Milwaukee has had a focus on worksite lighting for a few years now ranging from spotlights, task lights, flood lights and area lights. This year they have introduced yet another option, the Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Site Light.
Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light Review Overview
Milwaukee has done an excellent job with their onsite lighting options. I had a chance to go to the Milwaukee New Product Symposium a couple years in a row and some of the most innovative products there each year were the lighting options.
At first, I thought their lights were cute and unique. When they started throwing them on the cement floors I was awestruck by how much abuse their lights would take.
Now, I wasn’t able to check out the last two years worth of lighting options from Milwaukee, but this year is another story. Recently, I got the Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Site Light in my hands. This unit is basically a slightly smaller and not quite so bright unit of the Milwaukee M18 4400 Lumen Radius Compact Site Light that came out a couple years ago. Oh yea, they also added a task light to this unit.
Milwaukee likes to put their tools out in the field and hear what the pros say about them. They then like to take that feedback and incorporate any good ideas that they hear about. They are all about giving the pros what they want and need. I have a feeling this is what they did with this latest offering of the Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light.
Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light Review Features
The first feature we need to talk about in this light is the task light. Milwaukee has added a 4 LED task light to this unit. This basically gives the onsite pro two tools in one. Now there is no need to carry two separate lights.
The task light has three different brightness settings you can choose from. The highest setting will produce 1,000 lumens and run for about 6 hours. The middle setting will yield 500 lumens and last approximately 12 hours. The lowest setting produces 250 lumens and will run for around 24 hours. Now, all of these runtimes are figured with a 5.0 Ah battery pack. Obviously, if you are using smaller batteries these run times will be less.
The area light on this unit does a great job lighting up an area without blinding the person working in the area. At the high setting, the area light will produce 2,200 lumens and run continuously for 4 hours. The middle setting will yield 1,100 lumens and you can expect 8 hours of continuous runtime. The lowest setting will produce 550 lumens and run for about 16 hours. Again, these runtimes are based on a 5.0 Ah battery.
To switch between lighting modes and brightness settings, Milwaukee has added some easy to use rubber buttons that are located right above where the battery connects. The button labeled “MODE” switches you from task light to flood light. There is no option to run both modes at the same time. The button located in the middle is the power button. The button on the right that looks like a headlight controls the brightness settings.
Above I talked about how long you could run this unit on a 5.0 Ah battery. If these times aren’t long enough for you, or you don’t have a spare battery to dedicate to this light, there is an area to hook up an extension cord that will give you unlimited run time. I love when tool companies add the AC option to their cordless tools.
The options for mounting or hanging this unit is pretty limited compared to units that I’ve seen in the past. You can either set it on the floor or hang it by the 4-1/4″ self-centering metal hook.
Quality of light is something that needs to be talked about when discussing lights in my opinion. Now, when I say this, I’m not referring to the number of lumens produced by the light, but the color temperature. The color temperature of a light can change the true colors of the item you are looking at. It sounds strange, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Paint shades will look one way at 3000 K versus 5000 K.
This light is part of Milwaukee’s High Definition TrueView lights. This means you can expect a color temperature of 4000 K producing what Milwaukee claims is the closest to midday sunlight.
Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light Review Performance
The performance of this light is what I would expect from Milwaukee. First of all, it’s very durable. The high impact polycarbonate lens will protect this unit from a majority of the job site abuse thrown its way.
I found the area light to do a great job lighting up small areas. I have a feeling the older unit that produced 4,400 lumens might have been a little too much.
I was really impressed with the task light when it’s hanging. It is like having someone else hang onto the flashlight. This light would have made the electric service changeover in my house so much easier than it was.
My only real complaint about this unit would be the fact that you can’t run both the task light and area light at the same time. I’m not sure if there is a big need for that, but it would be nice to have that option available.
Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light Review Value
The Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light in the review at this time is priced at $149.00 as a bare tool. Now to me, this is a little bit steep, but it is much better than the $299.00 price tag the previous model carried.
Now if you are a pro that does work in dark areas, a durable true colored light that can be run on both battery and AC power might be just about priceless. So, for the professional, I think $149.00 price tag would quite acceptable.
Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light Review Final Thoughts
The Milwaukee M18 Radius Compact Light offers a task light and an area light in one unit that can be run on battery or AC power. Milwaukee spends a good amount of time and effort with their lighting options and it is apparent with this latest version of their Radius Compact Light.
The ability to choose task or area light is the best feature of this light followed by its ability to run off of AC or Battery power. The two things that I liked least about this unit is the mounting options (I would have liked to see a tripod mount option at least) and not being able to run both the task light and area light at the same time.