Which Milwaukee headlamps are best?
On job sites, deep in the woods or working in the crawlspace of your home, a little extra light can be a lifesaver. Even better is light that’s hands-free. Milwaukee has been making durable, hands-free headlamps for decades, and the brand is trusted by contractors, homeowners and campers for high-quality headlamps that are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
If you appreciate both a spotlight and floodlight to illuminate your work, the Milwaukee 450 Lumens LED Spot/Flood Headlamp with 300 Lumens LED Magnetic Flood Light is a good choice.
What to know before you buy a Milwaukee headlamp
Headlamps are perfect for providing hands-free illumination when you need it, but there are a few considerations to help you choose the best one for you.
Level of brightness
All Milwaukee headlamps feature TRUEVIEW high definition output for cleaner, clearer illumination. Measured in lumens, the higher the number, the brighter the light. But how much additional light do you actually need?
- 100 lumens: This is adequate light for general illumination in strong moonlight.
- 100-250 lumens: If you are hiking at night or completing jobs around the house, this is a good level for adequate light.
- 250 or more: Choose lumens at 250 and above for adding light to completely dark spaces or if you need to move quickly at night.
Milwaukee headlamps are available in either battery-powered or rechargeable options. Battery-powered headlamps may cost less than rechargeable ones, but if you use your headlamp frequently, the cost of batteries can add up, too.
Rechargeable Milwaukee headlamps require a ready power source. If you are planning on hiking off-grid for weeks at a time, this might not be the best choice.
You might not consider weight when trying on a headlamp. This makes sense, especially if you only have it on your head for a few minutes to see how it feels. And if you are adding your headlamp to a hard hat, weight is even less of a consideration.
But think about this: if you are wearing your headlamp for hours at a time or taking it with you on a long backpacking trip, every ounce matters.
To make even the heaviest models of a Milwaukee headlamp comfortable, each comes with a headband that wicks moisture for all-day comfort.
What to look for in a quality Milwaukee headlamp
While some Milwaukee headlamps offer plug-in charging, others rely on charging through a USB port. Charging through a USB port can offer you a much faster charging time of up to a 50% charge in only 30 minutes (full charge in just two hours).
This makes it easy to keep your headlamp charged between jobs or stops on the hiking trail.
Construction workers are hard on their equipment. Milwaukee headlamps are designed to survive a 2-meter drop with no impact on the headlamp’s performance. They hold up to dirt and moisture better than any other brand.
Both battery-powered and rechargeable headlamps offer five different brightness settings. These are helpful when you need light in both a large area and in a smaller spot.
These five brightness settings include:
- Spot/Flood Mode: 475 lumens (2.25 hours)
- Flood High Mode: 300 lumens (5 hours)
- Flood Medium Mode: 150 lumens (9 hours)
- Flood Low Mode: 100 Lumens (33 hours)
- Spot High Mode: 300 lumens (4.5 hours)
The brighter the light, the more power you’ll be using.
Multiple light positions
With an easily tilted light, you can direct and position light wherever you need it most. Each Milwaukee headlamp has seven different positions so you don’t have to contort your body to see more clearly.
Few manufacturers stand behind their products the way that Milwaukee does. They offer a 2-year warranty for the battery and strap of the headlamp and a limited lifetime warranty for the light. This protects against accidental damage within the specification or from defects in workmanship.
How much you can expect to spend on a Milwaukee headlamp
Expect to spend $45-$125 for a Milwaukee headlamp. This price will fluctuate depending on whether or not your headlamp is rechargeable or battery-powered (and how long that battery holds a charge).
Milwaukee headlamp FAQ
Which Milwaukee headlamp is best for you?
A. The best Milwaukee headlamp for you is the one that fits the purpose. Consider why you are buying a headlamp in the first place. Will you be participating in overnight hikes with little moonlight and faster speeds? You’ll need a brighter headlamp. Looking to take care of some neglected home repairs under the house? A mid-range or brighter headlamp might be a good choice for you, too.
If you’re just trying to be a little safer when you take your dog out at dawn or dusk, you won’t need an ultra-bright light.
While it is always good to plan ahead, there is no need to spend more on features or brightness you don’t need.
What’s the best Milwaukee headlamp to buy?
Top Milwaukee headlamp
What you need to know: This comfortable, durable headlamp comes in handy in many situations.
What you’ll love: If you need a headlamp with an adjustable light source and coverage, this one has eight different levels of illumination from 475 lumens to 100 lumens. The microfiber head strap absorbs sweat and clips securely to a hard hat if needed. It also comes with a separate 300-lumen floodlight.
What you should consider: Keep batteries on hand — this one is not rechargeable.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top Milwaukee headlamp for the money
What you need to know: This is a powerful headlamp with options for directing the light exactly where you need it.
What you’ll love: With three AAA batteries included in the package, you’ll be up and working in no time. It has five different light settings and provides up to 25 hours of runtime (depending on the setting).
What you should consider: Another battery-operated headlamp means you’ll need to stay stocked up on batteries.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a high-performance rechargeable headlamp when you don’t want to fuss with batteries.
What you’ll love: Charged by a USB port, this headlamp is ready to go up to three times faster than other rechargeable models. Get up to 33 hours of runtime in five modes in a headlamp that’s covered by both a limited lifetime warranty (the light) and a two-year guarantee (the whole headlamp).
What you should consider: A past issue with defective lights seems to have been resolved, but it’s worth noting.
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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