Introduction: DIY 18V Makita Work Light

About: I am an apprentice electrician, DIY'er and renewable energy hobbyist

I do not know about anyone else, but ive had enough of work lights that are not very bright, limited by an extension lead and do not have any other function to them.

As an apprentice electrician, I spend half my time working in the dark, and am yet to find a portable work light that suits my needs, because of this I have set myself the task of creating a LED work light.

I want this light to meet the following criteria

  1. Brighter than most on the market
  2. Last at least 2 hour
  3. Take a standard drill battery (in my case Makita 18V)
  4. Have an additional function ( Probably a plug socket to plug in an addition light or a charger)

The goal is to make the total cost of this project for around £60, but if i go over i am not overly concerned.

Lets see what i can come up with !

Step 1: The Plan and Materials

I have done a bit of looking around, and decided that i am going to use a small inverter board from amazon to power a 50w LED Flood Light (6000 LM Daylight ) this will be housed in an aluminium enclosure have two switches and fuses an IP54 Socket and a 3d printed Makita battery holder with makita plate 643852.


  • 200w 12v inverter
  • Viugreum 50W LED Outdoor Floodlight
  • Panel Mount Fuse Holder for 6.3 x 25mm Fuse
  • Illuminated Double Pole Single Throw (DPST), Latching Rocker Switch
  • ABL Sursum 1 Gang Electrical Socket, 13A, Type G
  • Thin Wall Aluminium Enclosure, IP54, Shielded, 188 x 120 x 57mm
  • 20mm stuffing gland
  • 24v to 12v step down 5A
  • a couple of bolts, 3.5mm screws

Step 2: 3D Printing

To be able to use Makita batteries you need an adaptor so that you can remove the battery like you would on any of your tools, I first looked at drawing one of these myself, then found that someone else had already drawn them ready to print on Thingiverse, the one I printed was by Simhopp and fits the Makita battery perfectly, you can get it here

I recommend printing on 100% infill with support material. it takes about 2 hours 45 mins.

this 3d printed model also fits the makita battery prong module 643852 perfectly.

Step 3: Taking Apart an Inverter

To power the light and socket i original set out to use a cheap inverter board i had got from china for £6, unfortunately i wasn't able to get the 220v out of it. To be honest i struggled to get 3v AC out of it. so instead i have opted for the smallest (size wise) 12v car inverter i could find, this was a 200w Bestek Inverter it did cost £27 but I have used Bestek Inverters before and found the quality to be very good.

It was very simple to take apart, the case is held together with for screws, then two screws holding the pcb in,after you remove all the screws the PCB folds out and then i cut the two wires to the plug sockets, i left these long enough that i old use a lever connector on them without having to solder new cables onto the board.

! Warning !

please keep in mind that you are disassembling a device that makes AC power at 230v that can be potentially very dangerous. use caution and common sense.

Step 4: 24v to 12v

once I had taken apart the inverter i then soldered on 24v to 12v step down, this is because 18v is to high for the 12v inverter, and when i checked the actual voltage of my batteries, they range from 18v to 20v so to be on the safe side i decided a step down would be a better option.

24v to 12v 15A minimum step down converter

I then also attached two crimps to the 24v to 12v step down converter so that I could push this onto the battery holder.

Step 5: Layout

I now had to work out how I was going to house all off these items into the box, I did this by first placing the inverter in the box and seeing what space i had left, form that i was able to work out the placement of the other components.

I put the switches on the top, the fuse holders on the side, the socket and battery holder on the front.

I then marked out the locations in pencil and started making holes and fitting the parts into place, i had made the hole for one of the switches a little big that left a gap at the top of the switch i fixed this by printing a switch plate that clips over both switches.

Step 6: Mounting the Flood Light

To mount the flood light, I used two copper earthing strips that I had bent up at 90 degrees, I then dill a mm hole through the earth strip and on the enclosure, I then used a tap to thread the hole and screwed the new bracket to the enclosure and used the original screws on the flood light to hold it all together.

The cable from the flood light goes into the bottom of the enclosure and is attached to the switch.

Step 7: Inside

Once the flood light was mounted I then began to install all the components inside the enclosure.

I started but installing stand offs inside the enclosure these were to hold the inverter away from the metal enclosure, the stand offs were drilled and i used a tap to screw them in, I then also applies some epoxy to make sure they do not com lose, once the inverter was secured in I then began to run, wires from the inverter to some fuse holder then to a double pole switch then to light and the same for the socket, I have applied a bit of resin to all the surface mount components just make sure that they do not make themselves loose over time.

Step 8: The Stand

To make the stand a cut two pieces of 25mmx25mm at 150mm and one peice at 190mm then welded them together and bolted the the original flood light bracket to this base after i had cut it to make it a little bit wider.

I then drilled two holes in the enclosure to mount the bracket and the bolted it all together.

Step 9: Conclusions

well I wanted this light to meet the following criteria

  1. Brighter than most on the market
  2. Last at least 2 hour
  3. Take a standard drill battery (in my case Makita 18V)
  4. Have an additional function ( Probably a plug socket to plug in an addition light or a charger)

And well I can say I have met the criteria I had set out, but not without its challenges, the first inverter from china didn't work, but that was solved by using a reputable brand of inverter instead. the second issue i ran into was that the dc to dc converter wasn't powerful enough and burnt out, the first 24v to 12v converter had a max current of 5 amps and a 50w led flood light pulls 6.5 amps through an inverter during normal operation on start up it pulls twice as much, so to over come this i replaced it with a 15 amp 24v to 12v converter.

But overall it lasts 2 hours 30 mins on a 5 AH Battery, the plug socket is a bonus and i can plug other lights or chargers in to this, and its nice and rugged ready for use on a site, ill keep you updated on how it last.

In the end i did run over budget meaning that the total cost of this project came to £70, but thats not the end of the world, especially when i am happy with the end product.

I would mention tho, that if anyone makes this work light a 10w , 20w or 30w flood light would be sufficient the 50w is super overkill, literally lights up a street by itself.