Ryobi’s P720 LED worklight is a dual-power model, meaning you can run it off their 18V One+ Li-ion battery packs for cordless operation, or you can use an extension cord to eliminate any concerns about runtime.
Ryobi claims this worklight will put out 1700 lumens from its 20W LED. That’s a little more than what an off-the-shelf 100W-equivalent LED bulb will put out.
What really sets this light apart is the variety of ways you can use it. Not only does the light pivot a full 360° in its stand, it can also be mounted on a tripod, hung on a nail, or fit onto a stud or ceiling joist.
We were curious to see how well it worked, and asked Ryobi for a test unit.
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Using the Light
While I was applying polyurethane to my valances, I used the Ryobi worklight as a cross light to help see imperfections in the coat.
While I was working under my truck cleaning up a bad ground connection, I used the Ryobi worklight to illuminate my work.
I had to finish trimming my deck boards in the dark, because it was supposed to rain for the next few days. I had my porch light on, but it wasn’t bright enough so I used the Ryobi worklight to help me see. I know the picture looks really dark, but that’s just my camera doing a bad job adjusting to the light level. The Ryobi worklight outshined my porch light.
I used the dimensional lumber clip to hang the Ryobi worklight from a joist while I was trying to figure out how badly the valve above the duct was leaking. It was really convenient to be able to stick it on a floor joist and shine the light directly at the valve.
I used the worklight to see underneath my kitchen sink while I was replacing the faucet.
At one point I stuck the worklight up on my shop ceiling and forgot about it. I found it still hanging a few days later, it never budged, even though the room above is our family room and has a lot of foot traffic.
Battery Life/Corded Operation
Given that the bulb is 20W, the theoretical max run time for the P108 Lithium+ battery should be 3.6 hours, but for some reason Ryobi lists the maximum run time as 4 hours.
To test the actual run time, I ran two tests, one using an older P105 (Lithium) battery and another using a brand new P108 battery. With the P105 battery, the worklight stayed on for about 125 minutes before shutting off, and with the P108 battery the worklight stayed on for 206 minutes. After both tests, the worklight was only slightly warm to the touch.
Using both of these run times, I extrapolated some rough minimum and maximum expected run times for all of the Ryobi batteries in the chart below.
|P100||1.5Ah||~70 to 77 min|
|P102||1.3Ah||~62 to 69 min|
|P105||2.6Ah||~125 to 137 min|
|P107||1.5Ah||~ 73 to 80 min|
|P108||4.0Ah||~187 to 206 min|
3 hours and 26 minutes is shy of the stated 4 hours by quite a bit, but it’s pretty darn close to what I calculated the max runtime to be.
When I did plug in the worklight, I wasn’t able to see any qualitative difference in the intensity or the color of the light. The worklight seems to perform identically whether powered by a One+ battery of plugged in.
First off, this worklight is retina-searingly bright. If you accidentally look into the LED, you’re going to see spots for a while.
Second, this worklight has a wide beam angle. Ryobi doesn’t list what the beam angle is, but it’ll light up the whole wall from a few feet away. To roughly calculate the beam angle, I measured the width of the light cone with the worklight 18 ‘ away from the wall. The cone was approximately 88″ wide, which translates to about a 135° beam angle.
Third, to me the Ryobi worklight has a slight greenish or blueish tint, but I’d classify the light as closer to daylight then incandescent. I definitely wouldn’t use it to paint a masterpiece or color match paint with fabric swatches, but I found the color of the light acceptable for most tasks.
Since I don’t have a colorimeter at my disposal, I tried to compare the Ryobi worklight to several common sources of light below.
The only negative thing I can say about the worklight is that the color of the light is neither daylight or soft white. So colors might be off a bit if you are using this worklight to match stains or paints.
Even though the worklight doesn’t hit Ryobi’s stated 4 hour maximum battery life, 3+ hours on their top battery is still not bad. When I’ve used the worklight, I’ve never run the battery out of power. I usually just leave a P108 battery in the worklight all the time and charge it when I see two bars or less on the battery charge indicator. I’ll use it for half a dozen short jobs before charging the battery during some downtime.
With the several ways it can be positioned and aimed, I’ve found this worklight to be very versatile. It’s now my go-to worklight whenever I need anything more than a flashlight.
Before I tested this worklight, $69 seemed a bit pricey for a Ryobi worklight, but now that I’ve tested and used it for a bit, I have no qualms about saying the following:
If you are already in the Ryobi 18V One+ ecosystem, you’re not going to be disappointed by this light — it’s definitely worth the dough.
Thank you to Ryobi for providing the review sample unconditionally.