5.11 Tactical Lights the Way

5.11 Tactical offers unique lights for EDC and tactical applications.

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.

5.11’s EDC 2AAA is small enough you can carry it all the time. The rear slots will even fit a key ring.

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 makes the EDC 2AAA ideal for daily use is its simplicity, the button is on/off with no fumbling to find it.

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.

The three point harness of the Response XR1 is large enough to even fit an old school Kevlar helmet.
As you can see the XR1 clips into the front pocket of 5.11’s Braxton jacket.

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.

There is a tab that fits in the ridges on the light’s body to allow you to adjust where the light shines when used as a headlamp.

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.

This red light will light your way while preserving your night vision.

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 need a handheld light the Jedi would be proud of the XR2 is it. Image courtesy of 5.11 Tactical.

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.

Scott Smith
Scott is a former federal LEO who served on active duty in the Army in numerous positions and USAF Reserve Security Policeman. He is active in USPSA and three gun competition and is a charter life member of IDPA. Over the past twenty plus years he has written for numerous publications and has graduated from many shooting schools including Gunsite, Sig Academy, Blackwater. Scott passed on June 15th, 2021. He will be missed.