Tool Review: E-Z Red Hood Hawk Under Hood Clamp Light System

April 14, 2017
The reviewer found that the E-Z Red Hood Hawk provides a lot of light without being in the way.

The E-Z Red Hood Hawk Underhood Clamp Light System, No. XLUHLS, can be used as hands-free illumination under hoods, wheel wells and the vehicle undercarriage. The COB LED provides 1,000 lm on high and 550 lm on low. It is micro-USB rechargeable - both a cord and A/C adapter are included - and provides a three-hour run-time on high, and six hours on low. Padded bumpers protect the clamped surface from damage and provide a secure grip. The light adjusts through two axes, allowing versatility when directing the light onto a work area. It also includes an interchangeable hand grip for handheld use.

The review

Having adequate lighting enables technicians to be more productive when working under the hood. According to Brian Noel, an automotive professor at the Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif., the E-Z Red Hood Hawk Underhood Clamp Light System provides a lot of light without being in the way.

Noel says the Hood Hawk was easy to set up. As with any rechargeable tool, the light should be fully charged before use. Aside from that, Noel said, the setup was as easy as sliding the light into the hood clamp adapter and clipping the light over the edge of the vehicle’s hood.

The light comes with a hood clamp, a pistol grip accessory and a USB cable and AC adapter for recharging. The manual was included but, Noel says, “the product is so easy to use it’s almost unnecessary.” He does note that it was helpful to know that the light has a high and a low brightness, and what the expected battery life is.

Noel liked that the underhood light could easily be adjusted to provide more light where necessary. 

“The Hood Hawk puts out a lot of light, doesn’t get in the way and is quick and easy to set up,” he says. 

He also appreciated that the hood clamp had legs with oversized rubber grips that held onto surfaces without damaging the paint.

For general-purpose task lighting, Noel said that the Hood Hawk was more convenient than a typical drop light or flashlight. He added that for situations where the light needs to be more portable, the Hood Hawk can easily be removed from the hood clamp and attached to the pistol grip, or can even be used by itself.

“The Hood Hawk is useful for almost any maintenance, diagnosis or repair under the hood or undercar,” Noel says.

When the light is being used for quick, focused light, it is not as convenient as a regular flashlight, Noel noted, but he says the Hood Hawk puts out enough light that focused light isn’t needed as frequently anyway.

Noel found the Hood Hawk had an easier setup than other underhood lights he has used in the shop, which typically clamp onto both sides of the hood and straddle in between.

As an improvement for the Hood Hawk, he did suggest making the battery removable so that it would be possible to have a spare fully charged battery.

Overall, Noel found that the Hood Hawk was convenient, easy to use and provided plenty of light and utility without being in the way.

About the Author

Stefanie Von Rueden | Assistant Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Stefanie Von Rueden is assistant editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Von Rueden’s background includes professional writing and publishing. Previously, she worked in the Continuing Education department at UW-Whitewater. She has covered the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket since 2016.

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