August 5th, 2008 11:19 AM
Olight/TacBeam tactical flashlight opinions
At a recent gun show, I purchased this light:
I can't find any references to this light on the forum, which surprises me since it's a small, 220 lumen, five levels of brightness, built-in strobe/SOS, LED, waterproof, etc tactical light for $70! I would think this compares favorably with Surefire, etc and is a better price performer. Does anyone else have one? Are there problems with it that I'm not aware of? So far, it's been terrific, very bright, nice beam construction, reliable and long battery life. What am I missing?
Last edited by alnitak; August 5th, 2008 at 12:32 PM.
August 5th, 2008 11:46 AM
It sounds great and looks cool..........test it out and give a full report if you please. I want one.
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
August 5th, 2008 12:17 PM
I've been using it for several months, and really like it! But I'm not sure how to give a report on it, or what features are really important for a tactical light. But, here are some observations.
The five levels of lumens is great. At the highest level (220 llm), it literally lights up an entire basement in the dark. Outdoors, it projects a beam that cuts through the dark and woods. I've used it to find my kids on a dark beach close to a block away. The 1.5 hours at the highest level seems very reasonable compared to other lights. At the lowest level, I've used it camping to illuminate my tent (hanging from the ceiling) at a level where I can easily read. It's rated for 70 hours at the lowest level.
The beam construction is really nice. It has a very bright center portion, and a less bright outer portion, so that entire rooms are illuminated and it cuts a wide swath outside, yet is bright enough in the center that it hurts the eyes even from 40-50 yards away (so say my kids). Both portions are symetrical and round, so the beam looks like a large bullseye if you shine it on a wall.
The strobe feature I've used sparingly, as it's so bright and "strobe-y" that I'm afraid that I'll set someone into convulsions (and I'm not really sure what it's to be used for anyway...maybe some cool photography?).
It's solidly constructed, and at the show, they left one in a glass of water turned on the whole day. It's not intended for using when diving, since if you go below 10 m the pressure will overcome the o-rings. But, use it all you want in the rain.
I had bought the original model months ago (January). In that model, the on/off button in the rear was recessed and difficult to use with the thumb. The newer model has corrected that (and provides 220 llm vs. 205 llm). The customer service is so good, that when I went to the show in March, Li just exchanged my old one for a new one, no questions asked.
Apparently, it uses the latest LED technology (hence the 220 lumens). It takes 2 CR123 batteries. I have yet to replace them. Also at the show, I bought a package of 12 batteries for $20. Since these batteries can be stored for 10 years at a 90% retention, I think I'm good for a while.
The only knocks I can see on this is:
1) it's made in China (although TacBeam is here in the US, NC I believe, and they support the products there)
2) the front doesn't have a glass breaker on it.
Other than those two items, I have no complaints.
When I first bought the light, I had been looking at Surefire and was immediately impressed with the features this light offered for the money, compared to the much more expensive alternative. Now that I know a little more, and have seen the lights from Fenix and Nitecore, just to name a couple, the price seems about average, but it's still a rich feature set.
Last edited by alnitak; August 5th, 2008 at 05:28 PM.
August 5th, 2008 03:14 PM
Great test report, thanks!
When using the strobe on someone, they are unable to tell that you are moving. You could move toward them or away, they're literally blinded and the brain cannot discern movement with the strobe as it can with a steady beam.
It also catches the attention of a driver in an approaching car at night quicker...
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