Whether you are performing a technical job like an engine repair or simple tasks like changing spark plugs, things will run more smoothly if you have an underhood work light. That’s especially true if you are working after sunset.
Even with proper lighting for your space, you will still have some tricky spots beneath your car’s bonnet that remain unilluminated. Underhood work light lights up your engine area to allow you to perform your operations conveniently.
Now, whether you are a mechanic looking forward to buying a light that will support everyday use or a mere car owner in need of a unit for occasional use, you need a reliable underhood work light.
Unfortunately, one hurdle you have to face is sifting through lots of models. We know you don’t have time for that—but we do! In this article, we will be examining some of the industry’s top-notch models. Without further ado, let’s get started!
11 Best Underhood Work Lights
1. NextLED ELF-2220LF Underhood Work Light
When buying underhood work light, ensure that you get one that produces enough amount of light. The NextLED ELF-2220LF option boasts an output of 1500 lumens, more than you will get in the majority of the competitors.
Here, you are getting two lights and a metal frame. The light will adjust to any length between 48 inches and 77 inches. With that said, no matter the bonnet size of your car, expect this light to attach easily without causing you any trouble.
You can use each lamp independently or both depending on the requirements of the hour. Each piece comes with a handy hook, meaning that you won’t have a hard time hanging it over your vehicle. What’s more, the hanging hooks have soft padding to ensure that the light doesn’t cause any damage to the interior side of your motor.
Additionally, you will appreciate that the two lights support 360-degree rotation. This feature allows you to position the light to illuminate the exact spot you want it. Also, the light offers two brightness settings—high and low for a variety of needs.
The NextLED ELF-2220LF is a rechargeable version. The battery capacity of 8000 mAh gives a runtime of three hours when running on full setting and up to double this time when using the low light setting.
After use, the unit will take just four hours to recharge. While it doesn’t come with an AC charger, you will find a USB charging cable in the package. Finally, after use, the foldable design of the bracket will save on storage space.
2. Aain(R) LT002V Upgrade Professional Underhood Work Light Bar
Make everything under your car’s bonnet visible even on the darkest nights. This underhood work light bar is one of the most reliable options you can count on to help whenever fixing your car in the dark.
The unit adopts a telescopic design. What that means is that you can extend or contract the length to fit the size of your car’s bonnet. With an adjustability range of 48.5 inches and 66.5 inches, the light boasts high compatibility.
The light packs a total of 40 SMD (Surface Mount Diodes) LEDs. These LEDs produce a total of 1400 lumens, enough amount to illuminate even the trickiest spots of your car’s engine area. What’s more interesting, you can rotate the light as you please, allowing you to make the most out of it.
The 2.2 Ah lithium-ion battery gives operating time of 3.5 hours and spends just 6 hours on the charger. The package comes with a 12V car charger and AC/DC adapter, so you don’t have to buy them independently.
The aluminum and ABS construction indicate that this work light comes with durability in mind. In fact, if you are a mechanic looking for a unit that will thrive through the heaviest of abuse in a busy garage, you won’t go wrong here.
3. Milwaukee 2125-21XC M12 LED Underhood Light Kit
Milwaukee remains one of the biggest names we have out there. Now, if you must buy your underhood work light from a reputable manufacturer, here comes a top-notch unit from one of the biggest names in the industry.
As we all expect of a product from the manufacturer, this underhood work light features almost everything you need to make your next car repair projects run smoothly. For instance, the unit delivers 1350 lumens of light, bright enough to illuminate your work area.
You can choose to utilize the full brightness setting (1350 lumens) or low setting (750 lumens) depending on the lighting conditions. When producing maximum output, this light will run for up to four hours. However, when using the low mode, you can expect it to illuminate your space for about eight hours.
The mounting hooks of this light are extendable from 48 inches to 78 inches. The telescopic design allows you to use the light for different conditions. The high vehicle compatibility makes it a decent purchase for mechanics or anyone running a garage.
The Finishguard hooks will do what they are supposed to do without robbing your lovely car of its beauty. Also, you will appreciate that this lamp has a large gripping surface for convenience in positioning.
4. Nightstick – 801720 Under Hood Work Light
Avoid guesswork when working in the dark by getting a decent underhood work light. The Nightstick – 801720 is a high-quality lamp that will light up all your car engine components to make it easy for you to perform any repairs.
The lamp originates from the United States and uses materials of the highest quality for dependable performance. What’s more, the unit is durability and safety tested, and that means you can acquire it with peace of mind that it won’t disappoint easily.
Like all the previous options, you have two light modes to choose from—full power and half power. Also, the length of the light is adjustable. Hence, no matter the size of your car, you can telescope or extend it to meet your needs.
The built-in hooks on each end make it a breeze to hang these lights. Moreover, you can rotate this underhood work light 360-degrees. This feature means you can focus the light on where you need it the most.
When it comes to versatility, there aren’t many areas where you can’t use this underhood light. You can use it outdoors, in a garage, home, or any other area where a high-performance lamp may come in handy.
5. Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light
The next underhood work light on the list will allow you to extend it up to 68 inches long. That means no matter how wide the hood of your car is, you should have an easy time setting this light on your vehicle.
Unlike some telescopic lights that don’t illuminate evenly, this unit delivers consistent brightness throughout your entire space. Thus, with this light, you won’t have some parts that are darker than others.
The first thing you will notice about this 1000-lumen lamp is that it is slim. This design ensures that you get adequate head clearance once you are working under a lifted car hood. Also, the low-profile design enhances the portability of the unit.
The design of the end clamps allows you to rotate them 360 degrees. That gives you more convenience when it comes to positioning the unit. Here, you have two light modes, high and low, meaning that you can choose the one that fits your needs the best.
Since it has two settings, the battery life will depend on the mode that you are running. For instance, it will last for about three hours when brightest. Nevertheless, when using the low-light setting, expect it to illuminate your space for up to six hours.
6. Neiko 40464A Cordless LED Work Light
Whether you want a dependable lamp for a workshop or automotive applications, the Neiko 40464A is one option you can count on not to disappoint.
The unit packs 60 high-performance LEDs to help light up your work area. The level of output here ranges at 350 lumens. Of course, that isn’t the best rating on the list, but it will still provide superior illumination across the entire engine bay of your vehicle.
The lamp adopts a stick design, a feature that ensures the portability of the unit. The housing is of high-grade aluminum for long-lasting performance. The lens are also of high-quality polycarbonate construction for durability.
The battery capacity here stands at 4 Ah. When fully charged, the battery should power the unit for about 5 hours. The low-power indicator activates when the battery is about to run out to let you know that you need to find your way to the charger.
Additionally, we like the level of convenience this unit supports when it comes to charging. In other words, you can recharge the battery in your car or connect it to the nearby wall outlet. It even comes with a USB charging cable for charge on-the-go.
7. Arcan ALSHOOD Underhood Flood Light
For those that want an underhood work light that won’t cost them much, the seventh unit could be their ideal pick. The Arcan ALSHOOD comes at a fraction of the price of the competitors without compromising on output.
In fact, with the output level of 1000 lumens, you will find this underhood light to be brighter than some more costly models. Although it’s more of a work light, features like the 300-degree rotatability of the magnetic brackets indicate that it can serve as a decent underhood light.
The surface of this unit is rubbery. This design ensures that it remains where you place it when serving another purpose other than as an underhood work light. Also, the compact design facilitates use in tight spots where larger lights can’t get.
When it comes to efficiency, this unit uses a minimal amount of battery to produce maximum output. I mean, with the battery capable of supporting up to 4-1/2- hours of use, a single charge cycle should be enough to allow you to perform the most complex of repairs.
The battery here is rechargeable, so you don’t have to replace it now and then. The convenient USB charging cable allows you to connect the unit to any nearby USB adapter when it’s time to recharge the battery.
8. Milwaukee 2125-20 Underhood Light
This underhood work light comes from Milwaukee, one of the most trusted names globally. It has everything you will need to work conveniently the next time situations force you to lift your car’s bonnet.
Like the earlier brother on the list, this light delivers up to 1350 lumens. Also, the light is uniform. That means when you position this light appropriately, you will be able to see even the most hidden parts clearly.
The mounting hooks mean that you don’t need anyone to hold the light for you. Also, we like that it comes with finishguard hooks. This feature provides an easy way to hang the light without scratching the beautiful finish of your car.
The mounting hooks will adjust to anywhere between 48 inches and 78 inches. Therefore, expect this underhood work light to fit perfectly on hoods of all sizes. The light will also allow you to rotate and slide it to accommodate your needs.
We have lots of auto chemicals. While these substances are safe for your motor, they usually aren’t for underhood lights. Now, the Milwaukee 2125-20 Underhood Light resists the harshest of automobile chemicals. For this reason, we see it as one of the lamps that come with durability in mind.
9. Gearwrench 83350 Wing Light with Underhood Rack
Although it doesn’t occupy one of the most coveted spots on the list, the Gearwrench 83350 packs lots of fantastic features. In fact, it’s one of the high-performance units out there, and that’s easy to tell from the price.
The unit has a lamp on either side of the wing. Each light boasts a high output of 1000 lumens, although you can switch to 500 lumens if you don’t need the super-bright setting. The two wings close together to give shape to a 400-lumen spotlight. Although that’s a smart idea, a few users feel that it would be better if the flashlight could dim.
When talking about the build quality, this underhood work light doesn’t fall shy either. The durably-constructed case is not only drop-tested but also tolerant to harsh solvents, water, and other substances.
The underhood rack of this light adjusts from 36 inches to 86 inches. That means it offers greater flexibility in adjustment than any of the predecessors. Therefore, there isn’t any vehicle that won’t work with this light.
Other than the wide adjustability range, another fantastic feature about this underhood work light is that it comes with a slide rail. This feature allows you to lock the light in multiple positions depending on what works ideally for you.
10. Performance Tool W2404 Underhood Work Light
When doing car repair, you need the best lighting to avoid errors that may result from poor lighting conditions. Now, among the few reliable underhood work lights is the Performance Tool W2404.
This underhood work light produces more than 500 lumens of light. Of course, that’s not the best output we can get from a unit of its kind. Nevertheless, that’s still bright enough to render visible the most hidden components.
The end hooks provide a convenient way of hanging the lamp overhead. The padding ensures that they don’t scratch the paint of your car. Also, this light comes with retractable steel wires to accommodate different hood sizes.
This underhood light runs on 18650 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The battery comes in handy when you want to use the unit away from a power source. However, if you have a nearby wall outlet or USB adapter, plug it directly.
Like with most high-end settings, you are also getting two light settings here. The high light setting produces 513 lumens of light. However, when running it on low light mode, the unit will produce about 256 lumens of light.
11. Aain LT006 Professional Underhood Work Light
This light has 40 SMD LEDs that produce about 1500 lumens of light. That means when you switch this light on, it should illuminate all the components of your engine even when remaining in a stationary position.
For those that work best with low light levels, this underhood work light will allow you to switch to a low-light mode. When on this mode, you get 750 lumens of light—still adequate enough to illuminate all the components of your car’s engine.
Like the earlier sibling, this piece runs on a high-capacity 8 Ah Li-ion battery. With this battery, the unit will keep going for hours even when operating it at the highest light setting. What’s more, you can charge the battery when still using the light, and that means you will never have to pause your work to recharge the unit.
The unit comes with an aluminum alloy construction. Therefore, it’s rugged but also lightweight enough for easy portability. The aluminum frame also allows you to fold for easy portability.
The padded hooks attach to your vehicle without damaging the current paint of the car. Also, this underhood work light will extend to between 48 inches and 77 inches for maximum compatibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you adjust the brightness of the underhood work light?
It depends. Some lights have a single light mode. However, some underhood work lights have multiple light settings. Therefore, the adjustability here will depend on the model you buy.
Can you use the underhood work light for other applications?
The short answer to this is Yes. An underhood work light can serve in other applications. That’s especially true if you have a way to secure it in place.
What makes a good underhood work light?
When buying an underhood work light, there are lots of factors to consider. For instance, it has to be compatible with your vehicle hood, adjustable, portable, and bright enough for your lighting needs.
Are underhood work lights a safety hazard?
Well, one thing to understand about the underhood work lights is that they come with LEDs. Fortunately, LED cannot overheat like other options. That means they are less likely to cause fire, and that makes them safer than other options.
Can you use work lamps as underhood work lights?
Some work lamps can work as perfect underhood work lights if there’s a way to secure them. However, it’s better to get underhood work lights as they are specially designed for the job.
The Bottom Line
A good underhood work light will go a long way to ensure that your car repair projects run smoothly.
Of course, all models don’t work the same, and that’s why you have to pick the right model for your car.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the easiest of jobs. However, after reading our review, you should find it easy to choose the right model for you.
- 11 Best Underhood Work Lights
- 1. NextLED ELF-2220LF Underhood Work Light
- 2. Aain(R) LT002V Upgrade Professional Underhood Work Light Bar
- 3. Milwaukee 2125-21XC M12 LED Underhood Light Kit
- 4. Nightstick – 801720 Under Hood Work Light
- 5. Sunex REDLUH Underhood Light
- 6. Neiko 40464A Cordless LED Work Light
- 7. Arcan ALSHOOD Underhood Flood Light
- 8. Milwaukee 2125-20 Underhood Light
- 9. Gearwrench 83350 Wing Light with Underhood Rack
- 10. Performance Tool W2404 Underhood Work Light
- 11. Aain LT006 Professional Underhood Work Light
- The Bottom Line