially if you already own a Craftsman product that uses the company’s standard 20V battery. It’s small, light, and easily stored. At 1,825 lumens, this work light is a solid choice for those working in smaller spaces and more intricate repairs. Its great battery life has been shown to last eight hours straight, while still showing near full capacity.
It also has the option for AC/DC power, making it a great choice for those seeking convenience, though it should be noted that it cannot be powered on and charge the battery at the same time. This light can also be used in four ways: level surface, hung from a joist or sawhorse, mounted to a tripod using the mounting base, and mounted using the keyhole slots located on the bottom.
When in a pinch, the Mychanic pod light can be a big help. Easily stored in your trunkt, this triangular-shaped light can come in the clutch whether on the side of the road at night or when the power goes out. Capable of gripping to any surface, this work light’s convenience can't be ignored. It also has a rated six-hour battery life.
The major downsides include a slightly weaker magnet base and the use of AAA batteries. Several reviews have noted that slightly bumping into the light or the metal it’s attached to can cause it to fall down. Regardless, if you need a work light that can fit in the palm of your hands, and works well in both an office or while underneath a car, the Mychanic Pod Light is the one for you.
The Astro Pneumatic 65SL is a great option for those jobs requiring vision in hard-to-reach places, such as an engine bay. It has a thin wand shape making it capable of reaching into tight crevices. It’s magnetized and attached to a steel ball swivel. This work light comes with a dial on its handle, making brightness adjustments easy. It’s powered by a 3,200 mAh battery.
Its $60 price point may be a turnoff for those seeking higher light output, as it’s only rated for 650 lumens.
This product has a one-year warranty. The major drawbacks of the Astro Pneumatic 65SL are charge time, durability, and light output. According to reviews, the faulty points are the brightness adjustment rotary switch and swivel base. Both of which have a tendency to loosen over time. This light is conveniently charged via USB, and comes with a 5V charger adapter with a USB to micro USB cable. There are a handful of reviews noting a lengthy charge time of several hours. Despite the few negatives, this work light is a very popular choice among the DIY mechanic community online, cosigned by a few well-known YouTubers in the community.
Our Verdict on Best Work Lights
No matter your budget or your project, there’s likely a work light in this guide that fits your needs. The best overall pick, Lutec 6290Pro, is a convenient, versatile, and reliable choice capable of outputting 9,000 lumens. With quick release heads and multi-position locks on its tripod base, it's a great all-around work light worthy of adding to your tool kit.
Halogen Type: Halogen light bulbs are likely in your house right now. They use a filament on the inside of the bulb to generate light. This filament is sensitive to shock, and is prone to failure after a relatively short amount of time, depending on the quality. For many years, they were the most common type of lightbulb, but as technology advanced, the use of LEDs became the new standard. Halogen lights only emit a warm colored light.
LED Type: The brighter, more efficient, and environmentally friendly option. When compared to LEDs, halogen lights stand no chance. LEDs consume 85 percent less power than halogens and emit light for a significantly longer amount of time. Most last 15,000 to 50,000 hours. They’re also shockproof, thanks to the fact that they’re built on semiconductor technology. LEDs are capable of displaying a wide range of color temperatures.
Output Measurement: LED lights measure light output in Lumens, while Halogen lights are measured in watts. Although there are no halogen work lights on our list, it’s valuable to look into a conversion chart when comparing and contrasting the two different types of work lights. In regards to lumens, the higher the number the more output. Simple, but there’s more to it. A high-rated lumen output for a work light that’s only capable of one brightness mode might not be what you need if your workspace is in a small room.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
What kind of work light is safest?
LEDs are the best choice here, as they do not emit a lot of heat, use minimal amounts of energy, and are environmentally friendly. LEDs lack the delicate pieces needed to create light in the traditional incandescent bulb, so they last significantly longer.
How long can an LED light stay on?
A well-built LED light can stay on all day and night. Compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs produce a minimal amount of heat and use significantly less energy, so there’s much less reason to worry about burnout or expensive energy bills.
What causes LED lights to fail?
Temperature is the biggest culprit. A faulty heatsink due to things such as a worn encasing or water damage will speed up the time it takes for the light to fail. Generally, LED lights don’t immediately fail like an incandescent bulb but omit a lower output over time until eventual failure.
How long will the battery last in my work light?
It depends on how well you treat it. Lithium-ion batteries last a long time when charged and drained normally. Their lifespan can be increased by avoiding extreme temperatures.
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more