LED work lights and inspection lamps: reviews & group test

LED Work light
1 May, 2014 11:45am Kim Adams

Which LED work light or inspection lamp is best for under-bonnet DIY jobs?

You don’t get far with car maintenance or repairs before you end up under the bonnet, and need a work light or inspection lamp. Advances in LED and battery technology mean that the latest inspection lamps deliver huge outputs, while doing away with the hazard of long power leads.

Compact designs also mean they’re handy for using in those increasingly tight engine spaces. So, which is the light show for your workshop? We charged up 10 and put them to the test.

How we tested them

While LEDs deliver masses of light, it needs to be spread wide and evenly so you don’t have to move the inspection lamp to illuminate the job. Using a meter and tape, we rated brightness and spread. You also need some way to mount the lamp – we looked for a range of options – plus points were given for both mains and 12V charging. Our final factor was price, taken from various online sources.


Ring’s strip LED RIL4000 is among the brightest on test and deservedly takes our Best Buy award. The Philips strip LED finishes second, with the Draper 37 LED our budget buy, in third.

1. Ring Ultra Bright Magnetic Flexi RIL4000
2. Philips LED Inspection Lamp RCH20
3. Draper 37 LED Rechargeable Inspection Lamp