The Milwaukee M18 Utility Bucket Light is one of the brand’s specialty lights to go alongside others like their Underhood Light for mechanics. It’s specifically designed to make linesmen’s jobs easier and can be useful in other applications as well.
- Unique utility bucket specific design
- Versatile design suits more applications than just buckets
- 2500 lumens with separate mode controls for spot, flood, and spot/flood
- Rotating and pivoting lights can angle almost anywhere
- Clean, neutral output
- No separate power to kick one light off and conserve power
- Fairly expensive at $749 bare and $1099 as a kit
Clamping My Style
There are several things that stand out on this light, starting with its spring-loaded clamp. It gives you roughly 3-1/2 inches of clearance to slide over buckets, beams, and cables.
In addition to its primary application, I’ve used it to hang on 2x rafters, tailgates, and the side of a jon boat. Designed for power outages and disaster response, it’s also great for gator hunting and night fishing.
Rotate and Pivot
Both lights are able to rotate and pivot. No matter what angle your bucket is at, you can direct the light precisely where you need it.
Big Honkin’ Battery Compartment
The light carries an IP56 rating, meaning you’re welcome to use it while a storm is raging. The battery door takes care of its end with a rubber O-ring that keeps water and dust from reaching its electrical connections.
I’ve heard rumors that the battery compartment isn’t large enough to accommodate the Milwaukee 12.0 Ah High Output battery. That’s not the case with our model.
Shining a Light on the Subject
You’ll find three buttons to control the Milwaukee M18 Utility Bucket Light. There’s the main power switch along with two different mode buttons.
The mode buttons cycle through flood, spot, and flood/spot combo. There’s no option to run just one light or adjust the lumens to conserve the battery.
Output and Throw
You’ll get 2500 lumens with a 500-yard throw on this light. Realistically, that’s a longer beam than you’ll need for most electrical work, but it’s a nice option to have for all kinds of applications when you need to light up an area from the ground or water.
In flood mode, you get a nice broad beam that’s wide and bright enough to light up an entire wall from less than 10 feet away. Spot mode gives you a really tight hotspot (that’s how they get it to 500 yards) with a fairly large side spill.
Combining two lights is never going to give you perfect uniformity in the beam, but Milwaukee keeps it surprisingly even and avoids any crazy reflections or artifacts from the lens.
Like most of their lineup, the color temperature is neutral, making color identification easier. It does stray towards yellow on the edges, though.
With a 9.0 Ah battery, you can expect 4 hours of runtime in spot/flood or spot modes and 6 hours in flood. While that’s not all-night kind of power, keep in mind that you’re throwing a lot of light on the work area.
When you get near the end of your battery’s life, the light will blink as a warning.
As a bare tool, the Milwaukee M18 Utility Bucket Light is $749 and $1099 as a kit with two 9.0 Ah batteries – far from cheap. It’s the storm-proof build and design that moves the price up from where other LED work lights live and why it caters to professionals with a legitimate need for it.
The Bottom Line
Do a Google search for utility bucket light or bucket truck light and you’re not going to see any competition for Milwaukee. If you’re needing a high-output solution to make your bucket work power and emergency response easier, this is the light to get.