Friday, June 13, 2014

Review - Olight ST25 Baton Flashlight

If you haven't yet figured out, Olight makes some incredible flashlights. The flashlight that we'll be looking at today is the ST25 Baton. This light is advertised as an Emergency Preparedness Flashlight, and it would definitely exceed in that role. The ST25 outputs a blinding 550 lumens, from a flashlight that uses only 2 AA batteries.

The ST25 has a beautifully machined aluminum body. The light is type III hard anodized in black, for scratch resistance. The light is 6.0" long, 0.8" in diameter and weighs 2.6 oz without batteries (4.4 oz with 2 AA batteries). The light is textured for grip and is long enough to fill the hand comfortably.

The ST25 uses a CREE XM-L2 LED which outputs 550 lumens on Turbo mode. In fact, this light has 6 lighting modes:
Turbo - 550 lumens - 0.5 hour runtime
High - 300 lumens - 1 hour runtime
Medium - 100 lumens - 6.5 hour runtime
Low - 10 lumens - 60 hour runtime
Moonlight - 1 lumen - 200 hour runtime
Strobe - 550 lumens

The lightning modes are actuated with the side switch on the light. This switch is also used the turn the flashlight on. There is also a flat tailcap switch on the back of the light, should you prefer to use the light in that way. Neither the side switch, nor the tailcap switch provide a momentary on, feature, however.

The reflector on the flashlight is smooth, but the light still has a medium-sized center spot with a good amount of spill. It's a great compromise, which should perform well for lighting up a larger area, as well as giving you enough throw to illuminate distant objects.

Like I mentioned, the ST25 is powered by two AA batteries, but can also be used with a 14500 battery and a spacer (not included). It's surprising how bright this light can get with only 2 AA batteries, but as technology improves, we will see even brighter flashlights with even longer runtimes.

The ST25 is also very comfortable to carry. The light includes a removable deep carry pocket clip, making the light practically disappear in any medium-sized pocket.  In case you should ever need to, the light is also waterproof to 2 meters, but will probably go deeper as well.

If you're looking for a bright everyday carry/emergency flashlight, then the ST25 Baton by Olight may be just that light.

Do any of you have any experience with the Olight ST25? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review - The Larry Pocket Work Light

We've got all of these fancy lights, but sometimes a simple, inexpensive, but innovative light is more than adequate for the task at hand.

Today, we'll be taking a look at The Larry Pocket Work Light by NEBO Tools. This light consists of a strip of 8 white LEDs, with a clicky switch on top to turn the light on and off. The light only has one mode, which makes it simple to operate, which can be a benefit to people who want an easy to use light.
The Larry comes in 4 great colors.

The 8 LEDs output a combined total of 60 lumens, and since they're in a strip, the beam they provide is extremely floody. This light is perfect for shining up-close, making it great for fixing things in tight, dark spaces.

The light also has a very functional clip. The clip can be easily attached to a pocket, and it also swivels, to allow you to point the light where you want it to go. The clip is also magnetic, allowing you to stick it to any ferrous surface.

Going on to the construction of The Larry. It is made out of rubberized polymer, making it both lightweight and strong enough for the jobs you'll use it for. The light uses 3 AAA batteries, which should give you about 11 hours of runtime. The Larry comes in the same form factor as a penlight, it's 6.3" long and 1.3" wide. It weighs 2.4 oz with batteries includes. The Larry also comes in 4 basic colors: Blue, Red, Yellow and Gray.

I said at the beginning that an inexpensive light can be a good choice for the job. Well, The Larry retails at around $9, which makes it must cheaper than the majority of other flashlights that we've reviewed on this blog. At such a price, you can afford to have a few of these lying around for when you need a bit of extra light when working under the sink, on the car or on your computer.

Do any of you have any experience with The Larry? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review - Olight S15 Baton - Perhaps the Best EDC Flashlight on the Market

Every once in a while, you see a light that is just so incredible that it amazes you. The innovation and technology packed into a small package is quite beautiful. A few weeks ago, I came across the Olight S15 and that was my experience. This light is about the most perfect EDC (everyday carry) flashlight that I have seen to date.

The S15 may be the best EDC flashlight on the market.
The S15 incorporates the best features of an EDC light all into one very tiny and affordable package. The light retails for about $50, and boy do you get a lot of light for the money. The first thing that struck me about the light is just how bright it is. The S15 uses one AA battery and output a blinding 280 lumens!!!

Now, let that sink in for just a minute. I am used to AA flashlights outputting 50, 80, maybe 100 lumens, but never 280. That alone is enough to get this flashlight. You used to be limited to using CR123 or CR2 batteries if you wanted a bright flashlight, but no longer, if you have an S15. But wait, there's more!

The S15 uses the CREE XM-L2 LED.
The S15 uses the new CREE XM-L2 LED, which has amazing brightness and excellent runtimes. Olight claims a runtime of 45 minutes on max, which is quite good considering you're only using one AA battery. The reflector is smooth, not textured, but still gives you a nice, diffuse beam. While not at "floody" as other lights I have used, this light is still great at illuminating a large area.

The light is actuated by a side switch located just under the head of the flashlight. Depressing this switch turns the light on, as well as switches the modes. There are four brightness modes as well as one strobe mode, which I will show below:
Max - 280 lumens
Medium - 70 lumens
Low - 7 lumens
Moonlight - .5 lumens
Strobe - 280 lumens

The light is made out of aluminum and Type III Hard Anodized in black. The anodizing and machining is very good, with no stray marks or spots in the anodizing. The grip area is nicely knurled for a comfortable, but solid grip. Right below the head of the light, there is an hexagonal-shaped part, which is there to keep the light from rolling if set down.

The bezel of the light is stainless steel and silver-colored, which I'm assuming is to help reflect light. Before I get ahead of myself, let's look at the dimension of the flashlight. The length is 3.4", while the diameter is 0.9" at the head and 0.8" at the body. The weight of the light is 2.5 oz with a standard alkaline AA battery and 1.6 oz without.

The S15 includes a removable
deep carry pocket clip.
Another thing that struck me about the light was the flat tailcap. Having a flat tailcap allows you to place the light facing up, while bouncing light up off of the ceiling of a room. That way, with a tiny light, you can light up a large area if you need to.

Another feature that blew me away was the integrated rare earth magnet found within the tailcap. I have seen a similar magnet on the excellent Preon P0 by FOURSEVENS. This magnet sticks to any ferrous material, allowing you to have hands-free lighting when fixing your car, computer, or whatever else you may be working on.

I said this was an EDC light, didn't I? For carry, this light includes a deep carry pocket clip that holds the light securely and is removable.

All in all, the S15 by Olight has impressed me a lot. I would definitely recommend this light to anybody looking for a small, bright and functional EDC flashlight. Not only that, but it uses standard AA batteries, which you can find anywhere. This like would be great for a bug out bag or emergency kit as well.

What do you think of the S15? Do any of you have any experience with it?

Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review - NEBO PROTEC Elite HP190 Weapons Light

Most of the flashlights that I have reviewed in the past have been hand-held. The reason being that hand-held flashlights are the most practical for general lighting use. However, for specific lighting application, a specialized flashlight is preferred. Today, we'll be looking at a flashlight specialized for use on a firearm, and it's called the Elite HP190.

Why have a light mounted on a firearm?

The HP190 is a great weapons light if you're on a budget.
Many of you have firearms for home defense. Even more of you have a flashlight next to your bed. If you don't, I would highly recommend doing both, since you never know what will go bump in the night. Since shooting a handgun with one hand while holding a flashlight in the other greatly decreases accuracy and usability, it makes a lot of sense to mount a flashlight to your gun. This allows you to have one free hand if you need it, while still having the option to use both hands to shoot, for added accuracy.

The HP190 is made by NEBO PROTEC, a fairly new flashlight manufacturer that is known for their affordable lighting solutions. The first thing that turned me on to the HP190 was the price. Retailing at around $34.99, it's one of the most affordable weapons lights on the market. The fact that it outputs 190 lumens is amazing, considering the price. This flashlight competes with $100+ weapons lights and can even outside many lights at that price point.

The HP190 is made out of aluminum
and anodized to a matte black finish.
The HP190 is made out of aluminum and anodized in black. The anodizing is of good quality and has a nice, matte finish. The light weighs 3.7 oz with the included CR123 battery. It is 3.1" long and 1.0" wide. The bezel of the light is serrated, giving you the option of using it as a defensive impact device.

Using the HP190 is simple. It has a slider switch that can be actuacted with the right hand trigger finger. This isn't the best type of switch that I have seen, but it works adequately. The design of this switch would make it difficult for a left-handed person to use it if they were shooting it single-handedly, since it is actuated by pushing the switch from right to left.

Upon turning on the HP190, the light defaults to a 190 lumen high mode. Turning the light off and on again within 4 seconds switches the light to strobe. Turning the light off and on switches back to high.

The HP190 fits on Picatinny/Weaver type rails,
along with numerous other rails found on firearms.
The light mounts to any Picatinny/Weaver type of rail. I have also mounted it securely to a Glock rail. The design of the mounting bracket should work with most types of slotted rails, since the bracket can be adjusted for width. A small screw on the left side of the light turns to easily clamp down to fit most firearm rails.

While I have only used the HP190 on a handgun, it would also work if mounted to a rifle or a shotgun. There is also a small section of rail on the bottom of the HP190 that allows the light to be used in conjunction with an aiming laser or other such device.

All in all, the Elite HP190 by NEBO PROTEC is a great choice for a weapons light, especially if you're on a budget. It's definitely bright enough and functional enough to provide necessary lighting should you even need to defend yourself or your loved ones in the dark.

Do any of you have any experience with the NEBO PROTEC HP190? If so, let us know in the comments below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review - Atom A0 with Red LED

The Atom A0 is a
great keychain light.
I reviewed the Preon P0 last March. Since then, I have had almost a full year's worth of experience with the flashlight and am still very impressed by it. I still keep it on my keys and it has come in handy a number of times. If you would like to read more about the flashlight, please click HERE to read my blog post about it.

FOURSEVENS has listened to customer requests and now makes a Preon P0 (now called Atom A0) with a Red LED, and that is what we'll look in this review.

The Atom A0 comes in the exact same form factor as the Preon P0. It is 2.2" long, 0.5" in diameter and weighs only 0.8 oz with the included AAA battery. This size is only slightly larger than the AAA battery that it uses.

The A0 has an integrated magnet in the tail.
The body of the light is made out of stainless steel and comes with an integrated magnet in the tail. This allows you to stick the light to any ferrous surface for hands-free lighting. For attaching to a keychain the A0 comes with a small keyring.

The difference between the P0 and A0 is that the A0 comes with a CREE XP-E Red LED. This LED also has two modes, just like the P0. The first mode is low, and emits 0.5 lumens. Turning the flashlight off and on quickly by twisting the head changes the mode to high, which emits 15 lumens. This is less bright than the P0, which has a maximum brightness of 25 lumens.

Why a Red LED?

The Atom A0 comes with a Red LED, as can be seen here.
A red LED makes a lot of sense for a flashlight. Red light preserves night vision better than white light. This makes a red light ideal for star gazing or tasks where you need brief illumination, but still need to see in the dark. I have tested this and found it to be true myself.

The red LED isn't as bright as the white LED that the P0 normally comes with, but it's still adequately bright on high for seeing things in the dark. In fact, the red light gives a very interesting effect and is a neat flashlight to have, especially if you're a flashlight enthusiast.

The Atom A0 by FOURSEVENS is a great flashlight on its own, and with a red LED becomes even better for select applications. If you enjoy flashlights, this is definitely a light to check out.

Do any of you have any experience with the Atom A0? If so, let us know in the comments below.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Review - FOURSEVENS Maelstrom MMU-X3

The Maelstrom MMU-X3 -
An insane amount of light
in a reasonably small package.
FOURSEVENS is really cranking out some new lights for 2014. Perhaps their most impressive new flashlight is the Maelstrom MMU-X3.

At first, the MMU-X3 looks just like the standard MMU that has been out for several years now. The original light was great, but this one is even better. When you look at the emitter, right away you notice that there are 3 LEDs instead of just one. Apart from the XM18, this is FOURSEVENS' first production flashlight with multiple LEDs.

These multiple XM-L2 LEDs output a screaming 1600 lumens out of a flashlight that easily fits into the palm of your hand. The MMU-X3 is 5.4" long, has a 1.3" body diameter and a 1.8" head diameter. It's a good size for hand-held light. It's not great for pocket carry, but because of that, it comes with a holster that can be carried on a belt.

The flashlight has excellent texturing all around and is beautifully anodized in black. The head has vented heat-sinks to cool down the light, as it can get hot with extended use.

The MMU-X3 has
3 XM-L2 LEDs.
Using the light couldn't be any simpler. You turn the light on by twisting the tailcap. When slightly loosened, you can also put the tailcap to get a momentary on. When the light is first turned on, it defaults to High (1600 lumens). If turned off and turned on within 1 second, the light will then switch to Low (200 lumens). If turned off and on again, it will go back to High. There are only 2 modes with this light, but they are the two most practical.

As with all FOURSEVENS lights, this flashlight is also waterproof. Now I wouldn't go scuba diving with it, but if you go down a few feet, it should be fine.

The run time on the MMU-X3 is also impressive. You get 11 hours on Low and 2.5 Hours on High. You also won't have to worry about this light eating up batteries, since it uses a rechargeable 26650 Lithium-Ion Battery (sold separately). This battery has 4,000 mAh of stored energy, which is actually a heck of a lot. This lets you use the light to your heart's content, show it off to friends, and then pop the battery in the charger when it finally runs dry.

The Maelstrom MMU-X3 from FOURSEVENS is a crazy-bright flashlight in a small and portable package. It's a great tool for anyone who needs a lot of light, but can't spare the extra space that comparable flashlights take up. Retailing for around $100, it's also affordable, considering what alternative flashlights with similar performance would cost. All, in all, this is a great flashlight to have in your inventory, especially if you're a flashaholic.

Do any of you have experience with the Maelstrom MMU-X3? If so, let us know in the comments below.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review - FOURSEVENS 360 Headlamp Kit

FOURSEVENS is a company that continues to innovate. One of their most recent innovations was is a Headlamp Kit that fits their Atom, P0 and Mini Series of lights (excluding the Mini M2A). These flashlights are the smallest that FOURSEVENS makes, and this new innovation allows you to have even more functionality from these lights.

The 360 Headlamp Kit works with the Mini ML,
Mini MA, Mini MLR2, Atom flashlights and the Preon P0!
The 360 Headlamp Kit works by holding the small flashlight in a polymer housing. The lights are held either with a friction fit, in the case of the Mini Series, or with a magnet, in the case of the Atom series and P0 lights. This holds the lights strongly enough to still allow for single-handed operation.

The headlamp housing can then be rotated 360 degrees, and also tilted 90 degrees, to allow for the light to shine in any direction.

The housing on the 360 Headlamp Kit swivels to
allow you to point the flashlight in any direction.
The 360 Headlamp Kit comes with a comfortable elastic headband that is adjustable to fit your head comfortably.
If you already own a Mini ML, Mini MA, Mini MLR2, an Atom flashlights or a Preon P0, then I HIGHLY recommend taking a look at the new 360 Headlamp Kit by FOURSEVENS. This is a must-have product that adds a huge level of versatility to these already amazing flashlights.

Do you have any experience with the FOURSEVENS 360 Headlamp Kit? Let me know in the comments below.