The DeWalt DC022’s main life ambition is to illuminate your workspace when the electrical supply is switched off. But it’s much more than that – this flexible fluorescent friend can also function as your centre of operations, with ports to charge your batteries and power sockets to run two more appliances when it’s plugged into the mains.
The unique design is the key to this work lamp’s success. It’s flat form factor makes it easy to store and much more stable than any other area lamp too. In fact, it’s impossible to knock it over.
Surrounding the precious bulb is effectively a roll-cage of toughened plastic that can withstand the rough and tumble of life on a building site. With grab handles all the way around and a surprisingly graceful 5kg weight, it’s easy to carry too.
Crucially, the bulb is a fluorescent tube that emits a brighter light than its more common halogen counterparts and far less heat. It’s therefore more efficient and switching off the AC supply still gives you over an hour of glorious white light before the 18V battery needs another charge.
Batteries not included
Sadly, DeWALT isn’t throwing in the necessary rechargeables, but the two charging points built into the frame could be a key feature if you happen to be using other DeWALT tools that share the brand’s 18V system. Given that DeWALT is the preferred brand among professional builders and there are now 30 tools in the 18V family, it’s a tempting proposition to buy into.
In practice, DeWALT’s lamp is so effective at bathing your workspace in light, that it makes daylight seem a bit disappointing. Unlike most halogen lights, it’s not so dazzling that you need shades in its presence. Instead, the convoluted bulb throws a pool of softer light that’s more evenly spread, making it suitable for photographers too.
Ideally, we’d have preferred a dimmer switch to control the light level and conserve juice when it’s running on backup battery, but we did like the reassuring green LED that kicks on when the system is running on AC.
If it seems a little expensive for what’s essentially a big torch, you need to feel the build quality to understand that this is a professional tool that will cast some serious rays without conking out half way through the job. And with the convenience of having battery chargers and power points built, this multipurpose tool becomes more of a portable workstation than a lamp.