There are currently seven lights in the Ryobi 18 volt lineup. In this article, we’re going to take a look at a couple of these. We will look at the P721 Work Light as well as the P781 Area Light. To start off with, let go through some of the specs and features.
P 721 Work Light
The list price for this work light is $79. That is not inexpensive, by any means. I got mine for $99 but came with two 3Ah batteries, a charger, and a tool bag. This can be purchased from The Home Depot here.
This light is a directional light. It will spread the light out across, maybe, a 160-degree angle. It has two power levels. The high setting is a very powerful 2400 lumens. In this setting, it is hard to even look at the light. It will light up whatever you are working on quite well. The lower setting is 400 lumens. This is still a good amount of light, but no close to the high setting.
One of the unique features of this light is that it is the only hybrid tool of all of the lights. Hybrid means that it will be able to work off of dual power. It can run from an 18-volt battery or it can be run from an extension cord to an AC outlet. This offers a lot of flexibility.
Varied Mounting Options
This light offers quite a few ways to mount the light. Of course, it has a built-in stand so that you can set in on the floor or a table. The light head will rotate a full 360-degrees.
The base is shaped in a way that allows it to be attached to any 2-by lumber, weather that lumber is horizontal or vertical. It also can be mounted to a tripod. I had thought that this would mean that it has a 1/4×20 threaded hole on it. That is not the case. It has an unthreaded hole so it will need a tripod that has a bolt with a nut that can be screwed down on top of it. Although I haven’t tried it, a tripod like this one from Amazon may work for this light.
That is not the end of the mounting options it can handle. There is also a hook on the base. Additionally, there are a couple of hooks in the base that could be used to attached to a wire or string.
Common Questions and Answers
How long will this light run on battery power?
With a 4Ah P108 battery, this light should run for about 3 hours on the high setting and about 24 hours on the low setting.
Does it charge the battery while it is plugged in?
No, the connection for the AC is covered up by the battery so there isn’t even a way to plug it in while the battery is connected. Even if there was, I am sure the charging circuitry doesn’t exist.
What type of tripod can I use?
Don’t look for a tripod like you would use with a camera — One with 1/4 x 20 threading. This light has an unthreaded hole. Therefore, it will need a tripod similar to this one from Amazon. Note that I have not personally tested this particular tripod.
P 781 Area Light
This particular light is a lot less expensive than the work light. This has a list price of $35, but I got mine for $29. I did get it recently and I didn’t notice that that was a sale price so I am not sure if the price was increased. This light can be purchased from The Home Depot here.
As the name implies, this is an area light. The light will be spread out in 360-degrees around it. This light also has two power levels. The high setting is 330 lumens. That is not super powerful. However, it will be quite adequate for being able to see what is going on around you. There is a low setting as well. I could not find the lumens for this mode. Think of this as more of a night light mode.
One of the unique features of this light is that it has a 1A USB charging connector. Ryobi recommends that you do not attach any devices that will draw more than one amp. There are many phones and tablets that draw more than this these days. Therefore, be careful about what you choose to plug into this.
There are not as many mounting options for this light. Certainly, you can stand this on a floor or any other surface. There is also a hook that can be folded out on the top. The hook can also be rotated.
Common Questions and Answers
How long does the battery last?
A 4Ah HC battery will last about 24 hours on the low setting.
My thoughts and the answer to which one should you buy.
These lights are both great but they serve very different purposes. I am a big fan of the work light. I find it to be a bit expensive. However, it is the most versatile work light that I have ever owned.
With all of the dabbling I do with home automation, I am very often replacing switches. I am a big fan of my headlamp, although it looks dorky. However, this will light up my work area like it’s daylight without having to haul out an extension cord.
However, if I am painting a room and need the light to run a long time without worrying about a battery, I can choose to plug it in. Plus my previous work lights were halogen. These were not as energy efficient and would run very hot so you had to be careful with them.
The area light is not intended to be a powerful, focused light. It is meant to spread an even light all around so that you can see what you are doing. I bought this after I recently went through a longer-than-normal power outage. I had to break out candles just so I could find my way around the house. This would have worked perfectly for that situation.
Both of these lights would work our great for camping. It would probably be best to use either of them on the lowest setting so that you can maximize the amount of time you get on a single battery charge.
There are seven total light in the Ryobi Lineup and can be found here.