One of my candidates for “Most useful cordless tool category” is that of battery-powered LED work lights. After decades of using, breaking, and being burned by halogen lights, the ability to slap in a battery, hit the switch, and have bright COOL light is awesome. All the major tool players have one or more entries in the category, and as LED and Lithium-Ion battery technology has improved over the past few years, the quality and usefulness of these lights has also improved – dramatically. Bosch has a couple of new contenders to brighten up your day, and they sent us a Bosch GLI18V-1900 Floodlight to illuminate the dark recesses of HomeFixated HQ.
Similar in shape to a standard compact halogen light, the Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlight has a simple, basic design. The legs of the stand fold down level with the light for compact storage, and one switch serves to tame the lumens.
The single LED cranks out 1,000 lumens on low, and a mighty-bright 1,900 lumens on high – a big step up from the 420 lumens on its predecessor, the GLI18V-420. Here’s a spec & features list from Bosch, followed by a little “light” entertainment aimed at the UK market:
• Innovative high-power LED – supplies the brightest light (1,900 lm) in its class
• Adjustable brightness – offers more runtime at 1,000 lm or brighter light at 1,900 lm
• Outstanding runtime – compatible with any battery in the Bosch 18V Lithium-Ion system, this floodlight can run ten hours on an 18V, 6.0 Ah battery
• Swiveling stand – offers 120° adjustment and five positions for adaptable setup
• Threaded for tripod use – provides a 5/8 In.-11 thread mount for compatibility with standard tripods
• Robust construction – designed with a durable frame to hold up to tough jobsite conditions
• Single-LED design – delivers a consistent field of light
• Weighs just 3.5 lbs.
• Dimensions: 11.4 in./7.3 in./2.8 in.
Another Bright Idea
We received the Bosch GLI18V-1900 N floodlight to evaluate. You tech lovers who watched the video (you did watch the video, right?!) were undoubtedly excited to learn the 1900 N has a smarter twin brother – the Bosch GLI18V-1900 C. The lights have identical specs, but the GLI18V-1900 C adds Bluetooth connectivity. Using an associated app, you can control your floodlight, and even manage several lights simultaneously with a single click. The 1900 C version also adds IP64 protection against dust and water, which seems like a bit of a slap in the face to its unprotected sibling.
The Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlight is sold as a bare tool. It will operate on any Bosch 18V battery, but as is so often the case, bigger is better. Bosch also sent along its new Bosch BAT622 6.0 Ah battery, and I used it to see how long the light would run. On high, it lit up the joint for 5 hours and 10 minutes, so if your evil boss expects an 8-hour (or longer, if he’s TRULY evil) day’s work, you’ll need an extra battery to swap in. Or switch to low power – the light ran for almost 10 ½ hours, and 1,000 lumens should be enough for anyone, right? Back to work, slacker!
Lithium-Ion batteries aren’t cheap, and Bosch built in some protection to keep them from getting fried. When the battery is empty, Electronic Cell Protection (ECP) kicks in and shuts the light down before it becomes too deeply discharged. The light blinks a few times shortly before it shuts down, giving you fair warning. It will also switch off if the heat sink temperature reaches 140°, protecting both the light and your dainty digits.
Getting Ready To See the Light
Out of the box, the Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlight is ready to go to work. Slide in a battery, unfold the stand, and hit the power switch. The light comes on at full power; to switch to low, hold the power switch in for a second. Doing so again will toggle you back to full bright, and just giving the switch a normal push turns the light off. The switch works well, and isn’t prone to being turned on or off accidentally.
To set the light up, unfold the legs and find a spot to set it down. The light swivels through five stops, covering a 120° range. If you want to add some height to your bright, a threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the stand will let you elevate your game. Be aware, the Bosch probably won’t work with your photographic tripod; it requires a 5/8” – 11 threaded tripod. Many tripods, including mine, use a ¼” – 20 thread; if yours is one of them, you can buy an adapter. I ordered one from Amazon for about ten bucks, and you may be able to find one locally. That’s a bit pricey for a little piece of stainless steel, but it makes the light much more versatile.
The Bosch GLI18V-1900 Floodlight In Action
We are in the midst of an old farmhouse renovation, and I took the Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlight there to play awhile. One of the bedrooms needs extensive drywall repair and replacement, and there is no light in the room. Positioning the light on the shelf of a six-foot stepladder made it easy to see how good – or bad – the ceiling joints were.
Even when set on the floor, the light gave out very good illumination, lighting up a good-sized swath of the nasty walls. It puts out a nice, bright circle of light; when placed about 10’ back from a 15’ wide wall, it illuminated the entire wall, including a few feet back on the ceiling above it, and wrapped around a few feet onto the adjoining walls. It also did a brilliant job of lighting up our dark hallway at home.
Is The Blue Light Right For Your Dark Site?
It’s pretty clear that cordless LED lighting is the wave of the future. The convenience is a huge factor, and the quality of the light is as good as, or better than, halogen lighting – and without the heat. With a Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlight or two along, working in basements, attics, crawl spaces, or other dimly-lit areas would be easier and safer.
Any negatives? Nothing major. It would be helpful to have another option or two for positioning the light – a hook or a couple of keyhole slots, for instance. It would also be very handy to have hybrid capability, allowing you to plug it in with an extension cord when power is readily available.
Overall, I think the Bosch GLI18V-1900 floodlights will be a great addition to the typical under-lit job site. They’re ruggedly built, simple to use, and most importantly, the high-quality LED really cranks out the lumens. I’m guessing for anyone already on the Bosch 18V platform, it will be very tempting to go out and grab a couple. Bosch backs the lights with a 30-day money-back guarantee, an unconditional one-year warranty and service protection plan, and its 3-year ProVantage plan with registration. The Bosch BAT622 6.0 Ah battery is available now. The Bosch GLI18V-1900 N is expected to hit shelves in May of 2017; the Bluetooth connected Bosch GLI18V-1900 C should be available this fall. We’ll post links when they become available.
Buy the Bosch 6.0 Ah battery from Home Fixated sponsor Ohio Power Tool: