Regardless of industry or hobby, light is valuable. For the longest time, flashlights ruled as portable handheld options. In the mining days, hardhats donned mining lights for hands-free use. For us, this convenience has not died. As a gadget enthusiast, I’ve got a lot of headlamps. One true thing about headlamps is that they are not all created equally. I own some strictly for hobby use with super concentrated LEDs, some for biking trails at night and camping, then, of course, some for rough use. With that being said, I had to test out the Milwaukee. So let’s jump into the Milwaukee 475 Lumen Headlamp Review.
The Milwaukee is a smart choice for any hobbyist, pro, or homeowner. In the weeks that I’ve had it, it’s proven to be one of my favorite headlamps I own and my go-to for use on projects. The easy operation and charging contribute to an overly impressive product, typical of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee 475 Lumen Headlamp Review Overview
As stated above, light is valuable when doing work in low light areas, or just simply to enhance visibility in your workspace. Even more important, is being able to work hands-free. It goes without saying that most homeowners and pros value a good headlamp. For me, I value one that’s not only bright but durable and comfortable.
The Milwaukee (model 2111-21) covers these requirements and surpasses them. First and foremost, the 475 lumens LED mode is more than enough to do the job. But, if that is too bright, there are other options that aren’t as intense. On the flip side, they also don’t affect your run time as much. The selector switch on the unit lets you cycle through 475,300,150, and 20 lumens, respectively, in both spot & flood beam mode. Run time’s for those options vary from 2 hours at 475 lumens, down to 24+ hours at 20 lumens, which is pretty great efficiency. Powering all of this are the Milwaukee Red Lithium rechargeable batteries, contained within the unit. The batteries are removable, so in the odd event that one would go bad, the unit is serviceable. On top of the power and performance, the unit is comfortable. A lot of headlamps on the market are heavy, clunky, and generally, don’t fit well, but Milwaukee has done this one right. The light is both durable and lightweight, with a quality elastic band to securely hold the unit on either your head or hardhat.
Milwaukee 475 Lumen Headlamp Review Features
The head lamp’s elastic band is both strong and features a rubberized honeycomb design that provides plenty of grip.
The beam is extremely bright at 475 lumens, and sufficient for any job, especially with the other settings.
A sticking point between myself and headlamps (literally!) is always the forehead grip. Milwaukee has put a gigantic piece of padded rubber as this piece and actually serves quite well even against sweat and moisture.
The strap is robust as well on the Milwaukee. While most companies cheap out for a slender and thin piece of elastic, the Milwaukee is built with a very thick and sturdy piece to keep the light attached to your head or hardhat.
The included hardhat clips are made so that the light can easily attach to all hardhat types. The clips are made of a thick polymer plastic that will hold up against almost any bump or thud.
As seen on the buttons and around the LED housing, the rubber is meant to keep debris and moisture out. This light specifically is rated at IP54, against water and dust intrusion.
My favorite feature on modern headlamps is the ability to charge via USB, and Milwaukee is no exception. This headlamp uses a standard 5v micro USB for charging, which is perfect for out in the field, or at home.
The array of LEDs across the business end are protected by a rubberized guard, and thick plastic to prevent cracking and breaking. The entire housing is impact, debris, and water resistant.
Like most headlamps, the Milwaukee can be canted up, and down to give you the best field of view with your light. Even after cycling the 6 positions canting ability a ton of times, it was still nice and tight and didn’t get bumped out of place when working underneath vehicles.
Milwaukee 475 Lumen Headlamp Review Value
At around $60, this light is no cheap date. However, what you do get is a limited lifetime warranty on the unit itself, with a 2-year warranty on the RED Lithium battery. To me, and compared to other lights made specifically for harsh environments – that’s pretty darn good. What you also get is the tangible feel of a Milwaukee product. The toughness, durability, and a reputation comes with any Milwaukee tool. I was pleased when opening the packaging to find that the light itself, strap, hardhat clips, and even woven USB charging cord were all top quality. You simply get what you pay for with this light. It’s impressive and leads the pack against competitors.
Milwaukee 475 Lumen Headlamp Review Final Thoughts
All in all, I usually have some criticisms when reviewing tools, but I can’t find any for the Milwaukee Headlamp. Even in terms of areas of improvement, the Milwaukee doesn’t leave much room! It simply checks all of the boxes on durability, build quality, run time, battery, and features. With the price in mind, it might be hard to suggest this unit for the homeowner, but it will certainly last them a long time. For pros or enthusiasts, the Milwaukee is a no brainer. With all of this being said, I can’t wait to continue to put this headlamp through the ringer, and maybe even take it camping to test that IP54 rating!