When folks think of 5.11 Tactical, they generally think of their pants. 5.11 is far more than just pants, they offer packs for all occasions, excellent footwear and even unique lights. 5.11 has been offering lights for several years, it has only been the last couple of years that has seen them offer a variety of daily use lights. We looked at a couple of their lights that are more everyday use than “tactical” and will help in a power outage, looking in a dark corner or working under the car.
First is the EDC 2AAA. This 1.87 ounce light is small enough to attach to your key ring or clip to a pocket. This mighty mite is powerful enough to throw its 127 lumens nearly 30 yards and do so for over 3 hours.
What I like about the EDC is the simplicity. When I need a light to find steps or to see where my dogs are in the backyard, I don’t need to cycle through a series of button clicks. The EDC’s switch is right under the lamp bezel, simply click on/off.
To ensure this light has a long service life, 5.11 uses a CREE XP-G3 LED. It has been my experience that CREE LEDs will outlive most of the units they are in, especially small units like this. Sadly we have a bad habit of misplacing them, stepping on them or some other accident. Fortunately as I have gotten older this happens less often. With its $19.99 MSRP, you won’t break the bank if you have an oops and to replace it.
If you need a light that gives you more options, the Response XR1 is a good choice. This light can be worn as a headlamp with the three point head harness that is included. If you prefer, clip it to a pocket for hands free applications or it can be handheld. The XR1’s main light has four brightness levels; the highest is over 1000 lumens. You also have a flood light that runs bright white or red to protect night vision.
This light has a split switch, one button for each lamp. The front one runs the flood and the rear section the main light. To turn on the main light, simply push the rear; each successive click powers down to the next lower intensity until the unit is off. The flood light is activated by pushing the front button. Depressing the same button for three seconds turns on the night red light. With the dual switch, you can run both lights at the same time; you will look like a Vegas light show.
You power the XR1 with a pair of CR123As or an 18650 rechargeable battery. Runtime of the spot light is approximately two hours, while the flood is six. While this may seem like a brief runtime, there has to be a trade off for a beam cast for nearly 150 yards. To ensure your XR1 keeps running for years, this light aluminum bodied. Most surprising with all these features, it will not break the bank, retailing for $79.99.
Over the last couple of months I have found the EDC and the XR1 to be useful lights. I have used them checking my RV for weather damage, to walk my dogs and to navigate around the house when the power went off a couple of times. They functioned flawlessly and the XR1 survived use in a couple of cold downpours.
If you prefer or need more traditional handheld lights, 5.11 offers fourteen other options. They even offer a 2-R123A light saber that puts out 2359 lumens the XR2. Every light 5.11 Tactical offers is well made and with the exception of the XR2 are well under $100. When you are looking for a new light; consider 5.11 Tactical, you will not be disappointed.