9 Best Timing Lights 2022 [Review and Comparison]

Correctly timing your car or truck will make the engine run at the maximum frequency, thereby delivering full power. Otherwise, the engine will be very omnificent. A timing light enhances the performance, improves fuel economy, and increases the lifespan of the engine. It does that by adjusting the firing time. Choosing the best timing light will make your engine give you more miles per gallon of fuel filled.

We researched the best timing lights in the market and recommended the best product for you under each product type. We present:

Keep reading to know the difference and find the best product for your vehicle from this professional review.  

Let's check this article out before choosing the best timing light for you
This is the honest review of the best timing light that will help you to set the ignition timing on your car.

Timing light types

A timing light is a crucial tool that every engine tuner should have. However, different types in the market can be so confusing. You need to know your engine specifications and choose the best product, considering its brightness, accuracy, durability, and reliability. The following are the popular timing light types you will find in the market today:

Inductive timing light

Inductive timing light features a non-adjustable Xenon light. This type of timing light can be used to tune the engine of two cycles and four-cycle motors. Another feature that we can mention is the button or knob used for adjusting the light to indicate different RPMs. Some timing lights under this category also have an in-built tachometer to monitor RPMs and a dwell meter that allows you to effectively monitor the time it takes to charge the coil. 

Adjustable/advance timing light

An adjustable or advance timing light uses a microprocessor to delay a strobe at a selected degree. That realigns the Top Dead Center (TDC) mark on the balancer with the markings on the front cover. An ordinary inductive timing light cannot do that when the engine speed increases and the distributor keeps changing position. 

The accuracy of some adjustable timing lights in the market differs from brand to brand. So, you need to check each and every product before buying. Customer reviews can be helpful when looking for answers concerning accuracy.

Digital timing light

Digital timing lights feature microprocessor-controlled circuitry and LED or LCD display for easy reading of RPMs and selection of a degree. Most digital timing lights can show RPMs as high as 9,999 and current selection between 2 and 4 cycles. They usually include a toggle button for that purpose.

MSD timing light

MSD timing lights are a type designed to help tune engines on cars with multiple spark distribution systems. A standard inductive light cannot give an accurate timing because they randomly pick any spark out of the multiple ones produced. You need an MSD timing light if your vehicle is of this type. Otherwise, you won’t be able to properly adjust the firing of your engine.

Best inductive timing light 

INNOVA 3551 and Actron CP7527 are multifunctional timing lights that can help you diagnose many timing problems and find a solution. Inductive timing lights are efficient and affordable. They can help you detect a no-spark condition, check for electronic advance or retard, check timing, among other capabilities. 

However, these timing lights have limited functions and capabilities. They cannot be the best for auto technicians needing more advanced tools. 

INNOVA 3551

INNOVA 3551
Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light
4.6
This timing tool is easy to use and designed with an adjustable barrel and detachable leads to enhance your engine tuning experience. Its lightweight and slim structure make it suitable for one-hand operation.

The INNOVA 3551 is an inductive timing light designed to accurately display timings, diagnose no spark conditions, check for electronic advance, and retard, among other uses.

With its Patented Skip Circuitry, INNOVA 3551 can test up to 9990 RPM. It has an overall slim shape and a rotating barrel for the better taking of the readings.

This timing light is compatible with most of the engines of imported and domestic cars, including:

  • DIS
  • Conventional
  • Electronic
  • Computer-controlled systems 

INNOVA 3551 is also an easy-to-use, plug-and-play timing tool.

You can just hold it in your one hand because of its lightweight and how it is shaped. The design includes an adjustable barrel for better aiming at the timing mark and detachable leads that make it easy to use.

This timing light is ready for use out of the box with excellent customer support in case of dissatisfaction. The company has a certified technical team ready to help you as the customer. 

Actron CP7527

Actron CP7527
Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light
4.4
Actron CP7527 allows you to tune both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines with either DIS, electronic, computer-controlled, or points ignition. Its bright xenon flashlight makes the tool ideal for use even in broad daylight.

Actron CP7527 is also an inductive timing light. It is a better choice than INNOVA 3551 because of its additional features and capabilities.

It is a simple tool that you can use for the following purposes:

  • Measuring and setting initial timing
  • Checking and measuring the centrifugal advance
  • Taking the measurements of vacuum on vehicles powered by gasoline engines.

Actron CP7527 is a versatile timing light that supports many vehicles with conventional, electronic, computer-controlled, DIS, or 2-cycle ignition systems.

Unlike the INNOVA 3551 that supports only one cycle system, Actron CP7527 supports both 2 and 4-cycle systems. It also works on both 6V and 12V vehicles.

However, a separate 12V battery is needed for it to work on 6V cars.

Another unique feature of this timing light is the bright Xenon flash which makes it even easier to spot the timing mark under dark or shady conditions.

Actron CP7527 allows you to tune both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines with either DIS, electronic, computer-controlled, or points ignition.
Actron CP7527 features a durable ABS housing, making it more reliable and resistant to molding and occasional drops.

If you are a mechanic, you can work with this tool both day and night. It also features a durable ABS housing, making it more reliable and resistant to molding and occasional drops.

Top 2 inductive timing light comparison chart

INNOVA 3551
INNOVA 3551
Check Price
Actron CP7527
Actron CP7527
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.6
4.4
Price rangeINNOVA 3551 priceActron CP7527 price
Dwell----
Tach----
RPM range0 – 9,990Unknown
Voltage display----
Check timing
Diagnose no-spark condition
Advance & retard adjustment----
2 cycle/ 4 cycle4-cycle onlyBoth 2-cycle and 4-cycle
Detachable leads & inductive pickup
LCD display----
Diesel vehicle support
With hard case----
Vehicle CoverageWorks on 12V with both domestic and import vehicles with conventional, electronic, and computer-controlled ignition systemsWorks on 6V and 12V vehicles

INNOVA 3551

epsoak epsom salt 5 lb

Rating

Actron CP7527

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Best Digital Timing Light 

Digital timing lights are more advanced than inductive timing lights or any other type we have on the market. Some have LCD screens, in-built tachometers, dwells, among other features. As a result, INNOVA 3568 and Innova 5568 are recommended to advanced DIYers and mechanics who continuously handle vehicle ignition timing.

Most of the digital timing lights we have on the market are compatible with foreign and domestic vehicles. Provided the ignition system is conventional, electronic, or computer-controlled, these tools can help you accomplish the task.

INNOVA 3568

INNOVA 3568
INNOVA 3568 Digital Timing Light
4.6
More robust yet affordable. The LCD screen, in-built tachometer, and voltage readouts are the main highlights of this tool. It gives you the best value for the money.

INNOVA 3568 is cost-effective digital timing light designed for use on both domestic and imported cars.

This can be an ideal choice for vehicles with the following ignition systems:

  • Conventional
  • Electronic
  • Computer-controlled systems.

It features a split-screen LCD display with a backlight for clear reading of both tachometers and advanced functions simultaneously. INNOVA 3568 has an overall slimy shape and rotating barrel for accurately aiming at the timing mark.

This timing light also has a Patented Skip Circuitry that can test up to 9990 RPM. You can use it for checking timing, diagnosing no-spark conditions, adjusting advance and retard, among other functions.

INNOVA 3568 features a digital tachometer that can accurately read RPMS from 249 to 9,990 RPM. Also, it has a direct reading advance scale that adjusts from 0-90 degrees. All these features make this digital tool one level ahead of inductive timing lights.

INNOVA 5568

IMAGE_ALT
INNOVA 5568 Pro Digital Timing Light with Storage Case
4.6
This is a more complete digital timing light designed with all the features and functions you would expect of such tools. In addition to what other timing lights are capable of, Innova 5568 has dwell functionality and comes with a hard case.

INNOVA 5568 is an advanced version of the INNOVA 3568. It has four digital readout functions, which include tachometer, advance, Dwell, and voltage.

INNOVA 5568 can also perform all the functions of the INNOVA 3568 but with improved accuracy.

The digital timing light also features a bright LCD screen, Patented Skip Circuitry Test up to 9,990 RPM, detachable 6-foot lead, and slim design for one-hand operation.

Other features of this timing light include the following:

  • Advance Degrees (2 and 4 cycles) 0-90 degrees
  • Dwell (2-12 cylinders) from 0-180 degrees
  • Voltage readings from 10-16 volts DC
Innova 5568 is a more complete digital timing light designed with all the features and functions you would expect of such tools.
INNOVA 5568 timing light can work on most systems, including DIS, conventional, electronic, and computer-controlled ignitions on domestic and imported cars.

The INNOVA 5568 timing light can work on most systems, including DIS, conventional, electronic, and computer-controlled ignitions on domestic and imported cars.

This timing light is made of heavy-duty, ABS, shockproof housing to protect it from occasional drops at the garage. It also comes with a plastic storage case for safekeeping.

Top 2 Digital Timing Light Comparison Chart

INNOVA 3568
INNOVA 3568
Check Price
INNOVA 5568
INNOVA 5568
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.6
4.6
Price rangeINNOVA 3568 priceINNOVA 5568 price
Dwell--
Tach
RPM range0 – 9,9900 – 9, 990
Voltage display
Check timing
Diagnose no-spark condition
Advance & retard adjustment
2 cycle/ 4 cycle4-cycle onlyBoth 2-cycle and 4-cycle
Detachable leads & inductive pickup
LCD display
Diesel vehicle support
With hard case--
Vehicle CoverageFewer vehicles coveredMore vehicles covered

INNOVA 3568

Rating

INNOVA 5568

Rating

Best Adjustable Advance Timing Light

Adjustable advance timing lights allow you to check base timing mechanical and electrical advance and retard applications. They work with most ignition systems, including conventional, electronic, and computer-controlled ignition systems of domestic and import vehicles. However, INNOVA 3555 and Actron CP7528 lack some features and functions that a professional timing light should have. 

Timing lights in this category is different from the others because it allows you to delay the flash when a plug is fired. You set the time delay of your choice by simply turning the knob, making it easy to operate and take readings.

INNOVA 3555

INNOVA 3555
INNOVA 3555 Advance Timing Light
4.6
This timing light is the most affordable option with an advanced dial for easy base timing checking, mechanical advance or retard, and electronic advance and retard. You can test up to 9,990 RPM and a reading scale from 0-60 degrees.

INNOVA 3555 is an advanced timing light that comes with many functionalities. It allows mechanics and DIYers to accurately check base timing, mechanical advance and retard, and electronic advance and retard. The timing light is capable of direct reading advance adjust from 0-60 degrees.

Innova 3555 timing light is the most affordable option with an advanced dial for easy base timing checking, mechanical advance or retard, and electronic advance and retard.
INNOVA 3555 features a slim design and a rotating barrel for easy aiming at the timing mark.

Like all other INNOVA timing lights, INNOVA 3555 features a slim design and a rotating barrel for easy aiming at the timing mark. It also works on different ignitions systems on imported and domestic cars, including conventional, electronic, and computer-controlled systems. Though this timing light lacks an LCD display screen and digital tachometer, it still has a Patented Skip Circuitry Test up to 9,990 RPM.

Actron CP7528

Actron CP7528
Actron CP7528 Advance Timing Light, Gray
4.7
If you need a better digital timing light option, Actron CP7528 becomes the best option. It supports engine tuning on both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines, giving it a wider vehicle coverage.

The Actron CP7528 is the best option of advance timing light for checking ignition timing and fires to maximize engine efficiency. The tool features heat-resistant battery clips for holding onto the battery terminals. It also allows for accurate adjustments of base and advance timing reading.  

Other unique features of Actron CP7528 include the linear xenon flash tube and focused Fresnel lens that produces enough light for use under any lighting conditions. The gun-shaped design of this timing light makes it easy to hold and use.

Actron CP7528 is also compatible with many ignition systems, including the following:

  • Points Ignition
  • Electronic Ignition
  • Computer-Controlled Ignition

Actron CP7528 is the best choice if you want to optimize your engine for better performance. It comes with a user-friendly instruction manual to show you how to use it for accurate readings and make adjustments as necessary.

Top 2 adjustable advance timing light comparison chart

INNOVA 3555
INNOVA 3555
Check Price
Acron CP7528
Acron CP7528
Check Price
Customer Rating
4.6
4.1
Price rangeINNOVA 3555 priceAcron CP7528 price
Dwell----
Tach----
RPM range0 – 9,990
Voltage display----
Check timing
Diagnose no-spark condition
Advance & retard adjustment
2 cycle/ 4 cycle4-cycle onlyBoth 2-cycle and 4-cycle
Detachable leads & inductive pickup
LCD display----
Diesel vehicle support
With hard case----
Vehicle CoverageFewer vehicles More vehicles

INNOVA 3555

epsoak epsom salt 5 lb

Rating

Actron CP7528

Rating

Best MSD timing light: MSD Ignition 8992

If your vehicle has MSD engines, other timing lights will not help to tune it because they will probably be confused with the multiple sparks. MSD timing lights are designed for MSD engines. They use sensors to detect the electrical signals that pass through the wires to spark plugs and combustion chambers.

MSD timing lighting is designed for auto technicians and racers who need accurate, easy-to-use timing lights. 

MSD Ignition 8992

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Design and specifications

MSD Ignition 8992 light is made of solid-state electronic circuit components that can accurately handle timing signals in the range of 0 – 8,000 RPM. Designed and built for rough terrain and harsh environment. The casing is made of heavy-duty resin that resists corrosion and mechanical damage. That is the reason why we highly recommend it to professional mechanics and racers.

MSD Ignition 8992 has a detachable inductive pickup, making it easy to use and ensures safety when in use. It also has battery clamps that provide strong grips when hooked to the 12V battery of your car.

MSD Ignition 8992
MSD Ignition 8992 Timing Light
4.7
MSD Ignition 8992 is a very accurate MSD timing light that is easy to use. It features an intense strobe, making it possible for use during daylight. You also get very stable timing signals and can work with other ignition systems.

Key features and functions

MSD Ignition 8992 is our best product because of the following features and functions:

  • Secure pickup
  • No retard as RPM increases
  • Detachable leads
  • Battery clips are color-coded and well insulated for safety
  • Generates a strong strobe that makes it possible to use even in daylight
  • Works on different ignition systems: MSD, DIS, electronic, points, and computer-controlled ignition systems.
  • Provides stable timing signals
  • Easy to use
  • Very accurate

Vehicle coverage

MSD Ignition 8992 is professionally designed for use on 12V vehicles. It is for you if the ignition system is MSD, DIS, electronic, points, and computer-controlled ignition system. 

Weaknesses

Despite the high price and advancements of MSD Ignition 8992, it still lacks some crucial features. No dwell, tachometer, voltage display, and LCD display.   

MSD Ignition 8992

epsoak epsom salt 5 lb

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Final thoughts 

Choosing the most appropriate timing light will save you time and money. Using the information provided, you can go for the best timing light for the intended purpose. Remember, the accuracy of the chosen tool is all that matters in engine tuning for higher efficiency.

This post reviewed some of the best timing lights under each type. If you are looking for the best timing light, I recommend the following products: 

Best inductive timing light: Actron CP7527

epsoak epsom salt 5 lb

Rating

Best digital timing light: Innova 5568

Rating

Best adjustable advance timing light: Actron CP7528

epsoak epsom salt 5 lb

Rating

Best MSD timing light: MSD Ignition 8992

Rating

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