Lowe’s has Kobalt LED neck light on display in their Black Friday 2021 deals and gift center. It promises hands-free and hassle-free illumination, and without the “irritation or stress to your forehead.”
The Kobalt neck light is essentially composed of two flashlights that can be independently aimed. The online description says this range is up to 70°, and the in-store display says that the light heads can pivot up to 90°.
Kobalt says that you can aim the two lights in different directions, to widen the range of light, or point them down to light up whatever you’re working on.
The Kobalt neck light is said to be “perfect for working in both close quarters and long distance applications up to 30 meters.”
The light is water resistant to IPX4 standards (according to the packaging). There are two brightness modes – high (210 lumens) and low (105 lumens).
The Kobalt neck light is powered by 2xAA batteries. I did not see any published runtime claims.
This looks to be a new introduction for the 2021 holiday shopping season. In other words, if you want one, buy it quickly, as there’s no telling if it will be available after initial supplies sell out.
There are generally two types of headlamps – compact and lightweight headlamps, and larger bulkier types with larger external battery packs.
Headlamps like the Petzl Tikkina ($19.95 at Amazon) or Tikka ($29.95 at Amazon) offer a great balance between functionality and comfort. You can go smaller and lighter, but the price tends to go up.
Headlamps are convenient because they move with your head. But, it can also be convenient to move a hands-free light somewhere else, such as around your neck.
I spotted the Kobalt LED neck light at a local Lowe’s, and while it looked a little bulky, it also looks very convenient. I think this is going to be one of those rare holiday tool gift ideas that recipients actually use.
Kobalt also has a rechargeable neck light, but at double the price.
See Also: EZ Red LED Neck Light
The EZ Red neck light is similar, but with slightly lower max brightness (200 lumens vs. 210 for the Kobalt).
This one advertises 4 brightness modes, but it seems that the different modes simply reflect different combinations of low or high brightness settings for left and right lights.
There are times when I’m using my headlamp that I’d like to be wearing a hat. There are hats with lights directly integrated in them, but standard headlamps don’t tend to work out. When placed on top, they get blocked by the visor. Underneath, they just get in the way and generally don’t fit.
This seems like a much more practical alternative. It would free me to wear whatever hats I want, while still being “hands-free” with the light. I would especially appreciate that when outside in cold weather.
I run into the same issue. This would be something I would use. I have a handful of headlamps I’ve bought over the years and they end up in the toolbox or door pocket of the truck never getting used.
Olight with a two-way clip is for you. Comes on several models. Just clip it to the brim of your hat.
I second the Olight to rim of cap thing. Olight Baton 1,2 or 3 are all perfect.
I do that too, but what if you’re not wearing a hat?
Olight prerun and clip it to your shirt?
Koko The Talking Ape
Use a headlamp? They’re superior to necklamps, except when you want to wear a hat.
These will be great when you are working in the dark with another person. The other night, my wife and I were working in the garden. She was using a handheld flashlight and I was using a headlamp. Whenever I looked at her, my headlamp light would shine right in her eyes. Oops!
Koko The Talking Ape
If you’re around other people when you’re wearing a headlamp, you can just tilt your head down or to the side a little when you’re talking to them. Or just angle your headlamp down. This comes up a lot when people are camping. 🙂
EZ-Red also seems to make a more expensive 300 Lumen model:
Kobalt also has a rechargeable model. I’d be hesitant to spend more for a rechargeable version before knowing for certain I was pleased with the design/form factor.
Lowes Canada doesn’t sell the Kobalt version, but they have a CAT branded version for twice the price. Doh!
I think I might like this when working in a range from straight in front of me to slightly lower — as depicted above. Looking upward or straight down would seem to be better with a head-mounted light.
EZ Red has offered these in different versions and under different brands from CAT to tool truck brands for more than a while now. I think it’s the anti headlamp neck lamp. Like anything else, it takes some getting used to for one to get the most out of it. I have a yellow one in CAT trim the I’ve used that I like. It isn’t perfect but, i like it under a dash and in wheel wells.
Koko The Talking Ape
“Headlamps are convenient because they move with your head.”
Yes. Another advantage is that they’re close to your eyes, so what you’re looking at will rarely be in shadow, even if you’re peering into the depths of an engine compartment, for instance. In fact you don’t see many shadows at all, no matter where you look.
The downside of that shadowless light is that you lose a little depth perception, but I haven’t found that to be a problem, practically speaking.
A necklight seems much less convenient to me, but I can see where they might have a role sometimes.
I think I’d be more interested in the 10000 lumen connected Bosch light. Acme has $20 off the regular $299.00 price I think.
Holy smokes, I could really use this… I normally use a zebralight headlamp for my crawlspace needs, but I can’t use it when I don my respirator and full face shield for concrete work. This may be the ticket. Hitting my local Lowes right after work.
how do you replace the batteries ?
I haven’t seen the instructions, but they should be user-replaceable.