Does it seem like we’re talking about Milwaukee lighting pretty frequently? That’s because we are! They go very deep in the category and they generally put together a work light that’s very effective. Moving away from the M18 and RedLithium USB lines, we’re taking a look at the Milwaukee M12 Rocket Dual Power Tower Light. We’ll see if the M12 version of their collapsible tower light is right for your work.
- Easy to collapse, extend, and transport
- Two power sources – M12 battery or AC via an extension cord
- Lighter and more compact than M18 Rocket models
- TrueView color temperature gives you accurate color definition
- Only two extension positions – you can’t clamp it down in between
- Pinch point when collapsing the stand
If 1400 lumens is enough output for your work and the tower function genuinely makes your life easier, the M12 Rocket is a lightweight, less expensive choice than other tower lights. However, you can get a similar output from less expensive lights that sit on the floor or hang.
As a tower light, the Milwaukee M12 Dual Power Tower Light has a very similar look to Milwaukee M18 Rocket lights. A simple sliding mechanism extends and collapses the legs. You’ll need to grab hold of both tabs to unlock it.
There’s a potentially painful issue here, though. When you’re collapsing the light, it’s easy to get a finger or part of your hand in the way and pinch it. Simply extending the center post another inch or two so the movement stops before the pinch point can fix it on a future model. In the meantime, just grasp it by the rubber overmold and you’ll stay out of danger.
The light nests into the stand and extends to two positions from there. There’s no clamp or lock to set it between them. There’s also no pin detent to lock the positions down, so you’ll want to give it a pretty good pull to make sure it’s in its fully upright and locked position.
The highest position the Milwaukee 2132 reaches is 5′ 8″, so it’s considerably shorter than the M18 models. Still, that gets the light well off the ground and you have 210º of pivoting action. The head also twists 270º. Since you can turn the light whichever direction you want, that’s not entirely necessary, but it does help when you already have an extension cord plugged in.
Of course, the other highlight is the dual power function. You can run on either a Milwaukee M12 battery pack or use an extension cord to an AC outlet. You are not able to charge the battery while the light is plugged in.
One button cycles through two modes and off. The first press gives you 1400 lumens and the second kicks it to 700. You’ll notice a bank of 4 LEDs lets you know what your battery level is when you hit the power button.
The big question is whether 1400 lumens is going to be enough for you. It’s low for a tower light, but plenty to match up against those LED work lights that sit on the floor. Either way you want to make the argument, it’s more versatile than those floor lights.
The output will let you see where you’re going in the 25′ to 30′ range and it’s going to do its best at lighting up your work within 7′.
The beam comes out as a square but quickly spreads out in a wide angle without any crazy hotspots or artifacts. Like most of Milwaukee’s lighting, it’s a neutral light with accurate color identification that trends to the orange side of the spectrum around the edges.
Price and Value
The Milwaukee M12 Dual Power Tower Light will set you back $149 as a bare tool. It can stand alone with an extension cord, but you’ll get more out of it if you are on the M12 platform. A starter pack with a charger and a couple of batteries starts around $119, so your total cost ends up being $268 if you have to add it.
Other lights in this output class tend to be under $100 but are floor models with a few hanging features. You’ll need to weigh that against the dual power sources and tower feature that they don’t have. Other tower lights that have higher outputs start around $200 and go up from there. The biggest value is going to be for Pros that need the tower function.
The Bottom Line
The Milwaukee M12 Rocket Dual Power Tower Light is a lightweight, more compact option for Pros that need the tower function, but not 3000 lumens of output. The design isn’t perfect, but it does offer hybrid power sources and is a versatile little light.
Milwaukee M12 Rocket Dual Power Tower Light Key Features
- Light head rotates 210° and pivots 270° for light in any direction
- 45% smaller footprint than M18 Rocket Tower Lights
- Collapses down to 31″ with three side handles for easy transportation and storage
- Impact resistant, reinforced legs
- Protective guard secures head during transport and storage
- Low battery indicator flashes when battery pack is low
Milwaukee M12 Rocket Dual Power Tower Light Specifications
- Model: Milwaukee 2132-20
- Battery System: M12
- Length: 5.75″
- Width: 5.5″
- Weight: 6.65 lbs
- Height: 30.5″
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $143.00