Black & Decker has a new LED Snake Light, BDCFSL01, with different types of light sources at the ends and a flexible gooseneck tube between them.
The new Snake Light has a “large space light” on one end – a bulb-shaped floodlight – and a small directional spotlight on the other end.
The gooseneck has a braided covering.
Black & Decker says that the light is ideal for the office, dorm room, or home.
Digging through the online user manual, the only place the max brightness is disclosed, the light delivers up to 500 lumens with the large light, and 150 lumens with the small light.
Runtime is up to 15 hours at the lowest setting for the large light, and up to 4.5 hours for the small light.
The color temperature is 5500-6500K for the small light (cool white), and 3800-4500K (warm to neutral white) for the large light.
Holding the power button activates stepless dimming for lowering the brightness.
The built-in battery recharges via USB. They don’t disclose the type of USB connection. A cable is provided, but you’ll need your own power adapter (this is typical these days).
Black & Decker shows it being used wrapped around poles.
It can also be used free-standing.
Example applications show the light being used as a space light when camping, work light, and reading light.
I really liked Black & Decker’s older Snake Light, which I reviewed 9 years ago. The only negative was that the older model charged via a 2-pin 9V power adapter rather than USB.
Black & Decker certainly revamped the design. As the new model looks much more like a “lifestyle” type of lighting product than a worklight, it seems tool users are far from their target demographics.
One thing I find curious is that the large area light outputs a different color temperature than the spotlight. Generally, I like neutral lighting (~4000K) for close-up floodlights and worklights, and cooler lighting (~5600K daylight to ~6000K) for spotlights and search lights. Black & Decker’s emitter selection seems to mirror this.
I gave up on waiting for a modern Snake Light. This isn’t quite the update I envisioned, but it still seemed worth examining. In my opinion the new model doesn’t look well-suited for the tool box, but maybe this will improve its appeal with broader range of users.
Black & Decker has a new LED Snake Light, BDCFSL01, with ***a*** 2 types of lights
I noticed Home Depot had some Milwaukee 500 lumen pen lights in their raceway. $59.00! This snake light price isn’t real bad at $35.00!
It strikes me as sort of goofy and gimmicky, but it’s decently bright and not expensive, so it does the job despite the unique looks and function.
As a “lifestyle” product, the color temperature would make a big difference to me too. I wouldn’t choose to sit and read or work on my computer next to a 6000k+ light source.
I don’t think I would choose this as a work light, despite the positioning options – but I’m trying to decide if that’s because I’m biased towards things that look like work lights or if the design is compromised for that function.
I think the design just looks like it can’t handle grime well. It would probably actually be fine in use, but that white plastic will look disgusting quickly, and the braided cover will probably collect a lot of dust/grease depending on what projects you do.
I agree. It looks like it will get dirty and be difficult to clean with the light colored, braided flex section, versus the older black flex tubing.
Otherwise, it “looks” less a shop light, but that does not bother me. Being modern tech, having LED’s and a universal adapter (USB C or Micro) makes it perfect as a light you do not need to hold on to.
Definitely an indoor-use “lifestyle” light, cuz that white will get grimy fast anywhere else.
The B&D “Snake Light” has been around a long time, at least since the mid 80s, maybe earlier. I believe the first version used C cells and there was a version for the Versapak rechargeable batteries. Both of those had incandescent bulbs and were popular with some soldiers while I was in the Army.
Many years ago I had a Snakelight that worked on the old “versapak” rechargeable battery system. It ended up being one of those ideas which sounded great on paper but I didn’t get much use out of, practically speaking. I found it most useful for camping since you could wrap, hang, or stand it just about anywhere you needed light. But it also had a huge downside for camping: it’s huge compared to a standard light of comparable power. I ended up keeping it in my first vehicle as an emergency worklight, but honestly it wasn’t even all that good as a worklight. For something like changing a tire it was fine, but if you needed light close-up working under the hood it got in the way more than it helped.
In my opinion there are far better options for lighting in out-of-the-way places including headlamps, worklights (both contractor and automotive focused), and there are a variety of good flashlights on the market where the head can be angled to point wherever you like. A Streamlight Sidewinder or Knucklehead, an Olight Swivel, Pelican 3415 or 3315R, Nebo Larry series, does the same job as a Snakelight in a lot less space. There are also loads of camping oriented lights which function as both a flashlight and as a lantern.
You gave many valid options, but at $35…not.
The Olight Swivel is $35 on Amazon and the Larry lights are all well under that. Same with many headlamps. And I am no flashlight enthusiast; if I can name those casually I’m sure someone who spends a little time browsing, or happens to be more knowledgeable than I, will come up with many more options at a competitive price point.
Although he wants to maintain the essence of the original snakelight (which is appreciated) I don’t see any real improvements in acquiring one of these.
At present the super images make that coil useless and the focus does not convince me much to say.
There are lights with similar form factors but with a magnetic base that can be had on Amazon for about $20, runs on 3 AA or AAA, I forget which. I bought one for my older drill press, stuck the base to side of the top housing, zip tied the neck so the light shines on the drill bit, works like a champ.
There’s a bunch of similar options. Weirdly a lot are called “BBQ lights”.
I use the corded versions (typically called sewing machine lights) on my lathe and bandsaw, they’re super handy little things.
I bought the earlier version that Stuart pictures in 2014 for $29.99
Someone on eBay wants $77.49 for it:
This is its power supply:
I never found it particularly useful.
Looks like an easy solution to patio umbrella lighting – just wrap it into the ribs or around the mast, good to go.
“….. I like neutral lighting (~4000K) for close-up floodlights and worklights, and cooler lighting (~5600K daylight to ~6000K) for spotlights…..”
How is 5600K-6000K cooler than 4000K?
Higher temperatures give off bluer/whiter light, which we describe as looking “cold”, while lower temperatures give of more red/yellow light, which we describe as “warm”.
2700K = warm white
4400K (or thereabouts) = neutral white
6000K = cool white
Warm is more yellow-tinted, cool is more blue tinted. Neutral is in between and usually a little yellow. Warmer goes to one side of the color temperature spectrum, cooler goes to the opposite side.
Sorry, but that thing looks like a “swimmer” looking for an “egg”.
Not trying to go 5th grade humor but a few years back there was a line of shoes aimed at older people and used “sèed of life” in their ads and as a loho on the shoe. Sorry but i dont want shoes with a swimmer on the side and i dont want a light that looks like it either.
Yeah I have owned a couple of the Original Type Snakeligjts that ran on C Style Batteries decades ago and they were cool back then as there really wasn’t much competition in the market for cordless work lights. Obviously huge difference now with not only the lights but also the battery technology. This light has a place but as others have commented it’s NOT practical for automotive and industrial tasks unless you’re okay with it getting g dirty quick! Indoor tasks, bed reading light, college dorm study light…lots of applications IMO.
Stuart, is this correct or a typo? “Runtime is up to 15 hours at the lowest setting for the large light, and up to 4.5 hours for the small light.”
This would mean that the large light can go down to something like 50 lumens or less?
That’s what they say. I take it to mean the large light is dimmable to lower than the small light’s minimal output.
Overall for $35, it seems good. I think they are trying to grab both the shop worker and the “lifestyle” reader, nightlight or whatever other person, with one product.
It’s fine with me. Last I checked my testosterone level was OK so using this in the shop would not be an issue for me.
Boy if that isn’t a blast from the past! I guess I never saw the LED model when it was released. Probably right around that time I saw one of the original incandescent versions in someone’s barn…caked with years of dust but at one time it served a man’s grinding station.
This could be a neat design to reintroduce with some actual good design and components but I don’t suppose BD will ever, ever do that. If these appear on a holiday blowout special someday for $20 or less I might buy one just to try to mod it into something good.
Blast from the past…I had a couple of the originals that used C cell batteries.
The batteries didn’t last long, and if you forgot to switch it off, it became expensive replacing the C cells all the time. Then, if I recall, the light was not super bright, just good enough to barely light up the job you were doing
That’s what I first started selling as a wee lad in a hardware store when they were first-ish released…then the versapak versions alongside those later on. I don’t know that anyone was ever super impressed by them, but everyone sure wanted one and/or got one as a gift.