When most people think of power tools, they think of drills and saws. However, what most people don’t realize is that power tool companies also produce other products to increase safety and productivity on a job site, such as work lights. One of my favorites is the Milwaukee M18 Lantern and Floodlight (2360-20).
On high, the lantern produces up to 700 lumens of what Milwaukee refers to as “Trueview High Definition Output”. This means the light that the lantern produces will not distort the colors of what it is illuminating. It is helpful to electricians who need good lighting to tell the difference between colors of wires.
Power Source and Run Time
The M18 Lantern and Floodlight, which you can find by clicking here, has 4 lighting modes: High, Medium, Low, and Strobe. It will run off of any Milwaukee M18 RedLithium battery, so if you already have Milwaukee tools, it will be a good addition to your collection. The lantern’s runtime will depend on the battery you use, but a 4.0 ah battery will give you the following runtime:
- High (700 Lumens): 10 Hours
- Medium (350 Lumens): 20 Hours
- Low (70 Lumens): 100 Hours
Having such a long runtime is a great advantage, whether you are using the M18 Lantern and Floodlight on the job site, camping, or during a power outage.
Related: Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Fan Review
Adjustable Light Beam
Another nice feature of Milwaukee’s M18 Lantern and Floodlight is that you can adjust the light’s beam direction by turning the black ring at the bottom of the light tube. Turning the ring to the right will give you a 360-degree beam, and turning the ring to the left will adjust the beam to 180 degrees.
Having an adjustable light beam makes the M18 Lantern much more versatile. With the 360-degree beam, I can use the lantern to light a small room, a tent, or my patio. However, with the beam at 180 degrees, I can use the lantern to illuminate an area directly in front of me. This is useful if I need to work on something behind an appliance or direct a bunch of light at one area.
Additional Features and Warranty
Milwaukee’s M18 Lantern and Floodlight also has two adjustable stainless steel hooks that can be used to hang the lantern or as a carry handle.
I have used them to hang the lantern from cabinet knobs, storage hooks, and metal wires. They are very versatile and well-designed.
The M18 Lantern and Floodlight also includes an impact-resistant lens to protect the LED’s and is IP54 rated, meaning it is water and dust resistant. It also comes with a 5-year tool warranty and a lifetime limited LED warranty. All of Milwaukee’s tools are well-engineered and built to last, and the M18 Lantern and Floodlight is no exception.
Integrated USB Charger
One of my favorite features of the M18 Lantern is that it also includes a USB charger on the back of the unit. I like tools that have multiple uses, and being able to charge my cell phone using the lantern increases its usefulness and value. The USB charger is activated by pressing the black button located above the USB port.
To use the charging feature, all you need to do is plug your cord into the lantern, plug your phone or tablet into the other end of the cord, and press the button. Your device will begin charging off of your connected M18 battery.
After your phone is charged, be sure to press the button again or remove the battery. Failure to do so will result in wasted battery power.
Uses for the M18 Lantern and Floodlight
The most obvious use for the M18 Lantern and Floodlight would be to illuminate workspaces such as dark attics or crawlspaces. I have used mine to monitor my washing machine’s drain to make sure it didn’t overflow and to light up my garage while doing projects. The “Trueview” light is very helpful when doing painting and staining projects.
In addition to being a useful job light, it is also a valuable emergency preparedness item. On a fully charged M18 5.0 ah battery, I should be able to get a couple of night’s worth of light from one battery charge.
I used my M18 Lantern while tent camping and was able to light the campsite, the inside of my tent, charge my phone, and still have plenty of power to spare. My wife and I returned home later that evening to find that a storm had knocked our power out. I took my M18 batteries and charger to my parents’ house and visited while the charger topped off the batteries. Although the power came back on later that night, I felt much better knowing that I had a reliable light source.
Unlike candles and other types of lights, the M18 Lantern and Floodlight stays cool while it is on. This is really nice, especially during a summer or spring power outage, because using the light will not raise the temperature of your home or wherever else you may be. There is nothing worse than a summer or spring power outage made even more miserable by the heat given off by candles.
Advantages of the M18 Lantern and Floodlight
The M18 Lantern and Floodlight has many advantages over other types of area lighting. If you have tools from Milwaukee’s M18 cordless lineup, you can use any of your M18 batteries to power it. This will greatly reduce your dependence on traditional batteries, especially expensive D Cells.
As long as you make sure your batteries are charged, you should have enough juice to get you through a night or two without power. If the emergency isn’t too bad, you can take your batteries and charger to work or a friend’s home and charge them while you are there. This will allow you to have fully charged batteries by the time you get home.
The lantern is very energy efficient, which is what allows it to have such a long runtime. In addition to extended runtime, the efficiency of the light also prevents it from becoming too hot. As mentioned above, the light running so cool makes it perfect for summer and spring power outages. Since the light runs so cool, it is also very safe, meaning you don’t have to worry about burning yourself or tipping it over and burning down the house. You also won’t have to worry about trying to blow out a candle and sending hot wax flying all over your bedroom carpet. It’s probably easy to guess how I know about that one…
When I invested in power tools, I knew that I would use my drills and saws, but I had no idea that I would have so many uses for tools such as the M18 Lantern and Floodlight. It is one of my most-used power tools and lights. I think I use it about as often as I do my EDC flashlight. It is a versatile and convenient way to provide light in confined as well as large spaces that also gives you viable options in short-term emergency situations.