A Close Look At: Lights Fantastic

Pocketfuls Of Power.

How do you take a simple tool like a flashlight and continue improving it? Trust me, there’s ways! With new lights featuring more lumens, brighter reflectors and more light output it makes it a challenge to keep up with it all. If you’re thinking in terms of the battery your dad bought in 1975, the prices may seem high, but there’s no comparison. Today’s lights blend sophisticated technology, rugged performance and provide service and power unheard of “back in the day.” Today’s lights are precision tools — built to last. More akin to a quality handgun than a two D-cell plastic dime-store flashlight.

The larger flashlight is the BD-198-HLS-2C and features both low and high settings at 70 and 310 lumens, with runtimes of 2.5 hours and 4.5 hours. It also has a strobe feature, lasting 3 hours. Look for the blue end-cap switch to know it’s a Brite-Strike! The smaller light is the EPLI, and what a handy little light it is! How they managed to get 220 lumens from a light no bigger than a pen I have no idea, but they did!

Streamlight’s Stinger LED HL is a full-size powerhouse putting out an astonishing 640 lumens at full power. It’s made of machined aluminum, weighs 12.4 ounces and is 8.4″ long. Using C4 LED technology, it has a projected service life of 50,000 hours. Not bad, eh? The new TLR-2 HL (High Lumen) is a time-proven light/laser aiming device but with a higher output, a full 630 lumens. The light beam is concentrated and “blinding” would be a good way to describe it!

SureFire has been a leader in high-performance lights for a long time, yet they never seem to stop innovating. The P2X Fury has the features I like for all-around use at home, in a vehicle and while camping. The body is machined aluminum, hard anodized, with gaskets for moisture sealing. The P2X Fury has two power levels — with the 15-lumen low setting featuring an astonishing 46-hour runtime. If real power is needed, the P2X delivers 500 lumens with a runtime of 1.5 hours.

The SureFire X300 Ultra adds a very bright (500 lumen) LED module on two CR123A batteries. Runtime is 1.5 hours, weight 4 ounces and length 3.6″. Mounting plates are included to adapt to various handguns. Out of the box, it fits universal or Picatinny-style rails. O-rings and gaskets seal against moisture, and the light is built tough for recoil resistance and long service life.

American Technologies Network (ATN) Corp. is a leader in night vision and thermal imaging, while also making good flashlights. The Javelin J125H is a heavy-duty light made of aircraft-grade aluminum, featuring 200-lumen output, and the ability to emit an SOS light pattern. The bezel is extended and can be used to break glass or as a defensive tool.

The AEL280P was the answer to the Oregon State Police Department’s search for a dependable light with dual switches and over 4 hours of runtime. The 280-lumen flashlight is made of aerospace anodized aluminum and has a removable pocket clip, antiroll/grip and lanyard — making it very versatile for police work or for around the house. Designed by police for police, so we’ll bet it would work for you too!

Delivering over 450 lumens and a runtime of 75 minutes, the Model ILS-2 from Safariland is a handy flashlight for pocket carry, thanks to a convenient pocket clip. This new flashlight is compatible with RLS mounts and features a removable bezel design for scalloped or flat flashlight face.
By Dave Anderson

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