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Choosing the Best Work Lights for Your Jobsite

Choosing the Best Work Lights for Your Jobsite

Proper lighting is essential in any workspace to ensure your workers and the public are kept safe from any potential hazards. Since most construction worksites do not have a fixed light source, it is necessary to purchase portable work lights to illuminate the space. This guide will go over the types of work lights and their applications so you can feel confident in purchasing the best work light for the task at hand.

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Types of Portable Work Lights

The location you plan to use your work light in and the amount of light you need are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a portable work light. While many can be used to illuminate various locations, some work lights can be more useful than others for more specialized jobs.

Lind Equipment LE980LED-T2 Beacon LED yellow dual head light tower

Mobile Light Tower

  • Ideal for facilitating night-time work at construction sites and low light jobs such as mining and fire and rescue services
  • Included casters make it easy to move the tower freely around your work area
  • Useful for long-term or repeat projects.

Electrician using a handheld light to look at an electrical panel

Handheld Light

  • Provide a concentrated light to a specific area while casting a brighter light and a broader beam than the average flashlight
  • Useful tool for contractors, electricians, plumbers, and any other profession that may have to work in small or tight spaces

Work string lights lighting up a staircase

Construction String Lights

  • Feature multiple light fixtures on one power cord
  • Great for lighting up large areas that need a long line of continuous light, such as staircases, rafters, and scaffolding
  • Most are rated for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Typically come with connectors to attach multiple sets together and guards around the light bulbs for added protection

Person setting up an area light

Area Light

  • Cast light in all directions to eliminate shadows
  • Come in a variety of different sizes and mounting styles to illuminate entire rooms or provide concentrated light to specific areas
  • Great all-purpose lighting solution for your jobsite
  • Most are rated for both indoor and outdoor use

Person working under a bay light

Bay Light

  • Illuminates a large area with a high ceiling, such as a warehouse or a commercial construction site
  • There are two types of bay lights: low bay lights and high bay lights
    • Low bay lights are best for ceilings 20 feet from the floor and under
    • High bay lights are best for ceilings that are higher than 20 feet

Person setting up a floodlight


  • Powerful lighting fixtures that are able to cast a bright light evenly over a wide area
  • Eliminate shadowed corners and spaces
  • Ideal for illuminating construction sites and manufacturing plants
  • Also a great choice for illuminating entry points and high-traffic areas to increase safety and deter intruders

Electrician working next to a magnet mounted work light

Work Light Mounting Styles

Here are some special work light mounting styles that can help enhance your working conditions.

Magnet mount: features a heavy-duty magnetic bottom that allows the light to stick to jobsite surfaces

Yoke mount: features a flat bottom that allows the light to be installed on a wall or another flat surface

Clamp mount: ideal for mounting a light fixture to scaffolding, ladders, and other surfaces

Floor stand: provides some elevation off the ground for added stability

Tripod mount: provides more elevation off the ground than floor stands to better illuminate an area and are typically height adjustable



String light with 18000 lumens

What are Lumens?

Lumens indicate the brightness of a light bulb, and the more lumens a light fixture has, the more light it gives off. This is different from watts, which measure energy use. Because CFL (compact fluorescent light) and LED lights use fewer watts than incandescents or halogen lights with the same brightness, it is better to look at a product's lumen output to determine how many lights you need for your workspace versus its wattage.

Are LED or Halogen Work Lights Better?

LED lights are up to 90% more energy efficient than halogen bulbs, making them a better choice for any jobsite. Here are some benefits of LED lights compared to halogen lights:

  • LED lights produce more light with less heat than halogen lights
  • Do not need as many LED lights as halogen lights to illuminate an area
  • LED lights last thousands of hours, so you can reuse them for multiple projects
  • Can help you save on electricity costs
  • Zero maintenance is required since you do not need to replace bulbs
  • Resists damage from impact and vibration
  • Particularly advantageous in hazardous locations where combustible materials are present because they produce less heat

Work Light Purchasing Considerations

If you are still unsure about which work light you need for your jobsite, here are some questions to consider that may help you narrow down your options.

Is your jobsite hazardous? If you work in a hazardous location, you may benefit from selecting an explosion-proof work light with an explosion-proof extension cord for increased safety.

Is your jobsite in extreme weather conditions? If your location is exposed to extreme weather or high amounts of dust, you will need to get a work light with a high IP rating of IP65 or more.

Does your jobsite have access to power? If your location has limited or no access to power, battery-operated lights offer the perfect solution. Battery-operated lights are typically smaller and easy to transport, so they are also ideal for users that need to travel to multiple locations each day.

Do you need continuous lighting at your jobsite? If your jobsite requires lighting that needs to be left on for several days in a row, a corded work light is a much more reliable option for you and it does not sacrifice portability.

Is there any natural light at your jobsite? If you are working in dark or low light conditions, you will want to choose work lights with a high lumen output that extend light over a wide space. Tower lights and floodlights are two great options to meet this need.

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