Hey, Ryobi: Here's My Opinion of the 18V ONE+ Dual Power Worklight

Dear Ryobi Product Development Team:

You can read my mind.  Just the other day, I was telling myself, "Enough of those worthless clamp work lights.  It's time to get a real work light."  Then you guys come out with this 18V ONE+ Dual Power Worklight, which delights me in some ways but leaves me scratching my head in other ways.

Buy From Amazon - Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Dual Power 20-Watt LED Work Light

  • 01 of 06

    The stand clips to 2x4s.  How neat is that?

    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Clips To 2x4s
    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Clips To 2x4s. © Lee Wallender

    A solid-state work light clip:  first I've ever seen.  Every other work light clip is spring-loaded or tightened via a toggle nut/bolt system.  Both methods result in the light falling and breaking.  The Ryobi has a U-shaped base.  You can stand the light on the floor or clip it to a 2x4.  It's got a satisfying solidity, too, progressively tightening the farther the clip goes onto the 2x4.

    You'd better hope that the clip holds firmly, because this baby's "bulb" cannot be...MORE changed.  When you break the light, you buy a new light.  The consolation is that LEDs don't really have bulbs.  Instead, the light source is comprised of many tiny diodes, and these diodes will not break in the way that a conventional lightbulb will break.  If you drop this and it breaks, it would be more a matter of the entire unit breaking than a bulb breaking.

  • 02 of 06

    But I'm scratching my head over the switch that accidentally turns on and off.

    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight On/Off Button
    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight On/Off Button. © Lee Wallender

     I'll assume that this feature was not intentional.  I'll just assume that someone on the design team spilled coffee on the product blueprints, obliterating the built-in guard that protects the on/off button from accidental engagement.  Because without this guard, the power button can easily turn on or off.  And it will.  I've been blinded a few times when my hand inadvertently pressed the switch.  

    One brilliant solution I came up with:  swivel the light upside-down, so that the...MORE switch is on the bottom.  This doesn't prevent all accidents, but it does reduce them.

  • 03 of 06

    What really blows off the top of my head is the dual power capacity.

    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Back Side
    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Back Side. © Lee Wallender

    Somebody on your team broke the primary rule of modern cordless tool design:  "Force consumers into a battery platform and don't let them go--ever."  Like any other cordless tool on the market, the Ryobi Worklight's energy platform is proprietary--in this case, the 18V ONE+ system.  We get that.

    But you did a very naughty thing, which was to give the customer flexibility, choice, freedom.  Along with the battery pack, the Ryobi Worklight plugs into a household 120V outlet, as...MORE shown here.  This is a great thing.  Please continue to break this rule with subsequent Ryobi products.

  • 04 of 06

    Our mortal enemy:  the incandescent or clamp work light.

    Regular Incandescent Work Light
    Regular Incandescent Work Light. © Lee Wallender

    Let's take a moment to look at what we're all banding against, the scourge of the home remodeler, the clamp light.  This stamped aluminum piece of junk won't shine an adequate light, won't stay clamped on anything, and gets as hot as blazes.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    I liked Ryobi's throw and intensity.

    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Illumination Field and Intensity
    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight Illumination Field and Intensity. © Lee Wallender

    The Ryobi's 1,700 lumens light is intense, clean, and has a short, wide throw.  LED is not the kind of light you want shining over your romantic moments.  LED is the light of work.

    Intense:  How intense is 1,700 lumens?  Many video projectors are rated at about 1,700 lumens.  LEDs put out far more lumens per watt than CFLs (compact fluorescent) and incandescents.  One night when I had to do something in my dark yard, I unplugged the Ryobi from its 120V source, slapped in a 18V ONE+...MORE battery pack, and took it with me.  Foliage in the dead of night has a certain way of sucking away all light; flashlights are useless.  The Ryobi penetrated this murky black, picking out colors and details.  It was bright enough to annoy my neighbors, too.

    Clean:  The light is clean and white.  For painting your home, the light is color-correct, similar to those telescoping halogen work lights that paint contractors use.  

    Short Throw:  Throw refers to the distance between the light source and target.  The Ryobi Worklight has a short throw that enables you to place the light close to your work area (let's say five to ten feet away), which provides the most intense light, while still illuminating a large area.  

  • 06 of 06

    Limited swivel makes light targeting more difficult

    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight
    RYOBI 18V ONE+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Worklight. © Lee Wallender

    Consider adding greater swiveling ability.  Currently, the light swivels up and down (if the unit is on the ground) or side to side (if clipped to a 2x4).  With the light clipped to a stud, there is no way to point the light upward or downward.  The solution is to clip the unit higher or lower on the stud, but the light beam is still horizontal.