Update: Magnetic-mount LED Work Light Review - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Update: Magnetic-mount LED Work Light Review

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

WorkLight-150x150In the April 2014 issue, I reviewed the Magnetic-mount LED Work Light that’s carried by Lee Valley Tools (click here if you wish to read the review). I had only one complaint – and it was that my rechargeable batteries didn’t fit, and that non-rechargeable batteries lasted on average only five hours – so I use this otherwise excellent light sparingly.

On Twitter (where you can find me @1snugthejoiner), a reader suggested I peel off the branded outer wrapping of my rechargeable batteries, and they would fit just fine. I didn’t know one could do that and still have the batteries function well and safely. (What can I say…all I know about batteries is that they cost a lot and I never seem to have the ones I need.)

So if it is a valid practice to peel off that plastic, well, I rescind my single negative observation.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 5 comments
  • JWatriss

    My problem with most rechargeables and LED lights is that, fresh out of the charger, the batteries are still only 1.2V, as opposed to the 1.5V you get from normal alkaline batteries… A 20% difference. So the lamp will only get 3.6V from rechargeable batteries, not the 4.5 it calls for. In a light that already devours batteries, that will translate into even shorter battery life. Sure, you’ll get to recharge them many times. But after a while, you’re better off just looking for something that plugs in: Whatever advantage you get from the thing being ‘cordless’ will lose its luster once the reality of the recharge cycle sets in.

  • adrian

    I returned my light because my Eneloop rechargeable batteries didn’t fit. I use only rechargeables in my house, and I’m not inclined to try to mangle the batteries to make it work. I actually have a similar light I made myself (before the LV one came out) using loc-line to mount the light.

  • gumpbelly

    I’ll start by saying my knowledge of batteries is equal to yours Megan. I’ll also suggest that the manufacturer of your battery brand saw fit to evidently put on a ??thicker?? outer wrap, maybe they, who probably do have a good understanding of batteries, did have a valid reason for this thicker outer wrap????? What do I know?? I wouldn’t go peeling off anything myself.

    Seems we do have a good answer for you though, but in both of your cases it just requires a bit more info. If you just both put in here what brand you are talking about, those of us thinking about this fine light, would already know what brand not to buy, and which one fits right out of the packaging. Again, what do I know????

  • dkratville

    I have the light also and rechargeable batteries fit in mine just fine. I wonder if the battery brand matters? It is a good light but it does eat batteries really fast.


    • Peter_McLaughlin

      I am using the IKEA LED that Chris recommended a while back, all be it with his “don’t like the power cord,” caveat. The cord doesn’t bother me a lot.
      As an old tree huger, I avoid batteries whenever possible. I gave up cordless tools more than a decade ago, when Ryobi came out with a corded drill that did everything it’s cordless kin did, at a cost less than one battery. (Batteries are pretty much unavoidable for flashlights, and rechargeables are probably a better alternative, landfill-wise). Like my drill choice, I always ask myself the question: “Will I ever be more than 50 feet from an outlet when I use this tool?” If the answer is no, (and it is almost always no), I stick to the cord. As a union blue collar worker, I’ve used a lot of cordless tools. They are convenient as hell, and some of them work really, really well. But not for my personal shop, thank you.

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