And then there was light…

Isn’t a light just a light?

When Shane Moore was approached to test JCB’s new range of work lights, he was sceptical. But his scepticism was soon dispelled.

JCB WorkLights - Review May 2024

In the hustle and bustle of our daily sitework ranging from flooring to painting, whether in a commercial or domestic setting, we often overlook a crucial element that can turn into a real headache if lacking - adequate lighting. We’ve all been there at some point! It’s a seemingly trivial aspect, yet one that can make all the difference. So, when approached by JCB to put their new range of Work Lights to the test, I must confess, I was sceptical. After all, isn’t a light just a light? How wrong I was.

The range of work lights offers a refreshing take on efficiency and innovation. Regardless of your preference or budget, they do have a bright idea for every scenario.

Their new small handheld lights, for instance, are rechargeable, making them incredibly handy and convenient for those constantly on the move. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly they charge, so if you need them for the whole day, you can charge them in your van between jobs. These compact and lightweight mean machines will not let you down, from something so small they have a massive attitude.

I was very surprised and impressed at how much light these work lights generated, and with built-in innovative features are absolutely perfect for small jobs or on the go, depending on what application you need your light for. The work lights I tested were the JCB-WL-TUFFXONE and JCB-WL-TUFFCLAMP and at 1500 lumens each, give off a wide-angle beam of light that is ideal for floorlayers.

Both work lights have been built to be tough and withstand whatever the worksite throws at them. The Tuffxone is fully waterproof, whilst the Tuffclamp has a very strong clamp, which allows the light to be attached to door frames or windowsills for example. Both lights also come with strong magnets and nifty stands, ensuring versatility and ease of use in any situation, and can easily be kept in your tool bag ready for when you need them.

In addition to these, and something that every floorer should carry with them is a decent head torch. The JCB-HT-XTRA is a 260-lumen rechargeable head torch, that has a wide-angle beam and a unique pivoting system allowing you to wear the torch and easily direct the light to where you need it the most, avoiding looking like the famous nodding dog by constantly moving your head around.

In addition, the wave sensor, allows you to turn the light on or off with a simple wave of your hand. If that wasn’t enough, the light unit is detachable and comes with a magnetic base, so it can be fixed to a metal surface or put on the floor. All these great features are a true testament to JCB’s dedication to thoughtful design.

But JCB doesn’t stop at small lights. Its larger site light options, available in rechargeable and corded variants,outshine all the other competitor lights that I’ve used myself. The 2500 lumen JCB-SL-TUFFDUAL is both a mains and rechargeable battery powered site light, that has an outer casing that is chemical and oil resistant.

A great feature for me was the battery status and brightness display, allowing you to set how bright you want the light to be, as well as the option of being able to mount the light onto a JCB tripod and T-bar to give an elevated lighting position. With its built-in USB power bank, ideal for charging your phone or smaller work lights, this is a great site light for lighting larger areas.

The most impressive innovation of the JCB-SL- KONNECT 4500 lumen and 6500 lumen site lights are that they can be powered your way, using your existing 18V power tool batteries, that many of us carry around in our vans. The Konnect 6500 also comes with a mains option.

Admittedly, I was initially hesitant about this setup, fearing additional batteries and chargers would only complicate matters. Adding to this and having been in the trade for a while, I am a specific ‘brand’ kind of guy, as I know many of you are, and waiting for a light that was powerful enough to use my own batteries seems never ending, however, JCB once again proved me wrong.

When you buy either model in the box comes five connectors (JCB, Bosch, Makita, DeWalt / Milwaukee and Metabo/CAS) that you plug into the light, and then use your own battery, making it a hassle free great light.

I must be honest and say that I was stunned on how well these lights performed, from their quick charge times and long runtimes to how much light they generated across a wide area. For people who do know me, I am hard to please and I strive for perfection, so let’s

be super critical – enter the music – with the TuffDual and Konnect 6500 models that come with the mains option, I noticed that both power cords and the push fit connectors are different for each model, so if you purchased both lights, you would have two different sets of power cords to carry around. It would be good to see one cable that works with both lights.

How can I rate the JCB Work Lights range? For me personally, out of 10 I would give them a nine, based on the different mains cables. So would I purchase these lights? For sure. Despite minor inconveniences, their exceptional performance, sleek design, and practicality

make them a worthy investment for anyone in need of reliable lighting solutions. Best I’ve seen for a while.

Shane Moore is a NICF master installer, FITA training instructor and British Standards committee member