Don’t grope in the dark, don’t trade setbacks for progress. This guide provides some of the best work lighs for your workshop or workplace.
Working in the dark definitely hinders progress. It tires your eyes and brain. Plus, when you have to repeat something because you can’t see clearly the first time, it increases the workload on your body. Instead, install the best work lights in your workshop or workplace. Whether you keep the light under a cabinet, on the hood of your car, or in a dimly lit corner of the room, a good work light is always a welcome work mate.
The best work lights have stands or hooks, and some are designed to be handheld. They sparkle where you can’t see and help you complete a project correctly and efficiently. This guide will help you choose the best work light for your needs.
Popular Types of Work Lights
There’s no need to remain in the dark about the best work lights. There are plenty of options on the market that will work well for your needs, so bone up on these important tools and their available styles so you can choose the right one for the project you’re working on.
Handheld work lights are much like flashlights in that they are small and bright, making it easy to get into tight spaces with a crew. However, they differ in that work lights project a broad, unfocused beam of light that illuminates the entire work area, while flashlights tend to focus the beam on a small area.
However, it’s not always convenient to have a work light in hand. If you need to use two hands for a project, some of the best handheld work lights have hooks or magnets that make it easy to hang them overhead or somewhere in your work area.
These work lights are perfect for plumbing work under the cupboard, car maintenance work under the hood of your car, or even simply as a flashlight replacement when needed. They usually don’t light up a large workspace effectively.
Those working on larger projects will enjoy the convenience of a work light with a freestanding stand. Workers and DIYers can set up work lights almost anywhere they can find a reasonably flat surface to cast a wide beam in large spaces. These models sometimes have two or three lights mounted on a stand so that the lights can be placed in the center of the room and cast light wherever needed.
These work lights are perfect for large construction projects, such as renovations, or even for lighting when foundations are being excavated. They also work well in the workshop if placed correctly so they don’t glow in your eyes.
It also helps to understand what to look for in the best work lights, given the type of light. Here are some shopping considerations when deciding from the wide range of work lights on the market. From the type of item to the power source, shoppers will have a good idea of when they need it as they consider their lighting needs and desired features.
Type of Project
Some lights work better than others for certain types of projects. The type of large project you are working on or general task lighting needs should take into account the choice of task lighting. For larger projects with open spaces, freestanding work lights are the best option. These powerful lights cast broad beams that illuminate a large room or even an entire floor on a construction site before the drywall is erected.
For technicians, those who work in the attic or basement, and mechanics, it’s a good idea to have a small handheld work light that’s easy to take anywhere. It is not practical to drag a tripod up a ladder or climb down.
Working conditions are definitely a factor. That doesn’t just mean the weather, although it’s a factor to consider. Water and dust resistant work lights are important when you are working outdoors, as these factors can destroy easily permeable work lights.
Besides the weather, the job location may dictate the best work lighting. For projects without electricity, this light requires electricity, either a built-in battery or a generator. While there are some battery-operated upright work lights, usually only the smaller hand-held work lights come with rechargeable batteries.
However, if electricity is available but lighting is scarce, a standalone work light is the best option to provide as much light as possible. Depending on the task at hand, many jobs require a mix of handheld and self-contained stands.
It can be difficult to work with handheld lights that are too bright or free-standing lights that are too dim. The bright hand-held light can temporarily blind the user with every slight operator error. A dim freestanding light had to be moved closer to the task, which negated the convenience of having it in the center of the room.
LED bulbs measure brightness in lumens. The best handheld work lights have between 250 and 600 lumens, with 500 lumens right around the sweet spot. Some handheld work lights are adjustable, making them perfect for most situations.
Standing work lights are also available in the brightness range, but the wattage in the 3000 to 10000 lumens range provides the most flexibility.
The best type of work light for a job may depend on the type of power source available. A new construction site may not have electricity, while a workshop has enough power on hand. For those who often work in workplaces without electricity, it makes sense to opt for battery-operated work lights. It’s important to check battery life and make sure the light stays on until the job is done. It’s best to buy a work light that runs on the same battery system as other tools in the store to avoid carrying multiple types of chargers and batteries.
In the workshop, it is inconvenient to replace the battery when sufficient power is available. Instead, choose a corded work light to help improve lighting and workflow.
In theaters, a work light is a high-intensity light fixture used to illuminate the stage for technicians. There are many reasons why technicians use these lights instead of stage lights. First, much less technical knowledge is required to turn on a work light, so even someone with no electrical knowledge can turn on a work light. Second, no matter what lights are hung for a specific performance, they provide fairly consistent and complete lighting. Finally, and most importantly, they are designed to be cheap and easy to re-light, which is expensive compared to theater lamps and can burn through the color gel if used to illuminate stage productions.
Work lights are not designed to illuminate the stage in an aesthetically pleasing way, but to use space and heat efficiently; however, they are occasionally used in shows to accentuate plot elements. They are usually close to white. Work lights are usually placed on channels and slats, or can be permanently installed inside. If not hardwired to the control system, the connectors are usually marked or connected to prevent them from being mistakenly removed in the event of a strike/load.
Work lights can also be used during performances and rehearsals to provide dim lighting for technicians backstage.
What Makes Construction work Lighting Different?
The types of lighting available are as varied as the locations requiring illumination. In the busy world of construction, the matter of lighting is paramount to a safe and successful site. A construction site is one of the most complicated and unique areas to light due to the very nature of it. So, what makes construction lighting different?
When looking at the different main elements of architectural lighting, the first and most obvious is the overall durability. Construction sites are prone to harsh environments, so lighting solutions need to be more stringent than general lighting. Architectural lighting is a specialized category of lighting solutions with this in mind. Most options are UL, IP, and NEMA rated for exposure to elements such as dust, water, and gas. This ensures that the lamp will maintain performance without fear of damage. Most architectural luminaires are also explosion-proof or shatter-proof to avoid accidents caused by broken lenses or shards of glass.
Another aspect setting construction lighting apart from other types of lighting is performance ability. Since the location requires a wide light spread with a lot of power behind, construction lighting offers some of the highest lumen outputs. It also offers a long light spread distance, sometimes upwards of 60 feet or more. There are also warning lights that offer an impressive visibility at 3,000 feet away making them especially ideal for construction areas with drivers present.
There are other performance concerns for architectural lighting solutions. Many options run on LEDs, which means no heat loss. This makes the light fixtures safer to touch without adding any extra heat to the space. Another important issue is runtime. For construction lights, you want to be able to turn it on without worrying about other work hours. Many architectural lighting offers an impressive 25-30 hour runtime, which makes creating a well-lit construction site easier than ever. Best of all, these lights are rechargeable, which makes them a great solution for the unique needs of the environment. Architectural lights are also incredibly durable, and the performance offers an impressive longevity overall.
Finally, construction lighting is quite different from regular lighting in that it is portable. While other light fixtures are installed to a permanent spot such as the ceiling or wall, construction lighting is made to move from one location to the next based on the needs of the project. From string lights to spotlights, construction lighting needs to be able to go from one site to the next and the portable factor ensures it is possible.