Tips for Ensuring You Have Appropriate Lighting When Working with Power Tools

When you are working with power tools, remember that they require a whole other level of safety precautions. While it’s still important to maintain a certain amount of safety protocol when working with hand tools as well, power tools have the potential to cause a lot more damage and loss when they’re handled incorrectly. 

While handling a power tool, you need to protect your ears, eyes, and hands first. There are safety features on most modern power tools, but you’re responsible for making sure that the work environment is also as safe as possible. For those, it’s ideal to have a clear work place and no kids or pets nearby. In addition to this, another very important consideration is having proper lighting where you’re handling the power tool.  

The Most Common Lighting Problems

Overhead lamp with a few sections burnt out

How do you know if you have lighting problems in your workspace? Before starting up any power tools, take careful notice of the following in your surroundings:

  • Insufficient light, which means that you can’t see the details of your project or the tool 
  • A significant amount of glare, which can reduce your vision even with bright lighting
  • Flickering lights, which can be distracting and lead to slip-ups
  • Poor contrast lighting, which can change the color of items and make you confused

Whether you’re a professional contractor or just handle the must-have power tools for home users and DIYers, ensuring the right lighting is essential. With poor lighting, you risk your safety and that of others.  Of course, the quality of your project also suffers.

Why is poor lighting a major issue?

Here are all the ways in which poor lighting is not recommended in any workspace, especially when you’re working with power tools:

  • The worker can misjudge the position, speed, or shape of a blade or other object, resulting in accidents and injury
  • It can adversely affect your work output quality, especially if the project calls for precision and high productivity
  • A health hazard due to a lot of strain on the eyes, resulting in headaches, eye discomfort, and/or and burning sensation in the eyes

Testing for insufficient light

If you suspect that your work area isn’t properly lighted enough for power tool usage, the following steps might come in handy:

  • Get a professional to measure the workspace’s average illumination and make sure that it’s up to the recommended levels. Alternatively, you may look up how to conduct this investigation yourself
  • Check if there are shadows on the stairways or work areas
  • If other people are working in the same space, ask them if they experience headaches very often, have eye strain, or have to squint a lot.

How to make the lighting better

a solar-powered LED light with a motion sensor

If you’re in charge of a work area and can make proper changes, consider the following steps to improving the lighting when working with power tools:

  • Have a regular schedule for replacing bulbs, especially if you have the old ones
  • Thoroughly clean all light fixtures and add more if necessary
  • Paint the ceiling and walls in light shades in order for better reflection
  • Make use of more lighting (both reflected and local) to do away with shadows in the area/room
  • Make sure that the workstation doesn’t make the worker have his/her back or face to the light fixture. The fixture should also not be directly above the worker’s head. 
  • Do away with any glossy, shiny, or polished surfaces that may result in glare issues–glare may also come from light fixtures with incorrect positioning or bright sunlight coming in through the window, so rectify these issues before starting work
  • Make the immediate work area at least a little brighter than the rest of the space. This will improve contrast and allow you to focus better on the job

LED Work Lights: How to Choose One for Your Power Tool Usage

An LED work light in red

An LED work light is perhaps the most important piece of equipment you need at a project site when working with power tools. If you have turned your garage into a usable workstation, a reliable work light is essential. Having a good ceiling light is necessary, but it’s not enough. You need a reliable, focused work light to help you get the job done right.

Why go for LED lighting?

LED lighting is not just an efficient way of lighting up your workplace, but also one of the most environmentally friendly options. LEDS use a lot less energy than the more traditional incandescent lights. They also produce less heat, which can be a lifesaver in a stuffy workshop. 

Since we’re talking about power tools here, LED lights are a great option since they’re also very durable. Most work light models today have no delicate parts that can break easily. You can probably put your LED light in harsh environments with banging and hammering going on–their lifespan will probably not be affected. 

How to Choose a Suitable LED Work Light?

a work light in a yellow color option

Cordless and corded options

Another excellent feature of LED work lights is that they are energy-efficient. They can also work on either DC or AC power according to your requirements. With cordless options, you can get rechargeable batteries so that the device is easier to transport. This way, you can get proper lighting in different areas, both inside and out. 

There are several LED work light options available on the market these days, but not all of them are equal. You’ll be better off going to the known names for your work light, as the no-name brands will usually compromise on quality and output. While choosing an LED work light, consider the following factors as well:

  • The model should be dustproof, waterproof, and impact-resistant, especially if you’re mostly working in a harsh environment
  • Check the IP rating for the level of water and dust resistance and IK ratings, for impact resistance
  • If you’re working in a small space or just want to have your hands free, consider a light with versatile hook options or a magnetic base.
  • If the light is a rechargeable one, a battery level indicator is a useful feature
  • Easily adjustable settings; some modern models have wireless options that you can control with an app. 
  • Compatible with a stand and tripod if necessary–this will allow you to mount the light so that it illuminates large spaces. It’s a much safer option than using duct tape or cords to tie the light somewhere
  • A wide range of brightness or lumen output settings. 
  • Consider your usage; you will need a large light for large workspaces, while handheld lights are necessary for working in cramped areas like inside walls, behind sinks, etc. 
  • If you need to use the light for a long period of time and will have consistent access to an outlet, corded options are best. They will be more powerful and not require recharging. 

When you have to work with power tools a lot, investing in a powerful LED light is an important investment. With the cordless options, you even have one of the alternative lighting sources for when the power is out

Many unfortunate workplace injuries occur when the people in charge overlook the necessity of properly lighting a work environment. With the dim or improper lighting, using power tools can be a deadly choice. If you find that your work area doesn’t cut it in the lighting department, bring in more lights yourself. Remember, you need bright light that’s free of shadows when handling any power tools. 


Using power tools is a major undertaking, so make sure to do it responsibly. From choosing the brand of power tools to making sure the lighting is absolutely correct, we have to be alert and involved at every step. Maintaining the tools themselves is another responsibility, so do look up an introduction to sharpening tools to be on the safest side. 

Have you been working with power tools lately or plan on doing so? Take a look at your intended work area today and ensure that it has appropriate lighting.