Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light Review

By John Peachey on Tool and Product Reviews

Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light PCL631

If a person can have a favorite work light, then the Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light is my new favorite work light.  I certainly liked the much smaller Ryobi Flexible Clamp Light, but I love the Ryobi Hybrid Panel Light.  This LED work light knocks it out of the park each and every time I use it.  I am not alone in my praise for the Ryobi Panel Light as I found as of August 10, 2022, 95% of the online reviews for it on the Ryobi website were 5 stars.  That’s a lot of tool love!


  • 3,000 Lumens of light output
  • 360° rotating side panels
  • 150° pivoting front panel
  • Hybrid for use with any 18V One+ Ryobi Battery or extension cord
  • Tripod mounting compatible with built-in 1/4 in.-20 insert
  • 3 settings (high/medium/low) for a variety of applications
  • Over 12 hours of runtime on low
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Battery and charger sold separately
  • Sold at The Home Depot for $99.00

Brilliant LED Lighting

The purpose of work light is to provide effective lighting where and when you need it.  The Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light is my choice because the light it provides is unbelievably intense.  For flexibility, it has 3 settings you can operate it on using the power button mounted atop the unit.  The high setting will provide you with a whooping 3,000 lumens of light.  That number of lumens will make a dark room seem like daytime.  A click below high is the medium setting which provides 1,800 lumens.  Pressing the power button 3 times brings you to low, which is 1,000 lumens.  This is a serious amount of power and it should not be used near those that might mistakenly stare into the light.

All 3 panels work simultaneously at all times.  You can’t use just the center panel or just the two side panels.  The goal of this LED Panel Light is to provide you with uniform bright light in the direction that you choose.  There are no bright spots and there are no shadows.  The light is uniform in nature and bright enough for almost any project you tackle.

The lights don’t get hot to the touch, so they are much safer than those old halogen bulb work lights.  Also, the Ryobi Panel Light is not water resistant, so it should not be used in wet locations.

Directional Lighting

Ryobi designed this light to be both bright and flexible.  The side panels arrived folded closed to protect the 3 LED panels.  When you open the side panels, the fun begins!  The three panels can be tilted up or down 150 degrees.  If you wanted to illuminate the floor you were tiling, place the Panel Light on the counter above you and tilt the front panels downward.  My only wish would be for the 3 panels to tilt further back so they could illuminate the ceiling more when the unit sits flat on a surface.

The middle front panel can only be pivoted up or down, but the side panels have hinges that provide even greater customization.  The side panels can actually be rotated a full 360 degrees from the closed position.  When using the battery as the base, you can have the large front panel illuminate one side of the room and the two side panels can illuminate the exact opposite side of the room.  This 360-degree lighting design was a wonderful idea to maximize the utility of the Ryobi Panel Light.

I found the pivoting front panels and side panels to be really helpful simply because they made my life easier in a variety of situations.  This is my “go-to” light when I clean up my yard after a party because I can carry it by the handle with the front panel facing forward and the 2 side panels illuminate 90 degrees in either direction.  This is super helpful when scanning the yard to pick up all of those cups and plates left behind.

Battery Or Electric Power

Ryobi has a massive number of tools that are powered by their 18V One+ batteries.  This Panel Light is even more flexible because it was designed to be Hybrid—that is, it can operate on EITHER an 18V One+ battery OR using an extension cord.  Whether it’s used as a work light or a light to be used during power failures, having 2 power options makes it super convenient.

I have used the Panel Light for a couple of months now and have been impressed by the battery life, especially considering how bright the LEDs are.  When used on high with a 4aH battery, I traditionally received 2.5-3 hours of battery life.  For most home projects, 2.5 hours of battery might be enough.  When you need even more battery life, reduce it to the medium (7+ hours of battery) or achieve up to 12 hours of life on the low setting.  This light is a workhorse when you have an intensive project to complete.

Ryobi has made many of their tools to be “hybrid” so that they could also accept a traditional extension cord for power.  Only a single-plug extension cord can be used based on how the receptacle is oriented on the rear of the light.  With an extension cord, the Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light could go all day!  The convenience of a battery is great, especially when outdoors, but when you have an extension cord available for your outdoor or indoor jobs, you will never need to worry about powering the Panel Light.  I think adding the hybrid option to this light was brilliant because it made it even more versatile and valuable for all your work sites.

Mounting Possibilities

The Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light can be mounted in a variety of manners.  A carabiner or rope secured to the durable plastic handle could certainly hold it aloft in a variety of situations.   It is tripod compatible with the built-in 1/4 in.-20 insert located on the base.  This means that you could even use a camera tripod to set up the Panel Light when you need it to be standing several feet off the ground.  I could see the tripod mount being especially helpful when setting up the light in the center of a room that you need to paint.  Finally, there are 2 integrated keyholes on the base that would allow you to mount it to the wall in your workshop or garage.  With several options available to you, the Panel Light could hang around wherever you needed it to!

Final Thoughts

Until Ryobi designs a successor, the Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light is my favorite work light.  This light sits upon that pedestal for a variety of reasons–intense and uniform light coverage, 3 settings of brightness, pivoting panels, and the ability to power it using an 18V One+ battery or an electric extension cord.  The Ryobi 18V One+ Hybrid LED Panel Light was designed with everything you need to effectively illuminate your workplace.  Get one today at The Home Depot.


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About the author

John Peachey

Writer / Teacher / DIY Enthusiast

John Peachey is a 33-year veteran teacher with a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology. John is passionate about technology and is a big fan of Apple hardware and other techie gadgets. As a homeowner, John enjoys spending time in his workshop and in his yard getting his hands dirty completing DIY projects. For ten years, John was the general manager of a local swimming and sailing club, responsible for overseeing and maintaining the extensive facilities. In his free time, John enjoys outdoor activities, especially golf, fishing, boating, and biking. John’s love of the outdoors provides him with the time and opportunity to field test and review knives, multi-tools, flashlights, yard tools, and other handy devices. In addition, supporting teachers, students, and friends with technology for more than 30 years has provided him with the experience to advise, evaluate, and integrate technology products into a user’s daily life. Here at A Concord Carpenter, John enjoys reviewing all of these products.

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