LED work lights are coming on strong; they’re cooler and more durable than incandescent and halogen lights and use less power so it’s practical to run them on batteries. Makita’s DML805
has a conventional form factor (like a halogen) but the functionality is anything but. The back of the unit opens to expose a place to install an 18-volt LXT battery. But it can also be plugged in with a conventional cord—not one of those cheesy little cords attached to an AC adapter block, but a real cord like you’d find on a corded power tool.
When plugged in, the light runs on AC power, but if the power goes off it automatically switches to battery. This is a handy feature on the jobsite, where it’s not uncommon for breakers to blow or for people to trip over cords and yank plugs out of receptacles.
A couple of weeks back I saw this tool in person at Makita’s 100th anniversary event and was impressed by the simplicity and solidity of its built. The housing is plastic, but it’s thick strong plastic. And as I mentioned earlier, I really like seeing a normal cord on the thing. I own any number of devices that can be powered by battery or cord and the cords are usually a joke. This cord is not. It can be coiled and tied to itself or wrapped around a cord wrap on the back top side of the base.
I wish I could tell you how bright the light seems, but I saw it outdoors in full daylight so there was no way to judge. Output is rated at 750 lumens on high and 440 lumens on low. Using Milwaukee’s LED lights as an example, this is less than you will get from their M18 Flood Light (1,100 lumens) and more than you will get from their M12 lantern (400 lumens).
According to Makita, with a 4.0 Ah battery the DML805 can provide 5 hours of continuous lighting in high mode and 10.5 hours in low. So with two charged batteries you could run the thing for an entire work day on high. The button used to turn the light on and off and toggle between modes is on the top of the handle. The light will flash to alert you that the battery is low so you don’t suddenly find yourself in darkness.
The light is easy to aim because the head rotates 360 degrees within the frame. It can be hung from the frame, placed on flat surfaces, or attached to an optional adjustable stand capable of holding two of the lights. A 1/4-20 insert on the bottom of the light allows it to be bolted to things or attached to a tripod. With an optional vise screwed into the insert, the tool can be clamped to plumbing pipes and pipe staging. The vise and stand are not yet up on the Makita website but I saw the stand in person and have seen the vise in the publicity photos.
Makita has yet to announce the release date for this tool or what it will cost. But it’s on the Makita website and is listed on backorder at Amazon (as is done for tools that will soon be out) for $132.
DML805 LED Work Light
Power source: 120 volts AC; 18-volt LXT battery
Bulb: 20 LEDs
Weight w. battery (not included): 5.7 pounds
Lumens: 750 (high); 440 (low)
Max runtime (w. 4.0 Ah battery): 5 hours (high); 10.5 hours (low)
Price: $176 (list); $132 (online)