One of the messages that Milwaukee Tool wanted to send at their New Product Symposium was that it’s not enough just to innovate with new products, but that it is also important to listen to user feedback and update existing products.
To exemplify this philosophy, not only did they introduce a brand new M12 Rocket tower light, they updated the classic M18 Rocket tower light with brighter LEDs and the ability to run on AC power.
In this spirit, let’s look at the updated M18 Rocket first and then talk about the new M12 Rocket.
Updated M18 Rocket
On low power, the updated M18 Rocket dual power tower light can be powered for up to 12 hours on a single M18 5.0Ah battery, or all day when plugged into an extension cord. In high output mode, the light delivers 2500 lumens, a 25% increase over the original M18 Rocket, and will last for 4 hours on the same battery.
The light can be set up and extended from 4′ to 7′ in under 5 seconds, and collapses down to 40″ for transportation and storage. The light head can rotate up to 230° vertically and 240° horizontally.
The updated M18 Rocket will start replacing the old M18 Rocket in Q3 of 2018. It’ll retail for the same $199.
Available: Q3 2018
The M12 Rocket dual power tower light can be powered by a single M12 6.0Ah battery for up to 8 hours on low mode, or an extension cord all day. Crank it up to high mode for 1400 lumens and get up to 4 hours of illumination.
Like it’s M18 cousins, the light can be set up or taken down in less than 5 seconds. It collapses into a package slightly more than 30″ long and when set up it can extend from 3′ to 5′ 8″ tall. The head rotates up to 210° vertically and 270° horizontally.
The M12 Rocket dual power tower should launch in October 2018 for $149.
Available: Oct 2018
Here’s the full Milwaukee M12 and M18 Rocket LED tripod worklight product family.
In case you needed it, here’s a selectively-colored version, to help give you a sense of the size difference between M12 and M18 models.
I received a sample of the M18 Rocket tower light with charger when it first came out, and it is the first light I grab when I need to light up an area, take photos for ToolGuyd, or just get more light on a task. But, I’ve never really used the independently swiveling heads or the charging functionality.
When I’ve been donating tool samples to my mechanic and contractor friends, I hide the M18 Rocket in the corner and say I’m not ready to part with it yet. That really speaks to how much I like it.
Before NPS18, if I was going to buy a Rocket light, I probably would have purchased the original M18 Rocket. It does all that I need, and it’s around $125 on clearance at several Home Depots near me.
Now that Milwaukee has updated the original rocket with the brighter light and power inlet, and introduced the smaller lighter M12 Rocket, I’ll definitely have to re-evaluate which tower light I’d buy in the future.
M12 will be mine the second i see it in a store.
Im still waiting! Hopefully when its released it’ll have a combo pack with a 6.0 battery!
It’s october! Where is my m12 rocket light?!? lol i want it! I keep googling “m12 rocket light” and this dang toolguyd keeps popping up!
Unfortunately, in my experience with Milwaukee, October can mean anything from the 1st of October to the 31st at midnight :>)
Then there’s the products where they miss their target dates completely. Hopefully this isn’t one of them.
Michael J Orndorff
Saw one in Home Depot yesterday.
Glad to see they also updated the locking collars to aluminum on the M18 version. The black plastic ones could sometimes crack. They do have repair kits available, if it happens to you.
Where have you found the repair kits? Both of mine cracked and was told I have to ship it back in to get fixed
You have to call Milwaukee and request part # 14-46-2130. Have your serial number(s) or they won’t do anything.
Does anyone know the color temperature of these lights? I wonder if the pole light could be used as makeshift studio photography lights? Similar to using 5000K fluorescent bulbs in clamp-on flood light fixtures. If so, it would make a dandy small studio setup.
S – I don’t think these are the Festool color corrected lights.
I would just take a photo of a color checker and correct post processing. Unlike the photography days with tungsten film. All the LED replacement bulbs we use in our house, shop, are the daylight versions around 5000 K.
Lee also has specialized filters for color correcting LED lights – http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/zircon.html
I’m no pro photographer, but I’ve used mine a ton for ebay pics. So much better than my other options.
I had the original rocket light then upgraded to the 3-headed charging one. Between the 2, I think I prefer the uninterrupted light pattern the non tri-head puts out (when all faced the same direction). They aren’t shadows but the light is not even. I think for most projects where I need light in one direction, I would lean towards the single head options.
That’s what I’m wondering as well. I think Milwaukee has a “true color” led product/bulb I hope they used that on these. Some more info on the light temp and cri would be helpful.
All Milwaukee lights have TrueView. It just gets somewhat repetitive saying repeating it every single time.
I have an m12 lantern with “Trueview” and wanted to know more precisely what that entails. “Trueview” has 85 CRI (https://toolguyd.com/milwaukee-led-trueview/) which is not fantastic but better than a lot of LED lamps out there not designed (and precised) for photographic use. Even for many types of photography that’s probably fine.
“priced” not “precised”
That was my exact thought as well…I have some M12 batteries for my M12 Fuel kit, a pair of M12 Rockets would make great studio lights as long as colour temp and beam patterns are good.
The M12 looks like it would be better grilling companion than my current head lamp on those long winter nights. The launch timing is good too.
Nobody beats Milwaukee lighting..I’m getting the m12 rocket..I have 2 DeWalt copy rockets…but the m12 is a perfect size..
My garage/shop is dark and the M18 rocket does help. Wish I could change the head on my original Rocket to make it brighter.
Hope they are also available here in Australia. Would be very interested in that m12 version. Do you know why they introduce the product but then don’t have them available until six months later?
That’s a nice upgrade on the basic m18 rocket light. I got one of the originals at xmas last year and took it back to upgrade to the more expensive model that was clearance priced. For an extra 80 dollars to get the ability to plug it in and charge batteries, plus 3000 lumens instead of 2000, it was worth it.
Last time the power went out, I set it up pointing at the ceiling in the family room and it was like the house lights were back on. It’s a very nice light for drywall finishing and painting, plus very handy for working in an engine compartment or lighting up the inside of my trailer.
The upgrade to the standard rocket light means I probably never would have returned and upgraded the light.
So I bought the original rocket, actually I HAD to buy it. It was on clearance at Home Depot. Here is the kicker, everything on the table was 50% of the clearance price! Needless to say I bought the rocket, the m18 flood light, the m18 flashlight (that is usually bundled in a kit), m18 fuel 1/4 die grinder, and a corded Milwaukee drywall screw gun that I also happened to need. All for under $200 including taxes.
Wow you really score on that one!
Totally agree – but my local HD doesn’t seem to ever have any good tool clearances (:
Good service so far there, but have yet to see those kind of deals…maybe I’ll have to check 2 other locations close by….
I look forward to the M12 rocket light. Glad to see that Milwaukee continue to innovate while owning this segment of the market.
It’s been three years since Milwaukee release the latest M12 Rocket light.
Has anyone heard if Milwaukee is planning a Gen2 for the M12 Rocket? They released a Gen2 for the M18 Rocket last year with more LEDS that have better power efficiency vs. the Gen1 but I haven’t heard anything about Milwaukee releasing a Gen2 M12 Rocket.