Unless I’m sleeping or at the movies – or, occasionally, doing both at the same time – I’m not a fan of dark spaces. Especially when I have work to do, the more light, the better. When the work is taking place in one spot, I’ll usually set up a nice, bright floodlight or two. Sometimes, though, the task requires navigating a tight, dark space like an attic or crawlspace. If I can’t coerce someone else into doing these miserable jobs, I want a light that is easy to schlep along, but still provides plenty of illumination to complete the task. We recently received a contender to help brighten any space, whether it’s confined or wide open. Join us as we launch some lumens from the new Milwaukee 1100L USB Rechargeable Flashlight.
When banishing the darkness, lumens rule, and the more the merrier. The Milwaukee 1100L USB Flashlight brings 1,100 of them to the party; that’s a LOT of lumens in such a small package. The light uses Milwaukee’s patented TRUEVIEW technology, to provide a more true-to-life look at whatever you’re shining it at.
Milwaukee’s engineers had the real world in mind when they designed the Milwaukee 1100L. When the light is freed from its packaging, its solid build quality is immediately apparent. The case is constructed of what feels like aircraft-grade black aluminum, and it feels very solid and sturdy. A robust removable clip makes it easy to stow the light on your belt or tool bag, and the light’s compact size, roughly 1”x6”, means you can even slip it into your pocket. We’ll delve into our experience with the Milwaukee 1100L, after this illuminating look at its features and specs:
• 1,100 Lumens of TRUEVIEW™ High Definition Output
• Powered by REDLITHIUM™ USB 3.0 Battery for All Day Run-Time, More Recharges, and 3X faster Charge Time
• 3 Light Output Modes: High mode: 1100-Lumens- 1.75 hours; Medium mode: 600-Lumens- 4.5 hours; Low mode: 100-Lumens- 14 hours
• 4M Drop Rated & IP67 Rated: Waterproof and Dustproof
• Chemical Resistant
• Precision Twist Focus for Full Control of Beam Size & Intensity
• Intelligent, Multi-Functional Button Provides Battery Charge Status, Mode Selection and Mode Memory
• 175M Beam Distance
• Designed to Fit in Pant and Tool Bag Pockets for Easy Carrying On and Off the Job
The Milwaukee 1100L USB Flashlight Takes Charge
One of the most useful features on the Milwaukee 1100L USB rechargeable flashlight is its rechargeability. While its battery is partially charged when you liberate the light from its plastic prison, you’ll want to top it off before putting it to work. After a little experimental playing around, of course.
A beefy little micro USB cord is included with the light. While it doesn’t come with a wall charger, it worked with every USB wall charger we own, along with the port on my PC and the USB outlet in my truck.
The Milwaukee 1100L is IP67 rated, meaning it’s fairly well waterproof and dust resistant. To keep these undesirable byproducts of nature from gumming up the charging port when it’s not being charged, Milwaukee used a snug-fitting rotating collar to cover and protect it. It works very well.
One feature I thought was pretty cool is a little color-changing ring around the power button. When the light is turned on with a low charge on the battery, the ring around the power button will glow yellow for a couple of seconds. If it’s really low, it will glow red. When the Milwaukee 1100L is about to die, the ring around the power button flashes red when it’s turned on. Recharging the completely drained 3.0 Ah battery took about an hour and 40 minutes.
With a full charge, the little circle glows – you guessed it – green. It’s a handy indicator to give you the battery’s status before you wedge yourself into those tight, dark spaces.
Let There Be Light
Operating the Milwaukee 1100L is pretty intuitive. Push the power button, it turns on. Push it again, it turns off. To cycle between LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH, turn it on, then press and hold the power button in for about a second. After being turned off, the light will default to whatever level it was at when it was powered down.
Another example of the light’s versatility is its twist-focus feature. Rotating the bezel lets you choose how narrow or wide you want the focus of the beam to be. A narrower beam is great for longer-distance uses, like trying to figure out what’s making those scary noises in the backyard late at night. A wider beam lets you light up a bigger chunk of your work area.
Putting The Milwaukee 1100L To Work
I made use of beams both wide and narrow over several weeks with the Milwaukee 1100L. The light did a great job illuminating a nasty crawl space (is there any other kind?) when we went in search of a very inconveniently-placed water shutoff. It also came in handy when I had to trim out the interior of an unilluminated closet, and several times while searching for supplies in a very dimly-lit basement.
Using the light mostly on HIGH and MEDIUM, I got a couple of days’ intermittent use out of it before it needed a recharge. One thing to note: Like most LED lights, the lens of the Milwaukee 1100L gets fairly hot. Putting a heat sink on it would have meant making it bigger and heavier, so I’m fine with it getting warm. I have two other Milwaukee rechargeable flashlights, which I love, but they’re significantly bigger and heavier. The small size and light weight of the 1100L make it MUCH more convenient to lug around.
Milwaukee claims the Milwaukee 1100L provides illumination up to 175 meters (that’s 574 feet in American). That seems like it might be a stretch for such a small light, and I wasn’t able to test that claim, but it did a good job illuminating our farm’s firepit area and beyond on a pitch-black night from about 200’ away.
Final Flashes Of Brilliance
I was very impressed with the robust construction and durability of the Milwaukee 1100L. The light got dropped a couple of times, and it survived the ultimate torture test: use by three and seven-year-old brothers. Excellent ergonomic design and the combination of its compact size and great power make it a pleasure to carry and use.
The real beauty of the Milwaukee 1100L is its rechargeability; I’m VERY happy to have one less item that requires a constant infusion of expensive, wasteful replaceable batteries. Just give it a fast recharge with the standard micro-USB cord, or swap in a spare USB Redlithium battery, and it’s ready to get back to work.
Home inspectors, HVAC techs, electricians, and pretty much anyone who’s forced to go poking around in dark, dank basements, attics and crawl spaces will likely appreciate the small size, rugged design, and good light output of the Milwaukee 1100L USB rechargeable flashlight. It would also be a great choice for DIYers, homeowners, and anyone who appreciates a durable, well-made flashlight. Milwaukee backs the 1100L Twist Focus Flashlight with a limited lifetime warranty. Try one out, and shed some light on the dark corners in YOUR world.