Product Review: Milwaukee’s Guiding Light

Product Review: Milwaukee’s Guiding Light

Roger Bisby lights up at the prospect of Milwaukee’s new worklights.

There are now so many LED work-lights on the market that we are spoilt for choice. The chip on board technology (COB) is now taking over from the cluster because it gives you more light for a smaller surface area. But within the COB category there is a wide variation. If you lined up ten lights side by side and turned them all on you would see it immediately, and it is all to do with the way that LED renders colour. The eye is an unreliable instrument when it comes to colour because your brain adjusts, so seeing them individually is not the best way to detect this variation, but some of the low end lights have such a limited colour rendering index (CRI) that you would find it impossible to work out which strand is which in a CAT5 cable, and you would also struggle to match colours in decorating.

Even touching up white can be a challenge, which is why so many high class decorators chose a light with a CRI of more than 95. The idea is that they are viewing their work in the nearest thing to daylight. The Milwaukee True View lighting range falls nicely into this category, which is why they are favoured by car body spray shops. There is no point in doing a great spray job only to bring it out into the daylight and see that is hasn’t blended in.

There may be some people reading this – plasterers for example – who are happy to work with a cheaper light because they are only interested in how bright it is, but it is surprising just how tiring it can be working in low quality light even if it is very bright. In fact, if you look at most of the Milwaukee lights you will see that they have a diffuser which softens the glare and spreads the light evenly around the room, so you are not dazzled and you are also not working in your shadow all the time.

I took some out on site with me and was amazed how it turned the whole place into daylight. You have to see it to believe it, there is now no such thing as night – and that’s official. Many of the guys on site could not believe that all that light came from a single source, and that it could be powered by battery.

Some of the lights in the range are mains and battery and some are battery only. You get a very long run time on 18V 5 AmHr batteries and, on the battery mode, you can adjust the output to lengthen the run time, so it is very easy to get a full day’s use out of a battery or, in the case of the big ones, two batteries. You can also limit the number of sections of light so they don’t dazzle you.

The lights can be daisy chained on the mains leads and hung up. You can then control them from your phone with the Milwaukee ONE-KEY app which also allows you to track where the lights are, if for example you have them stolen, which is exactly what happened to the set I was reviewing. I am confident that they will turn up somewhere, and the ONE-KEY app will show the location. I look forward to meeting if not the person who stole them, then at least the scumbag who perpetuates this crime by buying stolen tools – and more of that later. There are more lights in the range, and it is impossible to cover them all in detail here but I will return to look at them again.

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