Milwaukee M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light w/ ONE-KEY™ Review

Milwaukee M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light w/ ONE-KEY™ 2146-20

M18 Compact Radius Light

Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2146-20
Price: $349
Power source: 18V or 120V AC
Temporary jobsite lighting is something that everyone in the trades has to deal with whether it’s new construction, renovations or remodeling as the final lighting is typically not available. Milwaukee has been releasing a wide range of jobsite lighting solutions over the past few years. One of the lighting solutions we’ve been using recently are the M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Lights w/ ONE-KEY™.  These lights are extremely versatile and offer both a cordless and corded lighting solution. These can replace both overhead string lights and halogen work lights. After using them for the last year on our jobsites we’ve got experience using them.

Features and Specifications

  • Set light remotely from 50 ft
  • Program automatic schedule
  • 4,400 Lumens for maximum coverage
  • AC in and out: string up to 10 together
  • Self-centering hang hook
  • 180 and 360 electronic light control
  • Security cable
  • Optimize brightness and runtime
  • High impact polycarbonate lens
  • Protected AC plugs
  • Reinforced hang hole
  • Low battery indicator
  • A high impact polycarbonate lens, and IP54 ingress protection

Versatility and Performance

When I first saw these lights I was a bit uncertain about these due to the suggested pricing. Priced around $350 each these lights might seem too pricey to be a viable solution for most contractors. However, after getting them on the job I quickly realized the value of such a versatile jobsite lighting solution. These lights can replace several different products in your job trailer and outperform the older solutions as well.

Temporary Overhead Lighting

The M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Lights can replace traditional overhead string lights and provide better light and much more sophisticated controls. Shown above is a set of traditional string lights we hung on a jobsite. For an area this size we hung around ten fixtures in this one large room which required getting up on a ladder at each location and attaching the string. It also requires ten light bulbs (typically several are broken from storing/moving/installing the lights from the previous project) and a box to store it in.

In the picture above we’ve got two M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Lights installed for the same size room. This only took two trips up the ladder and the light is not only brighter, but the quality of the LED light is much better. Because this light can run on both battery or AC power we ran a cord from light to light and back to a power source. The light has a rafter hook on the bottom that makes hanging them very easy.

These lights are superior to the old fashioned string lights is the remote control options that the ONE-KEY™ functionality provides. Above are several screen shots from my phone using the ONE-KEY™ app. It allows the user to fully control the lights from up to 50 ft away. The lights can be hung high up out of reach of other trades, you can even lock them with a supplied security cable, and then fully control them from the ground. Users can turn them on or off, dim them, set a timer, or even set them to a schedule. The schedule function is great. It allows users to have the lights come on before the work shift begins, then turn off at the end of the day.

Task Lighting

The M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light isn’t just an overhead lighting solution. They are also great task lights that can sit on the ground, a bench, or even hang from the handle. In this application the cordless feature is useful allowing light without the danger or a cord to trip over.  With the ONE-KEY™ app users can turn the intensity down from 4,400 lumens down to as low as 1,000 lumens, and also control the light from full 360 degrees to 180 degrees to prevent light from shining on other trades or areas.

Overall Impression – M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light

The M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light is an exceptionally versatile jobsite lighting solution that replaces several common lighting products including string lights and halogen job lights. Combined with Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY™ app these lights can be turned on remotely, locked to prevent theft, dimmed and even scheduled to match the most demanding applications. Combined with a robust design built to take the abuse jobsites demand these lights are an excellent option for commercial and residential contractors.

Each one of these lights will replace a short run of string lights and a halogen work light. While this light costs roughly 3 times what those two items might cost, it’s built to take the abuse and save on installation time and the cost of replacing bulbs. The M18™ RADIUS™ Compact Site Light stores easier, takes up less room when stored and it produces greater light than the other options. These new lights have been exceptional for us on the job and I highly recommend them.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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