The last flashlight you'll ever buy?
Unless you’re planning on patrolling the streets with your great grandchildren at your side, the Light For Life PC3.300 from 5.11 Tactical may be the last flashlight you ever buy
I have a thing for flashlights. It’s not totally rational, but there are excellent benefits to my odd little personality quirk for purchasing a wide variety of flashlights, not the least of which is that I’m never willingly in the dark (no jokes, please). Living in ‘earthquake country’ as I do — the ground shook again in the predawn hours this morning — it’s a practical necessity to have at least one high-quality working flashlight in an easy-to-access area on every floor of your home.
For a couple of years now I’ve had the 8060 LED Flashlight from Pelican Products in my kitchen next to the fire extinguisher, and I have at least two Surefire G2-LED lights. It’s strongly possible I have more than two of those, but I know for certain there’s always one in a pocket in my computer bag and another attached to the end of my AR-15. In the garage is my earthquake-response go-bag, and in that is one of three Mini Maglite LED flashlights in my inventory strategically scattered about the house, plus two full-size Maglights in my vehicle.
One light I don’t have — yet! — is the Light For Life from 5.11 Tactical. I first encountered this light at SHOT Show 2010, and was astounded by its design. I’m getting one of the PC3.300 lights delivered to me in coming days, and to say I’m excited about its arrival is an understatement of significant magnitude.
This light goes from bright (200 lumens), to standard (70 lumens) to tactical strobe with the press of either the top or tailcap buttons which are big enough to find with a gloved hand, but protected enough that the light won’t just turn itself on in your bail-out bag.
That stuff is all very cool, but here are the two best parts:
Don’t Call it a Battery
Traditional batteries require a chemical reaction to store energy. Each time an ordinary battery charges and discharges, it converts electricity into a chemical bond and vice versa. During each charge the chemicals wear down and over time, the batteries lose their ability to retain a charge.
Unlike traditional rechargeable battery systems that develop “memory” and degrade over time, the Flashpoint system is actually a capacitor, which stores the electrical charge or energy directly. It’s essentially storing a lightning bolt rated for 50,000 charge/discharge cycles with virtually no degradation.
That’s one charge per day for more than 135 years.
Perhaps with this light in my hands I will finally be able to stop this puzzling affliction of compulsively collecting flashlights every time I visit Galls or Home Depot. Then again, perhaps not...
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