Review: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Cordless LED Lights

Review: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Cordless LED Lights
Chris   June 09, 2014  
0   8  
Review: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Cordless LED Lights

A while ago Milwaukee sent me out their M12 LED Stick Light and their M18 LED Flood Light to review, but to be honest, after much testing I couldn't find the words to express how much I love these two light. While I wanted to share a review for these two excellent lights, I just kept putting it off. Well, the wait is finally over; I still might not be able to express my adoration for the Milwaukee cordless LED work lights, but here it goes.

Tool-Rank Loves Milwaukee's Cordless LED Work Lights

The ability to light the dark is essential to everyday life, and it is not until you are without light that you realize its importance. But just as important as the light itself, is the ability to control it, and to take it with you. With Milwaukee's 12-Volt and 18-Volt LED work lights, they have finally given us bright light that is truly portable, and because both lights use LED technology, the quality of the light is great, and so is the battery life.

The quality of the light that comes out of the LED work lights is something special. The color temperature is close to what you would get from an afternoon Sun, and they seem to be just as bright. Because the light is emitted from LED's, the light is more directional than regular halogen lights, which I think also improves the light quality.

Milwaukee M18 Flood Light (Model: 2361-20)

Milwaukee M18 LED Light

The 18-volt light features a total of 8 LED lights that can be used in a high or low light output setting. As bright as the lights are, you still get plenty of run-time. On high I was able to get 3 hours of light while using a Milwaukee XC battery. On the low setting it can pretty much last a full work day.

The housing for the light is in the shape of an octagon so that it can be angled to point the light where you need it. A key-hole is available on the back so that the light can be mounted on a wall or stud with a single screw. Milwaukee also designed the light so that a piece of electrical conduit could be used as a makeshift stand. The light is a bit heavy for its size and seems like it should be able to handle most jobsite abuse, but like any tool, it doesn't hurt to treat it with care.

As great as the light is, there are a few things I would change if I could. There is a handle on the top of the light, which makes it easy to use as a lantern, but you need to use your other hand to turn it on our off. Adding an on/off button near the handle would make one-handed operation possible. Because the light runs off of a battery, there is the possibility of it running out and leaving you trapped in the dark; what I would like to see is the light flash on and off as a warning to let you know when you have about 5-minutes of power left. Additional flashes as the battery gets lower wouldn't hurt. The only other thing I found myself wanting was a tripod mount, but I don't know how useful it would really be. BUY - HomeDepot

Milwaukee M12 Stick Light (Model: 2351-20)

Milwaukee M12 LED Light

Just like its big brother, the 12-volt Milwaukee stick-light is a little powerhouse. While the 18V model can be used to light up a room, the 12V version is more suited for close up work, i.e. working on an electrical panel, or working under a sink. It is also a great light for working under the hood of your car, in part thanks to the built in swivel hook. It is normally locked out of the way, but with a simple twist, the hook is unlocked and ready to go. Designed in such a way that allows it to slide, the hook can be used to point the light forward, or straight down.

Again, like the M18, the M12 model puts out more light than you would expect and the light quality it puts out its excellent. With a 2Ah battery it can provide you with about 5 hours of run-time.

It is almost perfect as it is, but there are a couple of changes I would make to the light for the next version. There is a magnetic accessory available that screws onto the back of the light, which makes it possible to stick the light onto a metal stud, AC duct, etc. I feel the accessory is overpriced at around $20 and could easily be built right in. The second thing I would add is a detent to the hook-slide so that the light could be angled at a downward 45-degrees. It too could use a warning system to let you know when the battery levels are getting low. BUY - HomeDepot


It is easy for me to say that Tool-Rank loves Milwaukee's LED Work Lights, because it is true. When I take them on the jobsites, everyone that sees them or uses them instantly falls in love with them, and my co-workers want to borrow them. At about $80 for the M12 stick light and $100 for the M18 Flood Light (without batteries), some might say they are overpriced. But when you compare them to a good LED flashlight with a single LED that costs between $30 and $40, you can see that these Milwaukee Lights with 3 and 8 LEDs, are well priced for the technology that is in them. Once you see them in action, you are sold. What I would like to see next is a corded model or a dual corded/cordless model.

Note: Unfortunately I wasn't able to take my usual awesome pictures, so I am using photos provided by Milwaukee.


These Milwaukee LED lights are a Tool-Rank Editors Pick because they provide excellent light that comes in a rugged portable housing, with amazing battery life. With hours of run-time, they could easily replace their corded counterparts and you wouldn't want to go back.


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