Tools generally continue to improve, but it’s probably the work light category that receives the award for most creative. There are a ton of options: from clamping, magnetic, telescoping, and rotating, to remotely controlled and so on. Today I’ve got the small, but mighty (in specs anyway) Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight. It’s not brand new, but given its potential usefulness and long runtime with Bosch’s Core18V batteries, I wanted to find out if it really is a bright idea.
- Excellent output for its size
- Good value at $49.99
- Compact and versatile design
- Diffuser lens doesn’t seem to do much when you switch between flood and spot modes
If you’re already using Bosch 18V tools and batteries, I have no hesitation recommending this light.
- Three LEDs supply the brightest light in its class
- Adjustable light beam (spot/flood)
- Swiveling stand – offers five angles
- Hard rubber strap with mounting holes allows light to be carried, fastened or suspended
- Up to 13.5 hours on a 6.0 Ah 18V battery
As soon as I get a new light, I find five uses for it that I didn’t know I had. It’s a little like getting a new pocket knife: I have to cut up a bunch of stuff for the first few days, even if I could easily get into them a different way.
My SUV has been on its last legs – or wheels – for quite some time. The battery died recently and I had to shlep the dead one to the auto parts store. On the bright side, the Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight’s adjustable rubber strap makes it a handy underhood light.
So before the sun came up one morning, I used it to test my new battery to be sure that it’d keep going for at least another few weeks, which is currently my SUV’s expected lifespan. The 420 lumens provided more than enough light with the strap suspending the light from the hood’s hook. At least in a pinch, it’s a good substitute for the fancier, specifically-designed underhood lights.
I should point out, however, that the rubber strap can be a bit of pain to put over its plastic stud. It’s sturdy enough, but if you’re trying to hang it in an awkward place, you might find it tricky to secure. I had to hold the end of the strap with one thumb and stretch the strap over the stud with my other hand.
Perhaps I need to get my eyes checked, but the spot/flood adjustment didn’t seem to make much difference. I couldn’t tell if there was a material change in the beam. This is no big deal, the diffuser just doesn’t seem to do much.
I Saw The Light
The next test for the Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight came when I had to fix my garbage disposal. Somehow, some small garden stones from a potted plant ended up in there. When I flipped it on, there was a cringe-worthy sound and the feeling you get when you realize you’ve just done something so stupid that you consider never telling anyone.
The stones were so little that they were trapped in the machine’s gears. I thought about buying a new disposal, but I’m no giver-upper! I removed it, tore it apart, and fixed it. The Bosch light lit up my workspace, and the adjustable angle was just the right design for the job.
If you fold the Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight down and hold it by the strap, you create something of a modern-day lantern. I used this format to search for my Jack Russell in the dark backyard. When I held the light above my head, it literally lit up the entire yard. This makes it a great light for camping, too.
Price & Value
Finding an exact competitor for the $49.99 Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight isn’t easy. The Milwaukee M18 Rover is admittedly more versatile, with its clamping ability and its 1500 lumen output, but comes in at $99. DeWalt’s cordless LED worklight DCL060 costs $89. If you wanted to stay on the Bosch platform, you could also opt for the potentially more capable GLI18V-300N, but you’d give up 120 lumens.
That said, for a compact light that’s hardly more than a battery accessory, its output and versatility make this a solid value for Bosch 18V owners.
The Bottom Line
I plan to let the Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight light my way around the shop, house, yard, and wherever else for some time to come; it’s too handy and bright to pass up.
Bosch 420 Lumen 18V LED Worklight Specifications
- Item Number: GLI18V-420B (Bare Tool)
- Height: 6.0 inches
- Length: 6.0 inches
- Material: Aluminum and high-density plastic
- Weight: 0.7 pounds
- Width: 3.0 inches
- Includes: (1) 18V LED Worklight, (1) Belt Pouch
- Price: $47.99 (Bare Tool)