The 8 Best Shop Lights

Updated October 26, 2017 by Steven John

8 Best Shop Lights
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you need more or better illumination in your workshop, garage or warehouse, take a look at our selection of shop lights. They are available with a wide variety of light outputs that would be ideal for everything from a small handyman's area at home to a gymnasium. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shop light on Amazon.

8. Lights of America LED

This two pack of Lights of America LED shop lights will be all you need for most residential garages or smaller workspaces, like the bay of an auto body facility or maintenance supply building. The frames are made of lightweight, but sturdy, aluminum.
  • moderate 40 watt power consumption
  • no flush mount option
  • cannot be dimmed
Brand Lights of America
Model 8140SE2-WH5-29
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Neiko 40464A Multi-Purpose Cordless

The Neiko 40464A Multi-Purpose Cordless light is a great unit to have on hand should the power fail. It creates an impressive 350 lumens and has a five-hour run time, both properties that will help you finish a project even without an additional light source.
  • comes with hanging hooks
  • low battery indicator
  • flickers as battery runs down
Brand Neiko
Model 40464A
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. ProFusion Heat Ceiling-Mounted

If your workspace requires both added light and warmth, then the ProFusion Heat Ceiling-Mounted heater/halogen light will be a welcome addition. Its high-efficiency quartz heating element produces around 5,200 BTUs of warmth.
  • unit tilts 90 degrees
  • protective grate over heater
  • light and heat can't work separately
Brand ProFusion Heat
Model HQ1500
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Lithonia Lighting 1284GRD Heavy Duty

The Lithonia Lighting 1284GRD Heavy Duty comes at a great price considering how much light it creates with its four bulbs. Its fluorescent tubes do represent a slightly outdated technology, though, and lack in energy efficiency compared to LEDs.
  • pull chain power switch
  • features built-in outlet
  • frame dents easily
Brand Lithonia Lighting
Model 1284GRD RE
Weight 14.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Designers Edge L14SLED Twin-Head

For temporary lighting in your shop, garage, or at a worksite, the Designers Edge L14SLED Twin-Head is a great choice. The fixture allows for easy directing of light as needed, as the lights can be raised, turned, and angled in almost every direction.
  • sturdy base folds up for storage
  • padded foam grips
  • weatherproof switches
Brand Designers Edge
Model L14SLED
Weight 13.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Hyperikon Utility Double-Fixture

This Hyperikon Utility Double-Fixture puts out light at a bright 5,000K color temperature, yet softens the light with its frosted cover. That allows the fixture to create an interior that is well-lit, but never garish and unpleasant.
  • one-piece rugged steel frame
  • 45000 hour working lifetime
  • no permanent installation needed
Brand Hyperikon
Model pending
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. LUCECO 3600 Lumen LED

The LUCECO 3600 Lumen LED light uses approximately fifty percent less electricity than a fluorescent light fixture with a similar brightness output. Its blend of thermoplastic and sturdy glass materials render the unit virtually shatterproof.
  • surface mounts or suspends
  • 4000k cool white temperature
  • on-off switch on power cord
Model L36SLAG1XBP40-US
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. T5 HO High Bay

This four-lamp T5 HO High Bay from Sun & Stars Lighting will bathe a space with bright, crisp light, allowing any workers nearby to see clearly their workspace, even in the absence of any other light source. It's also a great choice for a gymnasium or large garage.
  • 5 year warranty on ballast
  • mirrored chrome reflector
  • great reviews from owners
Brand Sun & Stars Lighting
Model HB-4/T5
Weight 12.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Importance Of Proper Workplace Lighting

Proper lighting is vital to any workplace, whether it be a factory, workshop, or office. This is because people receive roughly 85 percent of their information through sight. Most people know that dim lighting can severely hamper a person's ability to gather necessary information with their eyes, but the opposite is also true. Light that is too bright can be just as detrimental. Light also helps our body set its circadian clock. Overly bright lights and those in the blue spectrum, such as those given off from a computer screen or smartphone, can make it difficult to fall asleep, while dim lighting in the middle of the day can quickly make one feel sleepy.

Having the appropriate forms of lighting in the workplace has a twofold benefit; it can increase productivity and reduce accidents. Studies have found that adequate, high-quality lighting can increase productivity by anywhere from 10 to 50 percent. There are a number of reasons for this. Proper lighting helps to reduce eye strain, especially when working on small items that require complicated assembly. Excessive eye strain is associated with nausea, headaches, and even neck pain, since people often move their face closer to what they are working on, resulting in them adopting unnatural working positions. All of these things can hamper a person's concentration, resulting in less productivity. A well-lit workplace also often results in more cheerful employees, and everybody knows that a happy worker is a better worker. Good lighting decreases mistakes and errors, as well, resulting in greater efficiency.

In a workshop, where employees are often using sharp, dangerous machinery, adequate lighting is doubly important as it increases workplace safety in addition to productivity. Having a well-lit shop can great reduce the incidence of workshop injuries for multiple reasons. Momentary blindness caused by moving from a brightly lit area to a dimly lit area, or vice versa, is the cause of many injuries in workshops. Ensuring that all areas of a shop have equal and adequate lighting can prevent this. If an employee is using a sharp object, such as a circular saw or jigsaw, in dim light, there is a much greater chance of slipping and a higher potential for injury.

Warm Light Versus Cool Light

Light bulbs come in many different spectral ranges, and understanding what the different measurements mean is important, as each range is best suited for certain applications. Light spectrum is measured using the Kelvin scale and is typically described as color temperature. The Kelvin scale has an extremely wide range, but for practical purposes we will focus on the 1,000 to 10,000K range. The lower the number, the more red spectrum in a light source, and the higher the number, the more blue spectrum in a light source. The color temperature of candlelight is roughly 1,000K to 2,000K, with the color temperature of clear blue poleward sky being roughly 10,000K or higher. Direct sunlight at noon on a clear day is in the 5,000 to 6,000K range.

Commercially available light bulbs generally range from 2,500K to 7,000K. Bulbs that have a color temperature from 2,700K to 3,500K are warm white lights. These are best for living areas, such as bedrooms and dining rooms. They help create a cozy atmosphere for relaxation. Light bulbs that have a color temperature from 4,000 to 4,500K are natural white lights. This spectrum range is ideal for a home workspace, such as an office. It can also be a good choice for a bathroom or kitchen, where one wants to be able to clearly see for cutting ingredients or applying makeup. Bulbs with a color temperature range from 5,000 to 6,000K are cool white lights. This spectrum range is best for commercial applications, such as retail shops, workshops, and medical offices. It tends to exaggerate colors and make fine details in items easier to see. Since lights in this spectrum range are very bright, they also help to keep workers and shoppers energized.

How To Choose The Best Shop Light

As previously mentioned, choosing the correct type and spectrum of light has a huge impact on productivity and safety. It is important to note, that the correct level of lighting is dependent on the nature of the task. For example, intricate and highly detailed work, such as assembling tiny components, or dangerous work, such as using a band saw, requires brighter light than unloading a truck. Proper lighting levels are also dependent on the employees themselves. Older employees will generally require brighter lighting in their workspace than younger employees. Some people may be comfortable working in dim, warm light, as they feel it creates a cozy atmosphere, whereas others may prefer bright, cool lights.

Buying a workshop light for personal use is much easier than buying one for a commercial shop, as you know exactly what type of light you find most comfortable. When choosing one for a commercial shop, it is often best to follow OSHA's recommended minimum illumination guidelines.

If you are looking to illuminate a full workshop with task lighting, overhead LED or fluorescent fixtures are usually best. The cost of entry to fluorescents is cheaper, but they will burn-out quicker than LEDs, requiring you to spend additional money periodically to replace bulbs. For this reason, if you are installing light fixtures in hard to reach places, using an LED capable of 40,000 or more illumination hours is often the best choice, as you will rarely have to replace it. Fluorescents also have a tendency to flicker, which can be very distracting.

If you are looking for portable lighting that you can move from job site to job site, a single- or double-head, floor-standing halogen lamp is usually the best choice. They are capable of creating a high degree of illumination from a compact unit, and come in flood or spot beam options. Most are built with a focus on durability, often featuring a protective cage around the light, a hardened glass lens, heavy-duty handles, and a stable tripod base.

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Last updated on October 26, 2017 by Steven John

When not writing or spending time with his family, Steven tries to squeeze in some mountain climbing. In addition to writing for several websites and journals, Steven has published multiple novels.

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