There’s a real good chance the light incorporated with your garage door opener isn’t extremely bright. It’s there for safety reasons and to give adequate lighting for your garage, but if you’re doing any serious work on your vehicle, you’ll want better lighting. That’s why garage work lights exist, and there’s a variety of types and options available on the market. Today, those products benefit from LED lighting technology, which means more efficient lighting with lower power consumption and heat.
In this article, we’ll take a look at various types of garage work lights and explain the pros and cons of each type, so that you can make a better purchasing decision. You’ll want to determine your budget and exactly how much lighting you’ll need for your garage. What type of work are you planning to do inside your garage? Do you want lighting that’s portable or do you want a more permanent fixture? We’ll help you decide.
To learn more about garage work lights, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Woods Clamp Lamp Light with Aluminum Reflector
- 2. Snap-on LED Work Light (922261)
- 3. FrenchMay Linkable LED Utility Shop Light
- 4. Hykolity Linkable LED Shop Light
- 5. Hyperikon HyperSelect LED Shop Light
- 6. Neiko Cordless LED Work Light (40464A)
- 7. Sunco Lighting LED Utility Shop Light
- 8. Ustellar LED Work Light
- 9. PowerSmith Dual-Head LED Work Light
- 10. Bayco LED Work Light on Metal Reel
- What to Look for When Shopping for a Garage Work Light
- Editor's Verdict
1. Editor's Pick: Woods Clamp Lamp Light with Aluminum Reflector
An affordable and versatile garage work light is the Woods Clamp Lamp Light. It’s available in two sizes, 8.5 inch and 10 inch, along with the option of either a 150-, 250-, or 300-watt socket. You can also purchase this light without a reflector or with a wire grill. It’s a rather basic garage work light, but the heavy duty clamp allows you to adjust where you need it. This work light is UL listed and meets applicable safety standards.
The clamps on this light are covered with scratch-resistant sleeves, so they won’t scratch your work surfaces. There is also an adjustable ball joint to give you the flexibility of focusing light where it’s needed. Attached to this work light is a 6-foot, 18 AWG SPT-2 cord with a rugged molded-on plug. It has an easy-to-use on/off switch.
This product is one of the most reviewed work lights on Amazon and although the majority of the reviews are positive, there are a few issues owners have experienced with this product. Some say it feels cheaply made and the reflector metal is very thing, making it very easy to dent. These lamps are ideal for those working in smaller garages, or don’t have a lot of space to begin with. With the clamps, users are able to creatively add light to areas that would be difficult to otherwise.
2. Snap-on LED Work Light (922261)
A trusted brand when it comes to tools, Snap-on offers a 2000-lumens LED work light featuring durable super bright LEDs that “never need replacing.” This work light has low power consumption, a sealed on/off switch, and can be used indoors and outdoors so long as it’s a dry location. Adjustable angle knobs make it easy to tilt this light, while an ergonomic padded carry handle makes it convenient to move around the garage. And since it uses low energy LED lights, it stays surprisingly cool to the touch.
In total, there are 46 LEDs on this light and it has a color temperature of 5000K. This work light comes with a 6-foot cord with a grounded three-prong plug.
This work light has overwhelmingly positive reviews, with many owners praising how much light it emits with so little heat, even when it’s being used all day. There are however, a small number of reviews where owners experienced failure after just a few months of use. Overall, this is one of the top-rated work lights and if you’re looking for a product with this form factor, you can’t go wrong with Snap-on.
3. FrenchMay Linkable LED Utility Shop Light
Many of the garage work lights we’ll explore on this list are similar to this 4-foot FrenchMay Linkable LED Utility Shop Light. These types of light fixtures are relatively easy to install, while providing plenty of light for your garage. FrenchMay’s offering offers 4800 lumens at 40 watts with a 5000K natural white light. This is a commercial-grade double ceiling light fixture that can last up to 22.8 years, based on 3 hours a day usage, says the company. These lights also come with a five-year warranty and a hardware kit for hassle-free installation. They can also be daisy chained for extra versatility.
Both suspended mounting and flush mounting are supported by these work lights, and they come with a 44-foot power cord with dual prong plugs. A chrome-finished pull cord switch makes it convenient to turn the light on and off. These lights are ETL certified for performance and safe operation.
This product has very few negative reviews, but some owners did complain about an annoying buzzing and humming sound coming from the light. Otherwise, the vast majority of owners are satisfied with how bright the lights are and how easy they were to install. A minor complaint from some owners is that the power cord is a bit on the short side.
4. Hykolity Linkable LED Shop Light
Another linkable LED shop light comes from Hykolity, which offers a much more affordable option compared to the competition. This 4-foot light offers 3700 lumens at 5000K and is constructed from composite aluminum. Like other similar work lights, there’s a pull cord that serves as an on/off switch and Hykolity’s product takes advantage of a plug connection to link up multiple lamps.
Each light includes two hanging chains, two “S” hooks, and two mounting screws for flush mounted installations. Hykolity also includes a five-year warranty with its products.
The majority of this product’s reviews are positive, but there is a noticeable percentage of negative reviews. Some of those negative reviews involve the product’s packaging, which isn’t very heavy duty, resulting in damaged product. Some owners had issues with the lights not functioning as soon as they received them, while others experienced issues after a few months of ownership. Also, a small number of owners did note these lights are interfering with their garage door remote.
The majority of owners however, are extremely pleased with how bright the lights, especially for their price.
5. Hyperikon HyperSelect LED Shop Light
The Hyperikon HyperSelect LED Shop Light is another 4-foot garage utility light that offers 3800 lumens at 4000K or 5000K temperature at 35 watts. The company says these lights have a life rating of 45,000 hours and are built to last with a patented product design. Like similar products, this can be installed as flush mount or a hanging light fixture with adjustable height. Included with the kit is an innovative cable that makes for an easy installation process.
Hyperikon offers a five-year unlimited warranty and says the HyperSelect LED Shop Light is shock and vibration resistant, as well as shatter resistant.
This product has very few negative reviews, and they mostly talk about the included hardware saying the clips, mounting brackets, and screws were poor quality. Others found the power switch awkward to use, especially when the light is mounted on the ceiling. The vast majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with owners praising their performance and how they illuminate almost instantly. They also found these lights easy to setup and were able to adjust the length with little fuss.
6. Neiko Cordless LED Work Light (40464A)
If you’re not interested in a permanent fixture, Neiko offers a cordless LED work light that generates 350 lumens of light from 60 super bright SMD LEDs. Lightweight yet built to last, this work light is a handheld, portable stick featuring an impact resistant aluminum housing and industrial grade polycarbonate lens. A rechargeable 4,000mAh lithium-ion battery powers this light, allowing it to offer up to 5 hours of performance before needing to be charged. Best of all, it uses a USB cable for charging, which means you can do it from your vehicle or use a wall plug.
Accessories for the Neiko Cordless LED Work Light include a magnetic housing base and a 360-degree swivel hook for hands-free use in emergency trouble, car repairs, or general garage work. This light includes overcharging protection and a low battery indicator, which automatically switches on when the battery is low. It’s also comfortable to use, thanks to a rubberized handle with an alternating pattern.
Most owners are very pleased with this light, appreciating its versatility of being magnetic and incorporating a 360-degree swivel hook. There are a small number of buyers who have had their light fail within months of ownership, or they’re unable to charge the light. But for the most point, owners are happy with their purchase, saying the light feels well built and lasts a long time between charges.
7. Sunco Lighting LED Utility Shop Light
Available as a two-pack, Sunco Lighting offers a 4-foot LED Utility Shop Light that offers 4100 lumens at either 4000K or 5000K temperature at 40 watts. These LED lights will last up to 50,000 hours and come with a five-year warranty. Like other shop lights, you can connect up to four of these lights together using the built-in 5-foot power cord. The pull cord switch measures 18.5-inches long. These lights are mercury free and contains no UV, making it safe to use in all environments.
Each kit comes with the light enclosure, two plastic anchors, two ceiling hooks, two mounting chains, and two suspension cables that measure 2 feet.
By now, you may have noticed there aren’t very many differentiating factors between many of these utility shop lights. Looking over the reviews on this specific product, there are a number of complaints of lights that were dead on arrival, and a small number of owners say there’s RF interference when the lights are on. But most owners are pleased with how bright they are and how easy they were to setup.
8. Ustellar LED Work Light
This is a more traditional LED work light, available in 20, 30, 50, and 100 watts. The 20-watt light offers 1600 lumens at 6000K temperature, while the 30-watt work light is 2400 lumens at 6000K temperature. If you want more brightness, the 50-watt version has two brightness levels with maximum output of 4500 lumens at 6000K, while the top-of-the-range 100-watt light also has two brightness levels but maximum output of 10000 lumens at 5000K.
The 20-, 30-, and 50-watt products come with a 16.4-foot power cord, while the 100-watt variant has a 25-foot power cord. All versions of this light are IP65 waterproof and come with a sealed on/off switch, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The fixture is designed with a fin-type heat sink, meaning it acts like a radiator to dissipate heat.
These work lights can rotate 360 degrees or tilt up to 90 degrees.
At first, it may seem like certain models of this light are a bit pricey. But if you’re comparing dollars-to-lumens, it’s actually competitively priced. Users find that they perform as advertised and are very bright, but they do get warm. Complaints about this light centers around its tilting limitations, while other owners note the on/off switch is in an awkward position, making it difficult to use.
9. PowerSmith Dual-Head LED Work Light
PowerSmith offers an LED work light with a telescoping tripod, giving you a free-standing option that can be adjusted. The dual-head light is available with 4000, 5000, 6000, 7500, and 10000 lumens of output at 5000K color temperature. Each light features sealed die-cast aluminum housings, impact-resistant glass lenses, sealed on/off switch on each light, metal base with rubber feet, and a 9-foot power cord with a grounded plug.
These lights can also be adjusted up to 30-degrees down or 90-degrees up, and there’s a quick-release system so you can easily detach the lights from the tripod. Depending on the model, the telescoping tripod can extend anywhere from 47-feet tall to 74-feet tall.
While the light fixtures on this product feel heavy duty and sturdy, the telescoping tripod feels a bit cheap according to some owners. Another minor complaint is that a single power cord is used for both lights, which means the pair of lights cannot be separated. Overall however, a vast majority of owners are satisfied with the product except for the tripod, saying the lights are very bright and do not emit very much heat.
10. Bayco LED Work Light on Metal Reel
For a more versatile option, the Bayco LED Work Light includes a metal reel with a 50-foot cord. This light has been durability and safety tested for the toughest conditions and is designed in the U.S.A. with quality materials. Equipped with bright LEDs, this light will last 35,000 hours and is impact, moisture, and chemical resistant. It incorporates a magnet in its body and top, as well as a hook for hands-free lighting.
The length of the actual light measures 14.3 inches. A mounting bracket is included for the heavy-duty retractable metal reel.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason why this product doesn’t advertise how many lumens it outputs. According to some of its owners, the light isn’t super bright and it doesn’t cover a big area. It does however, do a great job of illuminating your engine bay if you’re hanging it from your hood. While it is convenient to have a retractable cord, some users do say it feels “cheap” and it’s the biggest disappointment for some.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Garage Work Light
Now when you’re shopping for a work light, there’s a good chance it uses LED bulbs. There are still some work lights that use traditional incandescent bulbs, like the clamp light mentioned in this article. If you’re planning to purchase one of those types of work lights, you’re going to look at the wattage it supports and take into account how long the power cord is. You can always run an extension cord, but take it into consideration depending on how your garage is laid out and where you plan on doing the work.
There’s a better chance the light you’re looking at uses LEDs, so you’ll want to pay attention to its lumens specification rather than its wattage. The amount of lumens is actually how much light that particular product will emit – the larger the number, the brighter the light. You’ll also want to take into consideration its temperature. Most of these lights will offer either 4000K, 5000K, or 6000K temperature, which is designed to closely mimic daylight. The larger the number, the “colder” or more blue the shade of light is. So 4000K lighting will be a more natural, brighter white light than 6000K lighting.
If you’re choosing a product that won’t be a more permanent fixture, look at how much it can be adjusted. Most handheld lights will come with a 360-degree swivel hook, allowing you to hang it from your hood to provide light while you’re working in your engine bay. Other lights will be magnetic, so you can stick to to certain parts of your car while working. Other work lights will have adjustable brackets that rotate and tilt. Make sure they offer enough adjustability for your work.
Lastly, choose a product that offers good customer service and a solid warranty. Unfortunately many of these products are manufactured overseas, so there will always be a chance you receive a faulty item. Good customer support will get you a replacement quickly, saving a lot of hassle and headache.
Our Final Verdict
As you can tell, there are several different types of garage work lights available, from overhanging permanent fixtures to handheld, cordless units. The type of light you want to choose is entirely up to you and what you need to use it for. Generally, the LED shop utility lights are the most popular and each garage could always use at least one. From there, you may want to purchase a handheld or adjustable light, one that you can control where it illuminates when you’re working.
That being said, it’s difficult to make a recommendation for a best overall light, since it largely depends on your needs. Like other products you’re purchasing, make sure to check user reviews but take some of them with a grain of salt. Many of these products are manufactured overseas, so there’s a good chance there will be a few faulty units. Many of the lights mentioned in this article have overwhelmingly positive reviews, so you can’t really go wrong with any of them, so long as they suit your needs.
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