The Radius light from Milwaukee is engineered to provide an area lighting solution that replaces its halogen and fluorescent predecessors.
The M18 radius light can be used as a cordless light or using Milwaukee’s M18 batteries, features a maximum output of 4,400 Lumens and a maximum runtime of 10 hours (with 9.0 high output batteries). The AC on the light is pass through, so at the worst you don’t totally occupy a cord you may want to use for something else (providing that other thing has low amp draw, like a radio or charger) and at best you are able to string multiple lighting solutions together. Up to 12 lights can be strung together. However, the light is not a charger, and no power comes from the AC outlet when the light is running off of its battery.
What really makes this light unique is the fact that it has a One-Key option. The obvious benefit is if you are using the light as an overhead no one has to climb a ladder to turn it off at the end of the night. One-Key also built intelligence into the light so that it can be assigned a schedule and automatically turn on and off at specific times, optimize brightness and runtime, and utilize the tool tracking that is available on all One-Key Tools.
The Radius is the first light designed top be used both ground-based and overhead. It has an integrated hang hook that self-centers onto pipe and smaller material while still accommodation 2x4s, and also a pass through hole for other hanging or securement options. It is much smaller than a wobble light, meaning it can easily fit on a cart or jobox. Also, you can effectively turn half of the light off if you only need light in one direction, which increases the runtime by 40%.
The radius is impact resistant and rated for sue in wet and dusty locations. The high impact polycarbonate lens is user replaceable, survives drops, and features a diffused lens to reduce glare from the bright LEDs. The robust heat sink not only protects the electronics of the tool and allows them to run cooler, but extends the life of the LEDs by maintaining a cooler operating temperature. The light itself is covered by a 5 year warranty, and the LEDs have a limited lifetime warranty. You can expect the Radius to retail at $299, and the Radius with One-Key to go for $349.
If you’ve been paying attention to the power tool market (and who hasn’t, right?) you’ve noticed Milwaukee cordless lighting breaking into the jobsite with a couple of popular tools. The M18 floodlight was an incredibly useful, high output cordless LED option that provided excellent task lighting. That is, the light was mostly stationary, and designed to light a particular project while someone was working on it. The idea was to replace halogen lights with a cordless, LED option that would be more versatile and have a lower heat output. The floodlight proved to do just that, and somewhat paved the way for the stand light and the AC/DC high power floodlight.
Never a company to leave well enough alone, Milwaukee has continued to innovate and announced several new lighting options at their 2016 new product symposium. I’ve already talked about the M12 LED metal flashlight, and update to their stand light is on the way. However, the Milwaukee Radius light is the M18 line’s first foray into area lighting, or stationary lighting designed to illuminate an entire workplace. Traditionally these lights are corded and feature halogen, fluorescent, or metal halide bulbs. These lights can generate a lot of heat, are not typically durable, and have the added inconvenience of requiring a cord.
Eliminating the cord is the real selling point of this light. For a setup similar to what could be achieved with 3 Radius lights, you would be looking at $350 in lighting equipment, plus $250 in extension cords and $600+ in generator rental. That would put you over the price point of the lights on its own, but when the labor running the cord and setup up the lights is factored in, whether it is lost productivity or paying someone else to do it, the savings is a lot more apparent.
The Radius light on its own will be available in July 2016, with the One-Key version hitting shelves a little later in September. Be sure to look for sales and promotions on these tools and any other M18 lighting around that time, if the way they released their stand light and high intensity flood light is any indication they should be pushing batteries and chargers with these lights to get people to convert.