LED job site lighting hasn’t been around all that long, but it’s taking over the industry as halogen lights find themselves getting the pink slip. Milwaukee has a huge focus on this sector with a line that covers everything from personal lighting to stand lights and even bay lights. The Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light brings most of Milwaukee best features to the table.
I’ve been using the light for several weeks now, so let’s take a look at exactly what kind of job site environments this model will thrive in.
Constructed from a high-impact, polycarbonate material, the lens can take a beating. As a matter of fact, my toddler threw it off of our stairs multiple times, and he couldn’t seem to break it.
Any of you working around potential spills can rest easy since Milwaukee tells us that the lens and housing on this light will resist chemicals.
5000K is the buzzword around LED lighting because it’s what we see from natural light at high noon. A true 5000K gives you accurate color when you’re looking at wiring or paint. Milwaukee seems to nail this without any trend toward the blue or yellow side of the spectrum.
4-1/2″ Rafter Hook
The Milwaukee 2144 works great as an area light on the ground, but it’s even better as an overhead light. When you’re in an unfinished space, just use the rafter hook to hang it on a joist to get light that fills the room to the floor.
Hybrid Power Source
You can run the Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light on any M18 battery or use an extension cord when you have convenient access to power.
Dual Light Modes
The light is primarily a 360° area or overhead light, but a secondary mode kicks out a 90° floodlight. Rather than just turning off 270° of the primary LEDs, the floodlight is a completely separate set with diffusion optimized for its application.
- One-Key – You won’t be able to control the light with the One-Key App
- IP Rating – The lack of an IP rating doesn’t mean it’s weak, but you should take care that’s it’s not out in the rain or other wet environments
- AC Plug Dust Cover – this probably won’t hurt anything, but you’ll want to be aware it isn’t there if you’re around water, mud, paint, or other messy debris
Take Control of Your Job Site
Each lighting mode has 3 power settings – low, medium, and high. Clever naming. In area lighting mode, you max out at 2200 lumens while the floodlight will give you up to 1000. Here’s a breakdown of the specifics:
Area Light Output
- 2200 lumens
- 1100 lumens
- 550 lumens
- 1000 lumens
- 500 lumens
- 250 lumens
As an area light, 2200 lumens is a reasonable safety light for large areas, but it’s really best for giving you a good amount of general light in smaller spaces like construction in individual rooms or office spaces. If you’re working in a larger area, like a warehouse or an entire floor of a commercial construction project, you can hang multiple lights to cover the entire area you’re responsible for.
1000 lumens is great as a flood light to replace a halogen work light. It’s enough light to give you legitimate coverage of a specific workspace without producing so much light that it drains the batteries quickly. Since it’s an LED light, you don’t have to worry about how close you are to it, meaning you can bring it in as close as you need to get as much light as you need on your work.
No matter which light you’re using, have the power modes gives you some flexibility. The maximum outputs really are too much light when you’re working in a confined space. Sometimes you just need to run a little light for safety rather than lighting up the whole area. And if I’m being completely honest, it makes a pretty nice light to take camping as well…
You can definitely find high light output than the Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light offers, even within Milwaukee’s own lineup. The trade-off for having a lower output is greater battery life and Milwaukee gives you that.
They claim that you’ll get 7 hours on a 9.0 Ah battery pack or 4 hours on a 5.0 Ah pack with the full 2200-lumen area mode. That changes to 10 hours (9.0 Ah) and 6 hours (5.0 Ah) if you’re running on high in floodlight mode. My testing supports those claims with times that are close to dead on Milwaukee’s.
If you’re wondering what you’ll get with other models, here’s what you can expect across the board:
Area Lighting Runtimes
- High: 7 hours on 9.0 Ah / 4 hours on 5.0Ah
- Medium: 15 hours / 8 hours
- Low: 30 hours / 16 hours
- High: 10 hours / 6 hours
- Medium: 22 hours / 12 hours
- Low: 43 hours / 24 hours
The Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light won’t break the bank at $149 but is a premium price in this space. To get a reasonable comparison, you really have to look at the rest of Milwaukee’s lineup or to corded options since most of the other major power tool brands don’t have nearly the same breadth of lighting options. If the area light/floodlight combination sounds appealing to you, this is your best option. If you’re needing one or the other, take a look at what Milwaukee has – you’ll likely either save some money or get more light output.
The Bottom Line
The Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light is one of few options that can effectively cover you for both area and flood lighting tasks while cutting the cord. It has an impressive feature set, but you’ll have to wait if you’re hoping to take advantage of One-Key’s smartphone-based control system.
Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light Features (From the Manufacturer)
- Dual function: 360° area lighting, 90° flood lighting
- High impact polycarbonate lens
- M18 battery power for cordless convenience
- AC inlet for all-day runtime
- 4-1/4 in. hanging hook for overhead lighting
- 5000K TrueView LED light output
Milwaukee Radius Compact LED Site Light Specifications
- Model: Milwaukee 2144-20
- Power Source: Milwaukee M18 battery or AC power
- Length: 8″
- Height: 10.375″
- Width: 7.875″
- Weight: 4.37 lbs
- Power Source: Battery/AC Power
- MSRP: $135.99