Lighting is sorely lacking in many garages and workshops. The dim glow of an aging fluorescent array is suboptimal for motorcycle maintenance. If you’ve ever pulled apart a carburetor and dropped a tiny washer from the mixture-screw assembly into the utter darkness beneath your workbench, you’ll know the quest to retrieve it is a form of torment unimaginable even to Dante. And then there are buddies who can’t resist a well-aimed potshot: “Well, I always said you weren’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but, as it turns out, looks like you’re at least the brightest bulb.” Time to get some better lighting. And maybe new friends too. Here are several options to light up your workshop.
Lutec's 93-watt, 7,000-lumen work light won a Reddot award for its thoughtful design. The durable cast aluminum housing swivels and rotates to direct light at your subject of choice, and the tripod stand is height-adjustable. The entire package is said to be waterproof and collapses into a simple tote, complete with cable wrap, for ease of portability.
This is the new-school version of the classic hanging shop light. Just like the old one, you can hang it almost anywhere, but the compact PowerSmith design also has a sturdy base and tilting head, so light can be directed more easily. If you've ever struggled to set the old-school version beneath your motorcycle in just the right place, you'll know the PowerSmith's flexibility is a big improvement. Save the Edison-bulb look for indoors; the PowerSmith has a 1,080-lumen LED and is said to be waterproof.
Technically, this USB-compatible LED isn't a shop light, but it's a handy little number great for attaching to the underside of the top cover of your tool chest, for example, to make the most of its large storage area, a veritable black hole for crush washers, carburetor jets, and other small bike parts. This light has a magnetic backing and switchable motion-sensor setting. Its rechargeable batteries are said to be good for nine hours of continuous illumination.