The Holosun P.ID HC – Light It Up

The shift from a focus on raw lumens to the power of candela has been led by two companies, Modlite and Cloud Defensive. They’ve each released ultra-powerful weapon lights that have proven the importance of candela versus lumens. In the pistol light world, there are only a few that have a high focus on candela. You expect Modlite, Cloud Defensive, and even Surefire to invest in high candela weapon lights. What no one saw coming was the Holosun P.ID HC.

The P.ID, a clever acronym for positive identification, is a weapon light aimed at the handgun market. The purpose of a light on a defensive weapon is to establish positive identification of a threat, and that’s exactly what the P.ID can do for you.

The Raw Power of the P.ID HC

There are a number of P.ID light models. Some focus on lumens, and others combine a white light with a laser. Then, we have the HC. HC stands for high candela. How high? Well, according to Holosun, it comes out to 42,000 candela backed by 800 lumens. That combination gives you a bright white light that travels the distance. The point of candela is to make those lumens useable.

One of those benefits is more range. The light carries further, which makes it easy to identify threats at longer ranges. You won’t just see the bad guy, but you’ll be able to see him in bright white light and make out features, clothing, and beyond.

Another benefit of the P.ID HC and its 42,000 candela is the ability to cut through photonic barriers. White lights and other light sources create visual barriers. So does fog, rain, dust, smoke, etc. The more candela you have, the better you can chew through photonic barriers.

The power of 800 lumens is nothing to sneeze at, either. It’s bright and powerful. The P.ID also has a low mode. The low mode cuts it in half, with 400 lumens and 21,000 candela. A low mode means a longer battery life.

The unit is powered by a 18350 battery. In a rather clever move, Holosun added a port to the P.ID HC to make charging the battery easy. There is no need to remove the light to charge the internal battery. Of course, you can always hot-swap 18350 batteries in the field. The battery lasts an hour or so on high.

The P.ID HC in The Field

With the light attached to my favorite handgun, the CZ P09, I hit the field in the middle of the night. The P.ID HC comes with a few different rail adapters, which makes it easy to mount it to most other guns. The light has two switches, which make it ambidextrous. We get both a momentary and a constant mode.

Holding the button for more than a second and releasing activates the momentary mode. A short press activates the constant-on mode. It’s simple and effective, and even a grunt can make it work. The buttons provide a nice amount of tactile feedback.

Out in the dark, the beam cuts through the darkness. It throws a tight and focused beam out. Even out to 50 yards, the beam throws enough light to positively identify a threat on a nice, normal night. The beam really does a great job of providing a very bright hot spot. It doesn’t have a considerable amount of spill, which may be a turn-off for a pistol light.

Pistols are close-range weapons, and, as such, spill helps fill your vision with light from edge to edge. That can really help with your situational awareness. Indoors, it’s fine just because of the sheer white light it’s throwing down. Once we step outdoors, the spill isn’t considerable by any means.

All the candela of the P.ID HC cuts through other light sources pretty dang easily. It shines through headlights, my porch lights, and through both rain and fog. That tight, focused beam of power does a fantastic job.

The Powerful Little Light

The Holosun P.ID HC blew my mind. I didn’t expect Holosun or any company to develop such a powerful and capable light for less than 200 dollars. That’s respectable and a great bargain for the power. The main problem I have, and the main problem most of us will have, comes down to holsters. Anytime a new light is introduced, it’s going to be tough to find holsters that will accommodate your gun and light.

For now, it’s scant. I don’t imagine it will be scant for long. The power and price make the light attractive, so I imagine it will get more popular sooner rather than later. There optics did.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.