All charged up: 5.11 Tactical’s Light for Life UC3.400 Flashlight
90 second recharge gives high-tech flashlight 120 minutes of light
By Scott M. Bruner
Police officers looking for the next generation of flashlight technology may want to check out 5.11 Tactical's Light for Life UC3.400 Flashlight. While it maybe difficult to tell differences apart from its battery-powered cousins, the Light for Life is unique in that it not only doesn't rely on batteries, but it completely recharges rate in 90 seconds.
The Light for Life flashlight is purposely designed to be the last flashlight you'll ever need. Designed through a partnership between 5.11 Tactical and IVUS Innovations, the flashlight uses an ultracapacitor to manage and provide power – a technology IVUS trademarked as Flashpoint Power Technology.
The tech may sound a bit complicated, but the results are not – plug the Light for Life in for 90 seconds and you can get 120 minutes of light, anywhere, anytime.
"We designed the Light for Light flashlight so officers would know the flashlight will always work for them without having to replace, or pay for, batteries," IVUS Innovations CEO David G. Alexander, Ph.D., said. "Batteries wear down. When the Life for Light goes down you need only head back to the patrol car to charge it for 90 seconds and it’s ready to go again."
The Light for Life flashlight provides 90 lumens of light for the first 60 minutes of operation, 25 minutes for the next 30, and 15 for the final 30. 5.11 Tactical boasts that even over 50,000 recharge cycles, degradation of power to the three LED lights is insignificant, a claim they hope will make officers replace their old battery-powereds – for good.
The Light for Life is made of a polymer and weights 16 ounces. It has multiple light settings, including one that provides 270 lumens. Charging the flashlight merely requires plugging into the recharger, which can be plugged into a patrol car's battery. The charger itself is not much larger than a standard coffee cup holder.
"The feedback we’ve gotten indicates that it's great for traffic stops because an officer can blast out the 270 lumen setting during approach, and then click down to 90 when filling out documents. It's also great for traffic accidents. Officers are so used to having to conserve light, but the Light for Life's quick recharge means they don’t have to," said Alexander.
The Light for Life flashlight was finally released in October of 2009 after four years of development.
The Light for Life Flashlight US.3.400 is available through 5.11 dealers or though their website: www.511tactical.com and retails for $169.99. 5.11, Inc. creates and delivers comprehensive gear for law enforcement, military and firefighting professionals.
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