Few of us get to choose where to do a DIY job. While sometimes you have all the room you need, with no twisting and kneeling required to get in position with a drill or saw, that’s the exception. Too often, you’re scrunched into the only corner with unmovable obstacles, and you’re working inches from the floor with too little light. Sure, you can get some help from a flashlight, a drill’s own built-in LED or a so-called trouble light. But you can’t count on getting to shine the light precisely where you need it, and keep it there. This is where Positec’s WORX 20V LED Work Light, Model WX026L.9, stands out.
The $50 price for the LED Work Light might seem steep, particularly since it doesn’t include the 20-volt battery and charger. But even if you’re putting the light to work in more spacious, unlit settings, such as a shed, the difference between this and traditional alternatives is clearly a game-changer.
The WORX WX026L.9 has a 5.5- x 4-inch reflective lens in a sturdy frame that houses the base for any 20V WORX battery along with a rocker switch beneath a rubber membrane. The work light’s handle is a soft foam that feels good in your hand, and rubberized plastic helps protect any surface on which you set the light.
Yet the WX026L.9 doesn’t need a surface. Attached to the bottom of the frame, a rigid hook lets you hang the product like a trouble light. A notch in a plate attached to the lower frame allows mounting on a wall using a heavy nail. Or someone could hold it for you. Chances are, however, that you won’t need the help. By loosening two thumbscrews, you can swivel the light 360 degrees.
Another option, for lighting a larger space, is attaching the frame’s plate to a camera tripod through a hole provided. Depending on the tripod, the 1/4-20 bolt that screws into the camera might not be quite long enough to secure a nut. If that’s your situation, one of these little adapters could help.
Out of the dark
We first tested the WORX WX026L.9 for runtime on a fully charged, 2-Amp-hour battery, the $50 WA3525. The company claims that the older 1.5Ah battery, the $40 WA3520, will keep the light going for about 90 minutes. We measured 1 hour, 51 minutes on the 2.0-Ah battery and expect you could get roughly twice that on the 4.0-Ah battery, the $60 WA3578. For drilling, wiring or plumbing work, you might not need more time than that. If you routinely do, though, check out also the Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power 20 Watt LED Work Light; it lets you also connect an AC extension cord for unlimited runtime. That product, which we haven’t gotten to review, costs $60 (no battery or charger) at Home Depot.
More dramatic than runtime was how much light the WX026L.9’s 1,500-lumen bulb delivers. We used an Extech Instruments lux meter to compare the product’s output against that of a 14.5-watt, 1,500-lumen household bulb—in first an unshaded lamp and then in a trouble light with the cage open. The same household bulb in the two different fixtures was roughly identical in brightness. But due to the WX026L.9’s wide reflective lens, the WORX was more than twice as bright. In nighttime use in a garage, shed and driveway, we had plenty enough for any task.
If you have to hold the WX026L.9 as you work, the product’s nearly five-pound weight can feel excessive after just a few minutes—the price of sturdiness. But keep in mind that the same two thumbscrews that permit swiveling (or securing the light at a given angle) can come off altogether, which lets you tote the light without its frame. This shaves a pound off the overall weight, though it also limits your options for hanging or mounting.
By June, the same light will also ship with one 1.5-Ah battery and the WA3742 five-hour charger. That $80 package will be the WORX WX026L, a bargain since the same items sold separately would cost $120. Prefer a 45-minute charge? You’d need to spring for the $50 WA3847. All products come with a three-year warranty against defects plus a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
For work you’re stuck doing at nighttime or in dark spaces, the LED Work Light is bound to please. And if you already own a 20V battery and charger from other WORX products, such as the WORX TURBINE20V Cordless Blower, Model WG546.2, we tested in this roundup, you can feel not only enlightened but ahead of the game.