One of my most-used Milwaukee cordless tools — is not a drill, impact wrench, or even a saw — it is the M18 LED Lantern.
In late 2014, Milwaukee expanded their cordless lighting to include additional LED options. Two of these were LED Lanterns — a M12 version & a M18 version. They are unique in the fact that they not only have extreme run-times, but pure/clean light (showing actual colors), and you can easily adjust the light coverage between 180 – 360 degrees.
The entire Milwaukee “TRUEVIEW” lineup of lights is built around durability and color quality. This is very apparent when using them, since if you are working around wiring (for example), the reds look red & the greens look green. It appears the same with these lights as it would in natural sunlight. Cheaper LED lights have very “off” or poor color quality and can cause you to make expensive mistakes.
Our primary use with them (both the M12 & M18) have been as supplemental lighting in videos. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to reduce or eliminate shadows. This is next to impossible with stationary ceiling or floor lights, and the LED Lanterns are the solution. They produce a lot of light, almost no heat, are extremely durable, and when/if we drop them — they don’t break!
At the event in 2014 where these were announced, the product manager held them above his head (7′ up) and dropped them directly onto concrete……I thought for sure that they would break, but instead he turned it right back on. Over and over I watched this throughout the day & not once did the Lanterns fail. Fast forward to now…I have dropped them off ladders, concrete walls, trees, vehicles, etc & other than scratches on the housing, there are no issues.
At minimum I have completely discharged a 4.0ah battery 150 times with each lantern (M12 & M18) in the last year and a half, and not once have they had problems.
The negative would be the size. Unlike many other LED lights on the market, these do come in on the larger side of things. For me it hasn’t been an issue, since in tight clearance areas I have other options. I even think with auto technicians, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc — size wouldn’t be an issue since they normally have room to work with. But, if you are in confined spaces where you need a small light, this wouldn’t be your go-to.
They have some very impressive run-times — as well as 4 different modes :
- Low – 40 lumens
- Medium – 200 lumens
- High – 400 lumens
- Strobe mode – 400 lumens (flashing)
- Low – 70 lumens
- Medium – 350 lumens
- High – 700 lumens
- Strobe mode – 700 lumens (flashing)
Along with the different modes, these have extreme run-times (depending on the battery capacity used) — and one battery literally can last you more than 1 day in an emergency. On the rear there is also a 2.1amp USB port which can easily charge mobile devices (including iPhones). For home, garage, camping, or boating….these are a must have!