The Milwaukee M12 Underhood Light comes in with high expectations and not much competition from within the major power tool brands. However, when you step out of our comfortable sector of construction and into the world of automotive, you’ll find some other options to choose from.
We teamed up with Tim Johnson at Shop Tool Reviews to take a closer look at the features and to shed some light onto its major applications.
Obviously, as an underhood light, the design intent is to give you additional light when you’re working under the hood. But just how much do you get and how much do you need? After all, too much light can work against you in certain cases. Just shine a 1000-lumen headlamp under a sink and tell me you still need all of those lumens.
Light Up My Life
The Milwaukee M12 Underhood Light produces 1350 lumens on high and 600 on low. But this stretches over nearly 4 feet and casts a broad throw rather than a tight beam. It’s a form of area light, so it spreads out over a larger area.
It’s far from being a static length. You can stretch the light’s aluminum frame from the shortest length of 47 inches all the way out to 78 inches.
Tackling one of the biggest concerns, Milwaukee’s FinishGuard hooks provide grip while preventing damage to the vehicle’s paint job.
Another major concern when it comes to a vehicle’s electrical system is simply accurate color identification. Color close to each other on the spectrum can be confusing if a light is too yellow or blue. Milwaukee dials in a 5000K color temperature that makes color identification less of a hassle.
Where it Fits
Most shops and garages have enough light to keep things visible at night, but those lights are typically overhead. The hood (or vehicle if you’re working underneath) can cast a shadow at times and that’s where the Milwaukee M12 Underhood Light on low can help out.
It’s the mobile mechanic that really gets the win here, though. With a solid lighting platform and running on Milwaukee’s M12 batteries, those after dark calls are a little less frustrating to work on. Now whether it came during supper or the game isn’t something Milwaukee can help with.
That said, there are other ways to use this kind of light. You can stretch it across beams in a pinch on a breaker box install or the top of a sink cabinet during a plumbing job. But one of my favorite uses is to illuminate the floor of a boat during a night fishing or hunting trip. Gator season is getting ready to kick off here in Florida and the Milwaukee M12 Underhood Light promises to be a big help on the safety side while we’re out.
But How Well Does It Perform?
We’ve had the chance to use the Milwaukee M12 Underhood Light in a few applications, but Tim Johnson has been using it for several weeks in its intended setting in the garage. Head over to Shop Tool Reviews to see the full details of his testing, including his take on the feature set, application, and runtime.
Take a Look at Some of Our Other Lighting Reviews
Milwaukee M12 LED Underhood Light Features
- 1,350 lumens of TrueView High Definition output
- Milwaukee’s FinishGuard hooks provide lasting protection against scratches to a vehicle’s finish
- 2X more gripping surface for maximum hold
- Rotate, slide, remove and hang light bar for added flexibility and versatility
- Two Brightness Options: High – 1,350 Lumens/4 hrs. Low – 600 Lumens/8 hrs.
- Mounting hooks extend 47 -78 inches covering wide cars and trucks
- Light bar with stainless steel hook
- Sturdy aircraft aluminum frame
- Impact and chemical resistant lens
- 5 Year Tool Warranty. Limited Lifetime LED Warranty
Milwaukee M12 LED Underhood Light Specifications
- Item Number: 2125-21XC (kit), 2125-20 (bare)
- Voltage: 12V
- Length: 47.51 inches
- Weight: 4.63 pounds
- Height: 8.97 inches
- Width: 3.96 inches
- Warranty: 5 Year Tool Warranty, LED Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Kit Includes M12 LED Underhood Light, M12 RedLithium 4.0 XC Battery Pack, and M12 Battery Charger
- Price: $340.50 (kit), $166.68 (bare)