Viewing the different components of a car engine during repairs at night can be extremely difficult. An underhood work light is the best way to get a clear view of the engine area when working under your car. It illuminates the working area and enables you to see the part that needs troubleshooting to get your car going again. With the best underhood work light and mechanical tools, repairing your vehicle becomes super-easy. If you opt for a torchlight, you will need to hold it with one hand and use the other for the necessary repairs, which can be quite difficult.
Underhood work light gives the freedom to
work with your hands. It will improve your working experience in the garage, driveway, or home. Work lights come in different varieties to suit all kinds of work environments. But getting the best underhood work light for repairs can be tricky due to the many options available on the market today.
So, what should you do?
This is where our experts come in.
We have created a review of the best work lights for mechanics and included a buying guide to help inform your buying decision.
Best Underhood Work Light for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons
The best underhood work light is designed to provide optimum illumination for checking all parts of your car under the hood. Sadly, not all work lights are top-quality. Thus, it is vital to choose the best work light you can find. The table below lists the best 7 on the market today and the features that set them apart.
1. Neiko 40447A Rechargeable Underhood Work LightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
This is our top-rated product for the best led underhood work light. It is among the most reliable hood lights that provide optimal illumination to engine compartments and anyplace with poor lightening. This cordless work light uses unique next-generation SMD LED bulbs powered by an 8,0000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The batteries are rugged and long-lasting. You will enjoy optimal illumination for a long time.
The Neiko 40447A is suitable for both professional and DIY mechanics and it’s good for use during nighttime or roadside emergencies. It comes with two detachable magnetic hooks that can be mounted on metal surfaces. We love the protective foam cushion on the end of the hooks that ensure that this product will not damage or scratch your vehicle’s finish
We also find the high brightness setting impressive. It ranges from 1100 to 1200 lumens and a runtime of 3 hours. When we set it to low brightness, we got a performance of 550 to 650 lumens and a runtime of 6 hours, which is fantastic. And finally, it comes in a polycarbonate light housing that is scratch and impact resistant.
2. ATD Tools atd-80357 LED Underhood LightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The ATD atd-80357 comes with 2000 lumens of bright light and has 250 SMD LEDs. This is suitable for illuminating a very dark engine compartment. The light bar is 40 inches and provides maximum illumination in whatever direction it faces. It has hooks extending from 55 inches to 83 inches to perfectly light SUVs and truck engine hoods. The hooks are large and padded for easy attachment and increased stability.
We found two brightness modes on the ATD atd-80357. There is a high 2000 lumens and a low 2000 lumens. And a removable cord of 25 feet that is resistant to oil and grease stain. Plus, it is flexible in cold weather.
Another superb feature of this work light is the battery level display. This can be activated by pushing the LED indicator button. Even in a low power setting, this work light can offer sufficient lighting to work your engine parts. When on high setting, we got a run time of 1.6 hours and 3 hours on low light settings.
3. Cat CT1000 Pocket Work LightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
Our best value pick is the Cat CT1000 Pocket Work Light that comes with a superb piece of engineering. This tech ensures the work light delivers optimal performance without consuming too much power. This light delivers up to 175 lumens of light. Meaning no matter how dark your work area, this hood light is one product you can count on.
One feature we love about this work light is the portability. It seamlessly fitted into work cloth pockets and was easy to hook on metallic surfaces due to its magnetic base. It is lightweight. Thus, you could even hand it over to a workmate to hold for you while you troubleshoot the engine to submission. This lightweight and portability feature also makes it ideal for illuminating hard-to-reach engine areas.
With this portable work light, you can repair the damaged parts of your vehicles, fix the leaking sink, and illuminate the underside of the car. It has a run time of 7 hours with no need to worry about draining the batteries. It is also impressive that the manufacturer included 3 AAA batteries, so you can put this unit to work as soon as it ships to your workshop.
4. Bayco SL-864 60 LED Work Light — Best corded work lightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
This corded underhood work light comes with 60 LED lights and delivers high-quality performance in all conditions. It is a USA-made, tested, and proven performer for nighttime emergencies and workshop use. However, it comes with a light intensity that is not as great as the above-reviewed products. The model is fitted with a retractable cord that can reach a length of 50 feet.
The Bayco SL-864 60 LED Work Light is suitable for use in multiple applications. It is a chemical-resistant and waterproof LED light designed specifically for automotive repair applications. Also, it is perfect for illuminating all dark and poorly-lit areas. While also offering hands-free lighting benefits.
This underhood work light has a magnetic base which allows users to attach it anywhere it is needed. It also has hooks for easy installation. The best part of this work light is that it does not require a battery to run. It can run for hours without having to recharge it. This product comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
5. Bosch 12V Max LED Worklight – Best standalone work lightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The Bosch 12V max-led work light is a cordless underhood work light that offers a clear and bright light. Users can switch between a low and high light mode to suit a specific requirement. It comes with a self-stand bracket that makes it easy to direct the light to any angle that best suits your work requirement. Plus, it features 12-volt batteries that are well-known to offer exceptional run time.
It is designed with 10 LEDs that deliver one of the brightest light beams of any work light in the market. The hood light illuminated dim and dark corners in our workshop seamlessly. We were impressed with the dual power lighting mode that made it easy to switch the light intensity to a low-light mode in seconds and save run time. Users can also switch to the dim light mode when necessary to save battery life.
The Bosch 12V max-led work light comes with excellent mounting features. A strong magnetic base, a nail hook, a clip, and 200 degrees rotating head makes this product one of the best underhood work led light in the market today.
6. Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light – Best for 360 degrees lightingRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light is an excellent work light in the auto market due to its design, high quality, and superb brightness. It comes with SMD square LED lights that reach a maximum of 1000 lumens brightness. And features a slim design making it lightweight and portable.
We love this light because the clamps are padded on the ends to prevent scratches on your car during use. Another impressive feature is the LEDs that can expand the light, offering consistent light intensity in the whole working area.
When we deployed this work light in low mode settings, it had a run time of 3 hours and 6 hours when operated using the low light settings. The Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light can extend up to 68 inches, making it suitable for a number of cars and vehicles. The end clamps are designed to rotate 360 degrees for ease of use. Finally, this work light comes with a USB C-type charger associated with fast charging speed.
7. NextLED Rechargeable Underhood Work Light – Best multifunctional usageRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The NextLED Rechargeable Underhood Work Light uses a COB LED technology. This unique tech endows it with a powerful brightness of 1500 lumen per watt. Thus, a user can use this product to power an entire engine compartment simultaneously. It has a length that ranges from 48 inches to 77 inches. Plus, a reachable design that allows the light to fit in many hood sizes.
Like the Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light, the NextLED Work Light is also cushioned with foam that prevents it from scratching the car. It comes in two detachable work lights, both having hooks that allow users to hang them in a position that best suits the work at hand. The lights can be rotated at 360 degrees, ensuring that the work environment can be illuminated at once.
The NextLED Work Light comes with a huge battery capacity of 8000 mah. It will serve you for 6 hours on low light setting and 3 hours on high light mode. Its fast charge cable ensures this unit will be fully charged in 4 hours. Finally, the work light is multifunctional; it can be used as a maintenance lamp, camping lamp, and warning light.
Keep Your Underhood Illuminated with this Buying Guide
There are many things to consider in a work light before purchase. These features will enable you to settle for a light source that best meets your needs. The following are some factors to look out for in the best underhood work light:
Go for a work light that provides enough illumination when working, or else it will be useless. Your preferred light source should come with a low, high, strobe, or flashing setting for use during emergencies like the NextLED Rechargeable Underhood Work Light. The higher the watts or number of lumens in work light, the higher the brightness.
Underhood lights work on both AC and DC power; as such, many come cordless. They are easy to carry because they are small and lightweight. Cordless hood lights like the Bosch 12V Max LED Worklight provide flexibility and convenience in terms of where to use and place them.
When making a work light buying decision, consider the quality and size of the battery. How many hours will it take to become fully charged, and how many hours does it last after charging? Go for hood lights like the Neiko 40447A Rechargeable Underhood Work Light that require short charging time and more use hours.
The material built of your work light matters a lot. You should go for a product made of high-quality materials. Long-lasting construction makes the light tool more durable. In addition, ensure your hood light of choice comes in an external casing that is waterproof and dustproof. The ATD Tools atd-80357 LED Underhood Light is oil and grease stain resistant.
All work lights have a unique light output rating, denoted in lumens. Our list contains products with output ratings of between 800-2000 lumens. Lumen is the SI unit of luminous flux. It indicates the degree of light brightness or intensity. The best underhood work light should have a lumen count that will provide optimal lighting to sufficiently light the engine area even in pitch-black environments.
Battery life and capacity
The products reviewed above come equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. An excellent light source needs to have adequate run time, which is only possible if it comes with a high-capacity battery. As a rule of thumb, underhood work light with a maximum running time of 4 hours is considered respectable. However, there are some with higher run time.
Also, check the battery charge time. A high-capacity battery will require longer charging hours; thus, go for a model having low charging time and high run time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are underhood work lights waterproof?
There are many types of light in the market with different features depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, the waterproofing ability will range from one manufacturer to the other. However, the best underhood work light should be dustproof and waterproof. This makes it suitable for use in unfriendly weather.
What is the brightest underhood work light?
High-quality work lights usually come with super-brightness. Some of the brightest models are Neiko 40447A Rechargeable Underhood Work Light, ATD Tools atd-80357 LED Underhood Light, and the Bosch 12V Max LED Workligh. Different people will require different levels of light intensity. When considering the brightness of a work light, check the luminous intensity at both high and low modes. Note, the level of brightness you select will affect the hood light runtime.
Can LED work lights be used in Range Hoods?
It may be necessary to change incandescent or halogen bulbs with LEDs because of their brilliance and clarity. However, this is not advisable in range hoods, especially when you don’t know the bulb’s requirements. The hoods get hot easily, thus degrading the quality of light from the work light. Many LED work lights are not designed to be used with the controls in range hoods. We advise that you go for the recommended bulb for your range hood.
The best under hood work light is a must if you are into auto-engineering. From our review above, you can tell there are many types of hood lights on the market. The work light you should settle for will be determined by the features and what you need the light source for. In all, an underhood work light is a popular automotive item, and each home or garage could use at least one.
With the many work lights in the market, the tips above will help you make an informed decision. Consider the battery life, power source, construction, run time, battery capacity, and others before investing in one. The best under hood work light will provide optimal illumination to your engine compartment, allowing you to clearly see your car coolant reservoirs, brake fluid, and other components when doing general maintenance on your vehicle.