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Old April 29, 2005, 11:44 PM   #1
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Tactical LED Flashlights

I use a Surefire E2e as my backup flashlight.

Does anyone use a LED flashlight as their primary or backup flashlight?

Also, does anyone have the new Gladius LED flashlight?

The Gladius, among many other flashlights, was featured in this story about flashlights, and it sounds really good:

(Here are selected parts part of the story -- the complete story had too many words to post on TFL.)

NIGHT OPS GLADIUS ( The Gladius is one of the best tactical flashlights I have ever seen or used. The Gladius flashlight comes from the folks at BlackHawk Products. Gladius' features include a high-intensity LED with multiple functions such as constant on, adjustable light levels and even a strobe mode. Simply put, the Gladius is a quality tactical flashlight made for and by professionals. Anyone in law enforcement, the military or security should strongly consider this exceptional new flashlight.

HDS EDC ULTIMATE ( The HDS EDC Ultimate just might be the "ultimate" in an everyday-carry flashlight. With its pocket clip, the HDS EDC Ultimate is super easy to carry on your person while offering a variety of amazing and useful features. Imagine a flashlight about 3 inches long that has the following functions (to name just a few): A powerful LED light source, an emergency strobe, an SOS signal and a locator flash, as well as multiple power settings. You don't have to imagine anymore with the remarkable HDS EDC Ultimate flashlight.

SUREFIRE ( SureFire is known worldwide for its line of quality flashlights. A favorite of both law enforcement and the military for years, SureFire offers a multitude of flashlights for a variety of uses. For instance, the SureFire L1 LumaMax would be an excellent addition to your emergency preparedness plan.

This quality mil-spec flashlight uses a single lithium battery, but still offers the option of a low-output beam for close-up activities, or a high-output beam for use as needed. In the low-output mode, the SureFire L1 offers usable light for about 50 hours. One of my SureFire favorites is its L4 LumaMax model. The SureFire L4 is a compact powerhouse that features a five-watt LED and a stainless steel pocket clip for ease of "on-person" carry.

C. CRANE COMPANY ( The C. Crane Company Web site is like a virtual emergency kit. Almost anything you might need during a disaster is available. For instance, its Freeplay Plus not only offers a detectable three-LED light source, it is also an AM/FM and shortwave radio. And don't worry about electricity with the C. Crane Freeplay Plus, as you can charge it using either its wind-up generator or its solar cells.

The Freeplay Summit is another wind-up/solar power AM/FM/shortwave radio you may want to consider. Also, I really like the "Made in the USA" CC Expedition 600 flashlight. On just one set of three C alkaline batteries, it will produce about 40 hours of bright light, and after that it will give off about 100 hours of additional useful light.

ASP ( I have used ASP products for years, and I really like two of its latest lights. The ASP Elite takes the LED keychain light to new heights of innovation. The ASP Elite has three modes (constant on, alert strobe and international SOS). All this in a light under 3 inches in length and under 1 inch in width. The new water-resistant ASP Triad is just over 5 inches in length, made of aerospace aluminum, and its dual contacts provide both intermittent and contact on/off activation modes.

LIGHTWAVE ( The Lightwave Tec3000 features seven LEDs and has about 700 hours of battery life on only three C batteries, and has a "floodlight" type light beam. The Lightwave Infiniton C1 has a single powerful Hi-Fux LED and offers a "spotlight" type light beam. The high-tech Lightwave series of "floodlight" and "spotlight" LED flashlights would be a super addition to anyone's emergency preparedness plans.

PRINCETON TEC ( Just about any lighting products you might need for your disaster kit, Princeton Tec makes it. During an emergency, you might need to have both your hands accessible, so it is imperative to have an LED headlamp available. I like both the Princeton Tec Corona and the Aurora headlamps. The Corona features eight LEDs and has four levels of brightness available, while the lightweight Aurora has three LEDs that offer about 160 hours of use on one set of batteries. Princeton Tec also makes the practical Pulsar II and the advanced Impulse keychain LED lights.

DAKOTA SOS TORCH WATCH ( For those folks who don't want to carry an extra flashlight on their person, there is a new product from Dakota Watch which combines a quality quartz watch with powerful LED lights. It is called the Dakota SOS Torch, and it features a dial light, a flashlight and even an SOS signal – all built into an attractive wristwatch. This amazing timepiece and LED lighting system uses a unique charger that allows an eight-hour charge to operate the watch for about a month.

ETERNALIGHT ( EternaLight makes some of the most distinctive lights on the market today. For example, the EternaLight ErgoMarine is only about the size of a pager yet can continuously provide light for about 30 days on one set of three AA alkaline batteries! In addition, it offers many modes of use, including constant on, flash, strobe and SOS.

EternaLight also makes the Derringer model, which features an LED light visible for about a mile, 14 modes of operation, selectable white or red LED, and it is still small enough to fit in your pocket, purse, glove compartment or backpack.

INOVA ( INOVA flashlights, made by the Emissive Energy Corp., offer a wide range of lighting products, from keychain lights to high-intensity LED flashlights. For example, the INOVA T1 and INOVA T3 are powerful tactical "Made in the USA" flashlights that may be used by police, security or anyone wanting a compact flashlight that packs a potent lighting punch.

SAFE-LIGHT INDUSTRIES ( The PALight's SAFE-LIGHT is one of the most unusual lights I have ever seen. It fits in the "palm of your hand" yet it offers a powerful LED light with multiple lighting modes including night light, high beam and even an emergency flashing signal. A 9-volt battery and magnetic clip are included. This light would be a great idea for hikers, campers and everyone's' emergency kit.

COAST ( Coast offers an extensive line of LED light products. For instance, it makes the TekTorches Personal Emergency Light, which is small enough to use on a keychain. It also includes a "reflector tube" that can be used as an emergency flasher. Another Coast item is the LED Lenser Tac Torch, which features a high-intensity LED light that can operate for up to 50 hours on one set of batteries.

NIGHTSTAR ( The NightStar is one of the most amazing flashlights I have ever seen. It uses no batteries, yet it produces a strong LED light beam. How does it work? Just shake the Night Star for 30 seconds, and it will provide about 20 minutes of light. Consider the NightStar for your home, car and emergency kit.

OMNIGLOW ( OmniGlow is the maker of a complete line of light sticks. First used by the military and law enforcement, OmniGlow Light Sticks are simply a "must have" in every emergency kit. They use no batteries, produce no flame, heat or sparks, are non-toxic and non-flammable, are very easy to use – and they are an excellent source of emergency light for up to 12 hours.

LONGBOW GEAR ( If you are looking for a very powerful flashlight in a very small package, then you may want to take a look at the Longbow Micra LED flashlight. With a single 1-watt LED and a single 3-volt Lithium battery, the Longbow Micra flashlight is rated to produce about 21 lumens of light to a range of about 130 feet. The Longbow Micra is small enough to keep almost anywhere, so you are never without access to a bright flashlight.

TERRALUX ( TerraLUX makes a flashlight enhancement to convert a traditional bulb to an LED. This upgrade is available for different types of flashlights, including the popular MiniMag model. Converting a flashlight from a regular bulb to an LED light source may offer advantages such as an increased battery life, a nearly indestructible LED with an approximate 100,000-hour lifetime, and a bright white light beam.

For more information on these flashlights and emergency lighting items, log on to the Web sites for each company.

My Final Thoughts: Take it firsthand from me: The right selection of quality flashlights during any catastrophe is an unquestionable "must have." Along with the availability of proper food and water supplies, appropriate emergency lighting is the basic foundation of any prudent emergency plan. Don't wait until disaster strikes; take action now to acquire the appropriate emergency lighting supplies for your home, car and business, and to carry on your person.

(Note: If you manufacture or distribute any Security, Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Defense or Crime Prevention related products, please send information on your product line for possible future reference in this column to: [email protected].)

Copyright 2005 by Bruce Mandelblit

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.
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Old April 30, 2005, 07:52 PM   #2
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Ive heard of back up guns, but backup flashlights?...

That said, I can't seem to not buy a new light whenever I see one I like. Now, i'm not quite a mall ninja, as I dont carry them all, but for a while I had flashlights laying around everywhere.
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Old April 30, 2005, 09:47 PM   #3
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I usually carry a E1E Executive light in my front pocket when I'm dressed up as a civilian.

Once I put on my military uniform...and especially since I'm deployed overseas I carry an A2 Aviator by Surefire as a primary light. Considering that I usually work at night it has seen lots of use so far and it hasn't failed me yet. In fact, I dropped it on concrete the other day and it still functioned fine.

I went with the LED due to the long battery runtime because I didn't know if I would have access to a lithium battery supply over here. Batteries are lasting right around two weeks but I'm trigger happy for the bright bulb.

I'd purchase LED again if I had the choice...and I wouldn't stray far from Surefire. They've always treated me good and their products have performed every bit of their claim.

I don't carry a backup light on my person, but I usually have one close by.

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Old May 1, 2005, 01:08 AM   #4
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I REALLY like it! Best of all; it was a present from the lil lady! It's Freak'n bright!
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Old May 1, 2005, 04:08 AM   #5
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I have a brinkman from walmart and it is pretty good not to mention it lasts a long time even if I leave it on.
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Old May 2, 2005, 04:16 PM   #6
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Carry a backup light? You betcha!! There's nothing scarier than searching a dark building for a possible burglar and having your one and only light go out. Primary light is an issued rechargable Streamlight, but my backup is a Streamlight Scorpion. I also have a Scorpion mounted on my 870-P. It seems to do the job as well as those expensive tactical lights, and for a lot less. When I used to spelunk, I carried no less than 5. 2 carbide lights, 1 electric headlamp, 1 flashlight, and a "break n shake" lumnilight. When you're thousands of feet underground, light is life and dark is death.
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Last edited by Capt. Charlie; May 2, 2005 at 05:19 PM.
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:07 PM   #7
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Gladius is the real deal

Had a chance to test one out in store. Guy at their store told me to check out their website for more info as the light is so new. Check it out here.
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Old May 2, 2005, 11:50 PM   #8
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This LED from LaRue is about to go on my 870 once my new rail shows up:

I should get the hand held body for it later this month.

The reason we're all here is that we're not all there.

Last edited by GunsnRovers; May 3, 2005 at 12:38 AM.
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Old May 3, 2005, 07:23 AM   #9
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I have a Streamlight TL-2 LED. Nice tactical toy. 1-watt LED, pocket clip, momentary button on the tail cap, twist to lock on, came with a nifty lanyard I don't use. It rides very comfortably in my back pocket next to the wallet. I have never used it for anything tactical, but I have used it for a bunch of nontactical things like working on cars in the dark (don't ask) and not stubbing my toes on the furniture.

I am sure it will do just fine when the zombies rise.


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Old May 3, 2005, 03:04 PM   #10
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Yeah, I used to do some caving too, and I always had at least 3 lights, with spare batteries for all of them.
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Old May 6, 2005, 06:22 AM   #11
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I do!

Most of the time I use a SureFire L2 Lumamax as my primary. If I'm carrying one my my railguns (gosh that sure is fun to say) I carry along my X200 as well. In a pinch, it can be used in my hand just as easily as on my Ruger or CZ.

Things are a little different in uniform. My SureFire weapon lights both take P60/P61 bulbs, and my hand light is identical to the one mounted on my M4 save for the A.R.M.S. throw-lever mount.

I keep a pair of G2 Nitrolons in the car, as well as spare bulbs and batteries. When I deploy or go the field they go with too.
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Old May 6, 2005, 11:02 PM   #12
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One of these days I will actually find a flashlight that fully meets all of my needs (including price). Until then I will have to suffer along with buying new flashlights and being only half-way satisfied. The Stinger, G2, Twin-Task, Maglight, etc, etc.
Doing what you've done, gets you what you've got.
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