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Something as simple as infusing LED lights into an extension cable can shine a bright spot on your workstation or power setup. The best lighted extension cords work well for contracting and DIY work, especially when in use on a dark site like a basement, or when working behind walls (or at night). They are also great for backyards to power things like decorative lights and even chicken coops. Ready to upgrade your cable game? Read on for our shopping tips.
How to Pick the Best Lighted Extension Cord
Here are a few things to consider before going all-in and grabbing one for your home or project.
LED Lights: While some of the best lighted extension cords including lights all the way down the actual cable as well as on the plug parts, most just feature a small light on the plug or plugs. The more LEDs yours has, the better you’re going to see it in the dark, and make sure you don’t trip over it or tangle it up with other wires. However, lights at the end are what’s important here. Not only does this let you find your way back to the source, but it’s also a great test to instantly tell you when the building’s power is back on or off, a huge help when working with any electrical wiring.
Cable: If you’ll be using this primarily inside, protection from the outdoor elements doesn’t need to be extreme. But for outdoor jobs, it’s best to be safe and go for one that’s built to handle whatever the worst of nature can throw at it. These cables are guarded against frigid cold temperatures as well as the hot sun, or moisture from rain and snow. Plus, some even have locks on the plug-head, only letting go with a switch.
Length: The longer a cable gets, the more the price goes up. And while it’s always better to bet on the safe side and go longer than you’ll think you need, sometimes a short extender is all that’s really necessary to get the job done. When running higher amps and wattages, a thicker gauge and longer cord is recommended.
The Best Lighted Extension Cords
We found the best extension cables for any project that work well in backyards, basements, and dark areas.
1. DeWalt Lighted Extension Cord
This 13-pound cable stretches to 100 feet, and was the toughest, most durable one we tried. Cold weather is no match for the DeWalt, as it can survive in insanely cold temperatures down to -58 degrees Fahrenheit. The shatterproof click-to-lock connectors at each end can hold up under 80 pounds of pull, staying securely plugged in the whole time. When you’re ready to unplug it, just pull the slide collar back and you’re good to go.
2. Southwire Contractor Grade Lighted Cord
This red, white, and blue extension cord has lit-up ends, so you’ll see where it’s plugged in, even in dark cellars and attics, or outdoors at night. At 15 amps and 125V, it’s UL-certified, as well as OSHA and NEC compliant. It’s particularly excellent for outdoors, the connectors are water-resistant and the cable itself is guarded against moisture, friction, and intense sunlight.
3. Yellow Jacket Heavy-Duty 3-Outlet Cable
If what you’re after is an extender with multiple ports, Yellow Jacket has you covered. At 15 amps, this powerful extender can power three major tools or appliances, lighting up all three. It’s extremely durable while remaining flexible, with a vinyl covering over the 600-volt wiring to protect it from outdoor elements. For safety, this meets OSHA standards and is also UL-certified.
4. DEWENWILS Indoor/Outdoor Extension Cord
LED lights come on immediately when this 15-foot cord receives power, and keeps it safe with 300-volt insulation that can survive extreme hot and cold temperatures. A three-prong grounded plug is used for increased safety, and it easily coils back up for storage when you’re done.