Tough LED Work Lights - Tough Toys
If you’re a 4wd enthusiast you’ll know how useful extra lighting can be when you’re travelling off road. Lightbars are a great solution when you want some extra illumination to show you the way ahead, but sometimes they’re not the perfect solution. That’s when smaller work lights can come in handy, and we’ve just been looking at two from 4wd specialist Tough Toys.
There are two work lights in the Tough Toys range, and the most obvious difference between them is the shape – one’s square, one’s round. There’s a bit more to it than that though, as they’re each intended for a different function. They also have a lot in common, though, so let’s look at that first.
Both lights are based around nine high-intensity 3W LEDs, giving a total power consumption of 27W and a light output of 1,800 lumens. Operating voltage is from 10 to 30 volts so they’re compatible with any vehicle or boat electrical system, and a tailor made wiring harness is available as an option. As for the light itself the colour temperature is between 5,000K and 6,500K. This gives a bright, cool white light in the same colour range as natural daylight, improving visibility. The LEDs have an estimated lifespan of at least 30,000 hours, so either of these units should last you a good long time.
Of course if you’re planning to mount these lights on a 4wd vehicle their lifespan isn’t just decided by the quality of the electronics. They also need to be able to stand up to the elements and the shock and vibration of covering rough ground, as well as the occasional bump from low branches or kit being dragged off a roof rack. These lights seem like they should be able to stand up to that pretty well. The cases are die-cast 6061 aluminium, protected by a black powder coated finish. The finish seems to be pretty deep, so shouldn’t scratch or chip easily; it certainly stood up well while we were testing the lights. The cases double up as heat sinks to keep the LEDs within a healthy temperature range; fins are cast into the back to dissipate heat faster. Tough Toys have gone for vertical fins here, so any water or debris that falls into the gaps should fall straight back out again. The mounts are the same fully adjustable ones used on Tough’s lightbars; they’re stainless steel for extra strength and make it easy to get the lights set up exactly how you want them. Lenses are toughened acrylic and thick enough to shrug off a few knocks, and the whole unit is sealed to IP67 standard – that means it’s totally dustproof and can stand at least half an hour under a metre of water.
Now for the important bit – the light. As we already said there are a choice of two lights, and the one you decide on depends on what you want it for. If you’re looking for some illumination round your campsite or for working in the bed of your ute the round light is your best option. It’s a floodlight, so you get a good wide beam suitable for lighting up an area. On the other hand if you want to extend your view out front for night driving the square lamp is a better choice. It’s a broad spot, so while it doesn’t reach out as far as some we’ve seen you’ll get a fairly focused beam that covers some ground either side of your route.
We’ve already looked at the Tough lightbars and found them solidly made and reliable, with very nice white light. These work lights are based on exactly the same technology, so as you’d expect they perform just as well. Definitely recommended.