Milwaukee M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger 2136-21

Tool Box Buzz rating:

Milwaukee ROCKET Tower Light [Gen 2 Upgrade]


Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2136-21
Price: 599.99
Power source: AC / DC / Charger
Motor size: 8.0 Ah battery [w/kit]
Weight: 21 lbs
Man has residential job site lighting come a long way from the old-school incandescent droplight with the metal cage, to today’s LED cordless AC /DC capable work lights. As a remodeling contractor, we work in spaces that have not yet had lighting installed by the electrician. When setting up a job site, the right lighting is essential to ensuring that we can safely see the worksite. Milwaukee has led the charge with upgrades to the Milwaukee M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger.

NEW M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger

The new M18 ROCKET Tower Light is a second-generation improvement and it now provides 100% more high-output light than the original 2016 version, ROCKET Tower Light, and better features.

Like the original model, the new M18TM ROCKETTM Tower Light/Charger features a multi-directional light head, but with three independently pivoting light heads to direct light. The ROCKET light head is attached to a telescoping aluminum shaft controlled by two cam levers that allow you to choose your operating height. The cam levers are easy to use and provide fast and efficient height adjustment.

M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger Specifications

  • Power Source: AC / DC
  • Lumens: 6,000/3,200/1,700
  • Run-Time: 3.5/5/10 hours
  • Integrated Charging: M18TM Charger & 2.1AMP USB device charging.
  • Weight: 21 lbs. (w/o battery)
  • Impact Resistant, Reinforced Legs.
  • 5 Second Setup, 40″ collapsed and extends to 7 Feet
  • Powered by M18 REDLITHIUM Battey or Extension Cord.
  • 3 Independently Pivoting Light Heads.
  • Protective Guard to Secure head and lens during transport and storage.
  • Compact footprint, Low Center of gravity.
  • Updated bag design for transportation and storage.
  • Low Battery Indicator.
  • LED Limited Lifetime Warranty: LEDs never need to be replaced.
  • IP54: Water and Dust Resistant.

Light Output and Runtime

The light has 3 light output modes [low-medium-high] that puts out 6,000/3,200/1,700 lumens. When paired with an 8.0 Ah battery you can expect a runtime of:

  • High        3.5 hours
  • Medium 5 hours
  • Low         10 hours

We used this light with the 12 Ah battery on high only and were pleased with the light output,  we’d prefer to see an 8-hour runtime to avoid changing batteries mid-workday.

Fun Jobsite Lighting Fact

One of the best features of LED lights is that they do not put off the heat that a Halogen bulb does, and therefore eliminate those accidental touch burns and scary fire risks. All of which equates to a safer work site.

Did you know that Halogen bulbs release most of the energy they use as heat, rather than light? For every 100 watts you put in, you get about 3.5 watts of light and 96.5 watts of heat. That’s hot, dangerous and expensive!

What’s New?

The M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger is AC/ DC powered and can charge batteries. It has an integrated AC plug and can be operated with an extension cord. There is a USB port on the side of the handle to charge and operate your phone, headlamp, or another USB-powered device.


There is also an updated carry rail which is longer and makes it easier to carry.

The light puts out 6,000 lumens of TRUEVIEWTM High Definition Light.  TRUEVIEW is what Milwaukee calls their LED technology and optical designs which is what they chose as a sweet spot to deliver a more consistent beam, optimized color temperature, and true representation of colors and detail.


Storage and Set-Up and Adjustability

We found you can set the light up in seconds. You can extend the multi-directional light-head from 40” to 7’-0”.  This unit weighs 21 lbs. and is not terribly heavy but it does take up some storage space in the trailer.

Because the LED light bezels are adjustable you can direct light output overhead, sideways, or
downward to customize and completely illuminate your work area. When setting this up on our barn project we found it opens in seconds, and the three-legged base has a low center of gravity and is extremely stable. We also like that you can adjust the multi-directional head to minimize shadows and cover dark spots in a room.

When stored the light bezels rotate behind protective guards to secure the head and lens during transport and storage.

Hidden Feature

A hidden feature we didn’t immediately notice is that you can use the ROCKET Light as a safety or warning beacon by nesting the light heads behind the red colored stroud. Doing this emits a bright red light which can be used as an added safety feature working at night to warn people, or so you don’t lose your own night vision. This is probably more an option for commercial or utility trade folks, but still a feature worth mentioning.

The new ROCKET Tower carry bag was developed to work with all ROCKET Tower lights, so if you need a new bag for your older unit – it will fit!

Milwaukee M18 ROCKET Tower   – Price vs Cost

When you compare the ROCKET Tower to other job site lights it’s definitely expensive, but I always look at tool purchases as an investment.

In my opinion, we shouldn’t even compare this light to a Halogen light. Halogen work lights are outdated, they are cheaply made and don’t last, they run extremely hot, creating a fire hazard and the bulbs break easily and are expensive to replace.

Then there is the cheap LED tripod option typically sold on Amazon that costs $100 and puts out 10000 Lumen. I’ve used these lights, they need electric power to operate, and the first thing to break is the tripod stand and adjustment knobs. Within a year or two one or both LEDs dim or stop working, indicating cheaper quality LED diodes. LEDs are supposed to be durable, and last years and years.

The ROCKET light costs 5 times more than these cheap Amazon lights, and I put it in the category of “you get what you pay for.” You get superior quality, significantly improved portability with the cordless options, better constructed LED diodes, a more durable,  stable tripod platform, corded and cordless power options, a multi-function battery charger, fast stow-able portability, and a padded storage bag. This ROCKET Light should last you 8-10 years. When you amortize its cost over 8-years that’s a $75 a year investment.

While the price is more I’m willing to bet that the ownership cost is the same or better since you won’t have to replace this light 5 or more times in eight years.

The M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger sells as a kit or bare tool. The kit comes with a carry bag and an 8.0 ah battery.

  • M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger – Kitted (2136-21) $ 599.00
  • M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger – Bare tool (2136-20) $ 399.00
  • M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger – Carry Bag (42-55-2137)

Milwaukee M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger 2136-21  – Purchase Link


We now look differently at LED job site lighting. What was once a luxury is now a necessity. LED lighting is a new industry standard for a good reason offering increased portability, functionality, and overall performance. And who doesn’t want improved job site safety while increasing overall efficiency and quality from vastly improved visibility.

Milwaukee M18 ROCKET Tower Light/Charger 2136-21 Video Review


About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

All posts by Robert »

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.