Last Updated on July 11, 2023
Milwaukee’s USB Neck Light Shines Hands-Free On The Job
When you need concentrated light on the job, you generally only have a few options. Solutions like flashlights, headlamps, and work lights all work great, but they’re not for everyone. That’s where the Milwaukee Neck Light comes in. Find out how this tool provides hands-free light where you need it most.
- Comfortable fit
- Bright output
- Independently adjustable light angles
- IP54 ingress rating
- Shop chemical resistant
- All-day runtime in low
- USB-C recharging
- No significant drawbacks
Milwaukee Neck Light: The Big Deal
This light sits around your neck, giving you control over the direction it shines. There are two bulbs—one on each side—that present a focused area of light onto wherever you aim them. You can turn each light head vertically up to 130° to shine at the perfect angle. Since they pivot independently, you can have them work together or cover a broader area by setting them to different angles.
There are two brightness settings on the Milwaukee neck light. On High, it achieves 400 lumens, and on Low, it has an output of 250 lumens. Compared to what you might see from other brands, this light output is on the high end of other neck lights on the market. In fact, Milwaukee tells us this neck light is 45% brighter light than the competition.
When it comes to runtime, you can expect over 8 hours of runtime on Low and 2.5 hours on high.
Additionally, the neckband features sweat resistance, which comes in handy if you’re wearing it for long periods in the shop. It also features resistance to many harsh chemicals found in automotive shops and holds an IP54 rating against dust and water. To top it off, the Milwaukee neck light has a drop rating of up to 6 feet.
- Charges in two hours
- Press-and-hold power button
- The power button indicates battery charge status
Using the Milwaukee Neck Light
Editor’s Note: After using the light for a couple of months, PTR Managing Editor Kenny Koehler added the following thoughts.
The Milwaukee 2117 is the light I never knew I needed. It has plenty of light for working on engines, electrical boxes, and other applications where you can stand up. However, there are so many other times it comes in handy. With the early nights setting in, I’ve used it to mow the lawn after dark, to clean up the boat after getting off the bay, as a set of headlights when I’m cycling, and other times when I want a hands-free light.
It’s also more comfortable to wear than I expected. None of the edges create pressure points and I’ve had a couple of instances where I forgot I was still wearing the light.
The Milwaukee neck light is a great alternative to a headlamp—something that’s helpful if you’re used to wearing a ball cap at work. It has limitations, though. Because the light sits on your neck with only its own weight to hold it in place, it’s not the right choice for when you’re laying on your back under a vehicle, twisting and turning in crawl spaces, or in other areas when you’re not able to keep your head and shoulders upright. Fortunately, Milwaukee has a nice range of headlamps to choose from for working in those environments.
Milwaukee Neck Light Price
The Milwaukee 2117-21 retails for $99.99 and includes a RedLithium USB 3.0 battery and USB-C charging cable. You can find it at your favorite Milwaukee retailer. Milwaukee backs it with a limited lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line
There are certainly people out there who prefer a more traditional headlamp to a neck light. That’s the whole point, though—it’s often about preference. Now, Milwaukee fans who don’t want a strap on their heads can take advantage of the RedLithium USB system with a light designed for the way they want to work. The fact that it has a higher output than competing models is just one more reason to pull the trigger.
- Model: Milwaukee 2117-21
- Length: 8.9 in
- Width: 5.2 in
- Height: 1.5 in
- Weight: 0.5 lbs
- Power source: USB-C cable
- High output: 400 lumens
- Low output: 250 lumens