Let me start by saying that every one of these lights in this review are great lights and you can’t go wrong with which ever light you choose. As of right now my personal favorite light of the 4 is the Bosch FL12 keep reading to find out why.
Astro 40sl: Without question the Astro 40sl is the brightest light of the group (410 lumens). The Astro 40sl is very bright on full brightness but that brightness comes at a cost. Yes, that’s right the battery life suffers when you use the light on its maximum brightness setting. Astro says “10 hour work time at 50% power, 2.5hrs at full power” on their amazon listing. In the video I kept saying 3 hours at full brightness, but I don’t know where I got that spec from. It should be “2.5hrs at full power”. The amount of light that the Astro 40sl puts out is very broad meaning it will flood the work area wherever you have it aimed and this is something that I like about this light.
Construction quality is very good and It is plenty durable. I am not sure it will survive being run over by a vehicle, however it will survive any type of fall. The strong magnetic base that swivels will prevent any types of falls, just be careful where you put it, don’t leave it on, let the batteries die and have the light drive off down the road under the hood of A customers car. Don’t ask me how I know that this can happen.
These are the complaints that I have about the Astro 40sl LED work light: the battery life at full power should be at-least 5 hours In my opinion, The batteries should be swap-able, It should charge faster, and i am not a fan of the dial type switch used to control light output. A simple on/off push button would be best.
The EZ-red pocket COB 150: for its size is a little champion. This little light impressed me so much that i purchased 2 of them. I mean why not they are only 11 dollars on Amazon. The light is also a flood type light and it has a magnetic base. Out of the 4 lights this one is the best bang for the buck when it comes to upfront ownership. You do have to keep in mind that it requires 3 triple a batteries, that do last a long time in this light but, it is still an added expense. Batteries are included.
The EZ-red pocket COB 150 is a tough little light, I have dropped it many times and kicked it across the shop without any issues. I don’t make a habit of kicking my lights across the shop floor but this little light will take it and keep working. For it’s size it puts out a lot of light (150 lumens), I have completed many time consuming jobs using just this little light alone. I like to keep it in my pocket just in-case I have to take a “quick look” at a car that’s not in my bay. It’s perfect for quick brake inspections because it fits nicely between the wheel spokes and sometimes in between the wheel and caliper. The magnetic base comes in handy though I must warn you that the magnet is a little on the weak side. Getting the light to stand in a 90* angle is often challenging and risky because the magnetic base is not as strong as it should be. However the magnetic base is still very handy and allows the light to hang upside down with out too much worry of it falling. I quit often use the magnetic base to retrieve fasteners that I drop, since the light is usually in my right pocket. The on/off switch is in a great location and very simple to operate.
The things I don’t like about the EZ-red pocket COB 150 are the fact that the magnetic base is a little on the weak side and that it requires 3 triple a batteries instead of being rechargeable. Overall it’s a fantastic little light and everyone should have one even if it’s just for emergencies, this is the emergency light that wont let you down, provided you have good triple a batteries.
Milwaukee 2351-20 LED stick light: This is a Fantastic work light. My second favorite light in the group. The light output is 220 lumens and it uses 3 high output LED’s that produce a natural color light similar to that of a halogen bulb. Most LED lights produce a white light. In fact all the lights in this comparison produce a white light except for the Milwaukee 2351-20 LED stick light. This light is great for doing electrical diagnostics using a wiring diagram because the light it produces will not fool you into thinking a yellow wire is white or tan or something like that. Yes this happens often when using a LED light that produces a white light, But that’s not the main reason the Milwaukee 2351-20 LED stick light is one of my favorites. The reason I hold the Milwaukee LED stick light is such high regard is because it’s durable, Very durable, the battery lasts over 4 hours on a single charge, you can easily swap out the m12 batteries that will charge in about 30 minutes, so if you have 2 m12 batteries you will never be without light. Every time I turn this light on (before i lost it) it works. The on/off button is in a easy to find location that just feels natural, no messing around with brightness levels or multi-pressing the button. The Milwaukee LED stick light (m12) also features a standard 1/4″ adapter that allows you to mount it to a tripod or any other camera mounting device such as magnetic mounts, etc. This light was on sale for $48.94 a few days ago on Amazon (the time I created the video) but at the time of this article i believe it is now priced at $72 dollars w/out batteries which is a little on the pricey side, this kind of makes it a not so great value, and yes when i purchased the Milwaukee LED stick light over a year ago i paid about the same price if not a little more. Do i regret spending 80 bucks on the light alone? No i don’t. But i do regret losing the light.
Things i don’t like about the Milwaukee LED stick light (m12). You can get the Milwaukee M18 LED stick light for $57 and change right now. Go figure. It’s expensive, the most expensive light in the group even without batteries. The hook is a major pain in the ass to use, it does not have a built in magnet base and it is kind of rounded so if you try to rest it on the side and aim the light it may end up rolling out of position if the surface is on a slant.
Bosch FL12 LED work light: 330 Lumens makes this the second brightest light in the group and currently it is my favorite light. Not because it produces 330 lumens of light but because it is the second brightest, has the longest run time of 6 hours on max brightness, run time doubles on low setting, pivoting magnetic base with a built in carabiner that is easy to use and useful. The pivoting magnetic base with built in carabiner is made of solid aluminum and feels
Very solid, it is attached to the light itself very securely. The Bases tension is adjustable using the screw on the side. As you pivot the Bosch fl12 on it’s base it is locked into place every few degrees with a detent mechanism which keeps the light from losing its position due to the weight of the light (no it’s not a heavy light). The light lense is framed in aluminum but the body appears to be a type of composite maybe even a poly-carbonite (high quality, durable type of plastic) or Reinforced Plastic. There is no mention of it’s resistance to water of fluids, however the Bosch fl12 LED work light does appear to be sealed up really well and I believe that it should survive a drop or 2 into a bucket of whatever fluid you are unfortunate enough to drop it in. The power button is a simple on/off type button however if you hold the button down it will switch the work light to it’s low setting. This low setting is not retained when you turn the light off. you will have to switch it to low every time you turn the Bosch fl12 work light on. This is a well made light and a Good value at only $48.99 w/out battery on Amazon. One thing i should note is that the low output setting on this light puts out plenty of light for most situations, i sometimes have trouble distinguishing which power level I am using.
Things that i don’t like about the Bosch FL12 10 LED work light is that the power button is in an awkward location that i often have trouble finding without looking at the light (it will take getting used to), the low power setting is not retained when the light is turned off and requires you to switch it to the low power setting every time you use it. I don’t know if this will happen but the carabiner has the potential to become bent if you drop the light in just the right way. This has not happened to me yet and i have dropped it a few times already. Now with that said you should be able to just bend it back into place since it is solid aluminum.
Conclusion: These are all great work lights with there strengths and weaknesses. Just take into account the type of work you need the LED work light for. If your a professional auto technician then you may want to go with the Bosch or Milwaukee Work light because of the swap-able battery and fast charge times and the EZ-red pocket COB is a no brainer at only 11.99. If your a weekend warrior or don’t require the use of a light for extended periods of time the Astro 40SL is a great Value Actually you can Buy two Astro 40sl lights and have one charging while one is in use especially if you consider the fact that you will still need batteries and a charger for either the Bosch or Milwaukee if you dont’ already own them. But at $110 bucks i think the better deal would be to just get the Bosch and a couple of batteries… Anyhow i hope this review helped you make an informed decision. Thanks for visiting my Site be sure to sign up to get informed of new content.