The 8 Best LED Work Lights of 2023

Our top choice is the Craftsman 2000-Lumen Portable Work Light

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The Spruce / Amelia Manley

No matter what task you’re working on—be it changing the oil in your lawn mower or building a bookcase—proper lighting is essential. When your overhead lights simply aren’t cutting it, you may need to bring in reinforcements.

LED work lights are increasingly overtaking incandescent work lights as popular options for supplementary task lighting. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit every job. Plus, LED bulbs are incredibly energy-efficient and long-lasting, saving you the hassle of purchasing new bulbs every few months. 

We researched various LED work lights and evaluated them for their brightness, versatility in lighting patterns, and styles, from small-job lights that fit in pockets, to lights that illuminate large spaces.

Here are the best LED work lights.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Craftsman 2000-Lumen LED Portable Work Light

Craftsman 2000-Lumen LED Portable Work Light

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • Immensely adjustable

  • Lightweight though sturdy

  • Folds flat for easy storage

  • Water resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Short cord limits positioning

The Craftsman LED Portable Work Light is bright, versatile, and affordable, making it a top option for a wide range of tasks. You can lean it back and rotate its head 360 degrees, letting you angle its impressive 2,000 lumens in any direction. Its heavy-duty though lightweight steel body folds flat when you’re done, making it easy to transport and store. We also appreciate that it's rated at IP65, so it can function well in wet locations.

As with many Craftsman products, now being sold exclusively at Lowe's, this LED work light can be fitted onto Craftsman tripods. We would prefer a longer power cord than the five-footer that is hardwired to this product, but at such a reasonable price, you can easily buy a few to keep in your workshop.

Price at time of publish: $35

Lumens: 2000 | Material: Steel | Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.375 inches | Weight: 2.45 pounds | Rechargeable? No

Best Budget

LEPOWER Super Bright 30W LED Work Light

LEPOWER Super Bright 30W LED Work Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bright

  • Immensely adjustable

  • Rain- and snow-proof

  • Dissipates heat effectively

What We Don't Like
  • Switch is on cord, not unit

The floodlight-style LEPOWER LED gives off a super-bright 3000 lumens and can be rotated 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically to suit any task. We like that this light, designed for outdoor use, also is designed to be shadow- and glare-free. It is rated a waterproof IP66, so it should withstand heavy rain, snow or sleet.

According to the manufacturer, this LED light uses 80 percent less energy than halogen bulbs. Its multiple-groove design coupled with die-cast aluminum body should be highly effective in shearing away heat. It features a 15-foot cord, but we question why it contains the on/off switch rather than being on the unit itself.

Price at time of publish: $25

Lumens: 3000 | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.4 x 10.8 inches | Weight: 2.94 pounds | Rechargeable? No

Best Tripod

Husky 7000-Lumen Multi-Directional LED Tripod Work Light

Husky 7000-Lumen Multi-Directional LED Tripod Work Light

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Super-bright light

  • Telescoping mount

  • 360-degree throw range

  • three-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • A little heavy to tote

You can light up a whole room with the powerful Husky Multi-Directional LED Tripod Work Light, which provides an impressive 7000 lumens of output. The telescoping mount can be extended from 26.5 to 57 inches, and the light has two side panels that can be folded backwards or forwards for 360-degree illumination. If you need to set the light elsewhere, you can detach it from the tripod.

This LED work light has an integrated handle for easy carrying, and at about 8.5 pounds it isn't that heavy a tote. It can be detached from the tripod for increased portability, but its power cord is only five feet long. It's rated for temporary damp location use but is not recommended for use in wet weather. This product has a three-year warranty, but we like that Husky replaces any failed product for as long as you own it.

Price at time of publish: $109

Lumens: 7000 | Material: Not listed | Dimensions: 29 x 38 x 69.25 inches | Weight: 8.47 pounds | Rechargeable? No

Best Folding

Astro Tools Rechargeable Folding Double-Sided LED Slim Light

Astro Tools Rechargeable Folding Double-Sided LED Slim Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Rechargeable

  • Dimmable

  • Magnets for mounting, plus hook

What We Don't Like
  • Can fall over easily

For a more compact work light, consider the Astro Tools Folding Double-Sided Slim Light. This rechargeable unit features two 500-lumen lights—one on each side—as well as a 150-lumen top flashlight, and its 180-degree folding design makes it ideal for working in tight spaces. The unit charges its two included replaceable lithium-ion batteries via a USB-C cable, and it also can charge using typical device (but not iPhone) cables. You also can purchase a charging pad (not included) to charge the light wirelessly. The light stays charged for about three hours, according to the manufacturer. 

We like that you can dim the Astro Tools Slim Light, which we don't see a lot of with similar products. The product also features versatile mounting, with a base magnet and dual handle magnets, as well as a base hook. However, it is somewhat top-heavy and could fall over easily. We have noted that it didn't survive a fall into a drain pan full of coolant, so we recommend you not use this product in wet conditions.

Price at time of publish: $53

Lumens: 500 per light (2) | Material: Not listed | Dimensions: 4.25 x 2.6 x 14.37 inches | Rechargeable? Yes

Best Clamp

Husky 1500-Lumens Rechargeable Clamp LED Work Light

Husky Rechargeable Clamp LED Work Light

Courtesy of the Home Depot

What We Like
  • Clamp holds tightly

  • Non-marring feet

  • Light can stand on its own

  • Six-hour runtime

What We Don't Like
  • Not recommended for wet weather

Clamp lights are another popular style of LED work light, as they’re easy to attach to a wide variety of surfaces. The Husky Rechargeable Clamp LED Work Light is especially versatile. The integrated clamp holds tightly to pipes, doors, framing, and more, and its non-marring feet shouldn't scuff or scratch the surface. Its cordless design and 360-degree pivoting light make it easy to position. You can even lock its legs open to transform it into a freestanding unit. It gives off 1500 lumens of output, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. However, while this product resists some water, we don't suggest it for outdoor use in very wet weather.

This LED light charges via a USB cable, and it delivers up to six hours of runtime per charge, according to the manufacturer. However, we have noted that initially, it can take several hours to charge, so we recommend charging it after each use. The cord is only three feet long, but since it is used only to recharge the light, we don't consider that an issue.

Price at time of publish: $56

Lumens: 1500 | Material: Aluminum and plastic | Dimensions: 3 x 5.25 x 6.7 inches | Rechargeable? Yes

Best Pocket

Cat Work Lights LED Flood Beam Pocket Work Light

Cat Work Lights LED Flood Beam Pocket Work Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Resists water and impact

  • Clips to pants pocket

  • Super-bright COB technology

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries need replacing

At 6 inches long, the CAT COB LED Pocket Work Light is a better fit for most pockets than other portable LED work lights. It has a water- and impact-resistant body, and its reinforced pocket clip keeps it attached to a shirt, pet leash or pants pocket. You also can mount it to a work space such as the underside of a car hood, and its magnetic base holds it in place.

COB stands for "chip on board," a relatively new LED sub-technology. COBs mount an LED chip directly to a substrate, allowing more LEDs to be packed more tightly together. That results in brighter and more uniform light that uses less energy than standard LED lights. So while this light delivers a relatively small 175 lumens, it's actually brighter than non-COB 175-lumen products. The manufacturer reports that the product rates 6300-7000 Kelvin, delivering cool, daylight-style light.

The 2-ounce unit runs on three AAA batteries, and it can provide light for up to seven consecutive hours.

Price at time of publish: $12

Lumens: 175 | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 6 x 0.55 x 1.25 inches | Rechargeable? No

Best Cordless

Braun 390 Lumen USB Rechargeable Work Light with Magnetic Base Ultra Bright LED Flashlight

Braun 390 Lumen Magnetic Slim Bar Folding Rechargeable LED Work Light


What We Like
  • Super-bright

  • Long throw pattern

  • High and low setting

  • Compact and foldable

What We Don't Like
  • On-off switch too easily pressed

What buyers say: 94 percent of nearly 1,000 Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or higher.

We always wanted a Star Wars-looking lightsaber, and this one comes close, with its 13.5-inch length and molded plastic handle and adjustment ratchet. But this is a down-to-earth tool that impressed us for its super-bright COB-style LED light that stays functional for around 2.5 hours on high beam and seven hours on low, without any need for a cord. (You recharge it with any standard USB cable.) The product folds, to about half its length, neatly into your tool kit. If you have no need to wield it in your hand, Jedi-style, you can mount this light onto a metal surface with its included magnetic base.

The COB ("chip-on-board") technology used in this aluminum product increases the number of LEDs that can be mounted on a substrate, meaning you have more light emitters on the same size surface, and thus more light. The manufacturer asserts that the highest setting throws a 390-lumen beam more than 66 feet—about the length of a semi-trailer. (If you need an ordinary flashlight option, you have that as well.) You can angle the head 180 degrees and swivel it 180 degrees, giving you a wide distribution range.

The only downside to this product is that we have noted that the on-off switch may be in an awkward position for some, and we would prefer that it be recessed rather than protrude from the body. But this is a minor point that in no way dims our recommending this product.

Price at time of publish: $40

Lumens: 390 | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.38 inches | Rechargeable? Yes

Best Retractable

Alert Stamping LED Cord Reel Task Light

Alert Stamping LED Cord Reel Task Light

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • 30-foot retractable cord

  • 450 lumens

  • Removable magnet, plus wall mount

  • Can plug in other devices

What We Don't Like
  • Other alternatives cost less

Retractable lights, like the Alert Stamping LED Cord Reel Task Light, are handy if you always find yourself searching for a flashlight. This reel light has a 30-foot cord with a 450-lumen LED light on the end. The light features a top-hang hook that rotates 360 degrees, as well as a removable magnet for easy mounting. You also can attach this to a wall or ceiling using the included mount. Plus, a grounded 120-volt outlet in the handle allows this product to double as an extension cord.

If you need a permanent work light, note that its 16-inch length may make it difficult to mount in tight spaces. The power cord is only 18 inches long, which could further restrict placement.

Price at time of publish: $115

Lumens: 450 | Material: Alloy steel | Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 2.5 inches | Rechargeable? No

Final Verdict

The Craftsman 2000-Lumen LED Portable Work Light is our top choice for LED work lights as it’s bright, portable, and affordable, making it a top option for a wide range of tasks. If you’re specifically looking for a cordless model, go with the Braun 390 Lumen USB Rechargeable Work Light. It charges from a standard USB cord and provides a super-bright light you can wield by hand or mount with a magnetic base.

What to Look for in an LED Work Light


Depending on the job, it may be necessary to have a portable work light to carry around, or a stationary work light that you can set up on a stand. There are various types of LED work lights, and knowing the differences among them can help you find the best work light for your next project.

  • Portable work lights are specifically made for easy transportation and may even have some innovative attachments to help position them, such as a wall mount or adjustable base. These products are great for use on construction sites and are effective solutions when you need to work inside a wall or up in the ceiling.
  • Stand work lights use tripods or other stands for support. You can adjust their height by shortening or lengthening the stand's legs. You set the light's direction simply by turning the light towards the desired area. However, the drawback of stand work lights is that they take up a lot of space and can create a tripping hazard in a busy area. Use them for longer projects or when you need both hands to work.
  • Retractable work lights can function as stationary or portable options. Their power cords can be extended to position the light anywhere, usually by means of a hook; then, retract them fully into the light's structure for convenient storage and transportation. That not only keeps the user safe from accidentally tripping over the cord but also keeps the light safe from being yanked out of the wall by a foot or leg.


The brightness of an LED work light is typically measured in lumens (lm). One lumen is equal to the amount of light produced by a single burning candle, so look for a work light that can create a substantial amount of light for the job. If you regularly work in a well-lit garage, you may only need a work light for more detailed work.

However, if you complete renovations and repairs inside the ceiling, under sinks, behind walls, or in dark mechanical rooms, opt for a work light that can properly illuminate the space. Work lights can range in brightness from just 60 lumens to well over 1,500 lumens, so check the lumen output, and find the best work light for your purposes.

Newer LED work lights may use chip-on-board (COB) technology, where more LEDs can be mounted on a bulb's surface, effectively increasing the number of light providers. Such lights may have apparently low lumens but actually can deliver brighter light, and often reduce power consumption as well.

Ingress Protection Rating

Ingress protection (IP) ratings indicate a product's level of resistance to water and dust. IP ratings are given as two-digit numbers, with the first digit, from 0 to 6, representing the level of protection against solid particles such as hair, dust, and dirt. The second digit represents the level of protection against water and similar liquids on a scale of 0 to 7. Despite a work light's IP ratings, few are recommended for work in heavy wet weather, and virtually none is truly waterproof.

  • Do LED work lights get hot to the touch?

    Don't touch an LED bulb while it's on! LED bulbs don't release nearly as much heat as incandescent and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, but they can warm up to where they are hot to touch. Heat sinks in LED bulbs distribute the heat produced, so it isn't concentrated in one spot. But an LED in an enclosed space with little ventilation builds up heat and can possibly overheat, ruining the bulb. To keep bulbs cooler, follow the manufacturer's instructions as to the optimum time they can stay on.

  • Can LED work lights be used for photography?

    Depending on the project, a photographer may want outdoor-looking light if they're trying to shoot a simulated outdoor scene indoors, or warmer light for a cozy indoor shot in a living room. Pay attention to the bulb's Kelvin rating, noted on the packaging. A rating of 4500K or above emits illumination close to outdoor light; 3100K to 4500K is considered neutral but may have a slight bluish tint; and a reading of 2000 to 3000 or so shines a warm, indoor glow.

  • How do you connect an LED work light to a battery?

    Generally, LED work lights that use disposable AAA batteries or similar aren't designed to be connected to electrical outlets. Some work lights may run on rechargeable batteries, which usually have to be re-energized in a separate power pack. A rechargeable work light runs on the type of lithium-ion battery that powers your phone. You recharge it with a USB cable or similar.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, who has been writing professionally in the lifestyle space since 2014. Additional research for this round-up comes from Timothy Dale, a seasoned home improvement expert who specializes in a number of topics, including plumbing, construction, and product recommendations.

Updated by
Timothy Dale

Timothy Dale is a home repair expert and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience. He is skilled in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional plumbing, electrical, carpentry, installation, renovations, and project management.

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