Working in the garage can span a lot of different tasks. From workbench cutting to welding to working underneath your car, getting the job done easily requires an assortment of different shop lights. With so many options out there, here’s a look at the best of the best to help you pick out the right light for the job.
Now in HD
The most basic of lights, the handheld flashlight, has undergone some major overhauling in the past couple years. If you’re still using an old D-battery-powered style, then you may want to consider upgrading to a rechargeable-powered flashlight. These high-powered lights are typically illuminated by high-intensity LED bulbs that provide far more light than your run-of-the-mill, old-fashioned flashlight. These days, many handheld flashlights are powered by long-lasting lithium batteries for higher output and longer run times.
When it comes to lighting a large area under a bench or car, nothing works better than a fluorescent tube light for maximum coverage. Powered by 120-volt electricity for your wall outlet, these tube bulbs produce widespread, even lighting for larger areas and typically feature legs or a stand to set them in place so you can work hands free.
Another handy light to have in your toolbox is a small, magnetic stick-on light. Typically, these have a set of small LEDs and are powered by a couple AA batteries. While they may not cover as much space as a fluorescent lamp or HD flashlight, they’re great for small places where you need to light up above what you can see. Many have double-sided tape as a mounting option, but if you’re trying to illuminate the depths of an engine bay, nothing comes in more handy than these small, magnetic press lights.
On the Hook
Seen in just about every garage and construction site around the world, the readily available hook light is a shop favorite. While most use a simple incandescent bulb, LED options are now available. Basically just a bulb on the end of an extension cord, hook lights are great for a number of tasks, thanks to how easy they are to hang wherever you need a little extra light.
Stick to It
Stick lights are great to have, because they provide the flexibility of being both a standing, lantern-style light and a handheld flashlight. The end lamp is often hinged, allowing you to use the light on an angle or straight ahead, and many varieties also feature a side- or handle-mounted fluorescent light that’s good for covering small floodlight work.
Shop lights come in many shapes and sizes, but each has its own unique uses around your garage. Super-powered handheld lights are easy to position, so you can get a look at exactly what you need, while freestanding lamps can provide a wide area of light or give you the option to temporarily mount your light inside the work area.
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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.