Milwaukee is known for their innovative lighting solutions. The 2131 mimics the 2130 with some subtle differences such as a hybrid power option. The light is easy to set up, has two ways to power it and is extremely bright.
When it comes to job site lighting, let's face it, no one can compete with Milwaukee and their cordless line of Tower lights. Currently, Milwaukee has four different models to pick from including this new one. This model, 2131 mimics their original Job Site light, (model 2130) but boasts a few upgrades. They also offer 2135 which has more lumens and has three individual heads that can be adjusted. The last one in the lineup is the 2120 and anyone looking for massive lumens, then that is the light to own. So let's take a look at the new Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Review and see where this stacks up against the other models.
Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Review Overview
I have been renovating my house and for the first and second floor, I only have two outlets and no lights. I have a fridge and vacuums on one and the other has a fan and chargers. So I have been using the heck out of all these lights including the new 2131. For me, these are a lifesaver. OK, maybe that is a little too far but they have been huge.
First, they provide enough light to light up a room when we have been mudding or performing some other detail-oriented task. There has been plenty of days throughout the project where it's storming outside and we didn't have a ton of natural light inside. Second, since they are LED, they don't raise the temperature of the room, especially when we are working in small spaces like a closet. Since I don't have air in the house and it's the middle of summer, I don't want a light or anything else that raises the temperature.
For this project, I have been using the 2135, the 2130 and the 2131. Unfortunately, I lent out the 2120 and still haven't gotten it back. For the three that I have been using, the 2131 has been my favorite so far and here's why.
While the 2135 has 500 more lumens, the runtime isn't that great. Not a big deal for someone who can run power to the light but for my situation I felt like I was changing the battery all the time. The 2130 is a great light also, but it has fewer lumens. Now I might be wrong but I also feel like it has less run time. I haven't measured the time, but I have run through a ton of batteries and I just feel like with the 2131, I am changing the batteries less often.
Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Review Features
Here is the 2130 (Left) and the 2131 (Right) next to each other. As you can see, pretty much the same light on the outside. As a note, the 12Ah battery will not fit into the Milwaukee 2130.
Here is one way the 2131 is different. The 2131 Tower light can be powered by either an M18 battery or by AC power. You will be happy to know that you can power this with the M18 12Ah battery which gives it all day run time. Milwaukee left a little extra room in the battery compartment in case they come out with a bigger battery in the future, say a 15Ah.
One great feature about this light is how compact it folds up and how easy it is to carry around. I always bring these from downstairs to upstairs in a narrow staircase. The compact design and ease of setting it up make it much more convenient.
As with their other two Tower Lights, the light has a tripod design where three legs make contact with the ground.
The light uses a single push button to turn on and cycle through the light modes. The light has three modes, high, medium and low. After the low setting, the light will turn off.
The 2131 uses 12 LED lights to produce 2,500 Lumens on high, 1,110 on medium and 700 on low.
The light can be extended from 4′ to 7′ very quickly.
To adjust the light up or down, just release the red levers and you can extend the light in either direction.
The Tower Light has an adjustable head that rotates 230° Vertically and pivots 240° horizontally.
Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Review Performance
There is a lot to love about this light. First, I love the option of being able to run this light either off a battery or AC. While I am only using batteries at the moment, there will be plenty of times I will use AC down the road. Its ideal to have that option so I am not switching batteries out. Especially when I know the light will be stationary for a while.
Second, I love how bright the light is. While pictures don't do it justice for obvious reasons, this light is extremely bright and can light up any area. Since it can be raised or lowered, along with the pivoting head, there really isn't any area you can't light up.
Third, I love how easy it is to set up, take down and transport. I can't tell you how many times I have moved this light around the house.
Fourth, I love the runtime. With a 9Ah or 12Ah battery, the runtime is insane.
So while there is a lot to love about this light, I have a hard time finding anything I don't like about the light. However, there is one concern I do have and that is the lever to raise and lower the light. On my 2130, the lever to raise one section of the light broke pretty easily. I was also talking with one of the electricians that came to my house and he experienced the same problem with his. I am wondering if they have beefed it up and made it more durable than the previous model as the 2131 hasn't had any issue with the lever.
Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Review Value
I usually get on Milwaukee for some of their higher priced items, but you can pick this one up at The Home Depot for about $200. For me, this is worth every penny. While it's more expensive than some other traditional lights, this has a great built quality, is easy to set up and take down, plus being a hybrid means you can have multiple options of running the light. So I do think this is a fair value.
Milwaukee 2131 Tower Light Final Thoughts
Bottom line, anyone looking for a great Tower Light, the 2131 is one of my favorite models. Sure if you need tons of light, go with the 2120 but it does have a hefty price tag. The 2131 is a great light. It's tough and has an awesome runtime for a cordless light with this much power. The fact I can you can run this off a battery or AC makes it a versatile light and allows the professional to work in varied conditions. While it would be nice to have an added feature of a battery charger when the light is plugged in, it's not something that would stop me from buying this light.