Milwaukee M12 Underbody Light is a Bright Idea for Mechanics
Mechanics are a specialized bunch and their needs don’t always crossover into other trades easily, especially when it comes to lighting. Underhood lights are a great example. With the Milwaukee M12 Underbody Light, mechanics have another solution designed specifically for their needs.
- Light can rotate and pivot to hit any direction
- Magnetic arm hold nuts and bolts
- Plenty of light for any automotive application
- Physical design is a bit awkward
Using the Milwaukee M12 Underbody Light
The Underbody Light can produce up to 1200 lumens—not bad at all for a 12V system. There are three brightness modes to help you dial in the amount of light you need for the application and the distance you place the light from it. Practically, that’s plenty of light to work with, even if you need to light up tighter areas of the engine bay.
As usual, Milwaukee uses its TrueView High Definition Output with a neutral color temperature that illuminates colors accurately. The throw itself is very clean with no noticeable artifacts or blinding hotspot.
It’s also a broad throw. Working just a foot away from the light, you still get about 3 x 2.5 feet of your workspace lit up. Whether you’re working in tight quarters or with a more generous amount of space, it does a great job of giving you all the light you need.
At first glance, the light’s design is a bit awkward. That’s quickly forgivable once you put it to use. The battery base contains magnets that stick firmly to your lift, vehicle frame, or other steel/ferrous structure. The base is also rubberized and you can stick it to the car’s body without damaging the paint.
At both the battery and light ends, you can pivot 300° and you have 180° movement up and down. The end result is that you can direct the light in any direction, no matter where you mount it.
You can accomplish all that in a more compact form, so the arm might seem unnecessary. It serves a couple of very important functions, though. First of all, it’s an arm. You can use it to extend the reach of the light over to spaces you can’t stick it to.
Milwaukee also put magnets in it, giving you a much more convenient place to put nuts and bolts until you’re ready to reinstall them.
Underbody Anywhere on the Body Light
Here’s the thing—once you start using this light, you realize it’s not just an underbody light. It’s useful anywhere you can stick it. Underneath, under the hood, on the side, in the cab… you name it. Its ability to twist and pivot to put light where you need it makes it far more useful than just under the body.
- Runs between 5 and 15 hours on a 4.0Ah battery, depening on the mode
- IP54 ingress rating
- Corrosion and chemical-resistant materials
- Compatible with any Milwaukee M12 battery
- Drop tested to 6 feet
Milwaukee M12 Underbody Light Price
Look for the bare tool (2126-20) to retail at $179. There’s a kit with a 4Ah battery and a charger (2126-21XC) that runs $259. Milwaukee backs the tool with a 5-year warranty and the LED for life.
The Bottom Line
In the automotive world, Milwaukee’s Underbody Light design is unique, giving mechanics a versatile light source like nothing we’ve seen before. It looks a bit awkward and needs a fair bit of space to store, but once you start using it, you’ll wonder why it’s taken this long to come into your life.
- Model: Milwaukee 2126-20
- Lumen Output: Low, 600; Medium, 800; High, 1200
- Runtime: Up to 15 hours with 4.0Ah battery
- Ingress Rating: IP54
- Warranty: 5 years
- Available: December 2021
- Price: $179 (bare tool); $259 (kit price)