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Portable Shop Lighting Is Bright And Affordable

Good lighting helps you select the correct tool, find leaks, read a shop manual, and locate the last thing you dropped. We discuss an array of useful shop lights.

Proper lighting while you work on your vehicle can make the difference between stripping a nut with the wrong tool and breaking things loose without drama. Good lighting lets you clearly see what size wrench is needed so you can make one trip to the tool box instead of three. It lets you find the source of a fluid leak or determine which parts are worn quickly and easily. With good portable lighting, not only will finding the right fuse be easier, but you'll locate small bits that dropped into dark cavities that much faster.

In this article, we'll discuss various types of shop lighting available that can give you the clear vision you need. Our scope will stay focused on what we might call "flexible" lighting, so we will not discuss permanently-mounted wall and ceiling lighting here. We're sure that, after a look at what we offer, even the most demanding of customers will find at least one product that delivers more than expected. Whether you prefer lights than hang on hooks, lights with built-in fans, flood lights, lights that strap on to your head, cordless lights, or lights with long lengths of reeled cord, we've got a great selection of value-packed lights in our Work Lights category, located in our Tools & Garage store. Many of the lights we offer contain magnets built in to their base or other areas which prevent damage from sliding off uneven metal surfaces, so look for this feature when comparing items in our section.

LED Headlamps

LED Technology

First, CARiD is a believer in the benefits of light emitting diodes (LEDs), and we stock a number of work lights equipped with environmentally responsible LEDs that use a fraction of the energy traditional incandescent bulbs do. LEDs produce brighter, more concentrated light - providing better visibility under the hood, inside the trunk, or on the ground below. Since LEDs are transistors coated with a substrate that emits light when current is applied, they generate more light per watt than incandescent bulbs without the heat buildup that causes degradation of plastic light cover assemblies.

And because LEDs come sealed in moisture-proof casings, are extremely resistant to shocks, and do not get consumed during use, they typically last a lifetime. In fact, LEDs can provide up to 50,000 hours of service in their lifetime compared to 2,000 hours for traditional incandescent bulbs. We've got LED-powered drop lights, head gear, stationary lights, and much more.

LED Technology

Hanging Drop Lights

When it comes to hanging LED drop lights, the cordless Black & Decker BarFlex Alkaline LED Work Light has a rechargeable battery pack built into it, with a magnetic base that clings well to metal surfaces. The DeWalt Max LED Area Light features a hook at the top which spins 360 degrees so the light can swivel fully. The hook also telescopes to allow the light to be pulled 2 inches further down should clearance issues require it.

The cordless Black & Decker BarFlex.
Many lights we sell feature magnets built into the base. Look for this feature if you plan to place your work light on any metal surface.
Bayco’s Incandescent Drop Light is a best value pick.

Bayco's Emergency Area/Under Hood Work Light is designed with hooks on both ends for easy overhead mounting, and their Corded LED Reel Light provides a traditional drop light with a 60-foot reeled cord assembly. And if a hanging LED drop light that's designed to be dropped without damage is something you can use, take a look at the Steelman LED Bump Light - available in both short and long lengths.

For basic value, we offer the Bayco 50 ft. Incandescent Drop Light that provides the convenience of a hanging light with traditional incandescent bulbs. A neat feature of this light is that the cord swivels from the side, making it possible to set this light down on its base for hands-free use.

Lights Which Can Be Positioned On The Floor

For those who prefer lights which can be positioned on the floor, the Jackco Transnational Cordless LED Flood Light has a battery back good for 3 hours of light, and it can be purchased in a choice of brightness output levels. The Stanley Squidbrite LED Worklight offers a bright LED light with three adjustable legs that serve as a flexible tripod on uneven surfaces. Or, use the adjustable legs to wrap around objects of any shape to hang the light virtually anywhere. Ingersoll Rand's Cordless Task Light offers LED functionality with the addition of a bright xenon flood light. Its pivoting elbow allows 180 degrees of positioning for both xenon and led lights, and a 3-mode switch allows one or both of them to be turned on.

The Jackco Transnational Cordless LED Flood Light.
The Stanley Squidbrite LED Worklight.

Perhaps the ultimate in industrial-strength lighting is the Pelican Remote Area Lighting System, available in a choice of exterior colors. This light is self-contained and compact with a waterproof and shock-proof casing that will stand up to abuse. It provides a whopping 3,000 lumens of output and 15 hours of operating time on a lower setting.

And when you need the brightest and the best, check out Pelican's complete Remote Area Lighting System that features a 12-volt battery, case with built-in wheels, remote control, 6-foot light extensions, and four high-powered LED lights that pump out a total of 12,000 lumens. This light is ideal for first responders who need to light up a scene, or for athletic fields at night.

The Pelican Remote Area Lighting System.
The Pelican Remote Area Lighting System.

Lights With Built-In Fans

Lights With Built-In Fans
The Cyclops 18 LED Portable Fan Light.

If lights with built-in fans to move surrounding air are useful, the Cyclops 18 LED Portable Fan Light includes both an electric fan and a circular-shaped LED light housing. The light is compact for hanging and, with two D batteries, it can provide up to 50 hours of illumination. Additionally, the RV Designer 12 Volt Fan/Light features a 2-speed fan and a clamp at the top that allows the light to clip onto items above.

Hands-Free Lights That Strap Onto Your Head, aka Headlamps

We’ve got compact, round lights attached to an elastic head strap that pump out bright light from multiple LEDs. You don't need to be a coal miner to appreciate these “headlamps” because they allow dexterity, comfort, and balance anywhere. Whether you're working under your car or hiking over a mountain ridge at night, both hands will be free and the light will automatically follow every turn of your head. The Princeton Tec Apex Pro LED Headlamp and the Princeton Tec Quad II Headlamp are among many excellent examples we offer.

The Stanley Waterproof LED Alkaline Headlamp.
Princeton Tec Apex Pro LED Headlamp.

And if you work in the rain or plan on swimming in the dark, we've got the Stanley Waterproof LED Alkaline Headlamp which runs on alkaline batteries that provide 23 hours of illumination. It comes with five light settings (including a flashing strobe) and a 4-position pivoting head mount. To view additional styles of head lamps and compare prices, see our Headlamps page.

You'll also find a selection of powerful hand-held spot lights, flashlights, fixture lights, replacement bulbs & parts, and more in the pages we have devoted to shop and work lights. If a "Product Options" field exists for an item you're viewing, click on it to see any product variations that may be available. If applicable, you'll see additional related items that may not automatically be included with the main product. Whichever light you choose, you will enjoy working in your shop that much more with the brightness provided by your new lighting purchase.

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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.

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