While many people consider Ryobi tools to be solidly in the DIYer category, the company has consistently cranked out high-quality, affordably priced tools that are right at home in a Pro’s toolbox. In fact, many of the tools in my trailer are Ryobi, including the rotary hammer drill I recently reviewed. Now Ryobi’s added to its suite of lighting products with the Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight. I don’t often have to work in the dark, but I went out looking for a reason to do so.
The “dual power” in the name comes from spotlight’s ability to be powered by Ryobi’s 18V One+ battery or the included 12V automotive cord. The 12V cord plugs into the bottom of the light, so you’ll have to remove the battery to use it. The tool doesn’t come with an 18V battery (it’s bare), so it looks like Ryobi is catering more to those already on the 18V One+ platform instead of trying to lure in new customers. Although it would add to the price, that might a missed opportunity given some of the stellar reviews I’ve already read about it. We’ll see.
Seven 3-watt CREE LEDs produce up to 2,500 lumens and what Ryobi claims is a 700-yard beam distance. Two light output levels, as well as off, are controlled with the successive trigger that locks on so it doesn’t have to be held. You can see a big heat sink through the large cooling grates. This is a necessity because a spotlight this size absolutely must have a way for the heat to dissipate quickly, even with an LED light source.
The spotlight’s handle has the same comfortable grip overmold that I like on the rotary hammer drill. There’s also a top handle that can serve as a tether or hanging hook built into the tool body. With a little creativity, it’s a handy feature for a variety of hanging options. The easiest is to simply tie a string around it for hanging on a nail or screw.
At 1.55 pounds without the battery, it’s light. Ryobi’s Xenon spotlight tips the scales at 2.5 pounds. If you’ve used that model, you’ll certainly like the Ryobi P717’s weight. But let’s get to work and see if it’s an illuminating experience.
This light is just impressively bright. It’s immediately clear why they call it a spotlight instead of just a flashlight. The beam is wide and long. Even in the bright daylight, you can stand several feet away from an object outside and see the beam on high. Aside from the fact that there are seven LED chips instead of four, it’s very similar to the light output of Ridgid’s Light Cannon.
I used the Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight to illuminate an attic and it’s all the light I needed. I didn’t even need to move it around – it simply lit the entire space up with reflected light. Both beam levels work well, though you only likely need low for inside jobs.
Balance is excellent – it stands up sturdily on its battery base, and that weight down balance works well in hand. As I mentioned, it’s very light. As a spotlight that’s meant to be held, Ryobi did a nice job with the heat dissipation to keep the user comfortable during extended use.
You might initially wonder why you have to remove the battery to plug in the automotive cord. After all, it seems a little inconvenient since you’d rather just keep the battery attached for charging or to simply stand on its own. But it’s really a safety feature that keeps this spotlight in the featherweight division and the price so affordable. If you could use the 18V battery and 12V plug simultaneously, the spotlight would require circuit protection that would add weight along with a price jump.
The only downside is that it’s not freestanding when powered by the 12V plug – it must lay down or be propped somehow. That is unless you’re holding it out your car window on some kind of patrol. While I’d discourage you from impersonating a police officer, it’s handy for a drive by security sweep of your jobsite.
I didn’t run the spotlight until the battery died, but Ryobi says you’ll get 5 hours on low using a 4Ah battery. That will give you enough time to work one-off jobs outside on high or a decent project inside on low. Compared to its Ridgid cousin getting 30 hours on low and more than 4 hours on high, runtime is fairly short.
The Bottom Line
The Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight is a featherweight light at 1.55 pounds and produces an impressive 2,500-lumen beam with seven 3-watt CREE LEDs powered by either a Ryobi 18V One+ battery (not included) or a 12V automotive cord (included).
It has high and low (and of course, off) settings which are toggled by a successive trigger with a lock-on. It has a large heat sink and plastic grate area to dissipate heat quickly. The overmold grip is comfortable and similar to other recent Ryobi products.
The light can be freestanding on the 18V battery or hung by the top handle that’s part of the tool body with a little creative thinking. If you’re not holding or hanging the light while powering it via the 12V adapter, you’ll have to lay it on its side or prop it up somehow. This is really the only awkward part of this otherwise stellar light.
But keep in mind that having to remove the battery to plug in the 12V automotive cord is a safety feature that keeps the weight and price down. If you could plug in the 12V cord while the battery was inserted, the Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight would need circuit protection that would add to the price and weight.
Overall, I’m very happy with the design. At $49 it’s really a steal if you’re already on Ryobi’s 18V One+ platform but even if you’re not, it’s another one in a line of recent tools that will make you consider jumping on board!
Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight Features
- Over 2,500-Lumens of light
- 700 yds. of beam distance
- Seven 3-Watt CREE LEDs for superior light output
- Up to 5 hours of runtime with Ryobi P108 4Ah battery
- Dual powered
- Includes: 12-Volt automotive cord, operators manual
Ryobi 18V One+ Dual Power LED Spotlight Specifications
- Model number: Ryobi P717
- Depth: 7-inches
- Width: 4.25-inches
- Height: 8.25-inches
- Batteries included: no
- Product weight: 1.5-pounds
- Certifications: 1-UL listed
- Warranty: 3-year
- Price: $49 (bare) at The Home Depot