[Review] Klarus WL1 (550 Lumen, LED Worklight, White & Red, 180 degree rotation)

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liquidretro
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[Review] Klarus WL1 (550 Lumen, LED Worklight, White & Red, 180 degree rotation)

Today I have a new light from Klarus the WL1 Work light. This is a COB LED light with white and red LED, on an arm that rotates and pivots to allow you to place the light where you need it while working. If you have an old “trouble lamp” this is the 21 centuries answer, it’s battery powered, and USB Rechargeable. Thanks to Klarus for sending this to me. If you do any type of work on your car or house you will definitely want to stick around and watch this one.

Pickup the Klarus WL1 Worklight from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3oXYhuR (Affiliate Link)

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Packaging & Accessories
Packaging here is nothing special, it’s a lightweight cardboard box designed for hanging retail. A nice photo of the light is printed on the front along with some detail all around. Inside the light is held in a plastic carton that’s fit to the light itself. Accessories include the light itself, a USB-A to Micro USB cable and a manual.




Construction
The WL1 is made from plastic, and it’s in very Makita-like colors. It’s a solid feel but there are mold marks in various places and there doesn’t feel like there is a lot of glass reinforcing inside. The back has a rubberized grip that houses the switch, LED indicators, and above the USB port cover. The top’s silver plastic house 4 screws that I assume has some metal inside to reinforce the hinge mechanism.


The light bar itself is made of black plastic and folds out a full 90 degrees. It then is able to rotate clockwise 90 degrees so that the COB LED’s face outward when it’s in its most compact form. It can hold any position between this and does so with friction, there are no detents. The clear lens here is plastic.



On the bottom you have a fairly strong magnet that is more then capable of holding the weight of the light in any position. The sticker here that covers the sticker on mine is pretty easily scratched. There is also a metal hanger that works well to hang it on a branch, wire, rope, or ledge. There is also a hole to allow the spot on the end of the light bar to poke out to use kind of like a normal flashlight.

Size & Weight
I measured the length at 151mm in the folded position, and the length in the unfolded position of about 325mm. I measured the weight at 171.6g. I don’t have another light thats similar to this to really compare it too but I did put a Convoy S2 for size comparison. THe light is IPX5 water rated.


Retention
On the bottom you have a fairly strong magnet that is more then capable of holding the weight of the light in any position. The sticker here that covers the sticker on mine is pretty easily scratched. There is also a metal hanger that works well to hang it on a branch, wire, rope, or ledge




LED & Beam
The Klarus WL1 has 2 LED sources on this. First you have the main COB LED’s that provide your area lighting. No specific LED is mentioned here but the tint is 6500k, and produces a maximum of 550 lumens, with the other modes coming in at 220 and 22 lumens each. This same COB also has a red mode and produces 30 lumens which is fairly bright. Lastly there is a red blinking mode which no output is given but i would guess it’s the 30 lumens. Both in red and white modes the COB LED is quite even light, but the beam itself is more an ellipsis beam pattern. You do have a hard cutoff at the edges and there is distortion in color at the very edges. Neither are fantastic but for a work light I didn’t notice it during actual use.





The light also has a single 5mm LED on the end of the boom, no data is given here and it’s not very bright.
https://i.imgur.com/d1KyMDL.jpg

Heat & Runtime
The light has an internal 2000mAh battery, no size is mentioned but I would guess it’s an 18650 just given the size of the light. If so it’s a little disappointing it’s kind of lower capacity. The white light has 3 output modes, I did my first runtime test in high or 550 lumens, and the light was able to hold t his for about 5 minutes before stepping down to 90% relative output slowly. From there it stepped down again to about 50% relative output and then was pretty linear with the battery decline out to 2 hours of total output. Medium mode it was able to sustain 80% or greater out to 2:15:00/ Total runtime was 3:46:00.

Red outputs were stable throughout, there was a small amount of almost continual design through the curve here. The light was able to sustain 80% relative output or better for the first 5:30:00 of runtime. Total red runtime was 6:45:00. Heat during both types of light was not worth measuring.

UI
UI here is ok with some room for improvement. The button ison the rear of the right and flash with the grip. From off the light turns on in medium mode, a quick press again goes to high, pressing it again goes to low. Pressing it again goes to red, then to blinking red. Then back around. There is no memory so each time the light is off it will reset to medium white. If you long pres from anywhere the light switches to the LED on the end of the boom, and it has 2 modes. I think this could be improved by making red a double click, and have the light be L,M,H.

Recharging
Charging on the WL1 is accomplished via a microUSB port on the back of the light just above the button. It’s a really linear curve, and not the typical charge curve I see for a battery. Total charge time of the internal cell was 3:58:00 so a fairly low charge rate. The first 20 minutes or so started out at 0.85A but then decreased from there.

Pro’s

  • Priced around $30 at the time of filming
  • Built well for the price
  • Useful amount of area lighting
  • Magnetic base with hanger

Con’s

  • UI here could be a little better, I would have preferred the white light start with L, M, H.
  • Cool white only
  • Could be a higher capacity battery or user replaceable.

Conclusion
If your current work light is a light bulb in a cage on an extension cord, or old school halogen bulb on stands the WL1 is a nice portable replacement. I found it really helpful when I did an oil change both under the car and in the engine bay. It’s not the best beam or tint but it’s a work light and it does a nice job at a pretty affordable price with a 1 year warranty from Klarus.


I think this would make a nice Christmas gift if you have someone who likes to work on cars in your life, or likes to do projects around the house too. The portability to attach it magnetically to surfaces and then twist the light to exactly where you need it is nice.