Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp
Festool Syslite KAL100 Review:
The folks at Festool recently sent me their Festool Syslite LED Work lamp to review and evaluate on the job site. Festool is well known for their superior quality electric and pneumatic tools that can stand up well to the tough demands of any job site.
Up to now technology on tools has continued to advance but a real, workable portable job light has always been lacking.
Anxious to see if Festool had answered the call to improve portable lighting we took the Syslite out to the job site and immediately started using it on a basement remodeling job we were working on. Three weeks and several diverse construction projects later this is what we found:
What is the Festool Syslite LED Work lamp?
The Syslite work lamp is a rugged, durable and cordless LED light. the LED bulbs are virtually indestructible .
The Syslite has multiple power options including an internal 7.2 V 2.2 Ah lithium-ion battery that can provide up to 4 hours of light output on low setting and 1.5 hours of light on the high setting.
The Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp has six, 3 watt, high efficiency, LED lamps that emit a bright white light. The light emitted is a color temperature of 4500K which is a good mix between indoor and outdoor light [tungsten indoor light color temperature is 3200K and outdoor light is approx. 5600K]
The Syslite literally fits in the palm of your hand and is compact, measuring 6” x 4” x 3” and it weighs a mere 1.47 pounds.
My first impression was that this job light was too small to make a difference in lighting and too lightweight to be job site durable.
Boy was I wrong.
After initially charging the Syslite internal battery, the first thing I did, was to turn it on and drop it repeatedly on my workshop concrete floor with no negative effect. Clearly this unit is designed and intended to be shock resistant. One one attempt I took the Syslite and “spiked the football,” still no issues.
Impressed with that I took it to the job site. The light emitted from the Syslite is a bright “white” light and not a yellowish light that you get from most halogens. I immediately thought about how this light would be useful in locating and eliminating mill marks when sanding and finishing cabinet and bookcase projects. My furniture finishing friends would love this light!
The Festool Syslite LED Work Lamps body is uniquely shaped with angled sides. Depending on which side you place the unit the light will be cast at different angles. The light also has a built in hook which is plastic and a bit flimsy. A ¼-20 thread insert is at the bottom of the light and is designed for and fits most standard tripods.
Festool Syslite Video Review:
Using The Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp:
Most carpenters I know don’t carry around a tripod but we all have access to ¼-20 threaded bolts and L-brackets. I made a few brackets on site and screwed the Syslite to wall studs. It worked great and allowed me to swivel the syslite as needed for better directional light.
When I mounted the Syslite on my camera tripod I was amazed at the directional freedom and options that it allows the user. Having a tripod with this light will give you amazing results.
The Syslite emits a 170 degree swath of light and this was noticeable when I screwed the L-bracket to the stud wall. I immediately noticed that the light emitted filled the room evenly and was not like a spot light.
After using the Syslite on the basement remodel one of my guys took the light into an attic to run a dryer vent pie and on a subsequent trip to the same house used it in a crawl space to help chase some wires for the electrician. He reported back that he loved the light; no cords, easy to use and light weight! The next day I used it in a closet to install a custom desk and shelves.
Multiple Power Options:
The Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp turned out to be a rugged and reliable work light. The power options really impressed me. When given the choice I used the wall plug for continuous uninterrupted light but there are other options that make this a very versatile lighting option.
The multiple power options include the internal battery as a main power source, but the Syslite can be easily charged or run with the included wall and car chargers, or used with a compatible Festool battery as an auxiliary power source to the internal battery.
In fact the Syslite will run on any Festool battery from 2005 to present.
With the in-car charger I never have to worry about having a dead flashlight since the Syslite is so portable it’s basically a high powered flashlight if needed. Plus I now have a reliable and bright light if I need to repair my truck or get something in my tool trailer at night.
Cost and Safety:
For years I have had to use 500 watt style halogen lamps on job sites,. I remember the first time I was working on a job site and the lead carpenter told me to make sure I un plugged the lights if I ever left the job site and at the end of the day so the place wouldn’t burn down. we we were always super careful not to store anything flammable near these lights.
The fact of the matter is that the halogens run hot and the bulbs are notoriously delicate. They also constantly break and cost $10-15 to replace. there is nothing worse than plugging in a halogen light and not having it work because the bulb broke from bouncing around in the trailer.
The Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp does not get nearly as hot and has a built in safety sensor that will shut the light off if it does. The cooler running lamp allows me to take the Syslite in places where the halogen might not be a wise choice due to flammability issues or flammable materials. And I was impressed at how durable the light was including the LED bulbs.
The up front cost of the Syslite is $ 175.00 and it is clearly more than a quality halogen lamp that runs anywhere from $65 to $100 . In my opinion you get what you pay for and here are some of those highlights of what the Syslite gives you:
- Compact and Rugged
- Light weight and portable – cordless!
- Multiple power options
- Bright “white” light
I really enjoyed reviewing the Festool Syslite LED Work Lamp. It is clearly a rugged, powerful light that fits in the palm of your hand.
The SysLite best features are the fact that it is cordless and has a long-lasting internal battery as its main power source, but can be easily charged or run with the included wall and car chargers, or used with a compatible Festool battery as an auxiliary power source to the internal battery.
After using the Syslite on the job site I quickly realized that I had been avoiding dragging in my heavy, delicate and extremely hot 500 watt halogen lamps and extension cords because it was a pain in the ass. On most of my jobs I was using ambient light or other options to “just get by.”
The compact size, lightweight and multiple power options of the Syslite opened my eyes at how easy light could be controlled and utilized on a lot of my job site tasks… no more squinting!
This has become my go-to portable light.